Different Types of Biomes


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Characteristics of Deserts: Cover 1/5 of earth's land surface,Most occur at low latitudes but some are cold deserts, Scarcity of water - less than 25 cm (10 inches) of precipitation per year,Intense solar radiation - strong tendency to lose water by evaporation,Water loss - tendency for water loss may exceed annual rainfall,Temperature variation - daytime over 120 degrees and drop as sunsets,Winters - may be cold, Relatively poor soil quality - high mineral content but little organic matter,Flooding problems during rains, Special adaptations of desert organisms - to withstand or avoid water stress,Desert expansion - growth of deserts in parts of the world,Types of deserts: Hot and dry. Semiarid, Coastal, Cold,Regions of low, sparse vegetation with minimal precipitation and humidity high temperatures during some of the year and great daily temperature fluctuations
Characteristics of Grasslands or Prairies: Breadbaskets of the world:Precipitation is too low to support trees but too great for deserts to form, Grasses are major producer with several general and species common but usually with one or two dominate.Most grasses possess rhizomes and are wind pollinated.Moderate temperature with notable extremes: -20° F to 110° F common, and even colder temperatures in the north.Variable precipitation: 6-40 in (15-100 cm). Scattered rain and lightning common in summer months ("convection storms") with more general rains and snows in winter months.Soils generally fertile, deep and rich; variable,Growing season of 120-200 days.Generally flat to rolling topography cut by stream drainages where there is a river-bank habitat.Fire a major factor in maintaining biome. Dominated by grazing animals (deer, antelope, buffalo - once common but now rarely native to the range), burrowing small animals, and songbirds.Waste, or rubbish, trash, junk, garbage is an unwanted or undesired material or substance. It may consist of the unwanted materials left over from a manufacturing process (industrial, commercial, mining or agricultural operations,) or from community and household activities. The material may be discarded or accumulated, stored, or treated (physically, chemically, or biologically), prior to being discarded or recycled.
Characteristics of Forests:Trees dominate biome - major producer,One-third of earth's land area - as forests,Global climate-buffering capacity in forests,Most diverse biotic communities in the world ,Over two-thirds of the leaf area of land plants - photosynthesis, About 70% of carbon present in living things - carbon cycle,Canopy - affects other producers, consumers, decomposers and their niches, Insects, birds, and mammals - key components of food web,Potential medicines and many thousands of unseen and undiscovered species,Human civilizations - bringing deforestation, pollution, and industrial usage problems,Forest types - depend upon climate (latitude) and seasonal rainfall: Tropical. Temperate or Deciduous, Boreal (taiga) or coniferous,Biome with the greatest species diversity
Rain Forest
Emergent layer: top layerConsists of the tallest trees which reach heights of 60-70 m. Emerge to direct sunlight,Trunks can measure to 5 m around. Animals include eagles, bats, monkeys, and snakes. Canopy: considered the primary layer of the rain forest. Trees can grow more than 30 m tall; form a dense layer that absorbs up to 95 % of the sunlight.Split into upper canopy and lower canopy. Epiphytes (plants that grow harmlessly upon another plant and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and sometimes from debris accumulating around it) such as orchids use the entire surface of a tree as a place to live. Grow on tall trees for support and high in the canopy where their leaves can reach the sunlight they need. Also allows them to absorb the water and nutrients that run down the tree after it rains.Most animals live in the canopy because they are dependent on the abundant flowers and fruits, Tall trees, such as maple, oak, and birch, dominate the forest canopy.Understory: bottom layer Receives very little light,Trees and shrubs are adapted to the shade,Most plants do not grow more than 3.5 m tall,Herbs with large, flat leaves that grow on the forest floor capture the small amount of sunlight that penetrates the understory,Mosses and lichens drape trees Evergreens such as the Sitka spruce and the Douglas fir can grow to over 90 m tall,Western hemlock, Pacific silver fir, and redwood can also be found.
