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Temperate Grasslands AP Bio Biome Project

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Victoria Cooley

on 7 January 2013

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Transcript of Temperate Grasslands AP Bio Biome Project

Sunlight/Radiation Mid-Latitude Affecting Factors Inner Continental Average hours of sunlight
-Spring: 12
-Summer: 14
-Fall: 10.5
-Winter: 10

Maximum: 14.6 hours
Minimum: 9.4 hours Consequences for life in temperate grasslands Resulting Adaptations Grass
tough to survive various climates
bud close to ground
narrow and upright stem
half of tissue underground
growing season
start growing at 50 Small mammals:
coats of fur
-camouflage and warmth
pouch-like cheeks
- transport food to save up for Winter Large mammals:
multiple stomachs
- digest hearty grasses
camouflage outer fur/skin limited food
animals must adapt to eat plants
flat grounds with little trees
small mammals burrow
large animals stay in herds must adjust to extreme hot and cold weather Parasitism mutualism commensalism Symbiotic relationship:
the interaction/mixing between 2 different species both species interact and gain something from the relationship (win-win situation) Example: large herbivores have unique bacteria in their stomachs that helps break down cellulose from all the grass they eat
- bacteria benefits from the food in the animals' stomachs
- the mammals can survive as herbivores because they can metabolize cellulose a connection in which one animal benefits from the relationship while the other is in no way affected Example: cattle scare off insects from grasslands when they graze and cattle egrets then eat these insects
-Cattle egrets gain a steady supply of food
-Cattle neither gain nor lose anything Mmmm! an interaction between species in which one species benefits from it while the other loses from it Example: Foxes eat rabbits
-Foxes gain meals
-Rabbits die Gross Productivity Net Productivity Productivity -the total amount of light energy that autotrophs convert to chemical energy by photosynthesis per unit of time
- total gain in energy -the remaining products created by photosynthesis after subtracting the energy used for respiration
-the remaining chemical energy available for consumers Net Productivity = Gross Productivity - Respiration Units = #Kcal / m^2 / year
Tallgrass prairie productivity:
2000 Kcal / m^2 / year
harvested by herbivores
base energy for food chain
consumed by organisms of decay
stored 1. precipitation
-droughts deprive plants of necessary water to function
-high-precipitation increases soil moisture too much for the plant to function efficiently

2. heat waves
-plants can handle gradual changes in temperature but are very sensitive to sudden increase in temperature

3. grazing
-the plants' structure is destroyed and must be repaired
-more energy must be used to re-grow
-lowers the net productivity Limiting factors to Temperate Grassland's productivity Biome Threat: Overgrazing -livestock trampling/uprooting plants
- grasses w/ nodes destroyed = death
- animals nibbling the grass below the lowest node also kills the grass
-plants destroyed means pasture deteriorates
-times of war, drought, or anything else that drives people from their homes
-their animals need food, and frequent moving does not give the grassland enough time to recover from the grazing
- lack of rotation of livestock grazing
- grazing at inappropriate times for the land Rainfall Mixed Grass Prairies Western Plains Rocky Mountain rain shadow limits precipitation to 10-20 in/yr
Drought-tolerant shortgrasses dominate
"Greens up" only a few weeks each summer Latitude No large bodies of water Clash of the Climates Convectional Precipitation Causes of Prairie Climate Conducive to a mild temperature Bodies of water buffer temperature swings, so there are extreme seasons Altitude Altitude varies by as much as 1,500 ft across the Prairie
Air expands as it rises, thus making it colder in high altitudes Arctic air moves down from North Pole and warm air moves up from Gulf of Mexico
Winds from desert create dry condition when combined with dry winter air from the North
When air masses collide, massive storms result along the fronts Sun heats surface of prairie, which causes water to evaporate and condense to form rain clouds in the summer Summer Winter Effect: Extreme Seasons The prairie experiences extreme seasons with a small buffer period during spring and late fall Drought conditions make nutrition hard to come by
Sudden storms make it imperative to act quickly
Evaporation exceeds precipitation
Rivers run dry
extreme winds Temperatures can reach 10 or 20 below zero
snow blankets the prairie
blizzards can erupt and inhibit mobility
long winters deplete food supplies Spadefoot Toad Use puddles to lay eggs
if puddle dries up, tadpoles become cannibals to survive Harvester Ants Store bird poo and dead insects in case of food shortage Plants Deep root systems: Reach down to clay level for water
holds plant in place against winds Bison Nomadic lifestyle to hunt for food Pronghorn Large hearts and lungs capable of running long distances
Can go days without water Reptiles and Amphibians Hibernate in underground caves and burrows
use snow as insulation Turtles Females store sperm for up to 4 years Wood Frogs Increase their blood glucose levels up to 60 times normal level
Let themselves partly freeze Swainson's Hawks Use thermal updrafts in autumn to save energy Size of Population Dispersion Pattern Demographics population is between 10,000 and 100,000
the number is difficult to estimate
number of falcons is overall stable
number is declining in some areas Threats to population:
Eggshell thinning (linked to mercury poisoning)
Habitat loss Growth Potential Niche Habitat Carrying Capacity Prairie Falcon Falco Mexicanus + = - 99% of original grasses no longer grow in prairies
- 250 million acres of tallgrass prairie lost (Nebraska)
- 80% of shortgrass prairie lost
- grass reduced in size
- temperate grasslands cover 1.8% of Earth's surface Corrective Actions -control amount of animals on a piece of land land can recover and regrow
-every year, about 5% of the land can become densely vegetated again animals lose their freedom and their homeland - put up fences around land -decreases wind erosion
-cattle herds are controlled restriction of cattle can lead to more overgrazing -drill bore holes for water (the Sahel grassland) more water available for animals animals congregate by the water instead of migrating about the land
- more degradation of the land Works Cited Allaby, Michael, and Richard Garratt. Grasslands. New York: Chelsea House, 2006. Print.

