Biome project Jeronimo Davalos jeronimo
Rain forest definition: a dense evergreen forest with an annual rainfall of at least 406 centimeters (160 inches). Rainforests are often, but not always located in tropical regions
In the map bellow we can see the locations of the regions in which tropical rain forests are located in the world, we can see that there is a big amount of the rain forest regions in south America in countries such as Peru or Ecuador.
Tropical rainforest biome • Tropical rainforests cover around 6% of the entire land surface in the world. It is located normally in the belt of the equator. • The climate in the rainforests is normally warm but it rains almost all the year. This climate is perfect for some animal’s species and most of the plant growth. • Although that the rainforest cover 6% of land surface in the world scientist state that it can hold almost 90% of animals and plant species in earth
Tropical rainforest location • As mentioned before the location of rain forest is near the equator belt, but the largest space of tropical rainforest is the amazon. • The amazon is located in South America in countries such as Brazil Peru and Ecuador. • It states that has about 3000 species of fish, more than all of the northern American continent has.
Tropical rainforest climate and precipitation • Climate in tropical rainforest is very warm, as average it has a grater temperature than 20 degree Celsius. • There is a very little seasonal variation in temperature that is god for plant growth. • The tropical rainforest's temperature ranges from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and they have more than 250 centimeters of annual rainfall. • The main climate control of the tropical rainforests is latitude. • The tropical rain forest is a forest of tall trees in a region of year-round warmth. It is from 90 to 450 of inches.
The graphs bellow show the amount of precipitation in an annual base, the first graph shows the precipitation of all of the worldâ€™s rain forest and the second graph is a more specific graph of an annual precipitation in Manaus in Brazil that is the largest rain forest in the world.
Animals and plants in tropical rainforests Animals in rainforests:
The rainforest is home to more than half of the world's animals. Colorful and unusual animals dwell in all four layers of the forest. All types of creatures are represented, from tiny insects to large mammals. Most common animals in tropical rainforest:
o • Jaguar:
• . Leucomelas
Plants in tropical rainforest:
Because there is generally no unfavorable growing periods in the rain forest, the trees are evergreen, meaning they have leaves all year long. Most rain forest trees are broadleaf, meaning their leaves are broad and flat. Most common plants in tropical rainforest: â€˘ The giant kapok tree
â€˘ The creeping aroids
Animals relationships in tropical rainforests Types of relationships
Symbiosis that is beneficial to both Organisms involved.
An association between two organisms in which one benefits and the other derives neither Benefit nor harm. It is a non- mutual relationship between organisms of different species where one organism benefits at the expense of the other.
The ants actively nurture and defend the fungi. the fungi provides nutrients for the ants and both the fungi and the ants benefit The insect receives shelter for its eggs while there is no effect on the larger animal at all.
Relationship between members of the same or different species in which those having the same living requirements, such as food or space, affect Individuals.
The Pearl fish live in the Sea Cucumber's cloaca which they enter through the anus. The Pearl fish then breaks through the respiratory membrane and situates its home. Humans tearing down parts of the rainforest vs. all the animals that make their homes in the trees
Food web and energy pyramid of animals in tropical rainforests
Human impact in tropical rainforest Rainforests are disappearing at about 80 acres per minute, day and night. The rainforest is home to over half of all of the species known in the world. There are many undiscovered species that are being destroyed. Many of these species are possible cures for cancer and AIDS etc. Much of the destruction is done by Forest Alliance of British Columbia. Also as the population of earth grows, the need for forest products is increased and causes them to destroy even more rainforests to meet the demands. If this destruction continues, major climatic changes will occur. This will happen because when the forests are destroyed carbon dioxide is released which, in turn, causes the greenhouse effect. Ranching and logging for materials for houses, furniture, and paper products are also major destroyers of the rainforest. The tropical rainforest once covered more than 16% of the earth's total land surface, but now covers less than 6% of the earth's total land surface. Boycotts are the most effective ways of stopping destruction of the rainforest. Boycotting fast food restaurants who use hamburger from cows who grazed on rainforest land, for example. Tourism also adds to the prevention. People seeing how the forest looks and all of the living going on in it causes them to want to make changes so that the rainforest can continue to grow, if there has to be a change in the ways human are damaging all the rainforests in the world it has to be now. If not many animals that are currently living in that areas of the world would disappear and something beautiful of our country would disappear as well.
BIOME: TUNDRA TUNDRA As can be seen in the map above, the artic tundra biome is spread across the northern hemisphere. It covers around one fifth of the Earth’s surface and the reason why it is restricted to this part of the world is because there is no compatible or comparable land mass in the southern hemisphere. The artic tundra is characterized by having land that remains frozen throughout the whole year and extremely cold temperatures so therefore, this also causes a restriction as to where it can be located. These conditions are clearly only found in the northern hemisphere, which mainly includes large amounts of Greenland, some of Alaska and northern parts of countries such as Russia and Canada. However, it is also important to know that other a second type of tundra, the alpine tundra, which can be found in regions all around the world with high elevations. This type of tundra is different from the artic tundra because even though they are not frozen all year long, they are almost always covered in snow and have similar characteristics to the artic tundra.
By: Adriana Lassus
Rainfall and Temperature Temperature: There are two main seasons in the artic tundra: winter and summer. During summer the sun is present 24 hours a day. However, the temperatures are so cold that the summer is only able to sun during warm up the temperatures to about 3°C to 12°C. During winter, the tundra region has opposite conditions. There may be days were the sun never rises and temperatures can drop significantly to around -28°C to -70°C.
Rainfall: Precipitation in the Tundra region usually doesn’t exceed 10 inches. However, areas closer to oceans or large bodies of water can measure up to 20 inches. As can be seen in the Climograph, most precipitation occurs during summer in months such as July and August. The reason why the precipitation in the tundra biomes is so low is because the temperatures are far too low to cause significant amounts of evaporation. Vegetation: permafrost (frozen soil) layer Due to the found in the artic tundra and the lack of nutrients, trees are not able to grow. Vegetation is limited to small, dark and hairy plants and these are the characteristics which allow the plants to grow under very cold temperature conditions since they make it easier for the plants to maintain heat and therefore grow.
Vegetation and Animal Characteristics
Animals: Plants: • Grasses • Lichens • Sedges • Artic Willows • Lady Fern
Tundra animals have very specific natural protection elements, which take many different forms in order to protect themselves and be able to survive in such cold and dry climate. Most animals have a significant layer of fur in order to be able to trap the heat. Also most of the larger animals are characterized by a thick mass due to heavy layers of insulating fat.
Plants and Animals Animals: • Lemmings • Musk Ox • Caribou • Artic Fox • Artic Wolf
• Polar Bear
Energy Pyramid Heat
T3- Secondary Consumer Artic Wolf T2- Primary Consumer Musk Ox T1- Producer Sedges
Energy used within an ecosystem always comes from the sun. It is first absorbed by producers, which in this case are the sedges. These convert solar energy into ATP energy through the process of photosynthesis. Finally it is passed on to consumers as they feed from producers or other consumers. However, as can be seen in the Energy Pyramid, due to the fact that significant amounts of energy are lost through heat and respiration, only about 10% of energy is transferred in each trophic level. Mutualism: Green Alga and Fungal Lichen is one of the most common plants in the tundra biome and it is a composite organism that is up of a fungus and a green alga. The alga is photosynthetic in nature and so, usually made reduces carbon dioxide into sugars that feeds the fungus. The fungal helps provide protection to the alga by retaining water and helping in obtaining minerals from substrate. Therefore, both the green alga benefit from this relationship. fungus and the Parasitism: Liver Tapeworm and Caribou/ Moose/ Wolves The liver tapeworms tend to stay and grow in the body of various animals like moose, caribou and even wolves. Then what these tapeworms do is feed on the food that is eaten by these animals, which leads to malnutrition in the host body. So therefore one animal is benefiting from the relationship while the other is at a loss. Commensalism: Caribou and Artic Fox When the caribou is searching for food, the arctic fox follows it. Then, the caribou digs the ground snow in order to try and find food, it digs up the soil and slightly exposes it or at least brings closer to the surface. Once the caribou is done with its hunting, the arctic fox then follows and digs further deep and gets its food. Therefore, this is a great example of commensalism in the tundra biome because the artic fox benefits from the caribou while the caribou remains unaffected. Competitive: A musk ox's diet consists of plants such as sedges and grasses, while a caribou's is made of berries, grass and sedge. Clearly their diets are very similar therefore when food is hard to find, due to the very harsh climate conditions, the musk ox and caribou might have some competition trying to find something to eat.
