Meadow - online puzzles


A meadow ( MED-oh) is an open habitat or field, vegetated by grasses, herbs, and other non-woody plants. Trees or shrubs may sparsely populate meadows, as long as these areas maintain an open character. Meadows can occur naturally under favourable conditions, but are often artificially created from cleared shrub or woodland for the production of hay, fodder, or livestock. Meadow habitats, as a group, are characterized as "semi-natural grasslands", meaning that they are largely composed of species native to the region, with only limited human intervention.

Meadows attract a multitude of wildlife, and support flora and fauna that could not thrive in other habitats. They are ecologically important as they provide areas for animal courtship displays, nesting, food gathering, pollinating insects, and sometimes sheltering, if the vegetation is high enough. Intensified agricultural practices (too frequent mowing, use of mineral fertilizers, manure and insecticides), may lead to declines in the abundance of organisms and species diversity. There are multiple types of meadows, including agricultural, transitional, and perpetual – each playing a unique and important part of the ecosystem.

Like other biomes, meadows will experience increased pressure (including on their biodiversity) due to climate change, especially as precipitation and weather conditions change. However, grasslands and meadows also have an important climate change mitigation potential as carbon sinks; deep-rooted grasses store a substantial amount of carbon in soil.

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