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8 Major Biomes of the World
Transcript of 8 Major Biomes of the World
Forests Coniferous Forest
Rainfall: 50-260 in./year Consists of tall, dense trees in year-round warm climate
Are either tropical, with broad leafed trees, or temperate, with coniferous trees
Covers under 6% of land surface
Contains over 50% of Earth's plant and animal species
Produces about 40% of Earth's oxygen has 100-240 ft. tall trees that are umbrella shaped
the trees have thick broad leaves and thick waxy layers to protect against wind
the trees have straight smooth trunks with few branches because of their limited space
animals here are monkeys, butterflies, bats, snakes, and birds, The Layers of
the Rainforest has 60-130 ft. tall trees with smooth, oval leaves preventing rain from falling below
is plentiful with food from trees
has most of the animals in the rainforest such as monkeys, sloths, treefrogs, snakes,parrots, etc. mostly contains small trees, shrubs, and vines
is darker and cooler than the canopy
has many animals as well, such as snakes, frogs, parakeets, leopards, and the most insects
is very humid and moist has large animals and many insects and fungi
is very shady, only 1% of the light that hits the tops gets through, so there are few plants Plants of the Rainforest Animals of the Rainforest The trees...
mostly have drip tips and grooved leaves to shed water so it doesn't weigh down branches
have large and dark green leaves to absorb as much sunlight as possible
bear flowers or fruits year-round
have over 2,500 species
can grow from one tree to another
make up about 40% of canopy leaves
some types "strangle" other trees and grow thicker as they reach the canopy
Plants of the rainforest are different depending on which layer of the rainforest they are in. There are many diverse species of animals in the rainforest:
many of the animals are brightly colored and patterned, live in trees and are loud
Insects are the biggest group, with over a million different species, and consist of butterflies, mosquitoes, camouflaged insects, and ants
the Amazon rainforest has the greatest variety of plants and animals, which can be 40-100 different species per 2.5 acres
there are millions of species of animals in the rainforest, and there are more yet to be discovered
The types of animal seen will differ depending on the layer of the rainforest. Rainforests are being destroyed
by humans at an alarming rate Humans use the rainforests' resources to the point where it can't recover
DEFORESTATION- humans clear forests for usable lumber or to clear areas for growing crops and cattle
MINING- humans strip large tracts of the rainforest for profitable minerals
URBAN SETTLEMENT- humans clear land so they can inhabit it
Rainforests should cover 12% of the globe, but it currently covers 6% Why is this a problem? The rainforest has a short nutrient cycle because of the rapid decomposition.
This means that most of the nutrients are found in the plants' roots, which quickly absorb nutrients from leaves decomposed by bacteria and fungi.
When a rainforest is burned or cut down, the nutrients get taken away from the ecosystem, and the soil can only be used for a short time until it is depleted of nutrients.
End result: deforestation = no nutrients = no growth of plants or organisms Without rainforests many species of plants and animals will become extinct
Potential medicine and cures from rainforest plants may never be discovered
Indigenous people in the rainforest may lose their culture and way of life The rainforest's water cycle will get disrupted without plants
Vegetation usually acts as a buffer to hold water in plants and soils, without them, erosion will increase and available water will decrease.
Transpiration from plants give adds water to the water cycle. Without plants, less water would evaporate and precipitate, making the rainforest drier and not a "rain"forest
End result: deforestation = no transpiration = less rain = less growth of plants or organisms Temperature: 68-86°F
Rainfall: 20-50 inches a year A savanna is a rolling grassland with some shrubs and isolated trees.
There must be concentrated rainfall, then a drought period in between. This lets fires, caused by lightning and human activity, to occur and to stop the invasion of trees. Plants of the savanna are adapted to grow in periods of long drought and fire:
have long tap roots to reach water deep in the ground
have thick bark to resist annual fire, trunks to store water, and leaves that fall in the winter to conserve water
are sharp or bitter to prevent animals from grazing them
grow from the bottom up, so growth doesn't get damaged by grazers
have storage organs such as bulbs and corms to use during the dry season
grow very quickly during rainy seasons, and can grow over an inch in 24 hours
Plants called forbs that are small broad-leaved plants that grow with grasses also dominate the savanna. Plants of the Savanna Animals of the Savanna Animals of the savanna are adapted to its special conditions
most of them have long legs or wings for long migrations
they don't sweat so body heat is lost through panting or large areas of exposed skin
some avoid heat by burrowing underground like prarie dogs
they maintain the grasslands by eating seeds and leaves from trees
African savannas have large herbivores such as giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and elephants. There are also baboons, lions, and cheetahs, hyenas, and more.