Relationships in Biome
Human Impact Impacts on Biome
Throughout history, human activity has had and still has huge negative impacts on the tundra biome and here are just a couple of examples. HUNTING: endangered species in the Overhunting for food and clothing almost early 1900’s resulted in the extinction of animals such as the musk oxen in the tundra regions. OVERDEVELPMENT: Building roads and the immigration of humans to areas near the tundra biome in order to work at mines and oil industry also leads to many problems. Firs of all, many of the animal migrations and feeding patters are interrupted due to this development. Also, it destroys plants in the biome, which are a very important food source for many animals, and therefore threatens to destroy the entire biome. If these unethical and dangerous activities continue the tundra biome could potentially be destroyed and this could also have negative impacts for humans in the future. First of all, the melting of glaciers would give rise to sea levels, which would flood many around the world and could costal areas potentially completely cover islands. Also, the increase in global temperatures and climate change could have a significant effect on certain industries and could lead to poverty for many people. Moreover, a rise in temperatures could affect food production and lead to famine in certain regions around the world. Lastly, higher global temperatures will increase the spread of vector-borne diseases.
GLOBAL WARMING: Due to the increase in the levels of carbon dioxide in the world caused by humans through industrialization and deforestation, the greenhouse effect has increased and it has caused global warming. Global warming is specifically dangerous to the tundra regions because this biome has a very fragile environment, which depends on very specific and cold temperatures. As glaciers and permafrost melt this causes floods, kills delicate plant species and limits the land available for the animals living in this biome. OIL DRILLLING: One of the main reasons why oil drilling is a very big problem in the tundra regions is because it pollutes water, land and air surroundings. This can have significant negative effects on the habitat of many animals and plants in the area, which may die due to the pollution caused.
Future Impacts on Humans
Conclusion As can be seen, just as all the other biomes, the tundra biome is essential to this world. Without it, there would only be negative outcomes and therefore we must do what we can to preserve it while we still can.
Karla Kaplan Rachelle Ruebe IBD Biology HL Period 5 May 21, 2013
Biome Project: Boreal Forest (Taiga) Represented left is the world’s largest land biome, the Taiga. This biome covers most of Canada and Alaska and also some parts of the continental United States. Many European countries are also included such as Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Russia. Parts of Siberia, Kazakhstan and Japan also consist of coniferous forests. As can be seen in this map, this biome exists only in the northern hemisphere.
Average Monthly Temperatures (°C) Jan -‐14.4
Average Monthly Rainfall (mm) Jan 22.8
Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Monthly Temperatures and Precipitation in Edmonton, Canada Precipitation Temperature
During the summer, the average temperature in this biome during the day is 15°C and during the night it is 8°C. In the winter, the average high temperature in the daytime is 7°C, the average low being 1°C. The climograph on the left shows the average monthly temperatures and precipitation in Edmonton, Canada (a city located in the Taiga biome) and the relationship between them.
Vegetation and Animals Coniferous trees such as the Jack Pine Tree are the most abundant plant in the Taiga (explaining why these areas are also known as coniferous forests). Conifer plants can be identified by their cones which contain the plants’ seeds. The thick waxy needles on these trees as well as their small surface area allow the trees to withstand the cold (partly because snow easily falls off of them) and decreases water loss so the trees can survive the winter. Boreal forests also consist greatly of swamp areas which can freeze over in the winter making water retention essential for the survival of the coniferous trees.
Brrr! Boreal forests are covered in snow most of the year, making uncomfortable living conditions for humans, but they make for beautiful photos like this o ne!
A complication for plants in boreal forests is the low amount of nutrients in the soil. This is due to the low temperatures as well as the fallen conifer needles which increase the pH of the soil. This results in competition among plants for nutrients in the soil. Another issue is that the soil of boreal forests often turns into swampland during the short summers in this climate-‐zone. The plants, which as explained previously, are adapted to cold and snow, are not particularly fit for living in bogs. The main carnivores of the Taiga are wild cats (such as the Siberian Tiger). Other carnivores include wolves, foxes and grizzly bears as well as birds such as eagles, owls and hawks. Herbivores in this biome include elk and smaller animals such as the Snowshoe Hare and Porcupine. Just like the plants in this biome, the animals are adapted to the cold. For example, the Snowshoe Hare’s coat of fur turns brown in the fall and white in the winter to match its surroundings (sticks and leaves in the fall and snow in the winter). This camouflage helps the hare to hide from predators.
Mutualism Algae in the Taiga create photosynthesized ‘food’ which is consumed by fungi, allowing fungi to grow and be strong. This allows the fungi to continue its task of decomposing dead organic matter into nutrients for the soil which allow plants (such as algae) to grow and be healthy. In simpler words, the algae feed the fungi so it can grow and continue providing the algae with nutrients via the earth. Both species benefit from this mutual relationship.
Commensalism Trees in the Taiga provide bark for squirrels so that they can protect themselves from possible predators. This is a big benefit to squirrels who have many large carnivorous predators in the boreal forest biome, however, the trees are unaffected entirely by this relationship, making it an example of commensalism.
Parasitism The Forest Tent Caterpillar, native to the boreal forest biome, is a parasite to many of the trees and plants and these areas. This caterpillar devours the foliage of a wide variety of plants in coniferous forests. Because trees and plants are so abundant in these areas, the Forest Tent Caterpillars are reproducing and growing at remarkable rates. However, in doing this, the trees in boreal forests are losing their leaves, which they need for water retention and protection from the cold, among other things. The plants and
trees are being destroyed at the expense of the caterpillars which are thriving on this parasitic relationship.
Competitive Relationship An example of competition within one species in the Taiga biome is squirrels competing for pine nuts. During the winter (which dominates much of the year in boreal forests), the great amounts of snow force the trees into a period of water retention and attempting to survive the low temperatures (this means that they are not producing much or any food). Even if they are producing food, it is difficult to find because of all the snow. For these reasons, any pine nuts which can be found during this time are very valuable to squirrels that will rely heavily on these nuts for survival in the winter. There are certainly not enough pine nuts available in the winter for all the squirrels in a coniferous forest to satisfy all of the squirrels so competition among the individuals of this species is high.
Human Impact Because of the vast amount of trees in boreal forests and the fact that this biome is rarely inhabited by large populations of humans due to the cold temperatures and snow, the Taiga is an ideal place to find lumber (which is then used to produce toilet paper, copy paper, newspaper, etc.). People have been abusing the trees in coniferous forests for wood for decades and Siberia is a good example of the negative effects of this. Huge amounts of Siberia’s Taiga have been depleted. The use of machinery to cut down trees in the Taiga is catastrophic for the soil in these forests because it disrupts the balance of nutrients and chemicals which benefit the plants and animals there. This deforestation is also, obviously, habit destruction which can lead to the extinction of animals. Erosion and even natural disasters such as avalanches are more likely in areas where deforestation occurs. Avalanches occur because the roots of trees have loosened their grip in the soil making it loose.
Energy Pyramid T4
Tertiary Consumer: Lynx
1 KJ/m 2/yr
Secondary Consumer: W easel
Primary Consumer: Squirrel
100 KJ/m 2/yr
1,000 KJ/m2/yr Producer: Pine tree
Energy lost due to heat, cell respiration, death, excretion, etc.
