How Much Grass is in the World

How Much Grass is in the World
Gracie Owens
Gracie Owens she/her - Author at YardPrep October 01, 2023

Grass is a ubiquitous plant that plays a crucial role in various ecosystems around the world. It is not only a food source for many animals but also provides numerous environmental benefits. Understanding the global distribution of grass and its prevalence is essential for studying and conserving these important ecosystems.

How Much Grass is in the World

The total amount of grass in the world is difficult to determine precisely, but it covers approximately 26% of the Earth's land surface. This includes various types of grasses such as meadow grass, prairie grass, and savanna grass, which play crucial roles in ecosystems, providing food and habitat for numerous animals and contributing to carbon sequestration.

Overview of Grass Distribution

Grass can be found in almost every corner of the world, from the icy tundras of the Arctic to the scorching deserts of Africa. It is estimated that grass covers about 20% of the Earth's land surface. This makes it one of the most widespread plant types on the planet. Grasses can thrive in a wide range of climatic conditions, from hot and dry to cold and wet.

The Importance of Grass

Grass plays a vital role in maintaining the balance of various ecosystems. It acts as a primary producer, converting sunlight into energy through photosynthesis. This energy is then transferred to herbivores that graze on grass, forming the basis of many food chains. Grass also helps prevent soil erosion by stabilizing the ground with its extensive root systems. Additionally, grasslands serve as important carbon sinks, helping to mitigate climate change.

Factors Influencing Grass Distribution

Several factors influence the presence and abundance of grass in different regions. Climate is a major determinant, with grasses adapted to specific temperature and precipitation conditions. Soil type and fertility also play a role, as certain grass species thrive in nutrient-rich soils while others can tolerate poor soil conditions. Grazing pressure from herbivores and fire frequency are other important factors that shape grass distribution.

Grassland Biomes

Grasslands are one of the major biomes on Earth and are characterized by vast stretches of grasses with few trees. They can be found in various parts of the world, including the prairies of North America, the steppes of Eurasia, the pampas of South America, and the savannas of Africa. Each grassland biome has its own unique set of grass species and associated wildlife.

Grassland Ecosystems

Grassland ecosystems are incredibly diverse, supporting a wide range of plant and animal species. They are home to iconic animals such as bison, wildebeest, and kangaroos. Grasslands are adapted to frequent disturbances, such as grazing and fire, which help maintain their open structure. This allows for the coexistence of a variety of grass species, each with its own niche.

Estimating the Amount of Grass in the World

Assessing the global coverage of grass is a challenging task due to its vast distribution. However, scientists have developed various methods and approaches to estimate the extent of grassland coverage.

Remote Sensing Techniques

Remote sensing technologies, such as satellite imagery, have revolutionized our ability to monitor and map grasslands on a global scale. These techniques allow scientists to detect and classify different types of vegetation, including grasses, based on their spectral signatures. By analyzing satellite data, researchers can estimate the extent and distribution of grassland ecosystems.

Grassland Inventory and Monitoring

Grassland inventory methods involve on-the-ground surveys to collect data on vegetation cover and composition. These surveys often rely on field measurements and observations to assess the presence and abundance of grasses. Monitoring programs, such as the National Grassland Inventory, provide valuable data on the status and trends of grassland ecosystems over time.

Quantifying Grass Biomass

Measuring and calculating the amount of grass biomass is another approach to estimate the global grass coverage. This involves collecting samples of grass and determining their dry weight. By extrapolating these measurements to larger areas, scientists can estimate the total amount of grass biomass in different regions.

Grassland Conservation and Management

Given the importance of grasslands, efforts are being made to protect and sustainably manage these ecosystems.

Conservation Strategies

Conservation approaches for preserving grasslands include establishing protected areas, implementing land-use policies, and promoting sustainable agriculture practices. These strategies aim to maintain the integrity and biodiversity of grassland ecosystems while also supporting the livelihoods of local communities.

Sustainable Grazing Practices

Grazing management techniques, such as rotational grazing and controlled stocking rates, can help maintain the health and productivity of grasslands. These practices ensure that grazing pressure is evenly distributed, allowing grasses to recover and preventing overgrazing. By promoting sustainable grazing practices, grassland managers can ensure the long-term viability of these ecosystems.


In conclusion, grass is a globally distributed plant that plays a crucial role in various ecosystems. Its distribution is influenced by factors such as climate, soil conditions, and grazing pressure. Scientists use remote sensing techniques, grassland inventory methods, and biomass quantification to estimate the global coverage of grass. Conservation efforts and sustainable management practices are essential for protecting and preserving these important ecosystems for future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much grass is there on the Earth?

It is difficult to determine the exact amount of grass on Earth, as it covers vast areas and varies in density. However, grasslands are estimated to cover about 26% of the Earth's land surface.

Is there more hair or grass on Earth?

There is significantly more grass on Earth than hair. Grass covers extensive areas of land, including grasslands, lawns, and agricultural fields, while hair is limited to the bodies of animals and humans.

How many grass is there?

It is impossible to count the number of individual grass plants on Earth due to their immense abundance and widespread distribution. Grasses are a diverse group of plants, with numerous species and variations.

How much is the Earth covered in grass?

Approximately 26% of the Earth's land surface is covered in grass. This includes various types of grasslands, such as prairies, savannas, and steppes, which support a wide range of ecosystems and wildlife.

What are the different types of grass on Earth?

There are numerous types of grass on Earth, including popular ones like Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass, ryegrass, and buffalo grass. Each type has its own characteristics, adaptability, and preferred growing conditions.

How does grass contribute to the environment?

Grass plays a crucial role in the environment. It helps prevent soil erosion, purifies the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, provides habitats for various animals, and supports the water cycle by absorbing and filtering rainwater.

Can grass be found in aquatic environments?

While grass is primarily associated with land, certain species of grasses can be found in aquatic environments. These are known as aquatic grasses or submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and are vital for maintaining water quality and providing habitats for aquatic organisms.