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biomes of the world
Transcript of biomes of the world
the harsh forests of the taiga. The Canadian Lynx has adapted to withstand the brutally cold winters of the taiga of which it inhabits. The Lynx has developed a thick winter coat to insulate it from the cold, and has wide furry paws that function as snow shoes; allowing the Lynx to hunt and survive in the cold temperatures, reaching as far as 68 F below zero, of the taiga. The lynx lives in the taiga because it is suited to lives in a cold climate, though this cold climate needs trees and foliage for the lynx to conceal itself from prey. The taiga suits these needs for the lynx. If the taiga climate changed, the Lynx would be forced to either adapt, die out, or relocate. For example, if the taiga's average temperature began to increase, the Lynx might adapt to have a lighter fur coating. It's paws may lose their snow shoe qualities, becoming smaller, and the claws growing longer for use in dirt. The tail may grow longer for balance, as many predatory cats have developed in less snowy regions. Sources;
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/common_sagebrush.htm Ermine The Ermine is a small mammal that lives in the taiga forest. While it may be adorable, it is a deadly predator to small creatures of its home, delivering sharp bites to the neck of it's prey. The Ermine has the mystifying ability to change fur colors with the seasons. In summer, the Ermine is a dark brown with a white~yellow belly. Though in winter, the fur becomes snow white, only a black tip remaining on the tail. The ermine relies on the snow of winter to utilize it's winter coat, though needs a long enough summer to make it's brown fur worth it's change. The taiga has this change of seasons that the ermine needs. If the temperature of the taiga increased, to where the snowy winters did not exist, the Ermine would be forced to lose its white winter camouflage; for this would make them far to visible to predators such as foxes and owls. Moose The Moose has adapted to it's environment's cold winters by developing a thick coat of fur to insulate it from the cold. Also, the Moose has long legs to help move through snow and wade through deep bodies of water in summer. The moose lives in the taiga because it now relies on a climate where it won't overheat in a warm winter, and has water to keep itself cool during summer. If the temperature increased and the precipitation rates decreased, the Moose's climate would be drastically changed. Their coat may become thinner, in order for body heat to escape in the new high temperatures. Also, the Moose may become thinner, for body fat would no longer be needed for insulation and the reserve energy for the food-lacking winters. Birch Tree Birch trees, while broad leaved, have adapted to survive the bitterly cold climate of the taiga. Like most trees that inhabit a cold-season climate, Birch trees drop their leaves in fall due to the decline of daylight. This dropping of leaves allows the tree to maintain precious energy throughout the dark winter.
Also, solutes withing the tree's cells become denser, packing closer to deduce the cells' freezing point.
The Birch tree will then regrow its leaves in spring to make use of the daylight.
Through these adaptations, the Birch tree now needs a climate with a summer with enough sun to give it surplus energy in summer, and a cold winter to put the tree into it's hibernation period. If the temperature of the taiga increased to a point where the average sunlight rate stayed constant throughout the year, the Birch tree may adapt to where it keeps it's leaves, for this is a reaction to the daylight amount shrinking. Lichen Aspen Lichens have ability to grow unique photobionts, which are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen to form amino acids and other complex organic molecules. This allows lichens to grow in nutrient-deficient situations, where there is very little nitrogen.
Lichens grow in almost every biome on the planet, being an important part of the ecosystem, and usually being the first plant to grow in what may eventually become a lush climate zone. The lichen works it's same magic in the taiga, growing where no other plant can compete with it. Lichens are known as one of the most adaptable plants in the world, living in some of the harshest climate zones on the planet. Lichens are formed from a symbiotic partnership between types of fungus and algae. If the amount of precipitation were to increase in an area to the point where the lichen would be covered with snow during an extended period of time, the lichen may adapt to have a hibernation period, as many deciduous trees do. The Aspen tree reproduces in a form known as common root, where the trees roots spread across the ground to form little 'clone' trees. This allows the Aspen to reproduce without the need of seeds, which are vulnerable to consumers in the taiga. This species needs a large amount of sunlight before the dark winter months when it sheds it's leaves.