Polytrichum Moss (Polytrichum juniperinum)
North American Fir Tree (Abies balsamea)
Jack Pine Tree (Pinus banksiana)
Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
British Soldiers (Cladonia cristatella)
Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus)
Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)
Elk (Cervus Canadensis)
Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)
The food web (shown left) shows T1 through T3 plants and animals in the boreal forest biome. The arrows indicate the flow of energy from one organism to the organism that consumes it. It includes the common Taiga animals shown above
Nicole AragonĂŠs Ms. Ruebe Biology Pd 5 24 may 2013 Biome Project: Sahara Desert
1. Map showing the Sahara desert:
2. Average temperatures and precipitation over the months of the year Month
January February MArch April May June July August September October November December
High temperature (degrees Celsius) 22 25 29 33 38 44 45 44 40 34 27 22
Low temperature (degrees celsius) 7 10 13 17 22 28 29 29 26 20 13 8
Precipitation (mm) 3.7 3.5 1.2 1.6 0.5 0.1 1.6 0.5 0.2 1.2 0.5 2.7
3. 4. The Sahara desert requires that wild life and its vegetation adapt to very arid conditions, intense heat, violent winds and wide temperatures. In the Sahara desert most mammals are small, which then helps to minimize water loss, they will get the water they need from their diet. They will hunt at night when temperatures are lower. These small animals have developed anatomical adaptations that help them survive in such conditions. The Sahara provides life for 70 species of mammals, about 90 species of birds, 100 species of outstanding reptiles and many more. A few examples of these extraordinary animals are the Oryx, the spotter hyena, the sand fox, cobras, chameleons, lizards, sinks, scorpions. The wild life is mostly focused on the northern and southern margins that have near water sources. The Saharaâ€™s most famous animal is the camel, it has been domesticated over thousands of years, it has mostly been used by desert nomads. The camel relys on its fat humps and other physicological adaptations, they can travel for dats with no food or water. It can feed on thorny plants and dry grasses. With its thick footpads, it can step on sandy and rocky areas. Because of its nostrils and big eyebrows and lashes, it can protect his nose and eyes from
sandstorms. It may also consume more than 30 gallons of water in just a matter of minutes to prepare themselves for other long journeys. In the Sahara desert you may also find species of wild plants life date palms, tamarisks and acacia, they are adapted in such way that its roots are so long they can get to water sources. In the most severe and arid areas like in Algeria`s Tanezrouft Basin there are many sand dunes, sandstones and mosaic of salt flats which are known as the â€œland of Terrorâ€? many plants have been able to establish. 5. Common plants: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Cactai Thorn acacias Creosote bushes Sage bushes Flowering annuals
Common animals: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Hawk Kit fox Lizards Scorpions Kangaroo rats
Cactai Thorn acacias creosote bushes Sage bushes Flowering annuals
http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=desert+enery+pyramids&source=images&cd=&docid= dPvHn7ujR3ROsM&tbnid=JN9OmK9f4q8mtM:&ved=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.studyblue.com%2Fnotes%2Fn ote%2Fn%2Fbiology-5c-midterm-1%2Fdeck%2F6357090&ei=EEhUb25E87_4AP6wYCYDg&bvm=bv.47008514,d.dmg&psig=AFQjCNHbc9ITwm5Myg7VSSxQHVMbah_N7Q&u st=1369612432865723
Paratism: Fleas on a kangaroo rat. The fleas benefit by drinking the blood of the kangaroo rat. The kangaroo rats does not benefit from this, if it looses too much blood it will die. Commensalism: the cactus, a bird might Guild up a nest in the cactus and this will then help him provide shelter and Project himself of predator with the cactus remains unaffected by the birdâ€™s benefit. Mutualism: Phainopepla feeds on mystical berries while the phainopela helps the mystical plant grow in its surroundings. Competitive: Hawks and rattlesnakes compete for birds and foods and birds and Worms compete for their diet meaning, plants and fruit of the prickly pear. 8. The change in climatic temperatures and features over the past 5000 years and human hunting over the last 100 years has distorted and reduces most of the Sahara`s flora and fauna. Now there are vast parts of the Sahara, merely rock sand and vegetation are
found. The mammals that inhabit this wonderful biome are highly threatened by the ongoing intense over-hunting of species. When talking from a conservational perspective, the Sahara desert is not well protected and this may be due to the fact that the population is so low. There are fewer than 2 million inhabitants that reside throughout the whole Sahara desert. The majority are nomads and people that live in Tribus, these communities survive from hunting and trading. Humans are harming this ecosystem by drilling for oil, military testing, taking the land from animals and overall pollution. Another issue is that in the last past years there have been projects developed in Algeria and Tunisia that have started using irrigates water pumped from underground aquifers. These leads to soil salinization and degradation because of “ drainage” problems.
Desert Biome (Savanna) This is a world map of where my biome is located which is mainly in central and South Africa, some parts of South America and other countries i.e. Australia, Europe and parts of South Western North America. It can be found in every continent in some more than others excluding Antarctica.
In the Savanna it can either be really wet one season or it could be a very hot season. This biome falls between a forest and grassland. The Savanna biome usually borders rainforests. The problem in this biome is that some animals can’t survive until the wet season begins because the dryness hinders them form getting their water intake to survive. The supply of food could be rather high during the wet season where plants are allowed the time to grow and get a good amount of sunlight. The annual rainfall is 59 inches and during the dry season the average daily temperature is 93
degrees Fahrenheit. During the rainy season the temperature drops to about 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Plants and animals have adapted so much to the wild fires in savanna biomes that only 10% of the plants will die from it. Some plants are made of inflammable material.
In these two climographs we can compare that both have high temperatures during the middle of the year, average rainfall and shows the relationship of Temperature and Precipitation throughout the cycle of a year. Harsh environments can be found in savanna biomes, but plants and animals have adapted to the weather of it and are able to survive. There are very large animals that live in the Savanna biome like elephants, zebras, and lions. The people that live in Savanna biomes require the help of cattle and the grasslands for the cattle to graze on as their source of food supply. The plants in Savanna biomes have 2 unique uses, food and shade for animals to be under due to the heat temperature in Savanna Biomes.
Plants Baobab Elephant Grass Kangaroo paw Whistling Thorn Manketti Tree
Animals Lion Koala Bear Emu Black Mamba African Elephants
Mutualism – The acacia tree has long sharp thorns that share a relationship with stinging ants. The ants live in acacia thorns that they have hollowed out and the stinging ants feed on the nectar of the tree. Once an animal bites a thorn they also are bringing or eating stinging ants into their mouth. The ants also protect the tree from any invading insects. Commensalism – The relationship between the lion and a hyena. The lion will always actively hunt prey while the hyena eats the lion’s left overs without hunting on its own. By this method the lion is not affected. Parasitism – Ticks/fleas on animals. A good example would be when a tick takes blood from an elephant. The tick is basically taking advantage of its host. Competitive Relationship – When two species could occupy related but distinct niches that can overlap a set of resources. This puts the two species into competition for shared resources. For example a lion chasing a hyena from a kill is competing by interfering and taking resources. The lion is cutting the hyena off from its access to food.
Poaching is very bad and has a heavy impact on Savanna biomes. In Africa they do
guided hunts, which are meant for the elephants, and lions, which could cause the biome to have less of this animal and could disrupt the food chain. This breaks up the balance between predators and animals. This can result in overgrazing which makes it harder for the grasses to be replenished because lions are the top predators and if there are fewer lions that mean that there will be more deer, zebra, and other grass-‐eating animals that would lead to overgrazing.
Shrubland Description: Shrublands (also known as prairie) include regions such as chaparral, woodland and savanna. Shrublands are the areas that are located in west coastal regions between 30° and 40° North and South latitude. Some of the places would include southern California, Chile, Mexico, areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, and Southwest parts of Africa and Australia. These regions are usually found surrounding deserts and grasslands.
Image of regions in the world with Shrubland biomes
Weather and Climate: • Temperature: Shrubland biome can be described as being temperate. Summers are hot to warm and winters are cool to cold. • Precipitation: Shrubland usually get more rain than deserts and grasslands but less than forested areas. Shrublands typically receive between 200 to 1,000 millimeters of rain a year. This rain is unpredictable, varying from month to month. There is a noticeable dry season and wet season.
2 Tulio Dasso Below is a table and two graphs displaying information regarding monthly precipitation or temperature for Middleburg, South Africa, which has a shrubland biome.
