Biome Descriptions

 

   
   

Biome Summaries

Biome

Categories

Precipitation (cm)

Other Information

Temperature

(C)

Plants

Animals

Grassland

Savanna

51-127

rainfall conc. in 6-8 mos.

Followed by drought

high temps/close to equator

grasses/trees-acacias

elephants,

giraffes, dik-dik, bush back

 

 

temperate grasslands, prairies

51-88

in spring

hot summers, cool-cold winters

 

dense tall grass

herding animals

 

steppes

24-51

 

hot summers, cool-cold winters

short (25 cm) grass

herding animals

forest

temperate

75-150

even throughout year

-30 to 30

oak, hickory, beech, hemlock, maple, elm

squirrels, rabbits, birds, deer, bobcats, foxes

 

tropical

>200

even throughout year

20-25

trees, orchids, bromeliads, vines,palms,

buttressed trunks shallow roots

birds, bats, sm. Mammals, insects

 

taiga

40-100

mostly snow

very cold!

Evergreen conifers, pine, fir, and spruce

woodpeckers, hawks, moose, bear, weasel, lynx, fox wolf, hares, shrews

tundra

arctic

little rainfall

severe winds, all light summers and all dark winters, permafrost

low nutrients

very cold winters

grows flat on ground, hairs, flowers parabola shaped, heliotrophic, pollination wind driven

glycerol in body tissues for antifreeze, white fur, fat insulation, hibernation, insects live in H2O in winter

 

alpine

15-25

top rocky mountains, no trees

very cold winters

shrubbery, lichen and moss, 1700 kinds plants

lemmins, voles, caribou, hares, squirrels, foxes, wolves, polar bears, water fowl, birds, fish

Deserts

hot & dry -arid

<50

H2O evap. Before hit ground

cover 20% land

20-25

extremes -18 to 50

shrubs, sm trees, spines, thorns

nocturnal, few mammals, mostly reptiles, amphibians have accelerated life cycles, many animals burrow

 

semiarid

   

21 - 27

extremes 10-38

spines, thorns

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

 

cold

short moist summer

 

winter -2 to 4

summer 21-26

plants widely scattered 10% cover

 

aquatic

freshwater

lakes

lakes spring, fall overturn

lakes 3 main layers-epilimnion, warm, thermocline-rapidly changing, hypolimnion-cool

light determines plants-phytoplankton to SAV

insect larvae, insects, fish

   

streams

 

headwaters cool-cold,

mouth warmer

speed water flow determines plants mosses-rooted w phytoplankton according to current

insects are: shredders, grazers, fish, crayfish, snails

 

marine

oceans/seas

light levels determine primary productivity and somewhat secondary biomass

above thermocline varies by latitude and season, below isotherm, 2-4 C

phytoplankton and SAV in euphotic zones

great diversity of fauna - all phyla represented

adaptations for cold, lack of light, and viscosity of medium

 

   
       
       
   

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