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Biomes Across The Globe

By: Hayley Lynch

Block: B/2

Environmental Science Mrs. Helle

November 20, 2016

Summer Climate:

For a brief period, there are milder climates when the sun shines almost for 24 hours a day. The short summer lasts only 6 to 10 weeks. Never gets warmer than 45-50F. The warmer weather causes a layer of permafrost, a layer of ice that never goes away, creating bogs and shallow lakes that never drain.

 

Location: Greenland to parts of Alaska, Northern Canada, Northern Russia, Antartica in Southern Hemisphere, and the North Pole.

Tundra

Precipitation:

A total average of 6 to 10 inches of rain a year; which includes melted snow.

 

Soil is very low in nutrients and minerals, except where animals poop fertilizes the soil.

Winter Climate:

The wind blows almost constantly. Winter temperature doesn't reach about 20F and an average of -20 to -30F. Unusually cold and dry climate.

Types of vegetation that grows are shrubs of willow, sedges, lichens, and grass. The vegetation grows slow.

There is only 1,700 different species, 400 varieties of flowers that only grow 50 to 60 days long. Most plants are a dense mat of roots which has developed over thousands of years.

Biotic Factors

The animals in the Tundra needs to adapt by having heaving coats to protect themselves from the harsh climate.

  • For example, caribou, reindeer, musk ox, arctic hare, grizzly bear, snow owl, polar bears and arctic fox.
  • People moving to the Tundra to work in the mines and oil rigs have created towns and roads. Some animals movement is disrupted by these obstacles. When they try to pass through town they are often scared away or shot. With their feed patterns being disrupted polar bears are starving.
  • The Alaskan pipeline was built across a caribou migration route.
  • Pesticides have been controlling the hordes of insects. Birds migrate to the Tundra because of the abudance of insects, but now they got to find other places to eat.
  • Pollution from mining and drilling the oil is polluting the air, lakes, and rivers. 
  • The land around some nickel mines in Russia gas been so pollutant that the plants surrounding areas have died.
  • Footprints and tire tracks can be visible for many years. When the sun hits the ruts it can cause permafrost to melt causing erosion and ruts get bigger and eventually the ruts turn into gullies.

People live in the tundra, but large popullation oscillation often occur because of the extreme cold. About 4 million people live in the arctic areas

Human Interaction

Ways to help:

  • Picking up trash so we won't pollute the soil, ground water and air. 
  • We can block certain areas so humans can't destry plants and fowers
  • Find alternative resources instead of using oil

Summer is a rainy, hot and short season in the Taiga.

Summer lowest temperature 30F

Summer highest temperature 70F

Precipitation is between 10 to 20 inches

Winter Climate:

Freezing cold temperatures lasts for six to seven months.

Winter lowest temperatures -65F

Winter highest temperatures 30F

Precipitation is between 20-40 inches

Locations:

Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, and China

 

Taiga

Their climate of the Taiga is that the temperature can change from one extreme to another.

 

Permafrost below the soil as well as bedrock makes the water stays on the surface. This creates many lakes and a lot of muskegs. (wet spongy soil)

 

Animals must stay aware because they can get trapped in the muddy soil and die.

 

 

Vegetation

  • Balsam fir, black spruce, douglas-fir, eastern red cedar, jack pine, paper birch, siberian spruce, white fir, white poplar, white spruce, and evergreen
  • The evergreen trees don't lose their leaves in the winter. This is so they can start photosynthesis as soon as the weather gets warm.

Biotic Factors

Animals

  • American black bear, bald eagle, bobcat, Canadian lynx, gray wolf, grizzly bear, long-eared owl, red fox, river otter, snowshoe rabbit, and wolverine.

They are susceptible to many wildfires.

Logging happens across the Taiga and has many impacts 

  • destroys habitat and cover for animals and leads to soil erosion

Oil and gas exploration

  • Cuts down the trees to make a well site which destroys habitats

Hunting

  • The Siberian tiger is almost extinct due to poachers hunting for its coat.
  • Brown bears have seen a large decline due to hunting.

There are a few large cities in the southern part of the taiga, such as Mascow and Toronto, but most of it is relatively unpopulated. There are a few native communities of people who still live indegenously in the Taiga.