The average rainfall for shrublands is about 27 inches per year, which is 700 millimeters
Landforms: • Mountains: There are no mountains due to shrublands being flat. • Bodies of water: The shrublands are pretty much desert like so bodies of water are pretty much out of the picture. • Canyons: There are small canyon like landforms on the shrublands but there are not extreme canyons, like the Grand Canyon. Animals: Shrubland mammals are dominated by smaller burrowing herbivores such as prairie dogs, jackrabbits, ground squirrels, and gophers and larger running herbivores such as bison, pronghorn antelope, and elk. Some carnivores include badgers, coyotes, ferrets, wolves, and cougars. The populations of many of these organisms have been drastically reduced because of the conversion of their natural habitat into cropland and some of these species are on the edge of extinction.
Jack Rabbit (Lepus)
Grey Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteu s)
Puma (Felis concolor)
Broad leaf (Griselinia littoralis)
Cabbage Tree (Cordyline australis)
Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium)
Narrow-‐leaved Mahoe (Melicytus lanceolatus)
Flax (Phormium tenax)
4 Tulio Dasso Plants: The shrublands are made up of shrubs or short trees. Many shrubs live on steep, rocky slopes. There is usually not enough rain to support tall trees. In the areas with little rainfall, plants have adapted to drought-‐like-‐conditions. Many plants have small, needle-‐like leaves that help to conserve water. Some have leaves with waxy coatings and leaves that reflect sunlight. Several plants have developed fire resistant adaptations to survive the frequent fires that occur during the dry season. Parasitism: An example of parasitism would be the Cowbird. This is a unique bird that lives in the temperate woodlands and shrublands. It acts as a parasite because it lays its eggs in the nest of other birds. This proves to be harmful because Cowbird chicks often hatch earlier and grow faster outcompeting the resident chicks. Commensalism: Squirrels and other rodents benefit from eating the shed antlers of White Tailed Deer for calcium enrichment while the Deer has no apparent affect. Mutualism: The bee and the flower. Bees fly from flower to flower gathering nectar, which they make into food, benefiting the bees. When they land in a flower, the bees get some pollen on their hairy bodies, and when they land in the next flower, some of the pollen from the first one rubs off, pollinating the plant. This benefits the plants. In this mutualistic relationship, the bees get to eat, and the flowering plants get to reproduce. Competitive: In example of competition for the shrubland biome would be that of a bear and a cougar. Both of these animals compete for the same prey, which is fish and deer. Human Impact: • Dry conditions create the danger of fire, which can spread quickly through shrublands because they tend to have long, running fields of shrubs and grasses that are very susceptible to wildfire and wind.
Tulio Dasso •
Temperate shrublands often border areas that make good pasture or croplands. As a result, eventually shrublands are turned into commercial property for raising livestock or growing grains and other types of plants. This shrinks the overall size of the shrublands and the room that shrubland species have to expand. Species loss in shrublands typically occurs when humans hunt a species to extinction or near extinction, as happened with the American buffalo. Removing one species from the food chain in a shrubland has huge negative effects, weakening the environmental response of the biome and making it more susceptible to disasters and even failure.
Temperate deciduous forests are found specifically between the tropical regions and the polar regions, located for the most part in mid and northern-‐latitude areas. They can be found abundantly in the eastern half of North America and Asia, and the western part of Europe. However they can also be located in the south of South America and Australasia in a smaller scale, as can be seen in the diagram above.
Climate: The temperature and precipitation levels of the temperate deciduous forest varies among its four different seasons that include: winter, spring, summer and fall. The average annual temperature of the temperate deciduous forest is of 10 degrees Celsius. During the winter period there is little sunlight and days do not last much, they start in December and the temperature in average is a little below the freezing point. Summer starts in early June and ends in late August being a period of time in which sunlight is abundant and days are extremely long. During summer the average temperature is of 21 degrees Celsius. During fall temperatures start to lower and consequently plant leafs start to fall in preparation for the winter. During spring temperatures rise and trees and plants start to grow leafs once again in order to be able to be prepared for the summer. In general the temperate deciduous forest ranges from -‐ 3 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year. At night the temperature lowers greatly reaching temperatures close to 0 degrees Celsius, while in the day it is much warmer reaching temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius, however it depends on the time of season.
Precipitation in the Temperate Deciduous Forest
The average precipitation of the temperate deciduous forest is of 76cm to 152cm per year. During winter, there is an average of 36cm of precipitation, while in summer time
there is an average of 46cm of precipitation. Some precipitation especially in winter comes as snow, therefore covering the whole ground floor. Varying from the summer in which precipitation comes as rainfall for the most part, due to the hot climate.
Characteristics of Animals and Vegetation:
The temperate deciduous forest has a very hot summer and cold winter, therefore animals that live in the biome must be able to adapt, in order to survive. During winter periods it is characteristic of the animals to hibernate and or migrate. A great variety of birds, usually migrate to warmer place, where food is more available. Mammals are mainly those who hibernate in order to combat the cold temperature and reduce their need for nutrients, therefore they can survive with stored fat, important reason for which mammals must store fat. Nevertheless, animal’s specially hibernating mammals store food, which is conserved by the cold temperature and allows these to feed during this period of time. However it is also important to mention that animals have to adapt to leaves falling, making it harder to hide from predation and easier for predators. The plants in the temperate deciduous forest have to drop their leaves, in order to withstand the cold weathers and low precipitation levels in winter. In summer trees practice photosynthesis and for that reason most of them have broad leaves, capturing the sun more effectively. In the absence of abundant sunlight and water, plants stop producing chlorophyll, reason why the leaves and plants obtain their red, orange and yellow beautiful colors. Furthermore plants are capable of closing the area between the leaf stem and the trunk, when temperature drops. In winter-‐ time as mentioned before plants lose their leaves and the reason being that they must conserve water, and water loss mostly comes from transpiration through leaves. Finally plants regrow their leaves in spring when temperatures and precipitation levels rise.
Common plants and animals: Salamander
Eastern Black Walnut
Sugar Maple Trees
Food (Energy) Pyramid:
Animal Relationship: Types of relationships Mutualism
Symbiosis that is beneficial to both organisms involved.
An example would be the relationship between bees and flowers, which consists of bees obtaining nectar and consequently being able to produce honey. However while extracting nectar from flowers, pollen gets attached in the dense hair of the bee’s legs, which pollinate while flying from flower to flower. An association between two An example would be the organisms in which one relationship between squirrels benefits and the other derives and trees. Basically squirrels neither benefit nor harm. live inside the cavities of the tree providing them with a shelter that aids them with protection. However the squirrel does not affect the tree since the cavities occur naturally. It is a non-‐ mutual relationship The fungus species Laetiporus between organisms of different Cincinnatus grows on trees species where one organism especially oak trees and benefits at the expense of the basically they break down the other. nutrients of the tree. This means the fungus takes away nutrients from the Oak tree and as a result the Oak tree becomes vulnerable and weak. Relationship between members Bears and wolves hunt for the of the same or different species same type of prey. Therefore in in which those having the same times of scarce prey they must living requirements, such as compete for food, even though food or space, affect individuals. they normally avoid each other.
Human Impact: The introduction of alien species by humans has been a factor that greatly affected the temperate deciduous forest. Specifically the Mayans in the Yucatan region imported aggressive African Honeybees who are marvelous honey producers, however ever since they entered the environment they have ended with the majority of the population of native bees. Therefore by having those who invest on the honey market benefit, the temperate deciduous forest faces a great diversity loss. This is true considering that the aggressive African Honeybees have distorted the natural food web and reproduction in the temperate deciduous forest having a great loss of biodiversity. The consequences this will have in the future for human beings is that many resources that could have been utilized for human progress will be depleted. Another important problem is that aggressive African Honeybees may be able to grow exponentially in size, having no natural predator, therefore infesting the entire Yucatan region, which may bring some serious economical and medical consequences.
Tropical Rainforest Biome Tropical Rainforest
The Tropical Rainforest is a vital biome, out of an exhaustive list. This biome is located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, placing it roughly within 28 degrees latitude north and south of the equator.