Australian savannas have koala bears, kangaroos, emus, and more.
there are also many birds of prey such as hawks and vultures
some animals, called browsers, eat leaves of trees, while grazers eat grasses so they can coexist. Desertification is
a problem in savannas It can be caused by many things
removal of plants and vegetation
overgrazing by cattle and goats prevent grasses from regrowing, and nutrients in the soil are lost
excessive farming and loss of fertile soil
cutting down trees to clear land for crops Poaching
is another big problem Illegal hunters kill about 150,000 wildebeest a year, and a rapid decrease in wildebeest population causes instability in the ecosystem
Other animals such as elephants and cheetahs are poached for their profitable ivory tusk and fur
Sometimes they use fires to clear grass so their prey can be easier to see Tourism in Savannas Tourism can be positive:
encourages conservation of savannas for the economy
provides jobs for many people and ecologists
gives a reason for more research about the savanna to be done
allows for more education and awareness about our world and its ecosystems
Tourism can be negative:
roads and facilities built requires removing plants and animals in local habitats
profits from tourism may not go to a good cause
cultures of original natives will be changed
water for tourists requires disrupting the water cycle and uneven distribution of water will cause water shortages
waste from tourists will cause problems Deserts are the driest of all terrestrial biomes
They have low and unpredictable rainfall, with long annual droughts
Rain falls during cool months, and droughts in hot months.
Deserts cover 1/5 of Earth's land surface. Plants of the Desert In the desert, plants are scarce because of the little rainfall.
The plants in deserts have special adaptations:
they are mostly shrubs and short woody trees
they are usually annual, so the same plants stay in the desert year after year
they can store water for long periods of time and can stand hot weather
they have spines instead of leaves to decrease surface area and reduce transpiration
they can expand when they absorb water during wet periods, and shrink when there is a drought
they produce many seeds that can remain dormant until there is a heavy rain
A good example of a desert plant is a cactus: they have stems that store water, and widespread roots that collect water from a large area Animals of the Desert In the desert, most animals have adapted to the heat
they live in burrows to absorb moist soil beneath the hot surface
many animals sleep during the day, and are nocturnal
some birds include roadrunners and ostriches, which are used to travelling long distances in dry lands
some mammals include foxes, kangaroo rats, rabbits, squirrels, and other rodents
another mammal such as the camel is very well-adapted to desert conditions: camels have thick fur on their head for shade, slit-like nostrils and 2 rows of eyelashes to keep out sand, and more
some reptiles include lizards (like the Gila Monster), rattlesnakes, iguanas, and toads
other animals are ants and small insects Human Impact on Deserts Deserts were once considered uninhabitable, but with technology, humans have found a way to live there.
Irrigation canals allow water from one source to be distributed to places where it is needed. This disturbance to the ecosystem is bad for plants and animals already adapted to dry conditions. This also leads to invasive species to be successful when competing against original species.
Air conditioning allow humans to withstand the heat of deserts. This leads to excess waste and pollution.
Vehicles such as large trucks leave tracks in the soil, which scars the land and destroys the vegetation. As the vegetation decreases, animal populations will decrease. Vehicles can also kill animals directly when running them over when they are hidden beneath the soil.
Animals and plants are being taken from the desert to be in displays for collections.
Thse changes will eventually cause the desert to be replaced by an urban landscape. Animals adapted to these conditions will have no where to go and become extinct. The chaparral is the smallest biome.
It is in areas between places with a hot, dry climate and places with a cool, wet climate. In general it grows between forests and grassland biomes.
It can have different types of terrain: flat plains, rocky hills, or mountain slopes.
There are many fires because of the heat and dryness.
Chaparrals were mostly formed because of human destruction of forest and soil.
It is a region of dense, spiny shrubs with tough, evergreen leaves. Temperature: 30°F-100° F
Rainfall: 10-17 in./year Desert Conditions Deserts are all dry and arid, but not always hot.
Sometimes, temperatures in the desert can drop below freezing at night.
The driest desert in the world, the Atacama Desert, gets under 1 inch of rain a year.
