Savannas may readily become deserts with less vegetation, posing new problems for the plants and animals that live there. The absence of a canopy of trees makes the savanna particularly vulnerable to drought. Without the ability to regenerate lost leaves or shoots, the only way for the plants to grow back is from seed, which can be slow and difficult. There are several examples of once-forested areas becoming deserts due to this process - the most well known being the Sahara Desert.
Another problem that results from reduced numbers of plants is increased competition for sunlight. Less grass means that more bare ground is exposed to the sun, causing more frequent droughts and longer periods of time without rain. Animals that depend on grass for food or shelter will also suffer as the quantity of available food or safe places to hide decreases. Species diversity will tend to decrease as the number of dominant plants reduces others' chances of survival. Over time, this could lead to the extinction of certain types of plant and animal life.
Finally, reduced numbers of plants would mean that humans would need to cut them down to use their wood or pasture them for meat. This would reduce the amount of carbon stored in the soil and increase the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, potentially leading to further climate changes.
Desertification devours vast swaths of northern African savannas each year, absorbing them into the Sahara desert. This is usually due to dry circumstances and a lack of plant life to keep the soil in place. Finally, climate change is making certain savannas vulnerable to woody vegetation. Trees and shrubs spread rapidly under warm conditions, invading the grasslands and replacing them with wooded areas.
Savanna ecosystems consist of flat plains covered in grasses or other herbaceous plants. They're found in tropical climates around the world, especially in Africa. Savannas are known for their biodiversity- they support many different types of animals including elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalo, and many species of bird.
However, human activity is changing the landscape dramatically, which could have serious consequences for these ecosystems and their inhabitants. The dry conditions that cause desertification are caused by drought or heat waves that can kill off the grasses that make up the savanna. Without enough green vegetation to hold the soil together, it will crumble under its own weight causing significant damage to surrounding areas. Tree growth in savannas can have similar effects because it provides an alternative source of strength to the soil while also taking up space that would otherwise be filled with grass.
Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of droughts and heat waves, which could further devastate already degraded savannas.
Climate change, farming methods, overgrazing, aggressive agricultural irrigation, which lowers the level of the water table away from plant roots, deforestation, and erosion are all threats to the savanna environment. Over 46,000 square kilometers of African savanna being converted to desert each year. That's more than twice the size of Texas.
The continued conversion of grasslands across Africa is a major threat to biodiversity. About 50% of all species on Earth live in Africa, and many of these species depend on grasslands for survival. Loss of this habitat could lead to the extinction of many species.
Another danger to the savanna biome is fire. Fire can be a natural part of life in the savanna, but when humans start fires they can become dangerous and even deadly. Fire helps control invasive plants that would otherwise dominate the ecosystem. It also promotes new growth and flowering for wildlife food sources. However, fire can also damage living trees and allow hardy grasses to grow in its place. This type of fire is called "wildfire." People start most wildfires during maintenance work or hazard reduction burns. Some people may do this as a hobby if they're not aware of the consequences. The best way to prevent wildfire is through proper land management- including avoiding cutting down trees without clear evidence of disease or insect attack- and maintaining safe burning practices when doing sonerubbing or controlled burns.
Because it does not constantly rain, the savannas are prone to fires and seasonal droughts. Animals and vegetation must thus be able to adapt to the extended dry seasons. Humans have also affected the ability of animals to survive in the savannas; for example, by burning land for pasture or fuel, we have created conditions that are difficult for many species of animal to survive.
Savannas are dominated by grasses and other plants that can grow rapidly after fire or drought. So the first thing you need in order to survive in the savanna is fire or drought resistance in your organism. Fire resistance helps plants reproduce more quickly than they would without these protections. Drought resistance allows plants to grow even when water is limited. Seasonal droughts will affect different parts of the savanna differently. For example, if there is no rainfall during the growing season, then seeds will not sprout and trees will not grow. But if there is precipitation at other times of the year, then the drought will not cause as much harm.
Animals that can escape fires or find water when others cannot do well in the savanna. In fact, many animals benefit from fire or drought by finding better food or avoiding danger.