Michelle Fitzpatrick | May 2013 Rainfall & Climate: Rainfall
Tropical rainforests have an average of 50 to 260 inches of rainfall a year, with a monthly average of 4 inches as there tends to exist a brief season of less rain.
Climate Rainforests belong to the tropical wet climate group, with an average daily temperature of 30ºC - 35ºC, which may then drop 25ºC as forests are Humidity These night falls. unique for their high humidity levels, which range between 77 and 88%.
Flora & Fauna Flora As a result of this biome’s abundant rain, it is filled with lush green vegetation. Typically, trees of this biome have straight trunks that don’t branch out for more than 100 ft as because below the canopy, there is very little light for these branches to receive. Their bark is smooth and thin, making it difficult for epiphytes and plant parasites to latch on to their trunks. Jambu: A fruit producing plant that grows in the form of a tree or shrub in the regions between southern India to eastern Malaya.
Biome’s Lush Vegetation
Issue | Date
The Fruit of a Jambu Strangler Fig & Its Host
The Durian Tree
The Kapok Tree
Strangler Fig: One of the most essential species in its ecosystem, feeding a great deals of animals with its sweet fruit, which it bares several times a year. Kapok: Characterized by its towering height, this tree can grow up to 150 feet or more. Originally a native to South America, it now has spread to the primary rainforests of West Africa, the Southeast Asian rainforests of the Malay Peninsula, and the Indonesian archipelago. Tualang: A majestic tree, which due to its impressive height of up to 250 feet, towers over its surroundings and can be found in areas of Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and Palawan. They can be seen growing in damp location, such as valleys, lower slopes of hills and along rivers. Durian: A fruiting tree most commonly found in Southeast Asia, which grows in lowland rainforests and is native to Borneo, Indonesia and Malaysia. Dolor Sit Amet
The Tualang Tree
Issue | Date
Fauna Commonly, adaptations to a life in the rainforest can be seen in the animals that live there. For example, bright colors, sharp patterns and loud vocalizations can be seen, which serve to scare of predators, while a diet heavy on fruit is common due to the vast variety provided by the biome’s vegetation.
Bengal Tiger: Lives in the Sundarban regions of India, Bangladesh, China, Siberia and Indonesia.
Harpy Eagle: Known as one of the most powerful and largest species of eagles, the Harpy Eagle is a ferocious predator that hunts a variety of medium to large size mammals that live in trees.
Hourglass Tree Frog: These nocturnal creatures don’t tend to grow over 4cm and live in the high canopies of the rainforest almost year-round, typically found in Central America.
Leaf Cutter Ants: This species of tropical, fungus-growing ants, use fresh vegetation to feed their fungal cultivars, which tend to be found in areas from South to Central America, Mexico and southern parts of the United States. Dolor Sit Amet
Silvery Gibbon: Known for the calls of the female, the silvery gibbon lives high in the rainforest’s treetops, on the western side of the Indonesian island of Java.
Relationships A Leaf Cutter on Fungus
Issue | Date Commensalism: between frogs and the bromeliad Bromeliads are plants that live on other trees, providing shelter and water for frogs without receiving any actual benefit in doing so. ,
Mutualism: between leaf cutter ants & fungus Leaf cutter ants live in the undergrounds of the rainforest, who cut chunks of leaves from trees, though they are not actually able to digest the plant matter. They then bring this plant matter back to their nests, where it cultivates a fungus. The antâ€™s plant matter feeds the fungus, which in turn it provides food for the ants.
Frog sheltered by a bromeliad
Competitive and Parasitic Relationship: between a strangler fig and its host tree Strangler figs have aggressive growth habits, needed for their survival in the rainforest. They grow near their host, slowly at first, getting it nutrients from the sun, rain and whatever else has collected upon the bark of its host. As it grows, it sends out many thin roots, which snake down the trunk of its host. When the roots reach the ground they dig in commencing a growth spurt, competing with its host for water and nutrients. They also send out a network of roots that encircle the host tree allowing it to latch on. As the roots grow thicker they squeeze the trunk of its host and cut off its flow of nutrients. In the canopy the strangler fig puts out lots of leaves that soon grow thicker than the host tree and rob it of sunlight. Eventually the host dies from strangulation, insufficient sunlight and root competition, and the strangler fig stands on its own, having defeated its host, making this relationship a parasitic one.
Dolor Sit Amet
A strangler fig latched on to its host
Issue | Date
Food Chain & Energy Flow The Bengal Tiger
Hourglass Tree Frog Leaf Cutter Ant
Energy Pyramid The flow of energy through trophic levels is only 10% efficient, as energy is lost through heat, excretion and respiration, among other factors.
Tertiary Consumers 1 kJ/m2/y
n tio Re sp ira
T4 T3 T2
100 kJ/m2/y Producers â€“ 1,000 kJ/m2/y Dolor Sit Amet
Human Impact How are we harming this biome and how will this impact our future? Deforestation: Tropical rainforests are very much susceptible to human impact, and though they used to cover about 14% of the Earth, only 6% is left. The root cause of their destruction can be attributed to deforestation. Today Brazil houses about 30% of the world’s rainforest, though this number is rapidly diminishing, as for example, during the years 2000 and 2005, Brazil lost 50,000 square miles of rain forest to deforestation. The loss of tropical rainforests can have many devastating impacts on the environment, some of which are already being seen today.
Impacts of Deforestation: Many species and populations that live in this biome face extinction due to the loss of their habitat. o Currently, we lose 130+ species a day due to deforestation. o Habitat loss also leads to territorial conflicts and the depletion of food supplies. o Extinction also lessens the biome’s biodiversity, as less and less species are seen each day. The removal of plants through deforestation also results in soil erosion, which then results in rain washing away the nutrients in the soil. Tropical rainforests become susceptible to climate change, as they no longer have trees to provide shade, thus increasing the amount of sunlight received by the biome. In turn, deforestation causes an increase in carbon dioxide levels, only adding to the already existing problem.
Mining: Mining for gold, copper, even diamonds and other precious metals is a common activity affecting rainforests all over the world. The extraction of these natural resources can be a destructive activity, not only disrupting the rainforest’s ecosystem, but also causing problems for those living nearby. Impacts of Mining: • Mining causes large-scale pollution, affecting the biome’s ground, air and water supplies. o Mercury used to extract minerals can end up in the water, disrupting food chains. § Statistically, 2.91 lbs. of mercury are released into waterways, for every 2.2 lbs. of gold produced. Future Impacts: The loss of tropical rainforests all over the world adds to the already occurring climate change as the depletion of trees making up this biome increases carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. An intense climate change results in more intense heat waves, the more regular occurrence of wildfires, and longer periods of drought in particular regions as well as an increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of tropical storms. Glaciers will continue to melt, resulting in a rise in sea levels, impacting various species of fish, changing their migratory patterns. Birds will also have to adapt to changing wind patterns, and in turn adjust their migration patterns as well. Gradual replacement of this biome by a dry savannah will also cause changes in water availability for human consumption, agriculture and energy generation.
Introduction: Temperate Deciduous Forests are located generally on the northern hemisphere because it is there where they receive the necessary temperature and annual rainfall in order to grow and survive. First of all, deciduous means that the leaves of the trees fall over a time period and this is done because the trees as well as animals have to rest. When the plants fall to the ground, it provides the soil with nutrients so the ground is always fertile and used for agricultural regions. Location: The image above that has a world map indicates the places for temperate deciduous forests and as it was mentioned early, they located generally in the northern hemisphere and more exactly between 22o North and 53o North. These forests are very big in Eastern United States, Western Europe and in some parts of Russia and China. There are also some temperate deciduous forests in South America and in New Zealand. The other picture represents the deciduous part of these forests and how the plant trees change color from green to orange and end up falling to the ground and provide nutrients for the soil. Climate Temperate deciduous forests have four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The forests have mild summers, which average to about 21 o C, and the months usually begin in July and end at the beginning days of September. On the other hand, winter months do not start until December. The temperature during winter months is a little bit below freezing and this constant changes are due to the location they have because most deciduous forests are located near oceans. Generally, temperate deciduous forests have 36 centimeters of rain during winter months and 46 centimeters during summer months. During the summer months the precipitation is rain while on the winter months it is snow.
