To guide the reader in exploring Earth's diverse ecological regions.

The Terrestrial Biomes

Devyn Gara

The Tundra is located all over the world. The Tundra can mainly be found in Alaska, Northern Canada, edges of Greenland, and Russia. The Tundra covers about 20% of Earth's surface.

The Tundra

Animals that live in the Tundra have special adaptations that allow them to survive the extreme temperatures and conditions present in the Tundra. A good example of an animal with special adaptation skills is the Artic Fox. The Artic Fox has a short, round body with a thick coat to minimize the amount of skin exposed to the cold air. Some other examples of animals in the Tundra include Polar Bears, Artic Hares, the Snowy Owl, and the Musk Ox. The Tundra has a lot of plant life within it. The plants adapt to the climate by growing close to the ground to avoid high winds. Some common plants include the Bearberry, Artic Moss, Caribou Moss, and the Pasque Flower.

The Tundra

Average Yearly Precipitation: 6 to 10 inches.

Average Yearly Range of Temperatures: -30 Degrees F to 54 Degrees F.

Primary Soil Type: Soil is formed slowly. The soil in the Artic is poor in nutrients. The primary soil type is Permafrost, which remains completely frozen all year.

 

The Tundra

There are about fourty different ethnic groups living in the Artic and about four million people. Humans have a negative influence on the Tundra because the Tundra has such a fragile ecosystem that even the slightest change could harm it and its' organisms. As human population increases, problems such as hunting and global warming may destroy the Tundra. In the past 50 years, we have begun to see big changes in the tundra as the result of modern human activities. Disruption of permafrost by roads, the establishment of permanent communities, oil and mining operations, and other developments can cause localized but lasting damage to tundra life.

The Tundra

The Taiga is the largest continuous biome in the world. The Taiga is located in the northern part of the Nothern Hemisphere and is in North America, Asisa, and Europe. It stretches across Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia.

Taiga

Animals that live in the Taiga include Foxes, Lynxes, Bears, Minks, and Squirrels. Larger animals that live in the Taiga include Greywolves and their prey: Caribou, Reindeers an Moose. In winter, Wolves hunt these herbivores in packs, often dividing themselves into two groups to encircle their preys before attacking them. Not many plants can survive the extreme cold of the Taiga winter. There are some Lichens and Mosses, but most plants are Coniferous Trees like Pine, White Spruce, Hemlock and Douglas Fir. Coniferous Trees are also known as Evergreens. They have long, thin waxy needles.

Taiga

Average Yearly Precipitation: 12 to 33 inches.

Average Yearly Range of Temperatures :-65 Degrees F to 70 Degrees F. 

Primary Soil Type: The main types of soil typically found in the Taiga biome are Spodosol (found in Southern Boreal Forests), Histosol (developed in wetlands), and Inceptisol (a very poorly developed soil), all of which contain very few nutrients. There are also large areas of Taiga in North America and Europe that have very little to no soil, due to it being scraped away by glaciers.

 

Taiga

There are a few large cities in the southern

parts of the Taiga, such as Moscow and Toronto, but most of it is relatively unpopulated. There are also a few native communities of people who still live indigenously in the Taiga. The major industries of the taiga include logging, mining, and hydroelectric development. These activities have had negative impacts on areas of this biome and may continue to negatively affect it in the future. A majority of the logging in the taiga is done by clear-cutting, using heavy machinery to remove much of the surrounding forest. Mining is a concern because it may result in pollution of surrounding soils and water, specifically acid rain.

Taiga

Temperate Grasslands are located north of the Tropic of Cancer and south of the Tropic of Capricorn. The major temperate grasslands include Africa, the pampas of South America, the steppes of Eurasia, and the plains of North America.

Grassland

Grasslands have a low diversity, but high abundance of wildlife. In North America, the dominant grazing animals are Bison and Pronghorn. Rodents include Pocket Gophers and Prairie Dogs. Carnivores include Wolves, Coyotes, Swift Foxes, and Badgers. Birds include Grouses, Meadowlarks, Quails, Sparrows, Hawks and Owls. Grasses are the dominant vegetation. A few trees such as Cottonwoods, Oaks and Willows grow in river valleys. The various species of grasses include Purple Needlegrass, Blue Grama, Buffalo Grass, and Galleta. Flowers include Asters, Blazing Stars, Wild Indigos.

Grassland

Average Yearly Precipitation: 20 to 35 inches.

Average Yearly Range of Temperatures: -40 Degrees F to over 100 Degrees F. 

