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APES Biome Booklet with biome overview information

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The Biomes of Earth

Sam Teets



Alaska, Northern Canada, parts of Greenland, Northern Scandinavia, Northern Russia

Forms of Tundra

  • Arctic tundra
  •      This is what this slide will focus on
  • Apline tundra
  •        Check Later Pages 
  • Antarctic tundra
  •          It is debated wether Antarctia should be classified as a desert or tundra. Sources are split on the decision, but for this project I am NOT classifying it as tundra


Arctic tundra is located in the northern hemisphere, (around the north pole) and extending south to taiga biomes. It has a short growing season (spring).

Biotic Factors

Over 1,700 types of plants have adapted to live in the Tundra's cold, dry climate.

They Include: shrubs, sedges, reindeer mosses, liverworts, grasses, a large variety of flower, and lichens.

Animals Include: lemmings, voles, caribou, arctic hares and squirrels, arctic foxes, wolves, polar bearsmosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, blackflie,  arctic bumblebees, cod, flatfish, salmon, trout, ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, sandpipers, terns, some types of gulls, some kinds of owls, and various birds native to snowy regions

Abiotic Factors

 Snow(some precipitation), ice, permafrost, poor soil, strong winds, sunlight, rocks.

Winter temperature is -34° C (-30° F), but the average summer temperature is 3-12° C (37-54° F).

Rainfall differs in different arctic regions. Yearly precipitation is around 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches). 

Soil is very poor, forms slowly, layer of permafrost. Soil is very low in nutrients and minerals.

Arctic Tundra

People do live in the tundra biomes. According to Arctic Human Development Report around four million do. Over hunting, mining, construction and global warming(caused by pollution and green house gasses) are so ways humans negativley effect this biome. Global warming can also melt permafrost and increase ultra violet ray penetration

The world wide push to reduce pollution entering the atmosphere as well as animals being added to endangered species lists or protected by specific laws are ways that people are trying to preserve the tundra.

Human Impacts



Northern part of the Northern Hemisphere; specifically Canada, Alaska, Russia, and Scandinavia (Finland, Norway, Sweden).

Sunlight, snow, water, oxygen, soil, rock, wind.

The average temperature for the summer in the Canadian Taiga can be over 50°F (10°C). The average winter temperature is under 26.6°F (-3°C) for the Canadian Taiga, but it usually stays below freezing during the winter in the Russian part of the Taiga. The average climate for the Russian Taiga each year falls below -32°F (0°C). The Taiga can be as low as -76°F (60°C), but as has as 104°F (40°C) in the summer.

The soil of this biome is very poor because it lacks nutrients and is very thin due to the fast winds and cold temperatures.


Most humans present in this biome are natives, there are few people otherwise. Large-scale clear cutting, the introduction of invasive species, erosion of soil, and use of pesticides have led to habitat loss. Industrial logging is one of the greatest threats to this biome. Climate change, mining, oil exploration, and the construction of infrastructure have also played a role in the destruction of taigas. A very small percentage of the Canadian Taiga is legally protected. Protecting larger areas of this biome as well as setting mining and logging limits are the best ways to prevent this biomes complete destruction.

Abiotic Factors

Human Impacts


Black Bear, Bald Eagle, Red Fox, River Otter, Wolverine, Snowshoe Rabbit, Moose, Raccoon, Siberian Tiger, species of owl, Bobcat, Gray Wolf, Grizzly Bear, Lynxes, Minks, Caribou, and many more.



Balsam Fir, Eastern Red Cedar, White Poplar, White Spruce, Siberian Spruce, many coniferous trees, and some lichens and mosses.


Biotic Factors 

Central Plains of North America, Pampas of South America, Veldts of Africa, Steppes of Eurasia, outskirts of Australia.

