(Unless otherwise indicated, photos by Don of www.Wakamow.com)
This open meadow is distinct from the treed area through which you have just walked. The absence of a tree canopy results in more direct sunlight which makes the area hotter and drier. It is also windier than the surrounding wooded area. Nevertheless, plants here have adapted to these conditions: they have found a way to survive.
Grasses and grass-like plants are perfectly adapted and dominate the area as a result. Grasses have extensive, deep root systems to obtain the moisture they require. Thin leaves also act to reduce water loss through evaporation. Some species have further reduced water loss by the addition of fine hairs on their leaves. Low growth and flexible stems allow grass plants to withstand high winds.
The wildlife species using the grasslands are also different from those in other areas of the Ecological Zone. Songbirds such as Meadowlarks and Clay-coloured Sparrows nest here. Other animals, such as Snowshoe Hares, use the meadow for food while obtaining protection in the nearby wooded area.
The transition area (ecotone) between grassland and woods is dominated by
shrubs and thickets. The most common species are the Western Snowberry and Woods Rose.