Human Interaction

How to help:

  • Reusing and recycling resources.
  • A company called World Wildlife Federation helps protects animals and their habitats for small funds. They sell water bottles, t-shirts, stuffed animals, and more. They use most of the money for the anumals that the product resemble.

The precipitation is so eratic that drought and fires prevent large forest from growing. Grasses can survive fire because they grow from the bottom and not from the top.

Summer temperatures can be well over 100F

Winter temperatures can be as low as -40F.

10-35 inches of precipitation a year, much of it occurs in late spring and early summer.

Snow often serves as a resovior of moisture for the beginning of the growing season.

Seasonal drought and occasional fires help maintain these grasslands

Locations:

Veldts of Africa, pampas of South America, the steppes of Eurasia, and the plains of Noth America

Grassland

Soil:

Have a nutrient-rich from the growth and decay of deep, many-branch grass roots. The rotted roots hold the soil together and provide a food source for living plants. 

The world's most fertile soils underlie the eastern prairies of the U.S., the pampas of South America, and the steppes of Ukraine and Russia

Two types of grasslands

  • Tall-grass that are humid and very wet
  • Short-grass which are dry, with hotter summers and colder winters

Vegetations:

Big bluestem grass, blue grama grass, fleabane, indian grass, june grass, milkweed, purple coneflower, and stinging nettle.

Biotic Factors

Animals:

  • The dominant grazing animals are the bison and proghorn.
  • Rodents include pocket gophers and prairie dogs.
  • Carnivores include wolves, cayote, swift foxes, badgers, and black-footed ferrets.
  • Birds include grouses, meadowlarks, quails, sparrows, hawks and owls. 

About 800 million people live in grasslands. People have turned the orginal land into agricultural uses and urban areas. Because of the temperate climate and rich and deep soil it has been cultivated and turned into crop land.  

Grasslands are disappearing due to the diving of land for farming and urban development.

25% of grasslands have disappeared due to people building power plants, cities, schools, roads, and permanent homes.

Praire dogs are being endangered, farmers kill them because they think they are pests and can cause injuries to the cattle and horses because of the burrowed holes.

Human Interaction

Ways you can help:

  • Adopt an aminal: a symbolic adoption helps save real animals in the wild.
  • Take action: visit the wildlife action center to send a message to government leaders
  • Speak up for wildlife: learn to be a powerful advocate for wildlife.
  • Stay informed: sign up to receive instant alerts and updates about important issues affecting wildlife.
  • Many states are rehabilitating what is left of their prairies and reintroducing the native wildlife and plants

Deciduous Forest has four distinct seasons; spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

 

Mild summers average 70F. 

Winter months don't begin until December. Winter temperatures are fairly cool with an average temperature of a little to below freezing.

 

Climate is a mix of temperatures and precipitation. 12 inches of rain in the winter months and more than 18 inches in the summer.

Locations:

In eastern half of North America and middle of Europe. As well as in Southwest Russia, Japan, and Eastern China.

South America have two big deciduous forest in Southern Chile and Middle East coast of Paraguay. Also located in New Zealand and Southeastern Australia.

Deciduous Forest

Soil:

Usually fertile because of the decomposition of leaves in autumn. The organic materials contributes to the "litter layer" of the soil. The fallen leaves are a good source for the fungi and bacteria that are in the soil. 

The Stratrum Zone

  • Contains trees such as oak, beech, maple, chestnut, hickory, elm, basswood, linden, walnut, and sweet gum trees
  • This zone has a height range between 60-100 feet.

Small trees and sapling zone

  • has young and short trees

Shrub zone

  • Rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurel, and huckleberries

Herb zone

 

Ground zone

  • Linchen, club mosses, and true mosses

Plants have adapted to the forest by leaning towards the sun and soaking the nutrients in the ground. 

Biotic Factors

Animals adapt to the climate by hibernating in the winter and living off the land the other three seasons. Animals use the trees for food and water sources. Most animals camouflaged to look like the ground. Some animals in the forest include american bald eagle, american black bear, coyote, duckbill platypus, eastern chipmunk, european red squirrel, fat dormouse, least weasel, and white tail deer.

How to help:

  • We have tried to conserve the deciduous forest by making national parks to preserve them. 
  • Using less electricity can help stop air pollution. 
  • Speak up for clean air. Write letter to local newspapers about stopping air pollution. 
  • When we chop down our trees, we would replant new trees and there could be laws saying that it is manditory to do such thing. 