Woodward, Susan L. Grassland Biomes. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2008. Print.
Kimball, John. "Ecosystem Productivity." Ecosystem Productivity. Kimball's Biology Pages, 25 Feb.
2011. Web. 27 Dec. 2012.
Toupin, Laurie. Life in the Temperate Grasslands. New York: Franklin Watts, 2005. Print.
"Daylight Hours Explorer." Daylight Hours Explorer. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, n.d. Web. 21 Dec.
Reece, Jane B. "Ecology." Biology: Seventh Edition. By Neil A. Campbell. San Francisco: Pearson
Education, 2005. 1080-229. Print.
Davidson, John H. "North America's Great Carbon Ocean: Protecting Prairie Grasslands Keeps Carbon
in the Soil and Slows the pace of Climate Change." Saving Land 29.1 (2009). Prairie Fire. Land Trust Alliance, June 2010. Web. 29 Dec. 2012.

Osborn, Brian. Overgrazing: Is A Solution Available? Digitalcommons.unl.edu. University of Nebraska-
Lincoln, 1996. Web. 27 Dec. 2012.

Graham, Pam. "The Tallgrass Prairie: An Endangered Landscape." Csa.com. ProQuest Discovery Guides,
Nov. 2011. Web. 27 Dec. 2012. 20-25 in/yr
Grass is denser, taller
Grass grows knee-waist high Tallgrass Prairies Precipitation exceeds 30 in/yr
Grasses grow more than 8 ft tall
Prairie sod is dense r Selection Used to adapt to unstable environment
Many "cheap" offspring produced
Risk of losing offspring is high
Early maturity
Short life expectancy
Each individual reproduces once
Used by invertebrates, insects, spiders
Type III survivorship K Selection Used to adapt to stable environment
Few "expensive" offspring produced
Risk of losing offspring is low
Late maturity
Long life expectancy
Individuals reproduce 1+ times
Used by large animals
Type I or II survivorship r and K Strategists Prairie Falcons use K Selection Lay 2-6 eggs at a time
Incubation lasts 29-31 days
Young are fledged at 29-47 days old
Become independent 2 months after hatching
Parents feed young for 4 weeks
Chicks feed themselves after 4 weeks
75% chance of living to adulthood Is it working? YES 75% chance of reaching adulthood
Prairie Falcon numbers are declining due to human interaction Effect on Biome Create scrapes on ledges Do not have a large effect on environment Effect on Other Organisms Keep ground squirrel populations in check Will attack other raptors that invade their territory Feed on ground squirrels, small birds, reptiles, insects Effect on Prairie Falcons Mammalian predators prey on nestlings/eggs Prairie Falcons are aggressive in defense of their nests because of this Great Horned Owls prey on adults/nestlings Plant Defense Mechanisms Morphological Defense Chemical Defense A physical characteristic of a plant that defends against herbivory Opuntia fragilis: Fragile Prickly-Pear Herbivores are deterred by the plentiful spines on the plant's pads A toxic byproduct released by plants that defends against herbivory Asclepias purpurascens: Purple Milkweed Purple Milkweed produces sap that contains the toxic steroid cardiac gylcoside. This steroid interferes with the sodium/potassium pump mechanism in cell membranes. This causes disruption in osmotic balance. Description Consequences Adaptations Soil Variety of types Black Soil Prairie
Gravel, Dolomite, & Hill Prairies
Sand Prairies Rich, soft, deep soil
Composition Just over 50% carbon
Oxygen and hydrogen present
Nitrogen makes up 5% of organic matter
Phosphorus and sulfur make up 5%-8% of organic matter
Water-holding capacity Ideal plant growth conditions
Grass growth abundant
Water-holding capacity buffers against pH changes
Organic matter provides plant nutrition and microbial growth
Nutrients and ions bind in the soil Plant roots decompose and add organic matter to the soil
Insects, earthworms, bacteria, and fungi decompose the dead roots
Some birds, reptiles, and rodents live in the soil
Bison, deer, antelope, and prairie dogs graze on the grasses Females lay once per year
4-5 eggs are laid each time
An average of 1.2-3.4 are born per nest
there is a 50:50 sex ratio in the US
About a quarter of falcons survive to adulthood
It takes 2 years to reach sexual maturity
31% of deaths occur within first 44 days
Survivorship: type two Range Habitat covers over 3,800,000 sq. mi.
Falcons in British Columbia and other Canadian provinces migrate to Mexico and Texas in the winter Type of Habitat Far from water
Open country, deserts, canyons, barren mountains, grasslands
Descend to prairies to hunt
Nest in mountains Nesting use old nests on cliff ledges, rock crevices
nests must face the prairie
