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Temperate Rainforests

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Brandon Spence

on 3 October 2012

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Transcript of Temperate Rainforests

Rainforest by Brandon Spence and
Caitlynn Verzino Temperate Rainforests are located around the world in oceanic-moist climates at around ±40° off the equator. Primary locations include New Zealand, Japan, and the upper East Coast in North America. Features of Temperate Rainforests Features of Temperate Rainforests Climate:
The title itself describes the climate. Temperate means, "of mild temperature" and the rainforest is no exception. The temperature is no colder than -22°F at any point in winter and it never exceeds 86°F in summertime. However, this biome receives an above-average amount of rainfall- up to 3000 mm (118 inches) every year. Features of Temperate Rainforests Characteristics:
Temperate rainforests are characterized by tall, slender trees blocking 70% of the sky from the moist ground below. The presence of nurse logs- fallen trees, rich in nutrients- has caused many small fig trees to grow in straight rows, sprouting upward from the logs. Temperate Rainforests are also characterized by heavy summer fog and an abundance of moss and lichens, growing over and between the trees. It is because of all this plant life that temperate rainforests have more biomass per acre than any other biome on Earth. Flora Fauna ~ Flora: Rangioria -Brachyglottis repanda The Rangioria is a small plant endemic to New Zealand. These plants have no defense against the high amounts of precipitation, causing many of these plants to drown. In order to survive, the Rangioria has developed an alluring smell, which attracts all sorts of animals, including pollinating insects. These insects help bolster the plant population. Animals that come to eat the plant, attracted by its smell, quickly learn the scent because the leaves of the Rangioria are extremely poisonous. This keeps threats from organisms at a minimum. Flora: Ostrich Fern -Matteuccia struthiopteris The ostrich fern faces the same flooding threat as the Rangioria. However, the fern has adapted and can resist the threat. From each plant protrude several vertical fronds that resemble ostrich feathers, hence the name. It also sends out stolons, which are extensions from the plant, which eventually develop into an entirely new crown. This helps it to form dense colonies, which help the species spread and defend against flooding. Flora: Giant Redwood -Sequoia sempervirens Next is the infamous sequoia tree. Just up the coast of California, these redwoods rank number one as the tallest, oldest species on Earth, and they grow only in temperate rainforests. As competition for sunlight grew harsher and precipitation continued to fall, these trees evolved to massive size, with canopies up to 380 feet in the air, trunks as wide as 32 feet in diameter. Their roots absorb massive amounts of water and slowly strangle any plant that grows too close. Location: Flora: Licorice Fern -Polypodium glycyrrhiza The licorice fern is a ephiphytic organism. Epiphytes are plants that grow on trees, non-parasitically, in order to reach sunlight and nutrients which it could not obtain otherwise. The licorice fern, named for its characteristic smell and taste, is unique for an epiphyte in that it dwells in temperate rainforests as opposed to its warmer, tropic counterparts. This species has adapted to its dark and moist environment by climbing up trees to a spot where it can catch some sunlight with its broad leaves while avoiding the excessive moisture below. Its naked, yellow sporangia, in combination with its unusual scent, give the impression that it is poisonous, keeping many harmful birds and insects far away. Sources: Sources continued: Fauna: Short-Beaked Echidna Fauna: Ringtailed Possum Fauna: Tasmanian Devil -Tachyglossus aculeatus
The short-beaked echidna is a compact, spikey ant-eater native to the temperate rainforests of Australia. It makes its home near small streams, where it can find a plethora of small insects to eat. Unfortunately, there are many inherent dangers that come with living near the streams in temperate rainforests. Larger animals visit these areas for drink and hunt and echidnas are too slow and too small (14-21 inches) to escape their agile predators. The short-beaked echidna defends itself by curling up and flexing its long spikes, making it impossible to kill. Another adaptation this echidna has developed allows it to survive flash floods, an unfortunate side effect of deforestation in this area. They have the ability to dive underwater and allow their heart rates to drop. This lets them conserve oxygen needed by the brain and heart, allowing it to stay underwater for the entire duration. -Pseudocheirus peregrinus
The ringtail possum is a marsupial species that lives in southeast Australia. It is nocturnal and possesses a unique, curled tail. This tail is prehensile, which means that it can the animal has control over it like any other appendage on its body. This tail helps the ringtail possum move between branches protruding high from the tall, slender trees safely and easily. This, in turn, allows the possum to nest far from predators during the day and spot their meals, which consisted of fruits and Eucalyptus leaves, from above during the night. -Sarcophilus harrisii
Tasmanian devils make their home at the outskirts of temperate rainforests. They are characterized by their stocky shape and their loud, disturbing screech. The devils have adapted to the environment through their interactions with both prey and predator. When hunting, the Tasmanian devil casually sneaks up on prey, and follows up with its screech, which startles the prey just long enough for the devil to score a kill. When faced with a predator, this species surprises them in a similar way, with the addition of a pungent odor it releases, similar to a skunk, and a sudden burst of ferocity. Predators quickly discover how muscular the Tsamanian devil is and flee for their own safety. Fauna: Banana Slug -Ariolimax columbianus The banana slug is one of the most prominent animals in temperate rainforests. They flourish in great number and great size, covering the forest floor with their bright, yellow color. The banana slug is the second-largest species of slug in the world, growing up to 9.8 inches long. This is due to their unique adaptation to their environment. Due to the large amounts of precipitation, the banana slug has evolved to absorb large amounts of moisture through its skin, which not only ensures the slug's survival, but also removes some excessive moisture from the temperate rainforest floor, which helps keep plants from being over-watered. Threats Threats: Deforestation When civilizations have an increasing demand for wood, the tall, sturdy temperate rainforest trees are the first to go. Over a long period of time, nearly two-thirds of all temperate rainforests have been cut down due to man. Trees and plants are the basis for all life an an ecosystem, and by diminishing the populations of these, we weaken entire ecosystems. The increase in deforestation without the repopulating of these trees has led to a ripple effect into other threats for the forest, This makes deforestation the biggest threat to temperate rainforests. Threats: Poaching The final threat to the well-being of the temperate rainforest- the icing on the cake- is poaching. Poachers hunt species that are out of season or going extinct for money to be made by selling the skins. Although most The End The second most prominent threat in these rainforests is a direct result of deforestation: flooding, specifically flash flooding. In temperate rainforests specifically, trees are needed to absorb about 80% of all precipitation. With continued
deforestation in areas, especially in Australia, things that could have stayed a hard rain evolve into flash floods, wiping out thousands of plants and animals that could have survived Threat: New Flooding otherwise. This threat, one of prominence emerging within the last 200 years as a result of deforestation, has brought hundreds of species even further to extinction. poachers would pick tropical rainforests for their colorful, exotic species, deforestation among other threats have caused many species to face extinction, increasing their value. This has brought many poachers to these areas, where they hunt animals described before, especially the Tasmanian devils, bringing them incredibly close to extinction. And as we know, loss in biodiversity brings about a weak ecological structure. Right now, temperate rainforests cover only about 8% of the Earth. Before we know it, these forests could be all but gone.
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