Deserts are usually very vast and cover a large amount of land.
Deserts used to be lands where there were water and grasslands, but scientists think slow temperature change caused plants to die and soil to erode.
Wind and water are large factors in erosion and shaping deserts. During the summer, it is very dry and desert-like. Usually, there is little precipitation that falls during this time because of the high atmospheric pressure.
During the winter, it is very cold and frosty. Most of the rain falls during this time. Plants of the Chaparral In the chaparral, most plants have adapted to these conditions
they have small, hard leaves that hold moisture
they are adapted to the different temperatures, poor soil, lack of water, and periodic fires
some plants are short because of droughts, poor soil, extreme climate changes, and fire
plants that dominate the chaparral include large shrubs, corn oak, and dense shrubs
plants that grow in the chaparral in Europe, called the garigue, include thyme, rosemary, and small woody shrubs
the chaparral in California has plants like poison oak, sagebrush, and coyote brush
flowers don't grow in the chaparral, except in spring when the conditions are right
seeds usually remain dormant during the summer droughts, and only sprout when rain begins
fires in the chaparral help the plants by getting rid of decaying matter that get in the way
some flowers grow and bloom following after fires because now they have room to grow, those types of flowers include lilies, anemones, and gladiolus Animals of the Chaparral Some animals in the chaparral also live in biomes close to it, but some live specifically in the chaparral
many of the animals are browsers, and include deer, fruit-eating birds, seed-eating rodents, lizards, and snakes
the grysbok, a small antelope, lives in the chaparral in South Africa. It is very small because it needs to hide in thick short shrubs without getting stuck
zebras, leopards, elephants, and some other animals in the savanna can sometimes be found in the chaparral
lynx and their prey, rabbits, also live in the chaparral
mountain lions, bobcats, jackals, foxes, and coyotes are the main predators of the chaparral
some birds that live in the chaparral are hawks, eagles, woodpeckers, cuckoos, roadrunners, and more
reptiles that live in the chaparral include rattlesnakes, leopard snakes, and many types of lizards
the predators of the chaparral prey on the many rodents and small mammals of the chaparral
insects of the chaparral include termites, praying mantis, and grasshoppers Human Impact The chaparral is slowly being removed by industries and companies that cut it down its plants for house development. The land of the chaparral is being turned into cities and farms. This causes hundreds of animals to be displaced and to lose their habitat. This leads to those animals being endangered and possibly extinct. In South Africa, the cape lion and the quagga, a animal similar to the zebra, became extinct because of human settlement. Now, national parks and animal preserves are being set up to reduce those problems. The chaparral is also facing problems of excessive burning. Even now, farmers and ranchers are burning the chaparral for grass to grow for their herds. This wouldn't be a problem, but the land is being burned too much, so seeds and roots under the soil are being destroyed. To solve this problem, controlled fires are used so it would seem natural to the plants, but the fires can be taken out if they get out of control. They allow people to live in safety in the chaparral without harming nature. Temperate grasslands are similar to tropical savannas, but are mostly treeless unless along rivers or streams.
They contain many types of grasses and forbs that grow in rich, fertile soil.
They usually have cold temperatures.
They are in moist areas with thick, short, green grass over hills and plains.
There are no trees or mountains, so there is a lot of high-speed wind:
Pamperos are strong, cold winds that occur in Argentina's spring and summer months.
Buran are winter blizzards that occur in central Asia.
Chinook are warm wintry winds that melt snow in praries in North America.