A lot of forests have lost land to farms and towns. 

Heavy logging has extensively changed much of the forest.

  • Timber harvesting, over-harvesting, and fire have also dramatically reduced the amount of Asian ginseng, which is rare, or extinct in eastern Asia.
  • The northeast china is intensively farmed for wheat so very little trace of the original forest remains.
  • Some places where it has been protected for religious reasons or where the land is steep and inaccessible.

Human Interaction

Many people live in this biome. People must adapt to the seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter.

There are different types of terrain: flat plains, rocky hills, and mountain slopes.

 

Winter Climate:

Are very mild and usually about 50F. Mild and moist, but not rainy.

 

Summer Climate:

Very hot and dry  at 104F that fires and droughts are very common. Temperature is usually mild but it can get very hot or nearly freezing. The temperatures ranges from 30F and 100F. 

 

Only gets about 10 to 17 inches a year and most comes in the winter. 

Locations:

Mediterranean coastal areas, California (Wet Coast of the United States), Cape Town area of South Africa, West Coast of South America, and Western Tip of Australia

Chaparral

There are natural forest fires, which is caused by a shortage of rain during the summer and types of shrubs that are aromatic; which are highly flammable. 

 

Soil is very nutrient poor. Once the soil is eroded away, either by wind or rain. The ground under the soil is usually bare rock, very thin, or clay. It takes a long time for fertile soil to form, and even longer for forest to grow back.

 

Plants have small, hard leaves which hold moisture. Some of these plants are poision oak, shrub oak, yucca wiple and other shrubs. Trees and shrubs are also located in the chaparral.

 

Plants have adapted to the fires, their seeds will stay dormant until there is a fire. Their seed casings will crack and the seeds will sprout only when fires occur.

Biotic Factors

Animals:

Coyotes, jackrabbits, mule, deer, alligator lizards, horned toads, praying mantis, honey bee, and ladybug

 

Animals have adapted to hot and dry weather.

  • Birds and animals have been harmed by the harvesting of trees, some areas of the biome have been helped by the repairing of water sources and other areas that have been destroyed by animals and the diversion of water.
  • Built homes in areas that cause threats to the population of animals and plants.
  • Animals have neen hunted  and they also venture out to areas other than their natural habitats. Some never return causing a threat to there biome.

There is a large human population that live in and around this biome. With peole living in this dry biome, we have to be concerned with fires. As well as having many tourist who come to this biome causing more pollutants. 

Human Interaction

Ways to help:

  • The Chaparral land convervancy is focused on the special management needs of wildlife and plants dependent on California's unique chaparral biome and interdependent ecosystems. 
  • Develops habitat restoration and enhancement projects to benefit the rarest of habitats and species. 
  • The conservancy is also dedicated to research to improve our knowledge of the conservation needs to target habitats and species by showing the incredible nature we have.
  • Conservancy is entirely focused on proactive habitat conservation activities and does not intervene in developments or other projects that would harm chaparral lands natural resources. 

 

Location:

Hot and dry deserts are near the Topic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn. 

Cold Deserts are near the Arctic part of the world.

Cold Deserts:

Temperatures in the winter ranges from 28 to 40F.

Summer temperatires ranges from 70 to 80F.

Cold deserts get a lot of snow and an average of 15 to 26 cm of rain a year.

 

Warm and dry deserts:

Temperatures ranges from 68 to 77F.

The extremes of hot deserts could range from 110 to 120F.

Precipitations is very little or short periods between long rainless periods with an average of 15 cm a year. 

 

 

Desert

Most has aridisols (dry soil). However in really dry regions the soil is entisols; which is new soil like sand dunes, which are two dry for major soil horizon development. 

Hot Desert Vegetation:

Its very rare, plants are almsot all ground-hugging; shrubs and short woody trees.

  • The leaves are replete (packed with nutrients)
  • Some plants include turpentinie bush, prickly pearsm and brittlebush.
  • For all of these plants to survive they must adapt, some adaptations is the ability to store water for long periods of time and the ability to stand the hot weather.

