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Tropical Savanna Biome Project

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Thomas Spoerer

on 29 March 2013

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Transcript of Tropical Savanna Biome Project

Where Is the Tropical Savanna Located? Geographical Features Climatic & Geographical Features The Tropical Savanna
surrounds central Africa and central Australia. The Tropical Savanna also takes up most of Brazil, and is also found in parts of India, Venezuela, Thailand, and Burma. These tropical savanna regions lie very close to the equator. Plant & Animal Adaptations Tropical Savanna Climate The Savanna biome is mostly a wet and dry climate throughout the year.
There are distinct dry seasons during each year, these dry seasons occur during the winter months.
During these dry seasons, the environment experiences constant droughts that often cause plants to die due to lack of water, and this season also causes many rivers and streams to dry up, causing animals to migrate to search for food and water.
The savanna acquires most of its precipitation during the summer months.
This wet season causes the environment to spring back to life, this brings the environment water, which causes plants to come back to life and become green and abundant. Climate Continued Average precipitation: 50-130cm per year
Temperature range: 68° to 86° F (20° - 30° C).
The tropical latitudes keep the overall temperature similar throughout the year.
The savanna region lies in a tropical climatic zone where temperatures are usually warm throughout the year. The tropical savanna is characterized by vast grasslands and fairly small, scattered trees.
These grasslands and scattered trees span the entire savanna region.
Some scattered ponds and lakes can also be found throughout the region.
Savannas are usually found on the outskirts of many rainforests and deserts. Common Plant Adaptations Common Animal Adaptations Common Plants in Savanna acacia tree baobab tree bermuda grass candelabra tree Most of the plants of the savanna region have adapted effective methods of storing and obtaining adequate amounts of water due to the very limited amount of water that is present during the dry seasons in this environment; therefore, they have adapted to their dry climate.
Many of the grasses that span the region have developed an adaptation that allows them to grow quickly when there is an adequate amount of water available; this helps these grasses survive the dry seasons.
When water becomes scarce, grasses such as bermuda grass, have the ability to turn brown to prevent water loss.
Most plants store necessary nutrients and moisture in their roots while they await the wet season, such as the acacia tree that has developed very long roots that can reach deep underground to reach underground water sources.
Many plants, such as the acacia tree have been able to become fire resistant to survive the many wildfires that affect the region.
Trees such as the baobab tree have developed very large trunks where large amounts of water can be stored during the dry seasons.
The baobab tree has also inherited the ability to only grow leaves during the wet season. Example of Phototropism What is photo tropism?
photo tropism - is the growth of organims in response to light.

The dome-shaped canopy of the acacia tree allow it leaves to obtain a greater amount of light due to the increased surface area of all of the leaves. Common Animals in Savanna lion cheetah elephant zebra The animals of the savanna thrive during the wet seasons, but during the dry seasons, the competition for water is intense.
Most birds and large mammals migrate during the dry seasons to other locations within the savanna, or if drought conditions persist, they will migrate to a different biome until the wet season begins again.
Very large mammals such as elephants and rhinos have a physical adaptation which allows them to use their extreme physical strength and tusks to break into the trunk of a baobab tree, which supplies these mammals with large amounts of water.
Many animals have also adapted to live with the persistent wildfires that occur within the savanna region. The ability to fly or to run fast enables most birds and large mammals to escape these fires.
Many small, burrowing animals have adapted to continuous droughts and wildfires by burrowing underground to obtain shelter from fires and a place of hibernation during dry season months.
Due to the vast grasslands of the savanna and the little amount of trees, many moderate or large sized mammals have adapted the ability to run at very high speeds to catch their prey, such as the cheetah.
Many other mammals have become camouflaged to their environment, such as the lion, cheetah, giraffe, and others. Human Interaction Productivity In the savanna, the amount of carbon that is released into the atmosphere from factors such as persistent wildfires and the abundance of grasses serves as a balance for the carbon cycle in this environment, so this is why the savanna is very productive of carbon.
A balance in the carbon cycle is important because if this cycle is disrupted, this imbalance of carbon can result in global warming or significant climate changes.
Most plants give off about half of the total amount of carbon dioxide that they take in through cellular respiration, so this release of carbon into the atmosphere is very helpful toward the carbon cycle.
Most grasses that span the savanna are C4 plants, which means that these plants go through the process of photorespiration where CO2 molecules are bound to a 3-carbon compound (PEP) and are then converted into malic acid which is transported to the bundle sheath cells where CO2 can be taken from the malic acids. This allows these plants to close their stomata during hot days in the savanna so that they won't lose water. This method produces high levels of CO2.
These C4 plants, like the trees and grasses of the savanna, are also understood to emit higher levels of carbon from their roots that are located underground because their roots reach so far underground to obtain more water and nutrients; this is where most photorespiration occurs.
The numerous wildfires that occur in the savanna are also a source of carbon that is released into the atmosphere. These fires release this carbon through carbon fluxes, which are high concentrations of carbon that are released into the atmosphere.
These common fires therefore serve as a high level of productivity for the carbon cycle to be balanced in the environment, however, these fires also emit large amounts of harmful substances, such as methane, that can damage the ozone layer resulting in consequences such as global warming. Human Impacts Positive:
There are many organizations that aim to preserve the wildlife and plantlife of the savanna, such as the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)
Tourism helps raise money for these beneficial efforts.
Agriculture and livestock disrupt the natural order of the savanna because many lands are being cleared for urbanization and agriculture. This agriculture also effects much of the plant life in the savanna due to large amounts of pesticides being used. Also, the grazing of livestock has led to much overgrazing, which can use up important water resources and deplete the vegetation and landscape of the savanna.
Many humans also hunt many of the native animals in the savanna for their materials and for recreation.
While wildfires are essential to the natural landscape of the savanna, excessive wildfires caused by humans have and still are burning away much of the natural habitat of the savanna. By: Thomas Spoerer, Rachel Soper, & Lucie Calhoun Works Cited Biology Textbook (Ch. 3.2)
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