They make up 40% of Earth's land Temperature: -10° F-100° F
Rainfall: 10-30 in./year Plants of the Temperate Grasslands Most plants in the temperate grasslands need to adapt to cold winters, hot summers, and high winds
they have thin, needle-like leaves to conserve water
70% of the actual plant is underground, so the sun and wind are avoided
plants that dominate the chaparral include large shrubs, corn oak, and dense shrubs
grasses of the temperate grasslands have a long and complex root system, so grazing animals can't pull their roots from the ground
their ability to grow up from their roots also protect them against fires
perennials plants that grow in the grassland live for several years
annual plants grow for only a year and die, there are two types: warm-season annuals grow in the summer, cool-season annuals grow in the spring
sunflowers and peas also dominate the temperate grasslands Animals of the
Temperate Grasslands Some plants include... the cecropia tree, which has a symbiotic relationship with ants, who protect it from other insects and animals
passion flower vines, which use patterns to protect it from butterflies
lianas, which can climb any tree to reach the sun, with its roots, thorns, or tendrils
cacao trees, which we use to produce chocolate, and also cures fever and kidney stones Some animals include... toucans and parrots, which are common colorful birds
sloths, which are very slow and take minutes to move 10 feet
orangutans and gorillas, which are common primates
chameleons, which can change color to camouflage with surroundings
frogs, which can be brightly colored to warn others agains eating it
lemurs that live on treetops to find food Indonesia and Amazon River basin in South America
Costa Rica, Brazil, Venezuela
eastern Africa, northwestern India
central West Africa, southeast Asia central South America
central and south Africa
parts of Australia
temperate North America parts of California, Nevada, and Sonoran Desert in Arizona
central Australia and Asia
Africa: central Sahara, Namib Desert
Southern Argentina, east of the Andes Mediterranean region
midlatitude coastal areas Most animals in the temperate grasslands need to adapt to cold winters, hot summers, and high winds
they include small mammals such as hares, mice, and other rodents
those animals have sharp teeth that can gnaw through the grass
some rodents in grasslands of North America include prarie dogs, mice, rats, and ground squirrel
rodents of the Eurasian steppes are mice, hamsters, gerbils, giant guinea pigs, and chincillas
mammals of Australia include kangaroos and wallabies
predators of the temperate grasslands are snakes, owls, foxes, and hawks that hunt small mammals
wolves and coyotes also live in the temperate grasslands, and can eat antelope pampas of Argentina and Uruguay
steppes in Asia
praries in central North America Human Impact Cattle ranching Temperate grasslands have rich soil, so it is perfect for farming and growing animals.
Problem: if not soil isn't treated correctly, and the same crops are grown in the same ground year after year, the nutrients don't go back into the soil. Overgrazing causes the soil to turn to barren, lifeless, dusty land
Result: only 5% of the 250 million acres of grassland of North America remains. There is increased competition among animals for food. Temperature: -50° F
Rainfall: 30-60 in./year Temperate Deciduous Forests have 4 distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter.
The growing season is very long, and can be many months.
Usually, two different species of trees will dominate the forest.
Trees of the temperate deciduous forests lose their leaves to prevent evaporation of water from the leaves so they can conserve water.
The soil is very rich, and there is high, distributed precipitation. Plants of the Temperate Deciduous Forests eastern United States
eastern Asia and Australia In deciduous forests there are five different zones.
The first is the Tree Stratum zone, which contains trees such as oak, beech, maple, chestnut hickory, elm, basswood, linden, walnut, and sweet gum trees. This zone ranges between 60 feet and 100 feet.
The small tree and sapling zone is the second one. This zone has young, and short trees.
The third zone is called the shrub zone. Some of the shrubs in this zone are rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurel, and huckleberries.
The Herb zone is the fourth zone. It contains short plants such as herbal plants.
The last zone is the Ground zone. It contains lichen, club mosses, and true mosses.
The plants also lean toward the sun and soak up nutrients in the ground Animals of the temperate deciduous forests adapt to the distinct seasons by hibernating in the winter, or migrating south.
The animals who hibernate eat large amounts of food during summer and fall to gain enough fat to survive off of, those animals include ground squirrels, ground hogs, and other small mammals.
The animals who migrate, including birds and butterflies, sometimes travel thousands of miles to go to places warmer and sunnier.
Most animals eat nuts and acorns, or are omnivores.
Animals are camouflaged to look like the ground.
The most common animals that live there are the American eagle, black bear, coyote, mice, eastern chipmunk, gray squirrel, and deer. Other animals that live there but aren't as common are dormouses, least weasel, and a duckbill platypus.
There are many nocturnal animals, such as raccoons, flying squirrels, bats, and opossums, who search for food at night.
Some animals live in burrows to hide from their larger predators. Animals of the temperate deciduous forest Human Impact
Deforestation not only affects the trees, but also plants and animals living in the area. Deforestation directly caused the Carolina parakeet to become extinct in the early 1900's. Other animals, such as bears, caribou, wolves, fox, and mountain lions, are also becoming endangered.
Logging also ruins the soil. Soil is easily eroded because trees hold the soil together. The ground under the soil is clay and rock, which most plants can't grow in.
