Very Short Answer Type Questions:
Question 1: What are the broad categories of grasslands in the world?
Answer: Grasslands growing in the temperate regions and grasslands growing in the tropical regions.
Question 2: What are the prairies bound by, in the east and the west?
Answer: The Rocky Mountains in the west and the Great Lakes in the east.
Question 3: How are the summers and winters in the Prairies?
Answer: Summers are warm and in winters a thick blanket of snow covers the region.
Question 4: Why do the velds receive rainfall in the summer months?
Answer: Because of the warm ocean currents that wash the shores of the velds.
Question 5: Why is the soil in the velds not very fertile?
Answer: Because of the presence of discontinuous grasses exposing barren surface.
Short Answer Type Questions:
Question 1: What are velds?
Answer: The temperate grasslands of South Africa are called velds. They are rolling plateaus with varying heights ranging from 600 m to 1100m.
Question 2: Write a note on the flora of the velds.
Answer: The vegetation cover is sparse, with red grasses growing in the bush velds and acacia and maroola growing in the high velds.
Question 3: What are the prairies?
Answer: The temperate grasslands of North America are called the prairies. It is a region of flat, gently sloping or hilly land.
Question 4: Write a note on the climate of the prairies.
Answer: The climate of the prairies is of continental type with extreme summers and winters. The annual rainfall is moderate here and is ideal for the growth of grass.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question 1: Describe the people and their activities in the velds region.
Answer: The people of this region are involved in the following occupation:
- Dairy farming: This is the next important occupation. Cattle are reared in the warmer and wetter regions and the dairy products like butter and cheese are produced both for domestic supply and exports.
- Mining: The velds are rich in mineral wealth. The mining activity includes coal, iron, gold and diamond. Johannesburg is called the ‘gold capital of the world’. Kimberley is famous for its diamond mines.
- Agriculture: In places where the soil is fertile, crops are grown. The main crops are maize, wheat, barley, oats and potato. Cash crops like tobacco, sugarcane and cotton are also grown. In many places, the soil is not very fertile due to the presence of discontinuous grasses exposing barren surface.
Question 2: Write a note on the climate of the velds.
Answer: The climate in the velds is mild due to the influence of the Indian Ocean. Winters are cold and dry. July is the coldest month. The temperatures in winter vary between 5°C and 10°C. Summers are short and warm. Johannesburg records a temperature of 20°C in summer season. Rainfall occurs mainly in the months of November to February, and it is due to the warm ocean currents that wash the shores of the velds. If the winter months from June to August receive scanty rainfall, drought may occur.
Question 3: Describe the flora and fauna of the prairies.
Answer: Flora: Prairies are practically treeless. Based on availability of water, the plants found in the area, differ.
- Where water is available, trees such as willows, alders and poplars grow.
- Where rainfall is above 50 cm, farming is practiced as the soil is fertile. The main crop here is maize. The other crops that are grown in this area include potatoes, soyabean, alfa-alfa and cotton.
- Areas where rainfall is very little or unreliable, short and sparse grasses are found. These areas are suitable for cattle rearing. Large cattle farms are called ranches.
Fauna: The main animal here is the bison or the American buffalo. It has nearly got extinct due to its indiscriminate hunting. Other animals found in this region are rabbits, Prairie dogs, coyotes and gophers.
Question 4: Write a note on the people of the prairies.
Answer: The people of the prairie region are very industrious and have successfully harnessed technology to utilize its natural resources. The two most developed countries – the USA and Canada are located in this region.
- Agriculture: Scientific methods of cultivation and use of tractors, harvesters and combines have made North America a surplus producer of food grains. The Prairies are also called the ‘Granaries of the world’ due to surplus wheat production.
- Dairy farming: It is another major industry in this region. The dairy belt extends from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Coast in the east.
- Food processing industries: Dairy farming and surplus production in agriculture promote setting up of food processing industries.
- Mineral resources: This region has rich deposits of iron and coal.
- Infrastructure: A very good network of roads, railways and canals in this region, has made it the most industrialized region in the world.