The aspen now is required to live in the taiga because it has adapted to it so, this tree now is suited to the habitat so it maintains an easy lifestyle there. If the temperature increases in the Aspen's climate, the tree would be able to rely on photosynthesis year-round. This may allow the Aspen to grow beyond it's usual height of 40 feet. Bengal Tiger Rainforest Chinese Water Dragon Anaconda Orchid Passion Flower Liana Desert Gazelle Sidewinder Death adder Sego Lily Sage brush Desert Willow Tundra Arctic Fox Polar Bear Caribou Caribou Moss Arctic Moss Bearberry Deciduous Forest Raccoon Sweet Gum Cardinal Hickory Dhole Sugar Maple Marine Orca Tiger Shark Stingray Kelp Rockweed Sea Grass Grassland Dingo Ostrich Zebra Aster Clover Wild Indigo Fresh Water Flamingo Beaver Cattails Slender Riccia River otter Water star grass Gazelles have developed many adaptations to help them survive in their desert climate. They have adapted to eat almost every type of vegetation available to them, and are able to gather a sufficient amount of moisture from these plants. Also, gazelles have the unique ability to shrink their liver down by almost thirty percent to conserve water. Gazelles now must live in the desert because their tan hide is suited to work as camouflage there, and with an excess of water, the gazelles water conservation habits would be useless, or even a weakness if the gazelle tried to over indulge itself. If the precipitation were to increase in the desert to a point where water was readily available, the gazelle may devolve it's ability to shrink its liver. The sidewinder has adapted a special style of slithering that allows it to have minimal contact with the hot desert sand, which can burn the snake's scales. The sidewinder also will hibernate during the hottest point in summer. The sidewinder now must live in the desert because in a colder climate, the snake would likely freeze to death, and it's adaptations would be useless. If the desert climate where to stabilize in temperature, possibly due to a new large body of water caused by increased precipitation, with the average being below 99 F, the sidewinder would adapt to loose it's hibernation habits. This would be due to the stabilized temperature allowing the snake to maintain it's required body temperature year round. The death adder has evolved it's physical appearance to suit it's climate. The adder uses it's insect-like tail to attract prey, while the rest of it's brilliantly red body is buried under the sand. The desert death adder is colored a deep red-orange with light yellow bands. This coloration is to help the adder disguise itself in the sweltering hot sand of the desert. The adder now must live in the desert because it's coloration would make it far too visible in a green lush climate, and the snake wouldn't be able to bury itself to use it's lure to attract prey. If the amount of precipitation were to drastically increase to the point where large amounts of green foliage were to develop, the death adder would be forced to change it's camouflage to suit the now-green environment. For if the death adder would remain red, it would be far to visible to it's prey. The Sego Lily has the ability to lie dormant in the driest times. The Sego requires very little water, and it's flower soon dies after blooming due to the lack of sufficiant precipitation to sustain the bloom. When the climate suits it's wants, the Sego will slowly bloom a single green stalk, where a brilliant white flower will bloom with a colorful center. Soon, this bloom will shrivel and die off, only for the cycle to begin again. The lily must live in a desert now because in a wetter climate, the plant would basically drown, yet it requires a warm climate. If the amount of precipitation were to increase, the Sego lily would be able to sustain it's bloom longer and would be able to devolve it's ability to hibernate. The sagebrush has an ability to use deep tap roots to search out water during the dry periods. During the scarce chance of rain, shallow roots spread out just below the surface, allowing the sagebrush maximum water absorbing abilities. The sagebrush can also appear dead during an extreme dry season, and can be uprooted and spread it's seeds as it's blown across the desert. The sagebrush now must like in the desert, for in a wetter climate, the roots would be overwhelmed and the plant would drown in water. If the desert precipitation amounts were to increase, the sage brush may adapt to have larger stomata and may lose it's deeper tap roots. These adaptations would be more practical in an environment with large amounts of rain. Desert Willows bloom throughout the summer, though they drop their leaves in October, until spring when they renew. Like most desert plants, the desert willow has small stomata to limit the amount of water that escapes through transpiration. The desert willow now must live in a desert, for in a wetter climate the plant's stomata would keep far too much water, and the roots would keep accepting more, causing the plant to drown. If the precipitation of the desert were to increase, the desert willow would adapt to have larger stomata. The plant would be able to let more moisture escape, and now the plant would be able to take in larger amounts of carbon dioxide. The Arctic fox has a compact body, short rounded ears, and dense fur limits the amount of body heat escaping. Also, the fox changes from a coat of reddish-brown in summer to a coat of snow white in winter. This change of color keeps the fox well