Also, logging pollutes the water and air. When soil is washed away by water, it ends up in fast, clear water streams and slows them down, endangering fish.
When the trees are cut down, there is air pollution because trees are natural filters of pollutants from cities and factories. The pollutants go on the leaves of the tree and are eventually brought back down to the soil. When those trees are cut down, the pollutants stay in the air. These pollutants can mix with water vapor and form acid rain, which can destroy a forest by killing some types of trees and taking nutrients from rich soil.
Another problem is that when trees are cut down, there is a green house effect and global warming. Some scientists think that too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere will cause global warming. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, so if trees in the temperate forest are destroyed, more carbon dioxide will stay in the atmosphere. Coniferous Forests, also called the taiga or boreal forests, are the largest biome in the world.
They have short, moist, and moderately warm summers.
They have long, cold and dry winters.
The soil is thin and compact because of a lack of earthworms, and this causes fire. Temperature: -60-70° F
Rainfall: 6-40 in./year northern North America
northern Eurasia Plants of the Coniferous Forest The plants have adaptations that help them survive the cold conditions
they are thin and grow close together to protect from the cold and wind
they have thick bark to protect them against fire and cold
they have an upside-down cone shape so snow can easily slide off branches, which are flexible to hold lots of snow
they have waxy needles, which protect them against the cold, prevent them from drying our, and are deep green to absorb the most sunlight
The plants are mostly conifer trees such as spruce, balsam, fir, and pine
Animals of the Coniferous Forest The animals must also be adapted to cold conditions
birds migrate south for winter, many animals hibernate during the winter
the animals eat different foods when the season changes
small rodents live under snow in tunnels
lynx and rabbits have extra fur on the bottom of their feet to walk on snow easier
Types of Animals
millions of insects in the summer
up to 3 billion insect eating birds including finches, spaarrows, crows, crossbill, and nuthatchers
herbivores include small mammals, snow shoe rabbits, red squirrels, lemming, deer, elk, and moose
predators include owls, lynx, wolves, bobcats, minks, foxes, weasels, and otters Human Impact Species are becoming endangered because of hunting and fur trading
beavers, wood bison, and the Siberian tiger are victims of the fur trade
other animals, such as the Siberian crane, are becoming endangered because of a loss of habitat.
Humans also log trees in the coniferous forest, and use the wood for paper and wood.
Acid rain is also a big problem, which is caused by pollutants in the air mixing with water vapor.
Water pollution is caused by paper mills and mines, which produce poison in the water.
When trees are cut down, the amount of carbon dioxide will increase because trees absorb carbon dioxide. Temperature: -30°F
Rainfall: 6-10 in./year around the North Pole
Andes Mountains in Ecuador The tundra is about 20% of earth's land surface.
It has energy and nutrients mostly in dead organic material
It is extremely cold
The ground is covered with permafrost most of the year
There are short seasons of growth and reproduction in the summer Plants of the tundra The plants are mostly tiny flowering plants, grasses, willows, sedges, and lichens all under 4 inches.
There are no trees because large roots can't grow in these conditions
Many plants are perennial so they can store food season to season
They are short and grouped together to form mats close to the ground where it is warmer.
They can carry out photosynthesis at low temperatures and with little light.
They reproduce asexually because of the short growing season. Animals of the tundra Animals of the tundra must be adapted to the cold temperature.
They have short and stocky arms and legs.
They have thick, insulating fur.
They have a thick layer of fat, which was gained during the spring.
The primary consumers are lemmings, insects, musk oxen, caribou, and reindeer.
The secondary consumers are snow owls, arctic foxes, and polar bears.
Some migratory birds are ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loon, sandpipers, terns, snow birds, and many different types of gulls. Human Impact large-scale extraction industries (oil, gas, minerals) take out important nutrients
there is pollution: chemical waste, mining, hydroelectric development
expansion of livestock, agriculture, tourism causes degradation
1/3 of soil-bound carbon is here, so cutting down trees causes global warming
melting of permafrost releases large carbon into atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect, when organic material decays & release CO2
erosion is emerging due to permafrost thaw & overgrazing
poaching, which is hunting & fishing out of season, on protected land increases endangered species
there is a fragile ecosystem and plant system: ground has human traffic marks, short food chains, few species of animals, reduced/ diseased species causes upset balance