Biomes are Life
Group C, Caldwell Early College High School
World Locations: Alaska, edges of Greenland, Russia, Northern Scandinavia, Northern Siberia, and Northern Canada.
Extremely cold climate
Simple vegetation structure
Limitation of drainage
Short season of growth and reproduction
Energy and nutrients in the form of dead organic material
Average winter temperature -34° celsius
Average for the summer 3-12° celsius
Precipitation: 15-25 cm each year
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
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.
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
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.
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.
- 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
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
-Fauna: Rabbits, mice, antelope, horses
-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
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.
50 degrees fahrenheit average.
30-60 inches of rainfall per year average.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Food Web Example:
- Temperature: 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer it’s 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rainfall: 30-85cm (12-33)yearly.
Flora: Pines, Spruces and Larches,
Fauna: Black Bear, Wolf, Lynx
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.
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.
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
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
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
- Habitat loss
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.
Flora : Cactus, Shrubs, Cardon, Camel Thorn Tree, Prickly Pear, Saguaro
- Fauna : Snakes, Lizards, Tarantulas, Dingos, Porcupines, Coyotes
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.