Biomes are Life

Group C, Caldwell Early College High School

Tundra

World Locations: Alaska, edges of Greenland, Russia, Northern Scandinavia, Northern Siberia, and Northern Canada.


Climate Characteristics:

  • Extremely cold climate

  • Low biodiversity

  • Simple vegetation structure

  • Limitation of drainage

  • Short season of growth and reproduction

  • Energy and nutrients in the form of dead organic material


Temperature:

  • Average winter temperature -34° celsius

  • Average for the summer 3-12° celsius


Precipitation: 15-25 cm each year


Other:

  • The soil is at the level of permafrost all year around.

  • There are 1,700 different plant species.


Keystone Fauna- caribou, reindeer, wolf


Keystone Flora- Grasses, sedges, and Caribou moss


Flora:

In the Arctic Tundra, due to the cold conditions, there are few flowers found. Most

are shrubs, mosses, and grasses because this type of vegetation has been able to adapt to the harsh environment.


In the Alpine Tundra, it is mostly lichens, sedge's, mosses, and grasses. These are called Alpine Plants. The Caribou moss is the most abundant plant.


Fauna:

  • Mammals: Caribou, Reindeer, elk, musk ox, brown bear, arctic polar bear, sheep, mountain goat, marmots, pikas, voles, arctic fox, wolves, arctic hares, lemmings, squirrels

  • Fowl: ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, sandpipers, terns, and gulls

  • Insects: mosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, and blackflies

  • Fish: trout, cod, salmon, and flatfish

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Other biome characteristics not mentioned above: The Antarctic tundra is much less extensive. It doesn't support mammals, but marine mammals and birds live on the coast. It only has 3 plant species, moss, lichen, and algae. The Antarctic tundra is found on the Antarctic peninsula and several other arctic and subarctic islands.


Extra Credit

  • Biggest threat facing the tundra: The biggest threat facing the tundra is global warming. If all of the frozen soil (permafrost) melts, the plants won’t adapt fast enough to survive.


  • Importance of the Tundra to the Earth: The tundra is a very important biome because one third of the soil-bound carbon is in the tundra permafrost, and because it is slow to repair physical damage like tire tracks. So, if this permafrost begins to thaw, the carbon will begin to decay.



Adapted From:

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5/biome/tundra.html


http://www.ri.net/schools/West_Warwick/manateeproject/Tundra/Land.htm


http://1214.virtualclassroom.org/tundra_flora.html


http://bsa-troop621.org/photographufm/tundra-food-chain-pictures


http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/issue/tundra-life-in-the-polar-extremes/life-in-the-tundra


http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/tundra-threats/


http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/biomes/tundra.htm

Grasslands

By Aubrey, Grayce, Mckenna, and Thomas
  • Locations-Ukraine, Siberia, North America, South Africa, Kenya, Asia, Australia, North Eastern China, Argentina
  • Temperature- Summer temperatures can be over 100 Fahrenheit, and Winter temperatures can be as low as -40 Fahrenheit
  • Rainfall- 20-35 inches per year
  • Two main divisions of grasslands- Temperate (dry and windy) and Savanna (dry and rainy)
  • Climate Characteristics:
  • Warm or hot climate
  • Soil is porous with rapid drainage of water
  • Drought and fire prevent forests from growing
  • 2 seasons: dormant and growing
  • Cool to very cold winters,
  • Often located between temperate forests and deserts,
  • Many different variations of grasslands
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This is an example of a grassland biome food web

  • Animals- Bumble Bees, Bald Eagle, Badger, Bobcat, Elephant, Bison, Hyena, Giraffe, Prairie dog, Lion, Zebra, Ostrich, Burrowing owls, Antelope, Buzzard, Cheetah, Cobra, Tortoise, Emu

  • Names for Grasslands in different countries- “steppes” in Asia, “prairies” in North America, “llanos and cerrados” in South America, “savannas and velds” in Africa and “rangelands” in Australia
  • Plants- grasses are the dominant vegetation, however, trees and large shrubs are present, but are few and far between. Drought, fire, and grazing by large animals all contribute to the prevention of more woody plants.

Flora and Fauna

North American Prairie

-Flora: Mixed grass and short grass

-Fauna: Elk, buffalo, deer, rabbits

South American Pampas

-Flora: Grasses

-Fauna: Rabbits, mice, antelope, horses

African Savannah

-Flora: Acacia trees and shrubs

-Fauna: Elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, zebras

South African Veldt

-Flora: Bushes, grasses, mostly acacia trees

-Fauna: Elephants, zebras, hippos, rhinos, wildebeest

Northern Australia Grasslands

-Flora: Tall dense grass, pockets of woodlands (acacia, eucalyptus trees)

-Fauna: Kangaroos, dingoes, koalas, platypus

Extra Credit

Biggest threat: Two of the biggest threats facing the grasslands is overgrazing by livestock and plowing. A lot of our grasslands are being converted to agricultural lands due to their rich soil.


Important: Grasslands are important because they are a natural carbon sink. Carbon sinks are an important part of the carbon cycle. The carbon cycle emits, re-captures, and stores great amounts of CO2 from the earth’s atmosphere. By doing this it helps keep global temperatures in balance.

Forest

By; Dustin Lefever, Stella Fay, Katie Zambrano, and Kylie Storie

Deciduous Forest

Climate Average:

  • 50 degrees fahrenheit average.

