WORLD BIOMES 2015

GROUP D, EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Aquatic Biomes by: Kendal H., Kyle M., Brooklyn P., Kelly G.

Aquatic biomes range from any form of water located from pole to pole. It covers 75% of the world!

Climate Characteristics

Temperature: -40 to 100+ degrees Fahrenheit

Rainfall: 100+ inches yearly

The salinity of the water helps to determine whether or not an organism can withstand the conditions enough to live there.

Ocean Light Zone

The Ocean Light Zone is divided up to three layers. The first layer is called the Euphotic zone. The Euphotic zone is where most of the sunlight hits, Almost all species live in the Euphotic zone. The next zone is the Disphotic zone. The Disphotic zone is gloomier and has less life forms. The last layer is the Aphotic zone. The only animals that live down there are ones that have adapted to harsh conditions
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Keystone Flora and Fauna

Flora: Algae, seaweed, mermaids wineglass, dead man's fingers, green feathers.

Fauna: Great white shark, tiger shark, sea turtles, manatees, mahi-mahi, sailfish, marlin, panoot fish, hermit crabs, coral, sand dollars.

Flora

Flora consists of living plants that sit on the ocean floor. Types of flora are algae, seaweed, and mermaids wineglasses. Flora gives the Fauna, or animals, food, shelter, and protection.

Threats

Over-fishing: source of food and income decreases

Predator Loss: makes food chain imbalanced

Climate Change: heating of ocean water makes ocean more acidic which makes it harder for certain organisms to survive

Habitat Loss: organisms lose space to find shelter, etc.

Pollution: sewage, oil, plastic, etc.

Importance

The aquatic biome is extremely important. With the world being made up of 75% of water, without the aquatic biome over half the world as we know it would be gone! Along with that, many plants and animals that live in the water would be non-existent. Beaches would not be around for tourists to enjoy, trade would become harder without the seas, the water cycle would not occur, etc. There are many reasons why the aquatic biome is of such importance to our world and these only scratch the surface!

Tundra Biome by Madison C., Merlyn R., Lenora B., & Mykala J.

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Location

The tundra is located on the ice caps. It extends across North America to Europe, Siberia, and much of Asia.

Climate Characteristics

Temperature: 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 to -6 degrees Celsius)

Rainfall: 6 - 10 inch with melted snow

Other: soil type - Permafrost : elevation - 300 to 11,079 feet

Flora & Fauna

Flora: Caribou Moss, Arctic Moss, Diamond Leaf Willow, etc.

Caribou Moss is a type of lichen that can endure harsh freezing winters and survive in extreme conditions. Caribou moss can hibernate to conserve limited supplies of nutrients and water. In addition, the plant has tough, fibrous tissue , so that it can make food when there is limited amounts of sunlight and nutrients.


Fauna: Polar Bears, Arctic Fox, Snowy Owl, etc.

Polar bears have adapted to their environment by having long, stiff hair between the pads of their feet. This protects the bear’s feet when they are walking on the ice from getting cold. They also have a thick layer of blubber-like fat under their skin that can be up to 11 centimeters thick. This insulates heat inside of their body to keep them warm in the harsh weather conditions of the tundra. Polar bears have adapted behaviorally, also. Unlike brown or black bears, polar bears do not hibernate in the winter. Only pregnant polar bears “hibernate”.

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Other Biome Characteristics

  • The tundra is the coldest biome with harsh winters lasting from 6 to 10 months.
  • It receives low amounts of precipitation.
  • Vegetation in the tundra must adapt to the short growing season. The trees and plants that do grow in the tundra stay close to the ground.
  • The tundra has little biodiversity.

Importance of Tundra to our Earth

The tundra is very important to our Earth. It helps regulate the temperature of our planet. Warm air rises from the tropical areas to the Tundra region, which cools it and causes it to sink back down to the equator. This plays a big role in the changing of weather and air currents. Without ocean currents, we would not have the climate that we have today. The tundra is home to many species of birds. If those birds were eliminated from the food change, there would be an imbalance in our ecosystem. Finally, the tundra is a key factor in global biodiversity.

Threats to the Tundra

  • Global warming can cause the melting of the permafrost, which can change the species that can live in the tundra
  • Global warming can also cause a change in the landscape
  • Pollution in the air can harm animals when they breathe it. It can also be absorbed by the plants that the animals eat
  • Invasive plant species can take over the native vegetation, causing a decrease in plant biodiversity

Our biome at the Asheboro Zoo

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Desert Biome by: Dimitri E., Graham H., Dwight D., Ashley P.