camouflaged throughout the year. The fox is able to keep active in temperatures -50 C. They remain active without increasing their metabolism. The arctic fox lives in the tundra because it now relies on the cold temperature in winter with it's dense coat, and needs a short summer to use it's brown coat for camouflage. If the temperature were to increase to a point where snow no longer formed, the fox would be forced to lose it's snow-like winter coat if it were to remain in it's climate. The polar bear has many adaptations to help survive in the cold harsh climate of the tundra. Long stiff hair lines the pads of the bear's feet; keeping the feet protected from the cold, providing traction on ice, and helping the bear swim in frigid water. The bear also has hollow fur, providing insulation and trapping air inside, which allows the bear to be buoyant in water. The skin under a polar bear's fur is black, allowing the bear to absorb sunlight. The light color of the bear's fur allows the creature to blend in with the snowy environment. A thick layer of fat, or blubber, helps insulate the bear from frigid cold. The polar bear now needs this frigid cold climate to survive, for without it, the bear wouldn't be able to use it's white fur to conceal itself and would easily overheat in warmer temperatures. If the polar bear's climate temperature were to increase, the polar bear would face significant problems (as it does now) . The polar bear would face the problem of overheating, due to it's many adaptations to retain heat. The polar bear may adapt to lose it's layer of blubber, and the skin underneath the fur may become lighter. Also, the white fur of the polar bear would have to change in color to provide camouflage, for with a higher temperature, there would be no white snow. The caribou has evolved a wooly undercoat of fur to insulate it during winter, and then this coat is guarded by long hollow hairs, which trap air in a similar way to a polar bear and allow the caribou to be buoyant in water. This buoyancy is a useful adaptation due to the caribous' long migration patterns, which often involve crossing deep rivers. Caribou also have broad hooves, which function like snow shoes in the deep snow of the tundra. This adaptation allows the caribou to retain valuable energy that would have been lost while scrambling through the drifting snow. The caribou are renowned for their amazing endurance throughout their migrations. Caribou are able to flee from predators within moments of their birth, and adult caribou covers almost 3,000 miles in one migration.
The caribou now must live in the tundra due to these adaptations, for without this type of climate, their buoyancy would be useless and their thick fur would be a weakness in warmer climates. If the temperature of the tundra were to significantly increase, the caribou may face the problem of over heating, and would devolve its coat to a sleeker, less insulating fur coat. Arctic moss has adapted to a cold barren climate, that often stripes the life away from our usual plants. Arctic moss has no roots, only hundreds of little leaves, and tiny threadlike rootlets, known as rhizoids, that absorb moisture and minerals from the soil. The tundra is painstakingly dry and the soil holds very little nutrients, forcing the moss to take in as much as possible while retaining these nutrients. Many times, Arctic moss will grow under water in the freshwater lakes of the tundra. The artic moss now must live in the tundra because a large amount of moisture would overwhelm the plant. If the tundra's climate were to receive more precipitation, the arctic moss may adapt to live closer to the surface of the lake, for it would no longer require the lake for it's precipitation needs. Or it may evolve it live permanently on dry land, for it would no longer need the lake for protection against wind, cold, and dry air. Bearberry is a favored snack of the bears dwelling in the tundra. This plant has adapted to grow low to the ground to escape the chilling winds, is covered in fine silky hairs to keep it warm, and has leathery leaves to help insulate itself. The bearberry must now live in the tundra because in a warmer climate, it's silky hairs would keep to much heat in, and the plant would shrivel and die. If the temperature increased in the tundra, the bearberry may adapt to lose it's insulating hairs, and would adapt to grow further into their air, for it would no longer have to protect itself against the brutal winds. Caribou moss has adapted like most arctic tundra plants. It grows low to the ground to escape the bitter wind, and has no roots. It often grows on rock, or very shallow soil due to the permafrost freezing almost all ground. It is covered in very tiny leaves, which retain heat better than large broad leaves. The caribou moss must live in the tundra now because it has no roots to absorb moisture in a wetter climate, and would overheat in most warmer climates. If the temperature of the tundra were to drastically increase, caribou moss may adapt to have roots, for the permafrost would melt, allowing the soil to hold nutrients once again and water to sink into the ground. The caribou moss's leaves may become larger to let in more sunlight, for they would no longer need the hold onto as much heat as possible. Orca's are specially adapted to live in the mysterious depths of the ocean. Their most noticeable adaptation is their coloring, which allows the Orca whale to blend in with the dark ocean floor when looked at from above, and the