Climograph: Animals and Plants: Months Animals that live in deciduous forests have adapted different ways to survive the various climatic changes throughout the year by hibernating or migrate. Migration generally occurs with birds like hawks that migrate to the South but if they are on the southern hemisphere they will fly North. This is because they can receive the hot temperatures and don’t have to come in contact with cold environments. Meanwhile, animals like bears have to hibernate during the winter months in order to not use too much energy and rest. Cold weather is not favorable to them so they find food and then go to sleep for a long time. They take food so that they don’t starve to death during those long months and it is thanks to the cold environment that food is able to stay okay. On the other hand, plants but mostly trees grow broad, lightweight leaves but that can only work and use photosynthesis during hot environments or summer months. That is why, during the winter months, and because the leaves occupy a large surface area that can possibly help in the losing of water, the leaves fall to the ground. This is done because the tree reduces the amount of chlorophyll that is producing for each leave and this is reflected in the color change of leaves from green to orange. Once the leaves fall, trees enter a dormant stage where they rest and wait for the summer months in order to re-‐grow its leaves. The most common trees found are oaks, maples, beeches and then shrubs, perennial herbs and mosses. Five Examples of Animals and Plants in Temperate Deciduous Forests with their Descriptions: Plants
These plants produce fruits that benefit many of the animals in the deciduous forest. They are small round fruits with a blue color and can go from tart to sweet. There are different types of huckleberries that have different uses. Dogwood is a shrub that produces fruits that can be really toxic to humans but that are eaten by birds in the deciduous forest. The name of the fruit is drupes and they often have one or two seeds. Oak trees are considered one of the best shade trees and their fruit is produced in the form of acorns. They reach a mature height of 15 to 21 meters. They adapt regularly to different soils they are exposed to and also they can store a big amount of water. There are 4 different types of maple trees and those are: Sugar Maple Tree, Black Maple Tree, Red Maple Tree and Silver Maple Tree. They tend to have similar characteristics like for example they are palmately lobed and means that leafs are separate in different branches like a human
This animal generally lives in forests where it can find its food. It is an omnivore animal, which means it eats both animals and plants. Generally they are in the middle of the food chain and they are generally classified as preys for various animals. This animal is omnivore, which means that it eats animals smaller than what they are and any kind of plants. Generally they are never killed for food.
Most owls eat lemmings, voles and mice that are found in the deciduous forest. The animals that eat owls are foxes, coyotes and crows. It is generally in the middle of the food chain.
Cougars like to live in places with lots of food and plenty space. They reside on caves, high vegetation or rocky crevices areas. They are excellent hunters and hunt deer, rodents, birds. They hunt once a week but if there is any small cub, then it is several times a week, as they need more
hand. Their fruit is usually seedpods. Chestnut Tree
The nuts are the fruit produced by the Chestnut Tree and they contain spines. These spines help them in transportation because they can then cling to the animals and get a free transport.
The Black Bear is an omnivore, which means it can either eat other animals or plants. They can hunt some fish in the river or eat some of the berries and helping in the spread of their seeds. Energy Pyramid:
The above food web and energy pyramid represent the relationship between the animals in this biome. It basically talks about how they are able to eat and help maintain a balance in the food web so that no organism is endangered. It also explains how the energy that comes from the sun is being lost and at the same time gained by the different animals. Species Interactions in Deciduous Forests with Definition and Examples: Species Interaction Definition Example Mutualism
It is a long lasting relationship between individuals of different species where both benefit
Commensalism is a long lasting relationship between individuals of different species where one individual benefits and the other in unaffected.
Bees and Flowers: Bees go from flower to flower collecting nectar that is then later turned into honey. During this process, they pick up pollen grains so that means that as they go from flower to flower, the pollen grains are transferred onto the stigma. This allows the flowers to reproduce. Squirrel and Tree: Tree provides shelter as well as food for the squirrel and with this there is no harm to the tree because the squirrel
Oliver Jurgensen only lives in the small whole that are natural on the trees. The squirrel is able to survive in a tree that provides food and shelter.
Parasitism is a long lasting relationship between individuals of different species where one individual benefits (parasite) and the other is harmed (host)
Competition occurs when two or more organisms attempt to exploit the same limited resources like food and shelter.
Fungi and Oak Trees: Parasitism starts when some fungus called Laetiporus Cincinnatus grows on trees, especially oak trees. It would start to break down the tree into nutrients and because of this the tree starts to get weak and decay. With this the tree is now very vulnerable. Bear and Wolf: Bear and wolves are both top predators in deciduous forest and they happen to share preys like fish and deer. Usually they avoid each other but if the food starts to get scarce they fight each other or face starvation.
Human Impacts: Different Ways Human have impacted Deciduous Forests with the Present and Future Effects of These Influences Human Impact Present Effects Future Effects Deforestation Deforestation starts because of the human Without the nutrients in the soil thanks to deforestation, necessity for wood in order to create agricultural regions and areas start to become less paper and meet other needs as well as the productive thus affecting the agricultural market. Without fertile soil that lives in deciduous forests. crops, humans will need to get other resources to receive However, when deforestation starts in a the same amount of nutrients that agricultural crops place, the nutrients of the soil start to provide. This means that the fertile lands start to become deplete and this is due because there is no obsolete so then no crops will start to grow. more leaves falling to the ground providing the necessary nutrients. Acid Rain Acid rain contributes to the bad seasons Because trees are starting to get more diseases and having of growing crops because the leaves of difficulty reproducing, this can cause a problem in the plants are damaged. They face a problem number of trees in the future. They will start to decrease in reproducing and photosynthesizing. and this will affect humans as there will be no replacement Without their nutrients, they are exposed for wood, paper, timber, fruits, etc., which are valuable to fungi and other diseases. resources for human beings. Global Warming A global Warming effect on deciduous With higher temperatures in this biome, it can cause forests is that it causes less precipitation animals not to hibernate or birds not to migrate, which to fall on the forests. We know that water disrupts the cycle of life, but also it can make plant growth is mandatory for living organisms and more erratic. In general,, animals and plants will change that without water; plants cannot their behavior and create some competition between reproduce their leaves. This also means species that didn’t happen before. At the end, the biome that it would take more time for a forest could change totally with this constant rise in temperature. to come out winter season. Poaching Animals are hunted for several reasons Poaching affects food webs because if one animal becomes like bears are hunted for their fur, paw or extinct, it would disrupt the food web as the top predators even used as trophies. This means that as will not be able to find food and will need to change its more animals are captured or killed, there habits of preying. This means that more changes will occur are less of the species and so there are in the biome and it can lead to more extinction as animals more endangered animals. cannot necessarily adapt to all changes they are exposed to
Works Cited "Climate:." Temperate Deciduous Forest. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. <http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/biomes/tempded.htm>. "Deciduous Forest Biome." Deciduous Forest Biome. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. <http://www.sunrisesol.com/Lily/>. "Deciduous Forest Climate." Deciduous Forest Climate. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. <http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/deciduous_climate_page.htm>. "Deciduous Forest Image." N.p., n.d. Web. <http://img.ehowcdn.com/article-‐ new/ehow/images/a07/he/j1/temperate-‐deciduous-‐forest-‐animals-‐800x800.jpg>. "Deciduous Forest Map." N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/images/deciduous_location_map001.gif>. "Energy Pyramid." N.p., n.d. Web. <http://biologytb.net23.net/text/chapter36/36images/36-‐07.gif>. "Energy Pyramid." N.p., n.d. Web. <http://biologytb.net23.net/text/chapter36/36images/36-‐07.gif>. "Food Web." N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.world-‐ builders.org/lessons/less/biomes/deciduous/decfor/dec-‐chain.gif>. "Temperate Deciduous Forest : Mission: Biomes." Temperate Deciduous Forest : Mission: Biomes. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. <http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Experiments/Biome/biotemperate.php>. "Temperature and Precipitation Graphs : Mission: Biomes." Temperature and Precipitation Graphs : Mission: Biomes. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. <http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Experiments/Biome/graphs.php>.