Note: Savanna is often refered to as Tropical Grassland. See page on Savanna for details




Animals: Bison, Lions, Zebra, wolves, Coyotes, Swift Foxes, Badgers, Hawks, Sparrows, Owls, Antelope, African and Asian Elephants, Bull Snakes, Aardvarks, Dingos, Cheetahs, Mice, Grasshoppers, Mosquitos, African Wild Cat, Burrowing Owls

Plants: Big Bluestem Grass, Buffalo Grass, Blue Grama Grass, Milkweed, Stinging Nettle, Fleabane, June Grass, Indian Grass, Purple Coneflower

The average temperatures of the prairie (US) in January is 20° F, and 70° F in July. Annual precipitation is 10-30 inches. In South America grasslands are moist and get a lot of rain. The Steppes of Eurasia are dry, cold, and can be very barren. The Veldt in South African has a very hot, wet season when warm, moist air from the equator moves in. A cooler dry season follows this and it can last for 8 months or more. This happens because  hot, dry air moves in from surrounding areas. 

Grasslands generally have soils that are nutrient rich from the growth and decay of deep, many-branched grass roots. Although over grazed areas or areas that have been over planted can become dusty and dry.

Around 800,000 million people live in grasslands world wide. Unfortunatley, most of them have converted these lands into farm land, but there are some normads and tribes that do not effect the biome in a negative way. Urban developmet, over grazing, overuse of fertilizers, desertification, climate change, hunting, farming, and fires (human or wild) are the greatest threats to grasslands. National Parks have been established to preserve grasslands and some groups replant areas of grasslands that are destroyed. Some governments have outlawed the hunting of endangered animals in these areas, especially in the US. New techniques are being developed to avoid depleting the soil as much and prevent over grazing. 

Human Impacts

Abiotic Factors

Biotic Factors

Deciduous Forest


Eastern half of North America, throughout Europe,  southwest Russia, south Japan,  eastern China, southern Chile, Middle East coast of Paraguay, New Zealand, and southeastern Australia


People do not really live in deciduous forests, but they often clear them to build homes, which is why this biome is quickly shriking. There are some individuals who do live in these forests. Forests are cleared for housing, timber, farm land, and other constuction projects. Humans also hunt in this biome and the destruction of it plus the hunting can deplete the population of animals. Human chemicals can poison the soil, air pollution can also damage plants or lead to acid rain. Humans also start forest fires, strip mine areas where these forests are, and can pollute nearby water supplies. Some species of animals are listed as endangered or are protected against hunting. There are some national parks and protected forests established in Canada, Russia, and partially in the US.

Animals: American Bald Eagle, American Black Bear, White-tailed Deer, European Red Squirrel, coyotes, raccoons, Red Foxes, Opossums, cardinals, Broad-Winged Hawks, wood peckers, Eastern Chipmunk, Cicada, many spiders, Woodboring Beetle, Wood Frog, and a large variety of insects (moths, beetles, mosquitos, etc.).

Plants: Lichens, mosses, ferns, Maple Trees, Birch Trees, Oak Trees, Geulder Rose, Shagbark Hickory, Tawny Milkcap Mushroom, Poison Ivy

Sunlight, rocks, water, oxygen, soil

This biome goes through the four seasons: summer, fall, winter, and spring. In the summer the average temperature of Deciduous forests is 70 degrees fahrenheit, but they can climb to over 100 on hot days. In the winter temperatures hover around freezing. Wind coming in from nearby oceans can also influence and change the temperature/climate of this biome. The forests average 14 inches of precipitation in winter months and above 18 inches is summer months. The soil of deciduous forests is very rich with nutrients because of a constatnt cycle of decomposition and nutrients re-entering the soil, which is aided by the climate.

Biotic Factors

Abiotic Factors

Human Impacts



West coast of North America, southern tip of Africa, west coast of South America, southern coast of Australia, and coastal areas around the Mediterranean 

Animals: Golden Jackal, Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Spotted Skunk, California Condor, Aardwolf, Grey Fox, Cactus Wren

Plants: Coyote Brush, Sagebrush, King Protea, Blue Oak, Fairy Duster, French Broom, Torrey Pine

Abiotic Factors

Soil, dust, sunlight, wind, rocks

The temperature during the winter is usually 10 degrees celsius (50 fahrenheit) and during the summer it is 40 degrees celsius (104 fahrenheit), although it ranges depending on where you are in the world. This biome only gets 10-17 inches of rain a year. The soil in Chaparrals has very few nutrients and can be very dusty and thin.

Like most other biomes, humans are expanding into and building in chaparrals. Humans have also introduced invasive species and sometimes start fires that burn through the landscape. Other things, like altering water flow or changing the natural landscape have caused the near extinction of several plants and animals. Air pollution caused by human cities and coming and going tourism has also damaged this biome. There are also areas of the world where humans over graze Chaparrals. Some areas have been set aside as protected parks and many animals are listed as endangered.

Biotic Factors

Human Impacts



Western North America, central Australia, the Middle East, western China, north Africa, south Africa, areas of Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Note: Antarctica falls under desert qualifications based on amount of yearly precipitation

Animals: Armadillo Lizard, Banded Gila Moster, Coyote, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Desert Kangaroo Rat, Thorny Devil, Camel, Cobra, Starling, Tyrant Flycatcher, Xerus, Courser

Plants: Barrel Cactus, Brittle Bush, Chainfruit Cholla, Creosote Bush, Desert Ironwood, Soaptree Yucca, Saguaro Cactus, Joshua Tree, Palo Verde, Triangle-leaf Bursage

Abiotic Factors- Temperatures range from 20 to 25° C (68-77 F). The greatest heat ranges from 43.5 to 49° C (110.3-120.2 F). They average under 15 cm of precipitation each year. The soil is very dry and in some locations it is to thin and dry for anything to grow in it. Usually the soil is very sandy and rocky. (also see climatogram below)

People do live in deserts, but they are often nomads or herders who travel around a lot with no permanent settlements. Although, some people do set up permanent settlements by oasises. Some war refugees are forced to build shanty cities. Mining, drilling for oil, hunting, and air pollution are all ways that people harm this biome. Global warming is making deserts even hotter, herders are over grazing areas, driving through deserts destroys fertile soil, and irrigation leads to unfertile salt deposits. Humans are also contributing to desertification, the spreading of deserts, through deforestation and poor agricultural techniques. Efforts are under way to stop desertification and to fix some habitats that have been destroyed as well as monitor threatened species and habitats.

Hot Desert

Biotic Factors

Human Impacts

Abiotic Factors- Cold Desert temperatures in winter can range from -2 to 4° C (28.4-39.2 F) and in the summer 21 to 26° C (69.8-78.8 F). Because there is snow, they can average from 15-26 cm of precipitation per year. Soil is very dry and lacks nutrients. Can usually by characterized as sandy, salty, or rocky. (see Gobi desert climatogram below)

Cold Desert


Abiotic Factors

Biotic Factors

The savanna's temperature ranges from 68° to 86° F (20° - 30° C) overall. In the winter, it ranges from 68° to 78° F (20° - 25° C), while in the summer it is 78° to 86° F (25° - 30° C). Temperatures in savannas do not change a lot and when they do it is a slow and gradual change. Annual precipitation is 10 to 30 inches. In Australia's tropical savanna, the average temperature is 78 degrees F and annual precipitation is 20-40 inches. The soil in savannas can be very porous and thin, making it ill-suited for many types of plants except for grasses, shrubs, and the ocassional tree.

Animals: African Elephant, African Wild Dog, Lion, Zebra, Emu, Black Mamba, Nile Crocodile, Purple-Crowned Fairy Wren


Plants: Baobab, Bermuda Grass, Jackalberry Tree, Elephant Grass, Jarrah Tree, River Bushwillow, Kangaroo Paw, Whilstling Thorn, Umbrella Thorn Acacia

As with almost every biome, humans are encroaching on its territory, turning Savannas to farmland. Once the soil is depleted of nutrients, humans move on to deplete another area. Their presence in Savannas increase the chances that wildfires will start, which can clear large areas of life. There are many animals that live in this biome that are over hunted and many have been added to the endangered species list. Even though it is illegal to hunt them, poachers still do anyways. Humans also mine these areas and introduce invasive species. Even the presense of native hunters and gathers that have lives there for a long time still harms this environment. Many reserves and national parks have been developed to preserve this biome, and some organizations volunteer to help replant or fix depleted areas of Savannas.

Human Impacts


Northern South America, Central America, some Caribbean Islands, Africa's Congo River Basin, parts of Madagascar, small parts of India and Australia, as well as many areas in and around the Phillippines

Animals: Bengal Tiger, Dawn Bat, Chimpanzee, Linn's Sloth, Toco Toucan, Slivery Gibbon, Jambu Fruit Dove, Orangutan, Slender Loris


Plants: Durian, Jambu, Curare, Tualang, Strangler Figs, Mangrove Forests, Kapok Tree, Bengal Bamboo

Biotic Factors

Humans are tearing down rainforests at an alarming rate in order to use the timber, gain more land for farming, and open more area for construction. Human activity has also lead to more forest fires and the deaths of many animals due to habitat loss. The more trees cut down in these forests, the more carbon that ends up in the atmosphere, increasing the green house gas effect. This can lead to a loss of several rain forest species a year if these actions continue. While the deepest areas of these forests remain mostly untouched by humans, people have seriously began to encroach on this biome. Organizations attempt to buy rainforest land to protect it from logging and many groups have launched protests to stop the destruction of this biome. Many animals have been added to the endagered species list, but this hasn't slowed down loggers or construction companies.

Human Impacts

While rainfall usually reaches over 100 inches a year, it can be between 50 and 260 annually. This biome is always very humid and temperatures range from 93 degrees F (34 C) to 68 degrees F (20 C). Both Southest Asian and Tropical rain forests fall under these amounts. The soil in these forests os not very nutrient rich because constant rainfall can strip nutrients. The nutrients that are present come from decaying organisms or plant life. Most of these nutrients remain in the top soil layer.

Abiotic Factors


Located in mountainous regions world wide, usually at altitudes of 10,000 feet or more. Some specific mountain ranges include: the Rockies, Sierra, and Cascade mountains in North America, the Andes in South America, the Himalayas in Asia, the Alps and Pyrenees in Europe, and the Rift Mountains of Africa.


Biotic Factors

Animals: Alpaca, Llama, Condors, Yak, Snow Leopard, Mountain Goats, Bighorn Sheep, Snowshoe Hare, Chinchilla


Plants: Bear Grass, Mountain Bluebells, Moss Campion, Bristlecone Pine, Alpine Phacelia, Pygmy Bitterroot, Lichens, Mosses, and more species of grasses

This biome's ecosystem is very fragile because organisms do not grow or bounce back fast. People overharvest fragile alpine shrubs and plants for expeditions and tourist lodge fuel, overgrazing, deforestation,  accelerated erosion, and uncontrolled lodge building have all contributed to disturbing this biome. Native people do live in these regions, but tourists are the ones who really cause damage to ecosystems in this biome. Increased human activity and over grazing has led to the death of many necesary producers for animals. Certain regions have their own regulations on what can and can not be done and alpine areas that are designated as parks do have official regulations, but they are not enforced strictly enough.

Human Impact

Summer temperatures range from 10 to 15° C (50-59 F), and they usually drop below freezing in the winter. The soil is very thin and plants struggle to take root in it. Depending on which exact alpine area it is, the soil can be very rocky. This biome only recieves around 30 cm of precipitation yearly.

Abiotic Factors

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Work Cited