white on their belly allows them to blend in with the light surface of the water when looked at from below. This whale also has an extra layer of blubber to keep it warm in the usual frigid temperatures of the ocean. An orca also has large eyes to help see through the dark depths of the ocean, helping them seek out prey. The orca must live in the ocean, for in a freshwater area, they would not have enough space to hunt and migrate, and their bodies are specially suited for cold salt water. If the temperatures of the ocean the Orca whale inhabits were to increase, the orca may lose it's thick layer of blubber, for it would no longer need to retain as much heat. Tiger sharks prefer the warm tropical waters near the equator, for they are cold blooded and rely on the water temperature to keep themselves warm. The tiger shark has evolved special backwards facing teeth, helping the shark keep a grip on squirming prey. The tiger shark is streamlined, allowing the deadly predator to speed through the water. Tiger sharks must live in salt water because their gills are made for salt water, and can not correctly filter freshwater. If the ocean's temperature decreased where the tiger shark lived, the tiger shark may develop a layer of blubber to keep it insulated against the cold water. Or, in a longer process of evolution, the tiger shark may be forced to become warm blooded. Stingrays have evolved to have their eyes on top of their head, allowing them to be able to see when their bodies are buried under the sand. The stingray also has adapted to have good low light vision. Stingrays lack the swim bladder and oil-filled liver that allow fish to naturally be buoyant. When the stingray isn't swimming, it naturally sinks. This allows the stingrays to conserve energy through sinking and gliding, allowing the stingray to eat less. Marine stingrays must live in their warm marine climate, because they can only filter salt water for breathing, and much of their crustacean prey only lives on the sea floor. If the temperature in the ocean were to decrease, the stingray would be forced to adapt a layer of blubber to keep it warm, which would eliminate it's streamlined gliding abilities. The stingray would become blunter, and would possibly resemble their shark cousins once again. Kelp was once a terrestrial plant, but slowly evolved to live in the ocean. They hold similarities to their land form, with root like forms attaching them to rock, a single stem-like structure, and long blades that are similar to leaves. Like many plants, kelp uses chlorophyll to produce it's food, in the process of photosynthesis. Kelp must live in the marine underwater environment because it's blades have adapted to salt, and partially rely on the specific nutrients of the ocean. If the amount of sunlight were to decrease in the habitat of the kelp, the kelp would be forced to adapt either to find a different way to produce energy, such as coral eating phytoplankton, or grow much closer to the surface. Rockweed, like most seaweeds attach themselves to a piece of rock, and spread out dark olive leaves. These leaves has small pockets of air to allow the rockweed to be buoyant, keeping the leaves of the rockweed close to the surface, where it can absorb the most sunlight. Rockweed relies on photosynthesis to create it's food, and often will become exposed to above-land conditions during low tide. Rockweed must live in the ocean, for it needs to be able to access the daily low and high tides, and uses the nutrients in the ocean that are not found in fresh water. If the amount of sunlight decreased in the rock weeds environment, the rockweed may be forced to adapt into a permanent land dwelling plant in order to absorb as much sunlight as possible. The rockweed is always partially exposed to land during low tide, and with an increased precipitation, the rockweed could easily adapt to live on land. Sea grasses have evolved to withstand the ever changing climate of the ocean floor. They can tolerate various degrees of salinity, and temperatures from 6 to 40 degrees C. Roots anchor the sea grass to the ocean floor, and their horizontal stems, known as rhizomes, bend with the current easily. Sea grass must live in a marine climate because they need salinity dosages in their water, which is only in a marine climate. If the temperature of the ocean were to drop to around 2 degrees C, the sea grass would be forced to adapt like many arctic plants do. Air bubbles may be evolved to help the seagrass retain heat in the almost freezing water. Though, seagrass is very well adapted, able to withstand most climate changes. One of the most notable adaptations of the dingo is it's fur color. The most common coloring is a ginger coat, with white feet. Though the shades of tan constantly vary depending on their habitat. Dingo's do not bark, but howl to locate other members of their pack. Dingos are known to be very territorial, closely protecting their hunting grounds against other dingos. Dingos usually live in the grasslands because this is where their fur camouflage is best used, though they live in biomes across Australia. If the amount of precipitation were to increase in the habitat of the dingo, foliage would begin to flourish, the land turning from a golden grassland to a lush green plain or possibly forest. The dingo may evolve to have a darker fur coloring to blend in with the now green environment, as some dingos have already done that live in the lusher areas of Australia. The ostrich has evolved feathers that