World Locations

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Climate Characteristics


  • Temperature 20-25 degrees Celsius

  • Rainfall: less than 10 inches per year
  • Other:most soil- aridisols
  • Sahara soil- entisols
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Flora & Fauna

  • Flora- saguaro cactus, soaptree yucca, barrel cactus, brittle bush, Chainfruit

  • Cholla, Creosote bush, Crimson Hedgehog Cactus

  • Fauna- Kangaroo rat, hummingbirds, tarantulas, lizards, scorpions, snakes

Threats to the Desert

  • Global warming is increasing the drought and drying what little water it has.

  • Increased temperatures have a more likelihood of causing wildfires and destroying plants.

  • Grazing animals also pose a threat to rare desert plants.

  • Off-road vehicles can also do damage.

  • Nuclear waste has been dumped in the desert and nuclear weapons have been tested in deserts.

The Importance of the Desert


  • The desert is a major source of sand for the world

  • A lot of the worlds oil is often found underneath desert’s

  • The desert has provided a natural barrier for ancient civilizations

Forest Biome by: Hunter Tufts, Cheyenne Eckard, Nicole Matamoros, Sulmy Rivas

World locations

Near the equator, in Europe, Asia, Canada, the east and west coasts of the US, and parts of Australia.
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Characteristics of the Forest Biome

There are three main types of forests: deciduous forest, rainforest, and taiga. The rainforests home to many species only found in those forests so they are an important place for biodiversity. Rainforests receive on average about 100 inches of rain a year. The large amounts of rainfall combined with higher temperatures at the equator creates a very humid climate. Deciduous forests, unlike rainforest, have four distinct seasons. Summer months normally have mild temperatures that average around 70 ° Fahrenheit. Winter months are relatively cool. Part of the reason that deciduous forests have their changes in temperature is because the are located near the ocean or coast. Deciduous forests receive about 30 inches or rain per year. The taiga's climate is greatly influenced by artic air from the north. The taiga also have four season but they are not evenly spaced like in a deciduous forest. Winter is normally the longest and can last six or seven months. Temperatures do not normally exceed 30 ° Fahrenheit in the winter but could drop as low as -65 ° Fahrenheit. The highest temperature for summer is around 70 ° Fahrenheit. The taiga recieves on average 12 to 33 inceches of rain the majority of the rain falLing in the summer.

Flora

Rainforest - Bengal Bamboo : This plant helps to prevent erosion in the rainforests and helps to stop flooding by absorbing excess water during heavy rains.


Deciduous Forest - Guelder Rose: This plant is native to England and Scotland. The bark can be used as herbal medicine and the berries used as ink.

White Birch : This tree is found in the US and many other places. It is the first tree to grow in places of fire or deforestation. This makes it important in reclaiming land.


Taiga- Balsam Fir: This tree only grows in forests that have been relatively undisturbed. It is not as fire resistant as other trees and it's seeds can be destroyed by fire. It also takes 30 to 50 years for them to return after a forest fire.

Fauna

Rain forest - African Forest Elephant: These elephants have adapted over millions of years to fit their forest home. These elephants are smaller than the savanna elephants and they have formed their own niche in the forest ecosystem.


Deciduous Forest - Eastern Chipmunk: These animals are found in North America. They can adapt to more suburban areas and are sometimes taken as pets.


Taiga - Bobcat: Bobcats are a main predator in the taiga. They eat mostly rodents and animal we think of as vermin. They keep the rodent population down.

Food Chains

Rain Forest: Brazil nut > Agouti > Jaguar


Deciduous forest: Beach Tree > Wood Boring Beetle > Pleated Woodpecker


Taiga: Grass > Squirrel > Bobcat > Black Bear

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Why are Forests Important?

Forests are places of widespread biodiversity. This means that the ecosystems are more stable. The rain forest is also home to many species that cannot survive in any other habitat. There are also plants like the Guelder Rose that can be used as medicine. Forest help to protect soil from erosion and flooding as well.

What are Threats to the Forest?

Deforestation and clear cutting are major threats to forests. Clear cutting can leave land unable to ever support a forest ecosystem again. Droughts and wild fires can be harmful to forest as well. The Balsam Fir is one tree that is very easily damaged by fire and takes decades to return to an area. Non-native species can be very dangerous to forests. They compete for resources with the native plants. This can lead to food shortages for the animals that depend on native species and disrupt the ecosystem.