Primary Soil Type: Temperate Grasslands have soils that are nutrient-rich from the growth and decay of deep, many-branched 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.

Grassland

Grasslands are sadly being threatened by human impacts.  They are disappearing due to dividing up the land for farming and urban development.   Dividing up the land for farming is bad because the animals of the grasslands don't have any way to move around. Twenty-five percent of grasslands have disappeared because of people building power plants, cities, schools, roads, permanent homes.

Grassland

The temperate Deciduous Forests are located primarily in the eastern half of the United States, Canada, Europe, parts of Russia, China, and Japan.

Deciduous Forest

Temperate Deciduous Forests have a great variety of plan species. Lichen, Moss, Ferns, Wildflowers, and other small plants can be found on the forest floor. Birds like Broad-Winged Hawks, Cardinals, Snowy Owls, and Pileated Woodpeckers can also be found here. Mammals such as the White-Tailed Deer, Raccoons, Opossums, Porcupines and Red Foxes can also be found here. Animals that live in the temperate Deciduous Forest must be able to adapt to the changing seasons.

Deciduous Forest

Average Yearly Precipitation: 30 to 60 inches.

Average Yearly Range of Temperatures: -30 Degrees C to 30 Degrees C.

Primary Soil Type: As the leaves decompose, the nutrients contained in the leaves are absorbed by the soil. This is called Brown Forest Soil. For this reason, the soils of this biome tend to be very fertile. 

Deciduous Forest

Deciduous forest once covered about half of the land area on Earth, but it has now been reduced to one-third due to forest clearing. Humans also indirectly contribute to the destruction of deciduous forests through activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation through burning the land.

Deciduous Forest

 

The Chaparral is found in a little bit of every continen including the West Coast of the United States, the West Coast of South America, the Cape Town area of South Africa, the Western tip of Australia and the Coastal areas of the Mediterranean.

Chaparral

Common plants in the biome include Poison Oak, Yucca Wiple, Shrubs, Toyon, Chamise, Trees, and Cacti. Oak Trees, Pines and Mahogany Trees also do well in the Chaparral. The animals of the Chaparral range from Elephants to Condors and to Kangaroos. They all have the ability to survive in an extreme climates like the chaparral. Some animals live in the Chaparral year round, while others travel between the Chaparral and other suitable biomes.

Chaparral

Average Yearly Precipitation: 10 to 20 inches.

Average Yearly Range of Temperatures:30 Degrees F to 100 Degrees F. 

Primary Soil Type:The soil in the chaparral is very nutrient poor. This leaves the soil nutrient poor and vulnerable to erosion. 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 forests to grow back. 

Chaparral

Mainly, humans build tourist attractions in the chaparral. In fact, one of the major threats to this biome is humans coming in and building buildings. They also come in and build industries and factories. This affects organisms that depend on natural forest fires to survive. This biome is being simplified to suit modern human needs. As a result more and more organisms are becoming threatened and even endangered.

Chaparral

Most Deserts are found away from the coasts, in areas where moisture from the oceans rarely reaches. Some Deserts, however, are located on the West Coasts of continents, such as the Namib in Africa, or the Atacama in Chile.

The Desert

Most desert species have found remarkable ways to survive by evading drought. Desert succulents, such as Cacti or Rock Plants (Lithops) survive dry spells by accumulating moisture in their fleshy tissues. When most people think of the Desert, they think of Camels, Snakes and Lizards as being the only animals that live in the desert. Really, there are many more animals living in the desert. There are Coyotes, Foxes, Peccaries, Tarantulas, Scorpions, Ring Tailed Cats, Antelope, Skunks, Mule Deer, Boars, and in some places, Lions and Elephants. There is also an abundance of small animals.

The Desert

Average Yearly Precipitation: 25 centimeters.

Average Yearly Range of Temperatures: 20 Degrees C to 25 Degrees C.

Primary Soil Type: Most Desert soils are called Aridisols, or dry soil. However, in really dry regions of the Sahara and Australian Outback, the soil orders are called Entisols. Entisols are new soils, like sand dunes, which are too dry for any major soil development.

The Desert

Many types of human activites affect the desert biome. Like off roading, when we run our vehicles over the desert soil and carve the tracks into the soil that will scar the land for many years. These tracks can kill off vegitation in the desert. When the vegitation is hurt so are the animals. Animals that rely on the sandy desert floor for camouflage can also be harmed greatly. 

