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What is a Biome?


A biome is a community of plants and animals living together in a certain kind of climate.

What are the different types of biomes?

BIOME

DESCRIPTION

PLANT AND ANIMAL ORGANISMS

Freshwater

Ponds and Lakes inland bodies of water that sustains a fairly diverse community algae (like diatoms), rooted and floating aquatic plants, grazing snails, clams, insects, crustaceans, fishes, and amphibians

Streams and Rivers
bodies of flowing water moving in one direction freshwater fish such as trout, catfish and carp , aquatic green plants and algae
Wetlands areas of standing water

aquatic plants, marshes, swamps, and bogs grasses, reeds, mosses, and evergreen trees

 

Marine

Oceans largest of all the ecosystems

intertidal zone where the ocean meets the land -- invertebrates, fishes, and seaweed

pelagic zone waters further from the land, basically the open ocean--surface seaweeds, many species of fish and some mammals, such as whales and dolphins

benthic zone --area below the pelagic zone, but does not include the very deepest parts of the ocean --seaweed, bacteria, fungi, sponges, sea anemones, worms, sea stars, and fishes

abyssal zone--the deep ocean --highly pressured, high in oxygen content, but low in nutritional content ---many species of invertebrates and fishes Note: mid-ocean ridges (spreading zones between tectonic plates), often with hydrothermal vents, are found in the abyssal zones along the ocean floors. Chemosynthetic bacteria sill thrive near these vents because of the large amounts of hydrogen sulfide and other minerals they emit. These bacteria are thus the start of the food web as they are eaten by invertebrates and fishes.

Coral reefs distributed in warm shallow waters. They can be found as barriers along continents (e.g., the Great Barrier Reef off Australia), fringing islands, and atolls the dominant organisms in coral reefs are corals, besides corals, the fauna include several species of microorganisms, invertebrates, fishes, sea urchins, octopuses, and sea stars
Estuaries areas where freshwater streams or rivers merge with the ocean microflora like algae, and macroflora, such as seaweeds, marsh grasses, and mangrove trees (only in the tropics), worms, oysters, crabs, and waterfowl

Desert

Hot and dry deserts seasons are generally warm throughout the year and very hot in the summer. The winters usually bring little rainfall dominant animals are burrowers and kangaroo rats. There are also insects, arachnids, reptiles and birds. The animals stay inactive in protected hideaways during the hot day and come out to forage at dusk, dawn or at night, when the desert is cooler
Semiarid deserts It normally does not go above 38 C and evening temperatures are cool, at around 10 C

semiarid plants include: Creosote bush, bur sage (Franseria dumosa or F. deltoidea), white thorn, cat claw, mesquite, brittle bushes (Encelia farinosa), lyciums, and jujube. --animals include mammals such as the kangaroo rats, rabbits, and skunks; insects like grasshoppers and ants; reptiles are represented by lizards and snakes; and birds such as burrowing owls and the California thrasher.

Coastal desert occur in moderately cool to warm areas such as the Nearctic and Neotropical realm. A good example is the Atacama of Chile. animals include: insects, mammals (coyote and badger), amphibians (toads), birds (great horned owl, golden eagle and the bald eagle), and reptiles (lizards and snakes), fairy shrimps
Cold desert- characterized by cold winters with snowfall and high overall rainfall throughout the winter and occasionally over the summer. They occur in the Antarctic, Greenland

the main plants are deciduous, most having spiny leaves.

jack rabbits, kangaroo rats, kangaroo mice, pocket mice, grasshopper mice, and antelope ground squirrels

Forest

Tropical occur near the equator --distinct seasonality: winter is absent, and only two seasons are present (rainy and dry). The length of daylight is 12 hours and varies little.

semievergreen forest: longer dry season (the upper tree story consists of deciduous trees, while the lower story is still evergreen).

moist/dry deciduous forest (monsoon): the length of the dry season increases further as rainfall decreases (all trees are deciduous).

Temperate Temperate forests occur in eastern North America, northeastern Asia, and western and central Europe. Well-defined seasons with a distinct winter characterize this forest biome. Moderate climate and a growing season trees are distinguished by broad leaves that are lost annually and include such species as oak, hickory, beech, hemlock, maple, basswood, cottonwood, elm, willow, and spring-flowering herbs. Fauna is represented by squirrels, rabbits, skunks, birds, deer, mountain lion, bobcat, timber wolf, fox, and black bear.
Boreal forests (taiga) located in northern areas of the world and near the tops of high mountains having long, dry, cold winters and short, warm summers Conifers or evergreens as well as bushes, shrubs, ferns and mosses can grown in boreal forests. Carnivores, including weasels, mink, wolves, wolverines, owls, and hawks hunt in the taiga. Deer, bear, and squirrels live in taiga all year around, while caribou live there in the winter

Grassland

Savanna grassland with scattered individual trees. Savannas of one sort or another cover almost half the surface of Africa. Savannas are sometimes classified as forests grasses and forbs (small broad-leaved plants that grow with grasses). The savannas experiences a surge of new life at this time
Temperate grassland Temperate Grasslands are found throughout the globe, generally in the interiors of the continents and north or south of the tropic of cancer/capercorn. grasses as the dominant vegetation. Trees and large shrubs are absent.
Tundra
Artic tundra Arctic tundra is mostly found in the Northern Hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere it is found on isolated islands off the coast of Antarctica as well as the Antarctic peninsula. low shrubs, sedges, reindeer mosses, liverworts, and grasses 400 varieties of flowers
Alpine tundra Alpine biomes are found in the mountain regions all around the world -tussock grasses, dwarf trees, small-leafed shrubs, and heaths.
Animals living in the alpine tundra are: Mammals: pikas, marmots, mountain goats, sheep, elk Birds: grouselike birds Insects: springtails, beetles, grasshoppers, butterflies

 

SOURCES AND READINGS

Worlds Biomes -- University of California Museum of Paleontology

Mission Biomes from NASA

Alaska US Fish and Wildlife Service

Biomes -- Animals of the World

Biomes of the World -- The Wild Classroom

 

 

 

 

 

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