retain heat well during the cold nights, then double as a barrier between the animal and stifling hot air during the day. Ostrich feather's are not waterproof, and can become easily soaked in the rain. The ostrich must live in the dry climates of the grassland, for in a wetter climate it would always be soaked through, and it needs the extreme temperatures to make use of it's special feathers. If the precipitation of the grassland were to increase, the ostrich would be soaked, which would ruin it's abilities to retain or monitor heat levels in it's body. The ostrich would be forced to develop waterproof feathers if the rain became a constant part of weather, for the ostrich must be able to seek out food, and can't hide away during the rain if it was a daily event (like in the rain forest). Also, this rain would cause many new plants to blossom in the grassland, and the ostrich would have to adapt to a life where there is no endless plain to outrun it's predators. Perhaps one of the most famous of adaptations, the zebra has evolved alternating black and white stripes. These stripes are used for defensive purposes, keeping predators from easily targeting an individual in a herd, and making the zebra seem blurred while running. The zebra has also developed powerful jaws, both for the consumption of harsh grassland plants, and for delivering a sharp bite when needed. The zebra lives in the grassland, for this is where it's unique camouflage is best, for the endless plains help the stripes to blur with the waving air the heat creates. If the amount of precipitation were to increase, the grassland would change into a lush forest. The zebra would most likely lose it's stripes, or the stripes would fade beyond notability, and be traded for a simple plain coat similar to a deer. The Bengal tiger has adapted to suit it's climate of reed beds and dark tropical forest. Their stripes suit as camouflage, disguising themselves in the blurry dark lines and shapes of the jungle as the tiger hunts it's prey. Their paws have soft pads, allowing the big cat to remain silent as it stalks prey. The cats' claws are retractable, allowing for easy grooming and silent walking, and then the claws can come out for the tiger to tear into it's prey and hold it there. The tiger now must live in the rainforest, for it's camouflage would be useless in other climates. If the temperature were to decrease in the tiger's home, many of the tropical plants would disappear, and snow would blanket the ground due to the high precipitation rates. The Bengal would adapt to become more like it's cousin, the Siberian tiger, where the cat would develop more white on it's coat, and the fur would become thicker to provide insulation. The chinese water dragon has specially evolved for it's climate. Their front legs are usually slender, with long claws adapted to climb up trees. Their back legs are strong and muscular for climbing, jumping, running, and swimming. The water dragon can run on two legs, with their front two legs raised in the air. Their teeth are small and sharp to hold onto their prey, and their tongue is covered in a sticky residue to keep hold of their new meal. Water dragons always reside near a permanent body of water, and can hold their breath for up to 25 minutes. The chinese water dragon is normally entirely green, but during mating season the males sport vibrant colors to help attract a mate. During this time the males are vulnerable to predators, for they are easily spotted. The chinese water dragon now must live in the rainforest, for it's coloring would be far to visible in other climates, and the dragon needs a warm climate to survive since it is coldblooded. Also, the rainforest provides the needed precipitation the dragon needs to provide the year round bodies of water that will stay warm year round. If the amount of rainfall were to decrease in the rainforest, the amount of bodies of water would greatly decrease. The chinese water dragon would have to evolve to be less dependent on water sources. The dragon would likely adapt to become a tree dwelling lizard, with longer claws, and would possibly adopt the attributes of a flying lizard; with skin connecting their arms to allow them to glide. An anaconda is patterned to blend in with the muddy riverbeds of the jungle river. The anaconda can hold it's breath for up to ten minutes while lying in wait for prey. The jaws of the snake stretch impossibly far, enabling the snake to eat it's prey whole and head first. Large meals will sit in the anaconda's stomach, and are easily seen as they are undigested, for months at a time. One of these large meals of capybara or jaguar for instance will keep the immobile snake sustained for months. The anaconda now needs to live in the rainforest, for it needs a climate that is warm year round and has lots of bodies of water for hunting environment. If the precipitation of the rainforest were to decrease, the number of bodies of water would decrease, leaving the anaconda's without their usual hunting ground of murky freshwater shores. The snake would most likely change it's camouflage to suit the forest floor, in which it would become more like the copperhead of the united states, or other land dwelling snakes. As a constrictor, the snake would rely on this camouflage to catch it's prey. Dholes are wild Asian dogs, often living in large clans of as many as thirty dogs. This clan will break up into small packs to hunt down prey. Dholes dig large networks of tunnels for dens, in which the entire clan will