TROPICAL GRASSLANDS By: Camila Ayres Location: Where are tropical grasslands located? Tropical Grasslands, also known as Savannahs, are found in almost every continent in the world. These include Africa, South America, Australia, and Southern Asia.
Climate and precipitation: http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/savanna_biome.php Tropical Grasslands climate’s and precipitation divide into two main seasons: • Wet season – “summer season” – 6-8 months – 33ºC • Dry season – “winter season” – 4-6 months – 16ºC The average monthly temperatures and rainfall quantity over both seasons are: • Average monthly temperature: -10 to 46ºC • Average monthly rainfall: 50-127cm per year The diagram to the right illustrates climate graphs of several Savannahs throughout the world. They show the relationship between temperature and precipitation. We can see, different patterns are shown between the northern and southern hemisphere. In the northern area, rainfall is more abundant during low temperatures during cold months, which are from about May to September. On the other hand, in the southern hemisphere we see the opposite pattern; there is more precipitation during the higher temperature ranges, which is from about December to March. These relationships are what cause the shapes of all the graphs represented to the right. Characteristics of Flora and Fauna:
While many other biomes around the world have warm and cold seasons, the Tropical Grassland has wet and dry ones. The plants and animals living there have adapted to these weather conditions in order to survive. Flora: Plants found in the tropical grasslands or Savannah’s have very specific characteristics. This biome is mostly dominated by grasses, which are most of the time from 3 to 6 feet tall. They provide food for many types of animals and without the growth of these many would starve. Apart from wild grasses, drought resistant, fire resistant trees and open shrub layers are present as well. The plants that grow there need to be resistant to dry weather conditions therefore, they store water and energy in their roots, bulbs, or trunks. Also, the roots are often long and extended to reach the low water table.
Fauna: Since the Savannah is a biome that is extremely rich in grasses and tree life, a huge amount of herbivores live in it. One of the reasons that this large variety of herbivores are able to live in the tropical grasslands is that many species have adapted to eat many different types of plants; these include different types of plants or plants at different sizes or heights. Because there is such a big quantity of herbivores of course, many predators will be present as well. There are many powerful predators in the tropical grasslands, which include mainly lions, hyenas, and cheetahs for instance. The Savannah is the biome in which there is the greatest biodiversity of hoofed mammals throughout the whole world. As mentioned before, the Savannah is extremely wet or dry throughout the year therefore, many animals have to migrate around the biome in order to find nutrients and water to survive. So, we can clearly see that there is a huge interdependence between animals and plants in the Tropical Grasslands and also individualism between their characteristics.
Common Plants and Animals: Plants: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Acacia Tree Elephant Grass Common Finger Grass Jackal Berry Tree Sickle Bush
Animals: 1. Giraffe 2. African Elephant 3. Zebra 4. Gazelle 5. Hyena 6. Lion
Tropical Grassland food web:
Here we have an example of a food web in the Savannah biome ďƒ&#x;
Energy Pyramid in the Tropical Grasslands:
T3 Secondary Consumer: Hyena
T2 Primary Consumer: Zebra
T1 Producers: Common Finger Grass
In the Energy Pyramid above we can see the energy transfer between trophic levels in this biome. The energy is first captured by producers from the main light source, the sun, and then only 10% of this energy is passed onto the next level because the other 90% is lost as heat or respiration to the environment. Species relationships in the Tropical Grassland: Mutualism: An example of a mutualistic relationship in the Savannah biome would be the one between the Acacia tree and ants. This tree has, at the bottom of its trunk, hollow lumps; ants use these as a hive. The tree gives them protection therefore; the ants offer the tree protection as well. Ants will guard the tree from any predators that try to eat it by irritating the organism. For example, if a giraffe appeared and started to eat the tree leaves, the ants would come out f the hive and start irritating the giraffe. This will make the animal move and go look for a better and less annoying place to get a meal from. These are not the only actions that reflect mutualism in both species, there are many more. The Acacia tree produces nectar that the ants may use to feed their babies. Also, the ants will go up and down the tree destroying any alien specie that might have started growing in it. Both the tree and the ants benefit from each other and neither is harmed. Commensalism: A great example of commensalism in Tropical Grassland ‘s is the relationship between hyenas and the lion. The lion will hunt its prey to feed on it and will leave leftovers of the organism that it does not consumer. The Hyena will go after these leftovers and eat the, for their survival. However, the lion’s survival chances are not affected at all by this action- they do not gain or lose anything while hyenas benefit. Parasitism: An example of parasitism in the Savannah can be seen in the relationship between the African Elephant and the tick. The Elephant is the host of the parasite, and the tick will feed off the elephant’s blood. So, as the parasite benefits from this supply of blood, the elephant is being harmed because it is losing blood from its body and may even become infected with diseases that the tick brings with it. Competition: An example of a competitive relationship in the Savannah is one between two lions while hunting a zebra. This is an example of intraspecific competition, which is one between two organisms of the same specie competing for different factors, in this case, prey. It is a common type of competition because animals of the same species often live in great numbers in a particular area and these individuals often seek for the same sources of food, in this case, zebras.
Human Impacts on the Tropical Savannah: • Climate change: o Longer than usual droughts o Uncontrollable fires o Changes in season times • Population growth: o Habitat destruction o Foreign animals o Overuse of water resources o Deforestation • Mining o Increase in air pollution o Habitat intoxication • Tourism o Causes the loss of primary producers o Possibility of ecological collapse • Poaching o Poaching = illegal hunting of animals o Leads to danger of extinction o Rhinoceros (endangered) o Horns used for medicine in Asia o 90% of black rhino deaths due to poaching o Elephants (endangered) o Turks used for jewelry, piano keys and sculptures – Chinese market
As seen from above, it is clear that human beings have had a great impact on the tropical grasslands. All of the activities or results listed above are a result of our actions and they bringing mostly negative consequences into the beautiful biome. Even if we don’t notice it now, these impacts will have an impact on us… Impact on humans in the future: • Loss of intrinsic value • Loss of amazing species • Increase in pollution might lead to health problems in the population • Scarcity of resources in the future o No more economical benefit from poaching o Over exploitation might lead to scarcity of: Mining Water Tourism
Humans are not yet conscious of the impact their activities have on the ecosystem or in our own human community. So, what should happen is that we should think before acting in order to preserve the great Tropical Grasslands…
The Tundra biome is located at the top of the World; near the North Pole and covers aprox. A fifth of the world’s surface in the Northern Hemisphere. It is characterized by extremely cold temperatures and frozen landscapes with lack of vegetation. As can be seen in the map above there are two types of Tundra in the World: the arctic and alpine tundra. The alpine tundra is located in high elevations anywhere in the World, and although the land is not frozen all year-‐round, it is covered by snow most of the time. The arctic tundra can be found between the North Pole and the coniferous forest or taiga region and it is recognized by a constant frozen land that remains all year-‐round. Northern Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Siberia give a place to the mayor part of the arctic tundra, while Alaska, Canada, U.S.A, Mexico, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Southern Asia and Japan cover the whole alpine tundra area.
Temperature & Precipitation The location of the Tundra Biome experiences extremely cold temperatures for the most of the year and very low amounts of precipitation. With temperatures averaging below -‐30 º Fahrenheit in winter, the arctic tundra will receive typically less than 10 inches of precipitation per year, this mostly in the form of snow. On the other hand, in summer the temperatures will rise up to 35-‐55º Fahrenheit. The alpine tundra has temperatures averaging below freezing at night and it receives more precipitation throughout the year in comparison to the arctic tundra. In this case, the average annual precipitation is aprox. 20 inches in the form of snow and it also has strong winds that have the ability of exceeding 100 miles per hour. As can be seen in the Climograph, rainfall is mostly found in the warmer months of July and August, and it can reach up to 2o mm of rainfall.
