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Transcript of 4.4 Biomes
Biomes are described in terms of abiotic factors like climate and soil type, and biotic factors like plant and animal life.
Latitude and the heat transported by winds are two factors that affect global climate.
Other factors, among them an area’s proximity to an ocean or mountain range, also influence climate.
Washington (the state of moody, teenage vampires and shirtless werewolves) borders the Pacific Ocean, and moist air carried by winds traveling west to east is pushed upward when it hits the Rocky Mountains
Ecologists classify Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems into at least ten different groups of regional climate communities called biomes.
Major biomes include tropical rain forest, tropical dry forest, tropical grassland/savanna/shrubland, desert, temperate grassland, temperate woodland and shrubland, temperate forest, northwestern coniferous forest, boreal forest, and tundra.
Organisms within each biome can be characterized by adaptations that enable them to live and reproduce successfully in the environment.
However, even within a defined biome, there is often considerable variation among plant and animal communities.
Local conditions also can change over time because of human activity or because of community interactions.
Tropical Rain Forest
Tropical rain forests are home to more species than all the other biomes combined
Rain forests get at least 2 meters of rain a year!
Tall trees form a dense, leafy covering called a canopy from 50 to 80 meters above the forest floor
In the shade below the canopy, shorter trees and vines form a layer called the understory
Organic matter on the forest floor is recycled and reused so quickly that the soil in most tropical rain forests is not very rich in minerals
Rain forests are hot and wet year-round. They have thin, nutrient-poor soils that are subject to erosion.
Tall trees growing in poor shallow soil often have buttress roots for support.
Animals are active all year and use camouflage to hide from predators.
Tropical dry forests grow in areas where rainy seasons alternate with dry seasons.
In most places, a short period of rain is followed by a prolonged period of drought.
Their rich soils are subject to erosion.
Adaptations to survive the dry season include seasonal loss of leaves.
A plant that sheds its leaves during a particular season is called deciduous.
Some plants also have an extra thick waxy layer on their leaves to reduce water loss, or they store water in their tissues.
Many animals reduce their need for water by entering long periods of inactivity called estivation.
Other animals, including many birds and primates, move to areas where water is available during the dry season.
This biome receives more seasonal rainfall than deserts but less than tropical dry forests.
Grassy areas are spotted with isolated trees and small groves of trees and shrubs.