live. The dholes are known for amazing endurance, often wearing down their prey simply by chasing it. Or, the dholes will drive their target into the water, for they are renowned swimmers. The dhole must live in the forest, for that is where their prey dwell, and the dholes need an environment with water for some hunting tactics. If the temperatures of the forest were to plummet, the dhole would be forced to take on the adaptations of many taiga animals . For instance, their coat would become thicker to insulate heat, and their paws would become wider to help run through thick snow. Also, the dhole would likely adapt to take on a white fur color during winter for camouflage. Male cardinals are a striking scarlet, giving the species it's nickname of Redbird. Though the females are a light silver in order to provide camouflage. These birds grow more feathers in winter to help insulate against the cold temperatures. Cardinals have short, rounded wings that are not ideal for sustained flight. Cardinals often hop from tree branch to tree branch, only flying when required, and even then for a short distance. The cardinal must live in the deciduous forest, for it would freeze to death in colder environments, yet it's fluffy feathers would cause the bird to overheat in a constant warm environment. If the temperature were to drop in the cardinals' habitat, the cardinal would either be forced to evolve longer wings for migration, or become a winter dwelling bird. To do this, the cardinals fluffy winter plumage would become permanent, and fluffier if possible. The cardinal would also pick up most tundra bird habits, possibly changing to a ground dwelling bird if the winds became harsher or plants began disappearing. The raccoon has evolved almost human-hand-like paws, allowing the scavenger to swipe up it's food and examine it, or easily maintain it's grip. The raccoon has a solid body and bone structure that allows it to fall almost forty feet with no harm. While raccoons do not hibernate, they do sleep for long durations of the winter months, living on reserve fat due to the lack of food. The raccoon has adapted to eat almost all types of food available, from fish to garbage. The raccoon is also nocturnal, keeping itself away from the hungry eyes of predators during the day. The raccoon is an outstanding climber, able to scurry up trees in a blink to escape a predator. Their dark fur and bands of black are used to disguise themselves in the dark night. The raccoon must live in the deciduous forest, for in the northern taiga or tundra, the raccoon would starve and die in the long winter. In a warmer climate, the night would be too cold for the raccoon to scavenge during the normally freezing nights of the grassland or desert. If the forest's temperature were to decrease to an extended period of winter, the raccoon would be forced to adapt. They would have to either be able to fully hibernate, or move with their prey if carnivorous. Flamingos have evolved long legs, which are useful for wading in the deep waters of african lakes, rivers, and marshes. Their feet are three front claws and one in the back, allowing for the bird to easily move through the muddy riverbed. Flamingos have a unique ability to drink salt water, and this salt in drained from special glands in the flamingos nose. The long agile neck of the flamingo allows the bird to easily snatch quick moving prey in the water. Flamingos, while they can drink salt water, are best suited for their freshwater climate. The still waters of lakes or the light pull of a river current are much easier for the flamingos to hunt in than the rough currents of the sea. If the precipitation on the flamingos climate were decreased, the amount of bodies of water would decrease. This would force the flamingo to find other forms of prey, and almost entirely different lifestyle. The flamingo would become more like a heron, and would rely mainly on land prey to feed itself. The flamingo would have to adapt to catch animals such as snakes and rodents, hence, it's legs would become shorter and stronger, and it's beak would become far sharper. Also, the flamingos' coloration would be forced to change in order to provide camouflage to hunt it's new prey. * climate adaptations are predicted given the factor that said changes were slow and gradual, with time for the plant to evolve Beavers have adapted to eat underwater, allowing the beaver to eat in winter in the surrounding water of it's lodge, safe from predators under the thick layer of ice. Beavers have adapted slow circulation and large lungs, allowing them to stay underwater for extended periods of time. A beavers teeth never stop growing, giving the animal the ability to always be ready to gnaw down new trees for it's dam. The beaver has dense fur to keep it warm in the cold winters, and this fur is continuously coated with a castor oil produces by the beaver, making the fur waterproof. A beaver's long flat tail acts as a storage area for fat in winter, and works as a rudder while the beaver is swimming. The beaver now must live in fresh water, for in a marine climate it would not be able to build a dam to house itself, and in winter it would not have the ice to protect itself from predators. The beaver would also face many new predators in the sea, and it can not live on land easily with it's many water adaptations. If the amount of precipitation were to drastically increase in the beavers homeland, their forests would become almost entirely submerged in the now growing bodies of