Fauna and Flora The Tundra is biome with dry conditions, poor soil quality, frozen grounds and extremely cold temperatures, which makes the vegetation in this region to be limited. Plants habiting in the arctic tundra must adapt to cold and dark conditions without sun in the winter months, because of this they experience brief periods of growth in the summer when warm temperatures are enough for vegetation to grow. This vegetation only consists of short shrubs and grasses because the frozen ground doesn’t allow plants with deep roots like trees to grow. In the alpine tundra the sun remains in the sky for the same amount of time throughout the year because of the extremely high altitudes. This allows the vegetation (short shrubs, grasses and rosette perennials) to grow at a constant rate. Animals of this biome also need to adapt to the cold and harsh conditions; small mammals survive by burrowing and hibernating during winter while large mammals migrate to warmer areas to escape the cold and find food.
Fauna and Flora: Arctic Tundra
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Arctic Moss Arctic Willow Cinquefoil Arctic Lichen Caribou Moss
Fauna 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Musk Ox Caribou Arctic Wolves Snowy Owl Polar Bear
Fauna and Flora: Alpine Tundra
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Alpine Phacelia Bear Grass Bristlecone Pine Moss Campion Pigmy Bitterroot
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Kea Parrot Arctic Hare Mountain goats Pikas Woodland Caribou
T4 -‐ Tertiary Consumer: Polar Bear
Decomposers: Fungi 1.08x104 kJ/m2/y
T3 – Secondary Consumer: Arctic F ox
T2 – Primary Consumer: Musk Ox
T1 – Producers: Lichen
L I G H T
Mutualism One case in the Tundra biome where both organisms benefit from each other is Lichens. Lichen is a composite organism made up of a fungus and a green alga or cyanobacterium. Because the alga is photosynthetic it reduces Co2 into sugars so that it feeds the fungus as well. On the other hand, the fungal also helps providing protection to the alga by retaining water and obtaining minerals from substrate. As we can see, this is called mutualism because both the fungus and the green alga benefit from this relation.
Commensalism They only way Caribous can survive to the harsh winter in the Tundra biome is by eating Lichens, these provide them with carbohydrates and give them heat and energy. When the Caribou is on the lookout for food, the arctic fox follows it so that when the Caribou digs the ground snow and soil and exposes subnivean mammals, he is able to follow an dig further deep and finally get its food in the form of the mammals.
H E A T
Commensalism is shown because wherein the Caribou remains unaffected; the arctic fox manages to get its food with help.
The liver tapeworm cysts has a relation with another organism where he gets benefits out of it, while the other one is at a loss in the relation. Liver tapeworm cysts tend to stay and grow in the body of animals like moose or caribous. They inclusively feed on the food eaten by these animals, which finally could lead to malnutrition in the host body.
Competition In the Tundra biome not many species have to worry about competition because the environment is too big and harsh in climate, which means that there are not many animals that can actually survive to this conditions. However, an example of competition would be the one between a Caribou and a Musk-‐Ox. In the winter season, when food is hard to find, the musk ox and caribou might have competition trying to get something to feed on, although they eat completely different things, both of them will rely on basic foods to survive in this biome.
Human induced change in the Tundra The Tundra biome is one of the most sensitive habitats in the world, although it has little vegetation diversity. The most severe and important threat induced in part by human activity is global warming, especially caused by the greenhouse gases. These gases may cause arctic regions, including tundra’s to disappear forever. Another concern related to global warming is that one third of the worlds soil-‐bound carbon is in the tundra permafrost, meaning that
as the frozen soil thaws, its organic contents start to release Co2, which is indeed a greenhouse gas. Finally, Oils spills have been killing wildlife and significantly damaging the tundra ecosystem in the past years, leading to loss of species and biodiversity. All this could lead to various impacts on humans life in the future: the loss of landscape because of global warming would affect the living of species in this biome, and the Ozone depletion at the North and South Poles would radiate stronger ultraviolet rays that will not only harm the Tundra, but also humans health.
Grasslands Grasslands are large, open areas with very few trees there are two types of grasslands the temperate grasslands and tropical grasslands. Temperate grasslands are usually located between deserts and temperate forests, in the mid-‐latitudes north of the tropic of cancer and south of the tropic of Capricorn. Tropical grasslands on the other hand, are normally located near the equator and are found in the interior areas of continents, between tropical rainforests and tropical deserts. In this article we will be specifically looking at temperate grassland. The average rainfall in temperate grasslands ranges anywhere from 10-‐30 inches (22-‐66cm) per year, the rain fall levels are important to determine if the area is suitable to be a grassland. The reason for this is because it is hard for trees to compete with the growth of grass when only the upper levels of the soil are moist and the deeper layers are dry. In grasslands the rain fall is enough to support the growth of grass and few trees. Average rainfall over the course of a year (mm) January February March April May June July August September October November December Year/total 8.2mm
14.0mm 28.7 52.7 59.5 71.9 50.3 38.8 31.6 31.7 13.9 9.4 411.8 Grasslands are notorious for their cold temperatures. Due to the lack of trees or structures wind can pick up speeds making it colder for all organisms. During the day the temperature is much warmer because the sun is up and during the night it gets much colder due to the lack of warmth from the sun. The average temperature for grasslands ranges from -‐4 Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius Temperature lows in Day Temperature highs in the Temperature lows at Temperature highs day Night at night 7C 14C -‐2C 4C Average 24 hour Temperature throughout the year (Celsius) January February March April May June July August September October November December Year -‐8.4
14.0 19.8 23.8 22.8
100 80 60
Average Temperature (Celsius) February
Average Percepita]on (mm)
Mutualism There are few examples of mutualism in the temperate grasslands biome. The most obvious would be the bacteria that live in the stomachs of large herbivores that help break down the cellulose in the plants. Bacteria live well in these conditions and the herbivores benefit from the bacteria helping them break down the cellulose. Commensalism An example of commensalism is when the nurseplants protect the young seedlings. They do this by letting the young seedlings grow under the nurse plants. This protects the young seedlings from herbivores as they are covered and hidden and during the winter it protects the young seedlings from the snowfall Parasitism For example rattle lives off the roots, plants, and grasses. It obtains the nutrients by absorbing the ones That are meant for the plant. This means that it takes the nutrients meant for the plant for itself. This in turn kills the plants and lets the rattle thrive. Competitive Snakes and hawks have to compete for mice and other small organisms, since they are so sparse in this biome. They are constantly competing and this creates the balance in between the two animals. Flora and Fauna In the temperate grasslands biome the main animals are Herbivores and small carnivores. Herbivores ranging in size from being large herbivores such as bison, deer, and antelopes to small herbivores like mice. Then we have predators such as hawks and snakes which prey on the small herbivores like mice and rabbits. Larger herbivores such as bison go relatively unhunted. Except from the input of humans large herbivores went relatively untouched. On the other hand the flora is very stale. The main types of plants are different types of grasses. Trees are few and far between. This is due to the fact that rainfall is very sparse and not in much quantity.
When it does come it is very little so it only moistens the upper levels of the soil. This means that grass thrives in these conditions because there roots are quite shallow. On the other hand trees are rare to find due to the fact that trees have deep roots. This means it’s hard for them to grow due to the deeper layers of soil not being moist. Humans Humans have had a huge effect on these biomes. They are easy to settle in due to the flat land and few trees. Humans have been able to easily settle and flourish in these lands. The reason they are not too overly populated is due to the fact that they are found in the interior of continents and they are not easily accessible through the shore line. Humans have also over hunted bison and other large animals for their fur and pelts. TO create leather products and fur coats and accessories Swift Fox-‐ Velpus velox Dhole-‐ Cuon Alpinus The Himalayan Tahr-‐ Hemitragus Vancouver Marmot-‐ Marmota Jemlahicus Vancouverensis
Gobi Jerboa-‐ Allactaga Bullata
Wild Indigo-‐ Baptisia tinctoria
White Clover-‐ Trifolium repens
Aster-‐ Callistephus chinesis Sunflower-‐ Helianthus annuus
Food Web representing a list of generic animals found in a temperate grasslands biome
Wild Grass Achnatherum hymenoides