move to alpine areas in summer What is carrying capacity? Carrying capacity is the highest number of organisms, in this case prairie falcons, an environment can support. What does density dependent mean? Density dependent means that a birth rate declines or a death rate increases as the population density increases. What does density independent mean? Density independent means that a birth or death rate doesn't change with population density. Density-Dependent for Falcons Trichomonniasis: disease frequently spread from bird to bird Health Territoriality Nesting sites need to be in specific locations; more birds, less prime "real estate" Density-Independent for Falcons Human Interaction Damage to habitat and things like fences and gunshot Nest Washouts Nests made from shallow scrapes can flood and those on cliffs are washed off mountain Chemical Cycling
- 77% of prairie land in existence will be gone in 99 years
- destroys land by causing the problems of erosion by water, wind, and soil
- causes 67% of all land damage from erosion by water
- causes 46% of all land damage from wind erosion
- soil erosion destroys 12-17 million acres of farmland each year Cryptic Coloration Aposematic Coloration Mimicry Prey Defense camouflage that makes the prey hard to hunt
in the prairie: prairie chickens, upland sandpiper, prairie rattlesnake a bright coloration to warn predators of an effective chemical defense
in the prairie: collared lizard, coral snake Batesian A harmless animal develops the traits of a harmful animal for protection
Red milk snake resembling the coral snake Mullerian Two harmful animals develop to share traits
Viceroy and Monarch butterflies Special Information Prairie Farms Scientists are studying how prairie plants grow to develop drought-resistant crops to grow in this and other regions region. Fire Prairie fires can move as fast as 600 feet per minute and burn as hot as 700 degrees Fahrenheit. In one acre of established Prairie there is an average of 24,000 pounds of roots, which can absorb nine inches of rainfall per hour before runoff occurs. Roots and Rain The Carbon Cycle. N.d. Photograph. Web. 4 Jan. 2013.
Clarke, Robert F. "The Kansas School Naturalist." Vol 5 No 3. Emporia State Univeristy, Feb. 1959. Web. 04 Jan. 2013.
Hooper, T.D. "STATUS OF THE PRAIRIE FALCON IN THE CHILCOTIN-CARIBOO REGION, BRITISH COLUMBIA." Http://www.env.gov.bc.ca. BC Environment, Mar. 1997. Web. 26 Nov. 2012.
Hydrolytic Cycle. N.d. Photograph. Web. 4 Jan. 2013.
Laurie, Beck. "Tallgrass Prairie Poster." Gpnc.org. Great Plains Nature Center, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013.
The Nitrogen Cycle. N.d. Photograph. Web. 4 Jan. 2013.
"Prairie Facts." Prairie Facts. Minnesota Native Wildflower/Grass Producers Association, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013.
"Prairie Quick Facts." Prairie Quick Facts. Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Group, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013.
"Prairie Quick Facts." Prairie Quick Facts. Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Group, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013.
Stewart, Martyn. "Field Guide to Birds of North America." Prairie Falcon. Percevia, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013.
Stewart, Martyn. Range Map. N.d. Photograph. Percevia. Web. 4 Jan. 2013. prairie dog various prairie grasses bison Current Conditions Future Prognosis Causes: Trophic Levels “About Prairies.” Prairie Wildflowers of Illinois. John Hilty, 24 August 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.
Anderson, Darwin. “Organic Matter in Prairie Soils.” Crops & Soils Magazine. Jan.-Feb. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.
“Dispersion.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Web. 4 Jan. 2013.
“Falco mexicanus.” Animal Diversity Web. Regents of the University of Michigan, 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.
“Herbivores vs. Plants: The Silent Battle.” Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, 2012. Web. 26 Nov 2012.
Jones, Stephen R., and Ruth Carol Cushman. The North American Prairie. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Print.
“North American Prairie.” Blue Planet Biomes. Brynn Schaffner, 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.
“Prairie Falcons in the Sonoran Desert.” Tree of Life Web Project. Tree of Life Project, 2004. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.
“Prairie Soils.” K-12 Soil Science Teacher Resources. Soil Science Society of America, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.
"r and K selection." Department of Biology. University of Miami, 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. Temperate Grasslands The American Prairie Half Time! Most birds have a uniform or geometric dispersion pattern
Geometric dispersion: even spacing due to competition
Cause: territoriality
Prairie Falcons known to be territorial of habitats
Geometric dispersion allows protection of nests and offspring F Units
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