water it dwells in. The beaver would have to adapt to become almost entirely aquatic, and may have to adapt to make it's home out of a different material than logs, for many of the trees that couldn't adapt to the new water would die off. River otters have adapted to spend most of their time in the water. Their body is streamlined, to allow the otter to quickly jet through the water. River otters have developed a high metabolism to generate more heat, which is quickly lost even in temperate waters. Their fur is dense, with a layer of soft under-fur and a layer of hard waterproof guard fur, that helps insulate the river otter against the cold lifestyle is has. The river otter lives in a freshwater biome, unlike the sea otter which live in a marine. The river otter must live in the water, for it can not catch prey on land, and would not be able to escape from predators. If the temperature were to drop in the home of the river otter, the rivers and lakes it dwells in would likely freeze, keeping the otter above the ground until it could find an area to crack the ice. The otter may adapt to become more of a land animal, it's legs growing longer to help it run, and the flipper-paws would likely turn into clawed paws. Cattails have adapted waxy leaves to protect them from water, and can absorb sun from all angles when above water. Cattails have developed their thin stem to allow them to sway and bend in the wind and water currents instead of breaking. Cattails spread their seeds over the surface of the water, and winds and currents spread these to allow the cattail to rapidly reproduce. The cattail must live in freshwater, for it cannot use salt water in photosynthesis and would not be able to take root in the ocean currents. On land, the cattail wouldn't be able to use it's process of reproduction and would likely die of lack of water. If the temperature were to decrease, the water the cattails grow in would freeze. The cattail would be forced to adapt to grow in the cold water, and would likely adapt to be similar to arctic moss, able to grow completely underwater and would not need large amounts of sunlight to sustain itself. One way the physical appearance of the plant would change , is the cattail would likely become shorter and smaller in order to use less energy. Slender riccia grows in tangled clumps just under the waters' surface, with small ribbon like roots hanging down to absorb water and nutrients. The slender riccia must live in a freshwater environment, for on land it's rhizoids could not attach to the soil and would not receive enough water. In a marine climate, the salt in the water would kill the riccia. If the temperature were to drop, the water that the riccia grows in would freeze. The riccia would have to adapt to live in near freezing water, and be able to survive under a layer of ice during winter. To do this, the riccia would likely become more like a moss, it's leaves becoming far smaller to conserve energy. Water star-grass has adapted to survive in the light density of rivers and lakes, and has adapted to resist the pull of the current in rivers. In a salt water environment, the star grass wouldn't be able to use salt water for photosynthesis , and on land the star grass wouldn't be able to find enough water and wouldn't be able to take root in hard ground. If the temperature were to decrease, the lakes and rivers of the star grass would freeze over. The star grass would have to adapt to these winter-like conditions, possibly losing their star shaped yellow blooms to conserve energy. The sweet gum has developed an extensive root system, able to sprawl across large areas or drive deep into the earth to search out water. The sweet gum can survive in the water logged clay soils near river banks due to these root systems. The sweet gum tree is not tolerant of shade once it reaches maturity. The sweet gum lives in the deciduous forest because of it's ideal warm summers and constant supply of water, and the cold winter gives the tree it's time to drop it's leaves and go dormant. If the temperature were to decrease in the forest, the sweet gum would have to adapt to handle a less sunny summer. It's deep tap roots may evolve to only be the short and sprawling type in order to receive as much immediate water as possible. The hickory tree has developed well flavored nuts, which encourage animals to eat or store them, allowing the tree to easily reproduce. The tree grows a deep tap root before fully beginning it's above ground growth, allowing it constant access to water. In winter, the tree drops it leaves and goes dormant in winter to conserve energy. If the temperature were to increase in the hickory trees' forest, the tree would likely adapt to become an evergreen tree in order to make the most use of the hot summers and now much warmer winters. The tree would likely develop smaller leaves that wouldn't burn in the sun. Sugar maples have adapted to drop their leaves in winter to conserve energy, and have developed an extensive system of roots to search out nutrients and water in the soil. Sugar maples are shade tolerant, allowing the seedlings to take root and grow under the shade of larger mature trees. Maples live in the deciduous forest, for they are deciduous trees, because they are able to obtain all needed resources and energy during summer, and then use their deciduous adaptation to go dormant during the cold winters. If the temperatures in the deciduous forest were to increase, the sugar maple would likely develop to keep it's leaves in