A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. A steppe is a region characterized by grassland plain without trees (apart from those near rivers and lakes). The prairie (especially the shortgrass prairie) can be considered a steppe. It may be semi-desert, or covered with grass or shrubs or both, depending on the season and latitude. The Pampas (from Quechua, meaning “plain”) are the fertile South American lowlands that include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, and Córdoba, most of Uruguay, and the southernmost end of Brazil, the Rio Grande do Sul, covering more than 750,000 km2 (289,577 sq mi).
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