Grasslands are defined as places where grasses are dominating the trees and shrubs. Prairies have long grasses whereas steppes have short grasses, but both are Temperate Grasslands. The three most essential features of temperate grasslands are their climate, soil and flora and fauna. Grasslands are often located between deserts and forests. Grassland soil tends to be deep and fertile. The roots of perennial grasses usually penetrate far into the ground. They do not receive enough rainfall to grow trees like a forest, but they contain lots of grass, so they receive more rain than a desert. Temperate Grasslands have served as a primary habitat for people, animals and plants over the centuries, which is one reason why they should be protected. They have also supported large numbers of grazing animals that have been a food source for humans.