winter due to the new warm temperatures, and it's leaves would become smaller and harder so as not to burn in the hot summer sun. The aster, like many grassland plants, has thin flexible stems to allow the plants to easily bend in the strong winds of the plain. The aster also doesn't rely on insects and animals to provide seed transportation, the aster has developed light weight seeds that carry easily on the strong winds. The aster lives in the grassland because this is the climate where it's adaptations suit it best. The strong winds are the only way the aster can reproduce, and yet the aster needs a warm climate to survive, which eliminates the windy tundra. If the temperature of the grassland were to significantly drop, the aster would have to adapt. It may grow lower to the ground to try and gather heat from the earth, and it would lose it's bright flowers in an effort to retain energy. It would have to develop a different reproduction method, and may possibly adapt the ability of 'clone' root reproduction. Clovers have a shallow root system, which requires a lot of moisture to the sustain the plant. Clovers grow best in cool wet areas, with lots of available water and a fair amount of sunlight. Though there are many types of clovers, some which have adapted long tail stems on which to bloom white flowers for seed reproduction. Clovers grow in the grassland, for this is a climate in which there is enough precipitation to keep to clover sustained, but not enough for the trees. The trees would shade the clover, killing it due to it's shade intolerance. If the temperature were to decrease in the grassland, along with precipitation increase, the clover would face serious challenges. The clover would have to adapt to trees living in it's climate, and would have to adapt to tolerate shade or become taller for the chance to fight for the sunlight. The clover would likely develop a hibernation period during winter to conserve energy when there is very little sun and a lot of snow or ice. The clover would also develop deeper roots in order to gain more access to water while competing with trees. The wild indigo has developed deep tap roots to seek out the water stored deep in the soil. They have developed a method of storing several seeds in a pod to reproduce, these pods will shrivel and blacken before exploding; flinging the seeds away from the parent plant to fresh soil. The wild indigo has developed bright flowers to attract bees for pollination. The wild indigo lives in the grassland because it does not have to compete with larger plants for resources, and there are many insects in which to pollinate the indigo. If the temperature were to decrease in the grassland, the wild indigo would likely loose it's bright flowers, for the insects they are meant to attract would all die in the cold temperatures. The indigo would have to develop less deep, more widespread roots in order to get water from frozen hard ground. Orchids have evolved one special shaped flower petal in each flower to form a lip like structure were nectar collects, which attracts pollinating insects. An orchids flower shape and color are all specialized to attract specific insects. While there are many types of orchids, most that live on the ground have green leaves to help with photosynthesis. Ground orchids have developed pockets in their roots to store water for use during dry periods. Orchids must live in the rainforest, for this is the only climate with enough water to support them and the variety of insects it needs to support itself. The rainforest supports many types of orchids, and even with it's large amount of rainfall, the orchid has issues gathering and using this water. If the temperature dropped in the rainforest, the orchid would likely loose it's bright well known flowers to conserve energy, and since their purpose of attracting insects would disappear. The orchid would also develop fuzz or smaller leaves in hopes of insulation against cold. Passion flowers have a wooden base, with an almost trunk like structure, before shifting to a thin stem like wooden structure covered with dark broad leaves. The top of the passion flower blooms with a vibrantly colored flower. This flower secretes nectar to attract insects. Passion flowers must live in the rainforest, for this is the only biome with a warm enough temperature and a constant year round supply of water. If the precipitation in the rainforest were to decrease, the passion flower would have to develop thicker bark to keep moisture in, for like most plants in the rainforest; the bark is thin to allow moisture to escape. If the water became limited, the passion flower would have to adapt to keep this water. Lianas are wood-like vines that start life in the canopy of trees, where sunlight is available. The liana will slowly curl down a tree until it reaches the ground, still with it's leaves on the sun-rich canopy, and there it will attach roots in the moist soil of the rainforest. Lianas must live in the rainforest, for this is the only climate that has trees with smooth enough bark for the liana to safely make it's climb down to the ground. Also, the liana needs the large amounts of sunlight and warmth the rainforest provides year round. If the temperature were to drop in the rainforest, the liana would have to adapt to a life on the ground in an effort to conserve body heat, for it would need the moisture and insulation from the ground more than the minimal sun it would receive from staying stretched across the canopy. Avery Imes