Parts of Africa, Western India, northern Australia, and some parts of South America,Located in tropical and subtropical areas near the equator and between tropical forest and desert biomes,Wet season and dry season,Many animals are only active during the wet season,In the dry season, grass fires help restore nutrients to the soil,Plants of the Savanna:Many plants have to be able to survive prolonged periods with very little water,Some trees and grasses have a very large root system that help them obtain water and enable them to quickly grow back after a fire,Savanna grasses have vertical leaves that expose less of their surface area to the hot sun to further help conserve water,Some trees lose their leaves during the dry season,Trees and shrubs often have thorns or sharp leaves that keep hungry herbivores away,Animals of the Savanna;Herds of herbivores form a migratory way of life ,Predators follow these herds,To reduce competition within herbivores, some eat vegetation at different height from others,Small gazelles graze on grasses, black rhinos browse on shrubs, and giraffes feed on tree leaves.
Temperate Grasslands
Dominated by grasses and very few trees,Most have hot summers and cold winters ,Receives a moderate amount of rainfall from 50-88 cm of precipitation per year,Have the most fertile soil of any biome,Much of these biomes have been replaced by farms,Located on the interiors of continents where there isn't enough rain for trees to grow,Include prairies of North America, steppes of Russia and Ukraine, and the pampas of South America,Mountains are crucial in maintaining grasslands. The Rocky Mountains in the U.S. block off rain clouds from the west,Hot temperatures in the summer make them very prone to fires which are common,Plants of Temperate Grasslands:Prairie gasses and wildflowers are prernnials, plants that survive from year to year,The root systems of the frasses form dense layers that survive drought and fire as well as hold the soil in place, Shortgrass prairie: about 25 cm of precipitation per year,Mixed or middlegrass prairie: about 50 cm of precipitation per year,Tallgrass prairie: up to 88 cm of precipitation per year,Animals of Temperate Grasslands:Animals such as the pronghorn antelope and bison use their large, flat back teeth for chewing the coarse prairie grass when grazing,Other animals such as badgers, prairie dogs, and owls live in burrows which serve as protection from fire, weather, and predators,Threats to Temperate Grasslands:Farming and overgrazing has led to soil degradation,A lack of native species mean that erosion eventually occurs,This can cause desertification
Fairly dry climates but receive enough rainfall to support more plants than a desert,Scattered tree communities such as pinon pines and junipers, A type of temperate woodland biome dominated by broad-leafed evergreen shrubs than by evergreens,Located primarily in coastal areas that have Mediterranean climates,Typically have warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters,Plants of the Chaparral:Most are low-lying, evergreen shrubs and small trees that tend to grow in dense patches,Common plants include chamise, manzanita, scrub oak, olive trees, and herbs such as sage and bay that have small, leathery leaves that retain water and oil that prevent burning,Well adapted to fire and can resprout if just a bit of tissue is left,Animals of the Chaparral:Common adaptations include camouflage, shape, or coloring that allows an animal to blend into its environment.Animals such as quail, lizards, chipmunks, and mule deer have a brownish grey coloring. Threats to the Chaparral:Greatest threat is human development since they are found near coastlines and have a mild climate year-round (so seen as a desirable place to live)
Taiga:The northern coniferous forest that stretches in a broad band across the Northern Hemisphere just below the Artic Circle,Winters are long (6-10 months) and have avg. temperatures below freezing and often fall to -20°C,Forest floor is dark and has little vegetation,Growing season can be as short as 50 days depending on the latitude (lower = longer season),Plants of the Taiga:A conifer is a tree that has seeds that develop in cones. The narrow shape and waxy coating of their leaves (or "pine needles") help retain water. Also, their pointed tree shape help shed snow.Needles that fall to the ground make the soil acidic, which is another reason why the forest floor in the taiga has a little amount of plants,Soil forms slowly because he climate and acidity of the fallen leaves slow decomposition,Animals of the Taiga:Has many lakes and swamps that in summer attract birds that feed on insects, fish, and other aquatic organisms. They then migrate south to avoid the winter. Some year-round residents, such as shrews and rodents, may burrow underground during the winter and use the deep snow cover as insulation,Moose and snowshoe hares eat any vegetation they can find,Snowshoe hares have brown fur in the summer and white fur in the winter as camouflage,Nutrients - cyclic(Biogeochemical Cycles)