Meadow supply chains. What animals and plants are common in the meadows?
Meadows are a type of vegetation widespread in the temperate zone of our planet. They are rich in herbs and flowers, as well as a variety of animal species. What representatives of the flora and fauna inhabit it? What food meadows are there? Read about it below.
Meadow Nature and Food Chains
Depending on how and where they formed, meadows are divided into mainland, floodplain, mountain and other species. All of them are terrain covered with turf and thick, mostly perennial, grass.
Meadows do not form an independent natural zone and are rather related to azonal vegetation, which is often located near forests. In nature, they occur on a regularly flooded or highly humid area - in the lowlands or floodplains of rivers. Alpine and subalpine meadows are found in the mountains, for example, in the Alps, the Carpathians, the Caucasus, the Andes and the Himalayas.There they begin above the forest belt.
The emergence of meadows often contributes to people. So, many of them were formed at the site of cleared cutting areas. After some time, they can again turn into forests, but more often they are not allowed to do this, as they use them as pasture for livestock.
The abundance of herbs attracts a huge number of insects, birds and small mammals, which form the basis of the local nature. Here are some examples of the meadow supply chain:
- Green grass - locust - lizard - kestrel.
- Flower ovary - caterpillar - wagtail - falcon.
- Nectar - butterfly - toad - snipe.
- Green grass - roe deer - lynx.
- Cereals - mouse vole - marten.
The first link of the food chain, characteristic of meadows (as well as for any other biocenosis), is occupied by plants. Here they are grasses sometimes up to 1.5 meters high. There are practically no trees and bushes on them, but there are a lot of cereal and leguminous species.
Dry meadows are usually covered with small herbs such as fescue, bent grass, bluebells, rough kulbaba, hawk fish, and cat's paw. Subalpine mountain areas are covered with a feather grass, carnations, complex flowers, buttercups, poppies, forget-me-nots. In lowland meadows, swamp vegetation is often found.For example, mosses appear on highly humid areas that can displace other vegetation.
Animals The world of meadows represents something between a zone of bogs and forests. Many insects and amphibians live here, but ungulates and rather large predators are also found.
Herbivorous animals next to the grass in the food chain of the meadows. These include bees, butterflies, caterpillars, beetles, locust, grasshoppers, mice, hamsters, hares, wild sheep, goats, deer and various birds.
The third and fourth chain links include animals that feed on other animals (zoophages). They can include both exclusively carnivorous and omnivorous species. This includes ladybugs, spiders, ticks, moles, mice, lizards, toads and snakes. Among the meadow birds are snipe, corncrake, partridge, field lark, kestrel, quail, wagtail.
Often, small predators such as the falcon, hawk, kestrel, owl, and marten complete the food chain of the meadows. But in search of food, larger representatives of the fauna may come here. A fox, a wolf, a bear can wander into the meadow. Jackals, lynxes and even tigers can be found here in the mountainous regions.