Objective 1.01 Describe and compare several common ecosystems (communities of organisms and their interaction with the environment). Climate describes the weather patterns that affect a region over a long period of time.
Biomes • Biomes are large geographic areas with similar climates and ecosystems; includes tundra, taiga, desert, temperate deciduous forest, temperate rain forest, tropical rain forest, and grassland. • There is a debate about number of biomes among scientists.
Tundra • The tundra is a cold, dry, treeless region, sometimes called a cold desert. • Receives little annual precipitation. • Winters in the Arctic can be six to nine months long. • The most distinctive characteristic of tundra soil is permafrost, a permanently frozen layer of ground.
Tundra Life • Tundra plants are adapted to drought and cold. Ex:) lichens, mosses, grasses, and small shrubs. • There are many biting insects. • Migratory birds such as ducks and geese. • Other inhabitants include hawks, snowy owls, mice, hares, reindeer, and musk oxen.
Life In The Tundra Lichens – Organisms consisting of a fungi and algae living in association. Lichens have a high tolerance for cold, drought, and heat. They should not be confused with mosses, which are chlorophyll-containing plants. Moss –tiny leafy-stemmed flowerless plants. Snowy owls – large birds of prey perfectly adapted to life in the northern Arctic Musk Oxen – an Arctic mammal noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted by males, from which its name derives.
Taiga • The taiga is a cold, forest region dominated by cone-bearing evergreen trees. • The taiga is warmer and wetter than the tundra. • Moose, lynx, shrews, bears, and foxes are some of the animals that live in the taiga.
Life In The Taiga Lynx – A short-tailed wildcats with usually tufted ears. Shrew – small mouse like mammal with a long snout; related to moles. Fox - carnivorous mammal with pointed muzzle and ears and a bushy tail.
Temperate Deciduous Forest • Temperate regions usually have four distinct seasons each year. • In autumn, the leaves on deciduous trees change color and fall to the ground.
Temperate Deciduous Forest • Forests provide food and shelter for many animals. • Animals that live in forests use the trees and underlying plants as food or shelter. Deer, hawks, mountain lions, raccoons, and foxes are all able to live in the same ecosystem because they each have different needs. This helps to maintain the balance in their environment.
Life In The Temperate Deciduous Forest Whitetail Deer – A medium-sized deer native to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and in South America. Mountain Lion – A large wild cat native to the Americas. Raccoon – An omnivorous nocturnal mammal native to North America and Central America
Temperate Rain Forest • The average temperature ranges from 9°C to 12°C. Precipitation ranges from 200 cm to 400 cm per year. • Trees with needlelike leaves dominate these forests. • Animals include the black bear, cougar, bobcat, and northern spotted owl.
Life In The Temperate Rain Forest Black Bear - Brown to black North American bear; smaller and less ferocious than the brown bear Northern Spotted Owl - Reclusive bird, found in the American West, requiring old-growth forest habitat to survive.
Tropical Rain Forest • Warm temperatures, wet weather, and lush plant growth. • Soil contains little dead vegetation. • Forests are warm because they are near the equator. • Home to one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. • 4 zones: forest floor, understory, canopy, and emergent's.
Tropical Rain Forest • An average of 50 to 260 inches of rain falls yearly. • Rainforests cover less than 6% of the Earth’s land surface, but produce 40% of the Earth’s oxygen. About one-fourth of the medicine we use comes from rainforest plants.
Tropical Rain Forest • Many species of animals such as sloths, monkeys, and jaguars live in the rainforest. Mammals and birds have adapted to a life in the trees. Many have bright colors, loud vocal calls, and live on fruits. Reptiles such as boa constrictors and anacondas also thrive in this area. • Insects are the largest group that lives in the rainforest.
Life In The Tropical Rain Forest Anaconda – An aquatic snake that lives in South America, including in the Amazon River region Scarlet Macaw – A member of the parrot family. Sloth – Slow-moving tree dwelling mammal of South America and Central America.
Desert • The biome that receives the least amount of rainfall each year. • The driest biome on Earth. • Desert plants are spaced far apart and much of the ground is bare. • In order to provide water for desert cities, rivers and streams have been diverted. When this happens, wildlife tends to move closer to cities in their search for food and water.
Life In The Desert Thorny Devil – colored in camouflaging shades of desert browns and tans Elf Owl – It is the world's smallest owl, followed closely by the Pygmy owl. Sidewinder – desert rattlesnake of southwestern United States; body moves in an s-shaped curve
Grasslands • Temperate and tropical regions with 25 cm to 75 cm of precipitation each year that are dominated by climax communities of grasses; ideal for growing crops (like corn) and raising cattle and sheep. • Animal Types: Usually mammals that graze on the stems, leaves, and seeds of grass plants. Ex:) Kangaroos in Australia and Zebra in Africa.
Life In The Grasslands Cow – A female of domestic cattle. The male is called a bull. Sheep – Woolly usually horned ruminant mammal related to the goat. Kangaroo – A member of a family of large marsupials with strong hind legs for hopping, mainly found in Australia.