  • 30-60 inches of rainfall per year average.

Other:

  • There are different types of deciduous forests, but we're focusing on the temperate forest because it is the most common and the most endangered of the deciduous forests.

Flora and Fauna:

  • Flora- huckleberry, moss, lichen, birch, oak, hickory, maple, and chestnut.

  • Fauna- cardinal, thrush, warbler, grey squirrel, chip munk, skunk, raccoon, black bear, mountain lion, white-tailed deer, and the timber wolf.

  • Deciduous forests can be found in the middle of Europe, and the eastern part of North America.

Facts:

  • Many of the trees in the deciduous forest contain sap which they use to keep their roots from freezing in the winter.

  • Most animals in this forest have some kind of camouflage.

  • All deciduous plants and trees lose all their leaves in the winter and go into a dormant state.

  • All animals in a deciduous forest must adjust to cold winters and hot summers. Some animals adjust by migrating and hibernating.

  • The only other forest biome that gets more rain than the deciduous forest is the rainforest biome.

Food Chain:

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Tropical Rainforest

Climate Characteristics

Rainfall: 80-400in

Other: Humidity: 77%-88%

Flora: epiphyte, broadleaf trees, coniferous trees

Fauna: tree living animals, monkeys, brightly colored loud animals, birds, butterflies, mosquitoes, stick insects, ants, big cats, snakes.

Other Biome Characteristics:

Rain Forests are one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth.

South East Asian forests have been around at least 100 million years.

Extra Credit:

Threats:

  • Deforestation is a major threat to rainforests. Important plant and animal species reside in the rainforests.

  • Humans clear cutting and deforesting the rainforests are putting the diversity of important earth species at risk.

Importance:

  • Rainforests inhabit more than half of the plant and animal species on Earth.

  • Deforesting these forests for human use will decrease specie diversity and lead to extinction of many vital species.

References:

http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/rainforest.html

http://tropicalrainforestscience10.weebly.com/food-web.html

Food Web Example:

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Taiga Forest

Climate Characteristics:


  • Temperature: 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer it’s 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Rainfall: 30-85cm (12-33)yearly.
Keystone Flora and Fauna:



  • Flora: Pines, Spruces and Larches,

  • Fauna: Black Bear, Wolf, Lynx

Other Biome Characteristics:



  • The Taiga forest is full of evergreen trees. These trees do not drop their leaves, or needles, in the winter.

  • Taiga forest is the coldest weather of the forest biomes. In the winter the Taiga forest gets to -60 degrees fahrenheit and the winter can last up to 6 months.

  • This forest also has a thin layer of soil and a short growing season for crops due to the long winter, therefor a short summer.

Threats:



  • Human Destruction: Removal of trees which cause destruction of soil/erosion and habitat destruction. Removal of biomass, taking nutrients from soil.

  • Insect Infestation: Forest-destroying plagues caused by insects such as the spruce bark beetle, the mountain pine beetle, the aspen-leaf miner, the larch sawfly, the spruce budworm, and the spruce coneworm.

Food Web Example:
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Aquatic


MARINE:

  • Makes up 75% of the Earth

  • Temperatures range from 26℉-89℉

  • Average rainfall is 37.5”

Keystone Flora: SeaWeed, Turtle grass, Phytoplankton

Keystone Fauna: Krill

Threats:

  • Overfishing

  • Predator loss

  • Pollution

  • Habitat loss



Importance:

  • The source of food (fish, seaweed)

  • Moderates earth’s temperatures by absorbing heat of the sun during the night and winter

  • It generates weather fronts that bring precipitation to the land


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FRESHWATER:

  • Only makes up 1% of Earth’s water

  • on average 65-75 degrees in summer, 35-45 degrees in the winter

  • Averages 10 to 80 inches of rainfall

  • Both rainfall and temperature vary due to differences in climate these biomes can be found in.

Keystone Flora: Cattails

Keystone Fauna: Fish

Threats:

  • Overfishing

  • Predator loss

  • Pollution

  • Habitat loss

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Deserts

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Climate Characteristics

  • Temperature :

    • Hot : 20-49℃ (68-120℉)

    • Cold : -2-21℃ (28-70℉)

  • Rainfall : Averages 15 cm annually (approx. 6 in)

  • Soil Type : aridisols (dry soil)

  • Other : There can be drastic changes in temperature between night and day.
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Keystone Organisms

  • Flora : Cactus, Shrubs, Cardon, Camel Thorn Tree, Prickly Pear, Saguaro

  • Fauna : Snakes, Lizards, Tarantulas, Dingos, Porcupines, Coyotes
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Extras

  • Many deserts are found near mountains because of rain shadows (a dry area near the base of a mountain due to clouds losing energy and dropping precipitation as they travel over the high altitudes).

  • Topographical characteristics : Sand dunes, underwater streams, outcrops, oases (plural of oasis) , playas (dry, flat lake beds)

  • Threats : Military activity, mining, changes in precipitation and temperature

  • Importance : ⅙ of all organisms live here, a lot of oil is found under many deserts, and it is its own ecosystem and is just as important to the Earth as any other.
Information adapted from BioExpedition, Defenders of Wildlife, National Geographic, and Science Encyclopedia