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Biomes in the world:
Rainforest Tundra Taiga
Desert Temperate Grasslands
- There are two types of ecosystems:
- Freshwater that contains:
2. Marine that contains:shorelines , temperate oceans , and tropical oceans .
Because we share the world with many other species of plants and animals, we must consider the consequences of our actions. Over the past several decades, increasing human activity has rapidly destroyed or polluted many ecological habitats throughout the world. It is important to preserve all types of biomes as each houses many unique forms of life. However, the continued heavy exploitation of certain biomes, such as the forest, freshwater, and marine, may have more severe implications.
The area where freshwater meets saltwater, is called an estuary; this area usually features unique characteristics, trees and algae, seaweed, wetland flora, and various species of invertebrates, birds, reptiles and crustaceans congregate into a complex ecosystem, serving as a "trade center" to the world's aquatic biomes. Although there are many rivers and streams, these sources of running water account for a very small portion of the earth's total surface, just .3%.
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. 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, and Large population oscillations. Tundra is separated into two types:
Arctic tundra and Alpine 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. The growing season ranges from 50 to 60 days. The average winter temperature is -34° C (-30° F), but the average summer temperature is 3-12° C (37-54° F) which enables this biome to sustain life. Rainfall may vary in different regions of the arctic. Yearly precipitation, including melting snow, is 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches). Soil is formed slowly. A layer of permanently frozen subsoil called permafrost exists, consisting mostly of gravel and finer material. When water saturates the upper surface, bogs and ponds may form, providing moisture for plants. There are no deep root systems in the vegetation of the arctic tundra, however, there are still a wide variety of plants that are able to resist the cold climate. There are about 1,700 kinds of plants in the arctic and subarctic, and these include: low shrubs, sedges, reindeer mosses, liverworts, grasses, 400 varieties of flowers, and crustiest and foliose lichen.
All of the plants are adapted to sweeping winds and disturbances of the soil. Plants are short and group together to resist the cold temperatures and are protected by the snow during the winter. They can carry out photosynthesis at low temperatures and low light intensities. The growing seasons are short and most plants reproduce by budding and division rather than sexually by flowering. The fauna in the arctic is also diverse:
Herbivorous mammals: lemmings, voles, caribou, arctic hares and squirrels
Carnivorous mammals: arctic foxes, wolves, and polar bears
Migratory birds: ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, ravens, sandpipers, terns, snow birds, and various species of gulls
Insects: mosquitoes, flies, moths, grasshoppers, black flies and arctic bumble bees
Fish: cod, flatfish, salmon, and trout
Animals are adapted to handle long, cold winters and to breed and raise young quickly in the summer. Animals such as mammals and birds also have additional insulation from fat. Many animals hibernate during the winter because food is not abundant. Another alternative is to migrate south in the winter, like birds do. Reptiles and amphibians are few or absent because of the extremely cold temperatures. Because of constant immigration and emigration, the population continually oscillates.
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. The plants are very similar to those of the arctic ones and include: tussock grasses, dwarf trees, small-leafed shrubs, and heaths.
Animals living in the alpine tundra are also well adapted:
Mammals: pikas, marmots, mountain goats, sheep, elk
Birds: grouselike birds
Insects: springtails, beetles, grasshoppers, butterflies
How are biomes related to human action and ecologial impact?