The Desert

The Savanna is situated between a Grassland and a Forest. They can also overlap with other biomes. There are Savanna's located in Africa, South America, India, and Australia.

The Savanna

The Savanna is covered by grasses such as Rhodes Grass, Red Oats Grass, Star Grass, Lemon Grass, and some Shrubs. The African Savanna, the Savanna with which most people are familiar, is home to a wide variety of animals. A short list of some of these animals include Wildebeest, Warthogs, Elephants, Zebras, Rhinos, Gazelles, Hyenas, Cheetahs, Lions, Leopards, Mousebirds, Starlings, and Weavers.

The Savanna

Average Yearly Precipitation: 15 to 25 inches.

Average Yearly Range of Temperatures: 68 Degrees F to 80 Degrees F.

Primary Soil Type: The soil of the Savanna is porous, with rapid drainage of water. It has only a thin layer of humus, the organic portion of the soil created by partial decomposition of plant or animal matter, which provides vegetation with nutrients.

The Savanna

Humans impact the Grassland Savanna by lessening the area of the land by making new space for industrialization. The trees and animals have less space to be present, so the population decreases with the land, making everything smaller. Humans haven caused a lot of changes to the landscape of and the animals in grasslands since a long time ago. Large areas of grassland have been turned into farmlands for growing crops and for rearing cattle.

The Savanna

The largest Rainforests are in South American, Western Africa, and throughout much of Southeast Asia. Smaller Rainforests are located in Central America, Madagascar, Australia and nearby islands, India, and other locations in the Tropics.

The Rainforest

There are about 40,000 spieces of plants in the Rainforest. Some of these plants includ Banana, Orchid, Coffee, Brazil Nut Tree, Poinsettia, Cacao, Rubber Tree, and Heliconia. Rainforests are populated with Butterflies, Beetles, Spiders, Ticks, Snakes, Lizards, Frogs, Toads, Parrots, Toucans, Sloths, and Jaguars. Different animals live in different stratas of the Rainforest.

The Rainforest

Average Yearly Precipitation: 50 to 260 inches.

Average Yearly Range of Temperatures: 68 Degrees F to 93 Degrees F.

Primary Soil Type: Only a thin layer of decaying organic matter is found, unlike in temperate deciduous forests. Most tropical rainforest soils relatively poor in nutrients. Millions of years of weathering and torrential rains have washed most of the nutrients out of the soil.

The Rainforest

As human population grows the need for agriculture, energy and development space increases with it. Tropical rainforests cover a massive amount of the world’s tree surface, each year over 90,000 square miles of the forests are harvested for human use. This deforestation has worried environmentalists because of the release of carbon from the machinery and the vegetation. It is believed that deforestation may accelerate the effects of global warming and transform the rainforest climate. 

The Rainforest

Alpine biomes are found in Mountain Regions worldwide, including the Andes, Alps, and Rocky Mountains. The Alpine usually lies between an altitude of about 10,000 feet and the place where the snow line of a mountain begins.

Alpine

Plant spieces in the Alpine Regions include 

  • Algae, Invasive Exotic Plants, Mosses, Liverwort, Trees, and Shrubs. Animals in the Alphine Regions include Elk, Mountain Goats, Sheep, Grouse, Beetles, Butterflies, Grasshoppers, and Springtails.
    •  

Alpine

Average Yearly Precipitation: About 30 centimeters.

Average Yearly Range of Temperatures: -12 Degrees C to 10 Degrees C. 

Primary SoiL Type: When plants die, the cold weather makes it hard for them to decompose quickly. This makes for poor soil conditions. Most alpine plants are adapted to grow in sandy and rocky soil.

Alpine

 

the cutting down of pines comes the problem of global warming. Alpine environments get less snow every year, which results in loss of water vital for the environment. Animals that enjoy the cold alpine weather have to move higher and higher up mountains in order to stay at their preferred temperatures. As the animals move up the mountains, there is less of their habitat, as the mountains are cone shaped. Eventually the animals will not have enough habitats to live in. Also because of deforestation and global warming the snowy, white peaks of mountains are being melted at a rapid pace. 

Alpine

KDE Santa Barbara. KDE Santa Barbara. [accessed 2016 Nov 20]. http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/

 

 . Blue Planet Biomes. [accessed 2016 Nov 20]. http://blueplanetbiomes.org/

 

Coppell High Student Council. Google Sites. [accessed 2016 Nov 20]. https://sites.google.com/a/chs.coppellisd.com/coppellhighstudentcouncil/

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited