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  • 1. Biomes By: Paul Nolasco & Lorraine Manalese
  • 2. What is Biomes? • Scientists have developed the term Biome to describe areas on the earth with similar climate, plants, and animals. • The plants and animals that live in a specific biome are physically well adapted for that area. • Plants and animals that live in a specific biome share similar characteristics with other plants and animals in that biome throughout the world. • The types of biomes that will be explored during this exercise include: Tundra, Deserts, Grasslands, Forest , Freshwater and Marine
  • 3. The tundra biome • Tundra is the coldest of all the biomes. Tundra comes from the Finnish word tunturi, meaning treeless plain. It is noted for its frost-molded landscapes, extremely low temperatures, little precipitation, poor nutrients, and short growing seasons. Dead organic material functions as a nutrient pool. The two major nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen is created by biological fixation, and phosphorus is created by precipitation.
  • 4. Characteristics of tundra include: • • • • • • Extremely cold climate Low biotic diversity Simple vegetation structure Limitation of drainage Short season of growth and reproduction Energy and nutrients in the form of dead organic material • Large population oscillations
  • 5. Tundra is separated into two types: • • Arctic tundra Alpine tundra
  • 6. Arctic tundra • Arctic tundra is located in the northern hemisphere, encircling the north pole and extending south to the coniferous forests of the taiga. The arctic is known for its cold, desert-like conditions. • There are about 1,700 kinds of plants in the arctic and subarctic • Animals are adapted to handle long, cold winters and to breed and raise young quickly in the summer.
  • 7. Alpine tundra • Alpine tundra is located on mountains throughout the world at high altitude where trees cannot grow. The growing season is approximately 180 days. The nighttime temperature is usually below freezing. Unlike the arctic tundra, the soil in the alpine is well drained.
  • 8. The grassland biome • Grasslands are characterized as lands dominated by grasses rather than large shrubs or trees. There are two main divisions of grasslands: • • Tropical grasslands or savannas Temperate grasslands
  • 9. Savanna • Savanna is grassland with scattered individual trees. Savannas of one sort or another cover almost half the surface of Africa. • Savanna has both a dry and a rainy season. • 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)
  • 10. Temperate grassland • Temperate grasslands are characterized as having grasses as the dominant vegetation. Trees and large shrubs are absent. • Temperatures vary more from summer to winter, and the amount of rainfall is less in temperate grasslands than in savannas.
  • 11. The forest biome • Earth's most complex land • forests occupy approximately one-third of Earth's land area, account for over two-thirds of the leaf area of land plants, and contain about 70% of carbon present in living things. • There are three major types of forests, classed according to latitude: • • • Tropical Temperate Boreal forests (taiga)
  • 12. Tropical forest • Tropical forest Tropical forests are characterized by the greatest diversity of species. They occur near the equator.One of the major characteristics of tropical forests is their distinct seasonality: winter is absent, and only two seasons are present (rainy and dry). The length of daylight is 12 hours and varies little.
  • 13. Temperate forest • Temperate forests occur in eastern North America, northeastern Asia, and western and central Europe. Well-defined seasons with a distinct winter characterize this forest biome. Moderate climate and a growing season of 140-200 days during 4-6 frost-free months distinguish temperate forests.
  • 14. Boreal forest (taiga) • Boreal forests, or taiga, represent the largest terrestial biome. Occuring between 50 and 60 degrees north latitudes, boreal forests can be found in the broad belt of Eurasia and North America: two-thirds in Siberia with the rest in Scandinavia, Alaska, and Canada. Seasons are divided into short, moist, and moderately warm summers and long, cold, and dry winters. The length of the growing season in boreal forests is 130 days.
  • 15. The desert biome • Deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth's surface and occur where rainfall is less than 50 cm/year. Soils often have abundant nutrients because they need only water to become very productive and have little or no organic matter. Disturbances are common in the form of occasional fires or cold weather, and sudden, infrequent, but intense rains that cause flooding.
  • 16. • Desert biomes can be classified according to several characteristics. • There are four major types of deserts: • • • • Hot and dry Semiarid Coastal Cold
  • 17. Hot and dry desert • The seasons are generally warm throughout the year and very hot in the summer. The winters usually bring little rainfall. • Temperatures exhibit daily extremes because the atmosphere contains little humidity to block the Sun's rays. • Soils are course-textured, shallow, rocky or gravely with good drainage and have no subsurface water.
  • 18. Semiarid desert • The major deserts of this type include the sagebrush of Utah, Montana and Great Basin. • The soil can range from sandy and finetextured to loose rock fragments, gravel or sand. • The spiny nature of many plants in semiarid deserts provides protection in a hazardous environment.
  • 19. Coastal desert • These deserts occur in moderately cool to warm areas such as the Nearctic and Neotropical realm. A good example is the Atacama of Chile. • The cool winters of coastal deserts are followed by moderately long, warm summers. • The soil is fine-textured with a moderate salt content. It is fairly porous with good drainage.
  • 20. Cold desert • These deserts are characterized by cold winters with snowfall and high overall rainfall throughout the winter and occasionally over the summer. They occur in the Antarctic, Greenland and the Nearctic realm. • The winters receive quite a bit of snow. • The plants are widely scattered. In areas of shadscale, about 10 percent of the ground is covered
  • 21. The marine biome • Marine regions cover about three-fourths of the Earth's surface and include oceans, coral reefs, and estuaries. Marine algae supply much of the world's oxygen supply and take in a huge amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The evaporation of the seawater provides rainwater for the land. • • • Oceans Coral reefs Estuaries
  • 22. Oceans • The largest of all the ecosystems, oceans are very large bodies of water that dominate the Earth's surface. Like ponds and lakes, the ocean regions are separated into separate zones: intertidal, pelagic, abyssal, and benthic. • All four zones have a great diversity of species.
  • 23. The intertidal zone is where the ocean meets the land — sometimes it is submerged and at other times exposed The pelagic zone includes those waters further from the land, basically the open ocean. The benthic zone is the area below the pelagic zone, but does not include the very deepest parts of the ocean The deep ocean is the abyssal zone. The water in this region is very cold (around 3° C), highly pressured, high in oxygen content
  • 24. Coral reefs • Coral reefs are widely distributed in warm shallow waters. the dominant organisms in coral reefs are corals. Corals are interesting since they consist of both algae (zooanthellae) and tissues of animal polyp. • Since reef waters tend to be nutritionally poor, corals obtain nutrients through the algae via photosynthesis and also by extending tentacles to obtain plankton from the water
  • 25. Estuaries • Estuaries are areas where freshwater streams or rivers merge with the ocean. This mixing of waters with such different salt concentrations creates a very interesting and unique ecosystem. Microflora like algae, and macroflora, such as seaweeds, marsh grasses, and mangrove trees (only in the tropics), can be found here. Estuaries support a diverse fauna, including a variety of worms, oysters, crabs, and waterfowl.
  • 26. The freshwater biome • Freshwater is defined as having a low salt concentration — usually less than 1%. Plants and animals in freshwater regions are adjusted to the low salt content and would not be able to survive in areas of high salt concentration (i.e., ocean). There are different types of freshwater regions: • Ponds and lakes • Streams and rivers • Wetlands
  • 27. Ponds and lakes • These regions range in size from just a few square meters to thousands of square kilometers. Scattered throughout the earth • Ponds and lakes may have limited species diversity since they are often isolated from one another and from other water sources like rivers and oceans. Lakes and ponds are divided into three different “zones” which are usually determined by depth and distance from the shoreline
  • 28. • The topmost zone near the shore of a lake or pond is the littoral zone. This zone is the warmest since it is shallow and can absorb more of the Sun's heat. It sustains a fairly diverse community, which can include several species of algae (like diatoms), rooted and floating aquatic plants, grazing snails, clams, insects, crustaceans, fishes, and amphibians.
  • 29. • The near-surface open water surrounded by the littoral zone is the limnetic zone. The limnetic zone is well-lighted (like the littoral zone) and is dominated by plankton, both phytoplankton and zooplankton. Plankton are small organisms that play a crucial role in the food chain. Without aquatic plankton, there would be few living organisms in the world, and certainly no humans. A variety of freshwater fish also occupy this zone.
  • 30. Streams and rivers • These are bodies of flowing water moving in one direction. Streams and rivers can be found everywhere — they get their starts at headwaters, which may be springs, snowmelt or even lakes, and then travel all the way to their mouths, usually another water channel or the ocean. The characteristics of a river or stream change during the journey from the source to the mouth.
  • 31. Wetlands • Wetlands are areas of standing water that support aquatic plants. Marshes, swamps, and bogs are all considered wetlands. Plant species adapted to the very moist and humid conditions are called hydrophytes. These include pond lilies, cattails, sedges, tamarack, and black spruce. Marsh flora also include such species as cypress and gum. Wetlands have the highest species diversity of all ecosystems. Many species of amphibians, reptiles, birds (such as ducks and waders)