Hot Desert Animals:

Small nocturnals carnivores, there are also insects, arachnids, reptiles, and birds. Some animals are borrowers, mourning whearears, and horned vipers

African wild dog, arabian wildcat, aemadillo, longhorn cattle, bobcat, cougar, coyote, and gazelle

 

Cold Desert Vegetation:

Plants are all scattered

  • Some areas with little shade, about 10% of the ground is covered with plants.
  • Some areas of sagebrush reaches 85%. The height of shrub varies from 15 to 122 cm. All olants are either desciduous and more or less contain spint leaves. 

Cold Desert Animals:

Antelope, ground squirrels, jackrabbits, and kangaroo rats

Biotic Factors

  • Off roading, when we run our vehicles over the desert soil and carve the tracks into the soil that will scar the lan for many years, These tracks can kill vegetation. Animals rely on the sandy desert floors for camouflage can also be harmed greatly. 
  • Removing fossil water from reservoirs humans are mining for water.
  • Military exercises can cause extensive damage to plants and soil in the desert.
  • Trenching that is associated with underground pipelines for gas, oil, water, etc. make the soil crust and rock surface unstable. Concentrating erosion and water runoff.

Human Interaction

Ways to help:

  • Conserve water, support the environment and the wildlife, pick up litter, keep wild spaces wild, get involved by being aware of changes in the communiuty that could damage desert habitat and animals, and write to your senator or state representative to encourage them to protect the desert and its wild inhabitants

People live in tents and mud houses. They raise sheep, goats, and camels. They eat dates from palm trees and drink goat milk. 

Locations:

East Africa, Serengeti Plains of Tanzania, Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, and Northen Australia

Climate:

Two very very different seasons; a very long dry season (winter) and a very wet season (summer).

 

Dry Season:

  • Between December and February there is no rain at all
  • Temperature averages of 70F
  • Most of the plants shrivel up and die. Rivers and streams also dry up. Most animals migrate to find food. 

Wet Season:

  • An average of 15 to 25 inches of rain falls 
  • An average temperature of 78 to 86F

Savanna 

Soil is porous, with rapid drainage of water. It has only a thin layer of humus (organic portion of the soil created by parial decomposition of plant or animal matter), which provides vegetation with nutrients.

Plants are highly specialized to grow in this environment of long periods of droughts 

  • Long taproots that can reach deep water table, thick bark to resist annual fires, trunks that can store water, and leaves that droop during the winter to conserve water.
  • Grasses have adapted that discourage animals from grazing on them; some grasses are too sharp or bitter tasting for some animals.
  • Many plans have storage organs like bulbs and corms for making it through the dry season.
  • Some plants like acacia seneal, baobob, bermudagrass, river bushwillow, umbrella thron acacia, and whistling thron.

Animals on the savanna have long legs or wings to be able to go on long migrations:

  • Many burrow underground to avoid the heat or to raise their young.
  • There are different types of browser or grazers, they have different food preferences. They are different heights, time of day or year to use the given area, and differnt places to go during the dry seasons.
  • Some animals like lions, leopard, cheetahs, jackals, and hyenas, african elephant, african wild dog, caracal, emu, grants zebra, koala bear, and nile crocodile

Biotic Factors

  • Started to use the land for grazing their cattle and goats. They don't move around so the grass become crompletly eaten up. 
  • Farmers started to use the land for farming. The farmers brought new systems that cause some species to become endangered. 
  • Aboriginal people have been stripped away from their homes so government can make more room for agriculture.

Nineteen percent of the usual savanna population identifies as indigenous. More than half the population of people who live in cities or town are non-indigenous.

Human Interaction

How to help:

  • Respect and converse grassland where you live.
  • Learn about savannas and teach other about them.
  • Volunteer at a savanna restoration roject
  • Support conservation organizations that protect savannas and the plants and animals that depend on them.

Temperature:

  • Average annual is about 68F
  • Areas often receives lots of sun due to their locations around the earth's equator. On average, rainforest receive about 12 hours of sun a day, but most that is concentrated on canopy cover of the highest trees.

Precipitation:

  • Annual amount to 60 to 160 inches. It can downpour as much as 2 inches an hour.

Location:

Amazon basin in South America, lowland regions in Africa, Islands off of Southeast Asia, Sumatra, New Guinea, small areas in Central America, and parts of Australia.

