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Biomes - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Biomes. Biome. a large group of ecosystems that share the same type of climax community. 2 Types of Biomes. Terrestrial (land) Biomes Aquatic (water) Biomes marine (salt water) freshwater biomes. 6 Major Terrestrial (Land) Biomes.

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  • a large group of ecosystems that share the same type of climax community
2 types of biomes
2 Types of Biomes
  • Terrestrial (land) Biomes
  • Aquatic (water) Biomes
      • marine (salt water)
      • freshwater biomes
6 major terrestrial land biomes
6 Major Terrestrial (Land) Biomes
  • terrestrial biomes are defined by their latitude, altitude, and precipitation
terrestrial biomes
Terrestrial Biomes
  • tundra
  • taiga
  • dessert
  • grasslands
  • temperate forest
  • tropical rain forest
  • treeless area around the poles
  • temperatures rise above freezing only for very short periods of time, about 12 cm precipitation annually


  • soil is lacking in nutrients; topsoil is thin -little decay occurs
  • soil supports only shallow-rooted grasses and small plants
  • short growing season-limiting factor for life
  • contains permafrost - layer of permanently frozen ground


  • called northern conifer forest
  • climate is harsh - long, severe winters, short, mild summers, 35-40 cm precipitation annually
  • permafrost is usually absent
  • found in Canada, Northern Europe, Asia


  • lichens, mosses, grasses, dwarf shrubs, cushion plants, mosquitoes, other biting insects, lemming, weasels, arctic foxes, snowshoe hares, snowy owls, hawks, musk-oxen, caribou, reindeer


  • topsoil is acidic and poor in minerals
  • Example Organisms: mixed pine, fir, hemlock, & spruce trees, more large species of animals- caribou, moose, lynx


  • Driest of the biomes, less than 25 cm of precipitation annually
  • Located south of the taiga
  • Atacama Desert in Chile – world’s driest place


  • an arid region with sparse to almost nonexistent plant life
  • desert plants sometimes have spines, thorns, or poisons that act to discourage herbivores
  • example organisms - shrub, mesquite trees, cacti, kangaroo rat, pronghorn antelopes, foxes, coyotes, hawks, owls, roadrunners, snakes, lizards, scorpions
  • receives between 25 and 75 cm of precipitation annually
  • soils have considerable humus content
  • usually experience a dry season where insufficient water exists to support forests
  • example organisms - more than 100 different species per acre, large herds of grazing animals, bison, buffalo, wolves, coyotes, prairie dogs, foxes, ferrets, birds, insects, reptiles, tortoises, lizards, snakes

large communities covered with grasses and similar small plants

  • known as prairies (U.S., Canada, & Australia), steppes (Russia), savanna (Africa), pampas (Argentina)
  • called the breadbaskets of the world-ideal for growing grains (oats, rye, wheat)
  • occupies more area than any other terrestrial biome


temperate forest
Temperate Forest
  • soil consists of top layer rich in humus and a deeper layer of clay
  • example organisms - squirrels, mice, rabbits, birds, black bears, deer, salamanders, opossums

Temperate Forest

  • precipitation ranges from 70-150 cm annually
  • deciduous forests - dominated by broad-leaved hardwood trees that lose their foliage annually (deciduous)
tropical rain forest
Tropical Rain Forest
  • most biologically diverse of the terrestrial biomes, located in the equatorial regions around the world
  • uniformly warm (25oC) , wet weather dominated by lush plant growth, annual rainfall is at least 200cm up to 400 cm, which much of is retained and recycled by the heavy canopy of leaves

Tropical Rain Forest

  • most organisms live in the trees
  • more species of reptiles, amphibians, and birds are found here than any other terrestrial biome
  • 3 million species of insects in the tropical rain forest, butterflies, gorillas, cougars
  • Nutrients from decay must be absorbed quickly. Why?

Due the large amount of rain

precipitation amounts
Precipitation Amounts

1 cm = 0.4 inches

marine biomes
Marine Biomes
  • oceans contain the largest amount of biomass (living material) of any biome on Earth
  • most of this biomass is plankton - microscopic organisms that float in the layers of the photic zone
water zones
Water Zones
  • photic zone - more shallow, sunlit zone
  • aphotic zone - deeper water that never receives sunlight
mixed waters
Mixed Waters
  • all waters flow to a sea/ocean
  • estuary – coastal body of water partially surrounded by land where saltwater and freshwater mix
  • caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon – twice a day
  • intertidal zone – area between the high and low tide lines
photic zone
Photic Zone
  • rainfall washes nutrients from land into the waters
  • high in nutrients and abundant in life
  • plankton – small organisms that live in waters of the photic zone – base of all aquatic food chains
aphotic zone
Aphotic Zone
  • intense pressure
  • no light
  • animals are adapted for darkness and scarcity of food
freshwater biome
Freshwater Biome
  • ponds, rivers, and lakes
  • temperature varies with depth – abiotic factor that limits the kind of organisms that can survive in a deep lake
  • light also is a limiting abiotic factor