Adapted from:

-http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org

-http://www.exploringnature.org/graphics/foodwebs/amazon_posters_graphic.jpg

-http://coloringpagesjos.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/309969-taiga-biome-animal-food-chain.gif

-http://www.fao.org/docrep/MEETING/003/X9835E/X9835e3.gif

-http://www.arkive.org

-http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2d/Picea_glauca_taiga.jpg

Grasslands Biome by: Katie K, Kendra P, Kayla S, and Jacob W.

Locations Around the World

Grasslands are found on most of the seven major continents of the world. The Grasslands are found on North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa.
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Characteristics of Grasslands

Grasslands are also known as Prairies in North America, Pampas in South America, Steppes in Asia, and Savannas in Africa. Grasslands are located between forests and deserts and are characterized as having grasses as their dominant vegetation. There are not usually any trees or large shrubs. The temperatures vary from a negative twenty degrees fahrenheit in the winter to one-hundred degrees fahrenheit in the summer. The amount of rainfall is between ten to thirty-five inches per year. Grasslands, topographically, consist of vast rolling hills or flat lands with a plentiful amount of grasses.

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Flora of the Grasslands

North America -Turkey Feet: Turkey Feet grow best in warm temperatures and require little amounts of rain. These plants can survive harsh conditions and are found in dry and moist areas.


South America -Cattails: These plants have air channels called "D-cells" in their leaves, shoots, and rhizomes, which allows for air travel from their leaves to their roots.


Asia -Chinese Lantern Plant: This plant is drought resistant and is completely adapted to life in the Asian Grasslands. The roots of these plants go deeper and deeper in search of water.



Africa -Senegal Gum Acacia: This tree can go long periods of time without rain fall. They live mostly in sandy and dry places. The tree can last a period of five months to eleven months with out rain.


Australia -Acacia: This tree has developed a poison that is pumped into the leaves to discourage animals from eating them. The production of this poison causes a chemical to be released into the air that prompts other Acacia trees to produce the same poison.

Fauna of the Grasslands

North America -Red Tail Hawk: This bird has long sharp talons that enable it to catch their prey. The beaks of these birds are hooked and are used to tear and rip meat.


South America -Great Pampas Finch: The finch's natural habitats are subtropical/high altitude shrub land and Temperate grasslands.


Asia -Saiga Antelope: These antelopes have a mucous lined snout that helps filter out dust before inhaling during the dry summers and cold winters. They usually migrate south so they can escape the cold, but they then migrate back north for the large amounts of grass.


Australia -Macropods: These animals have large tendons in their back legs. Thee animals store elastic strain energy in the tendons in their legs, which provides most of the energy needed for each hop by the sping action of the tendons rather than muscular effort.


Africa -The African Elephant: The thickset bodies of these elephants rests on stocky legs. The large ears of these elephants enable it to lose heat. The upper lip and nose form a trunk which can act like a fifth limb, a sound amplifier, and an important method of touch.

Threats to the Grasslands

Overgrazing by live stock and plowing are two of the biggest threats that face the grasslands, especially temperate grasslands. Much of the grasslands, around forty-seven percent, has been converted from natural land to places where corn and other things can be grown. Another big threat that faces the grasslands is hunting and poaching of certain species which can change the composition of species.

Importance of the Grasslands

Grasslands are important because they play a major role in the carbon cycle. They are what is known as a natural carbon sink. A carbon sink is a natural or artificial reservoir that accumulates and stores some carbon containing chemical compound for an indefinite period. These carbon sinks play a crucial role in slowing the growth of the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

Food Chains

-Africa- Star Grass>Antelope>Lion>Hyena>Bacteria


-North America- Turkey Feet>Grasshopper>Sparrow>Fox>Buzzard


-South America- Pampas Grass>Ants>Armadillo>Red Fox>Puma>Bacteria


-Asia- Seed>Sand Grouse>Red Fox>Jaguar>Long Legged Buzzard


-Australia- Grasses>Crickets>Frilled Lizard>Wedged-Tail Eagle>Dingo>Buzzard


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Fun Facts!

-Grasslands are perfect for cropping and pasturing because its soil runs deep and is extremely fertile.


-Periodic fires, whether they are human induced or occur spontaneously, are very important to the grassland to ensure that invasive plants do not take over.


-Since grassland biomes have rich soil, much of them are used for farming. There is only 2% of the original grassland left in North America.

Adapted from:

-http://www.softschools.com/facts/biomes/grassland_biome_facts/165/

-http://1214.virtualclassroom.org/grassland_fact.html

-https://uschs-apes.wikispaces.com/file/view/graph2.jpg/271129954/632x501/graph2.jpg

-https://sites.google.com/site/ourbiomes/grassland

-http://www.exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=44&detID=569