Grassland Ecosystems

Osvaldo Sala, Lucía Vivanco, Pedro Flombaum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


Grasslands represent one of the largest vegetation types on Earth and their existence is determined by water scarcity that in turn depends on precipitation and temperature. This vegetation type harbors a high diversity of plant species that mostly occurs at fine spatial scales because grasslands tend to be structurally simpler at coarser scales. Grassland species richness has strong and positive effects on primary production as a result of increasing niche complementarity with increasing diversity. Grasslands are among the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world because their diversity is threatened by human activity, mostly as a consequence of conversion into croplands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biodiversity
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780123847195
ISBN (Print)9780123847201
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Animal diversity
  • Climate change
  • Ecosystem functioning
  • Functional types
  • Land-use change
  • Microbial diversity
  • Niche complementarity
  • Plant diversity
  • Primary production
  • Sampling effect
  • Scenarios
  • Species richness
  • Water limitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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