 

World's best known rainforest: Amazon rainforest in Brazil, El Yunque, Puerto Rico and Congo Basin in Africa

Rainforest

Soil is actually relatively poor in nutrients. Millions of years of weathering and torrential rains have washed most of the nutrients out of the soil.

Ground Stratum: Includes vegetation that receives the least amount of light and it's lowest to the ground. Vegetation is very sparse and restrivted on the ground level, it's covered with leaf litter. Hot and humid conditions allow dead leaves to decompose quickly that they consume the nutrients from the soil and the nutrients are leached away by abudant rainfall which leaves soil infertile

  • Fungus is most common plant on the ground level because they thrive in the dark and moist areas

The Canopy: Typically the roof that is formed by branches and leaves of the area's largest trees. Most trees reach over 120 feet in height and combines with their dense cover can mean that little to no sunlght reaches the lower level of the forest.They must be able to tolerate extreme sunlight and changing wind patterns.

  • Large evergreens, small orchids, bromeliads, and types of mosses and linchens

Understory: Includes mid-range trees and smaller plants. Typically receives about 5% of the sunlight. Even the largest plants don't grow more than 10 feet.

  • Shrubs, herbs, vines, the strangler fig; when birds eat the tree's fuit they spread through waste and by dropping them on branches of higher trees.

Biotic Factors

Animals: monkeys, sloths, snakes, rodents, insects, frogs and birds. As well as mid to large sized animals  such as tapir, rhinoceros, gorillas, and leapords.

One and a half hectacres are lost every seconds. Experts belive that the last remaining rainforest will be consumed within 40 years.

  • Deforestation and logging, mining and construction, soil erosion increased exposing the soil felling and canopy layer removed, and pollution: global warming and climate change.
  • Farming intensive agriculture need the highest yield from the land. 
  • Deforestation has taken place to make way for large cattle, ranches, soya beans cultivation, and ferilizers or pesticides.

Saving the Rainforest:

  • Teach others the importance of the environment and how they can help save the biome. 
  • Restore damaged ecosystems by planting trees in lands where forests have been cut down.
  • Encourage people to live without hurting the environment and support companies that operate in ways to minimize damage. 

Tropical rainforest are home to tribal people who rely on their surroundings for food, shelter, and medicines. Today only a few people live the traditional way; most have been displaced by outside settlers or have been forced to give up their livestyles by the government. 

Human Interaction

Locations: Andes, Alpes, and Rocky Mountains

 

Temperatures: 

Summer averages from 10 to 50F. Summer lasts from June to September. 

Winter averages from below freezing. Winter lasts from October to May.

 

Precipitaion in the summer is 30cm a year.

 

Growing season for plants is about 180 days. Night temperatures are almost always below freezing.

 

Soil is well drained. 

Alpine

Plants: tussock grasses, dwarf trees, small-leafed shrubs, heaths, alpine phacelia, bear grass, bristlecone pine, wild potatoe, and polyepis forest

 

Animals: mountain goats, sheep, elk, bettle, grasshoppers, butterflies, alpaca, chincilla, llama, snow leopards, and yak 

Biotic Factors 

  • There is too much high UV wavelengths.
  • People that live in the Alpine they have larger lungs, more blood cells, and hemoglobin because they have an increase of pressure and lack of oxygen.
  • Ski slopes threat to mountain habitats. Airbone pollution includes acid rain. Global warming mountains are refuges for cold-loving species which used to be found at lower altitudes during periods of glacier expansion. As the glaciers retreated, these species were often forced to move up mountains to find a suitable cold habitat.
  • People are cutting down trees which shelter many unique Andean animals. 
  • Men mine for gold, silver, and copper which then erodes the soil hurting the plants.
  • People climbing the mountains are polluting them by as they go up all their supplies are left on the mountain. If someone dies, their body stays on the mountain.

Human Interaction

Ways to help:

  • Take off your hiking shoes when you get to camp. You will distrub and trample less plants by wearing lighter shoes. 
  • Move your tent. If you're camping more than one night, move your tent area each night. It will help you spread your use and kill less plants by giving the vegetation no more than one day without sun or water.

Native people live up in the mountains, but its mostly tourist who try and climb to the top of the mountains.

The Sherpas help people climb the mountains. They live in the himalayas and are the world's highest living population. They are physically adapted to live in the alpine biome. 

The Indians of the Andes Mountains in South American have also adapted to living in the mountains.

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