What is a Biome? • A large region characterized by a specific type of climate and certain types of plant and animal communities.
Two main types of Biomes: • Terrestrial Biomes: Land Biomes • Aquatic Biomes: Water Biomes (Freshwater and Marine)
Tropical Rain Forests • Located in a belt around the Earth near the equator. • Tropical Region lies between the Tropic of Cancer at 23.5° N and the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.5° S.
Tropical Rain Forests Always humid and warm 200-450 cm of rain a year Year-round strong sunlight, providing constant warm temperature. More species of plant than any other biome More than half of all the world’s plant and animal species as well as many important household products and medicines are found here.
Temperate Rain Forests • Located in North American, Australia and New Zealand • Large amounts of precipitation, high humidity and moderate temperatures.
Temperate Rain Forests Large trees such as Redwood draped with mosses and lichens. Some Evergreen trees such as Douglas Fir. Forest floors covered in ferns.
Temperate Deciduous Forests • Found in North America, Europe, and Asia • Most located between 30° and 50° north latitude • Average annual temperature is 50°F and average annual rainfall is 30-60 in. per year. • Range in temperature is extreme with 4 distinct seasons each year.
Temperate Deciduous Forests Tall trees such as maple, ash, oak and birch with smaller trees and shrubs. Trees have broad-leaves that change color and drop in the fall.
Temperate Deciduous Forests Animals include squirrels, bears, woodpeckers, deer, raccoons, salamanders, and grasshoppers. Most birds are migratory and some animals hibernate during the winter.
Taiga • Northern coniferous forest found in a broad band across the Northern Hemisphere just below the Arctic Circle.
Taiga • Winters are 6-10 months long with average temperatures below freezing and very small amounts of precipitation. • Growing season may be as short as 50 days.
Taiga Common plants include coniferous trees such as pine, white spruce, hemlock, and douglas fir. Common animals include lynx, bobcat, snowshoe hare, and moose. During summer months large numbers of insects are found here with insect eating birds following to breed.
Savanna • Found in parts of Africa, Western India, northern Australia and some parts of South America. • Warm temperature year-round with little precipitation throughout the year. • Rolling grassland scattered with shrubs and isolated trees. • Has a dry season and a wet season.
Savanna Some common plants include hardy grasses, acacias, and a few short, twisted trees. Animals have specialized eating habits that reduce competition for food. Some common animals include lions, zebras, elephants and giraffes.
Temperate Grassland • Found in the middle latitudes in the interiors of continents. • Prairies of North America, steppes of Russia and Ukraine, and the pampas of South America.
Temperate Grassland • Characterized by large, rolling terrains of grasses, flowers and herbs. • Average of 50-88 cm of precipitation per year • Hot summers and cold winters • Most fertile soil of any biome, so often replaced by farms and grazing areas. • Precipitation is erratic and grass fires are common.
Temperate Grassland Common plants include Buffalo grass, sunflower, and clover. Common animals include pronghorn antelope, bison, coyotes, prairie dogs, wild turkeys and owls.
Chaparral • Located in middle latitudes, about 30° north and south of the equator, primarily in coastal areas with Mediterranean climates. • Typically have hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. • Temperate woodland with low-lying, evergreen shrubs and small tress that grow in dense patches.
Chaparral Common plants include scrub oak, olive trees, and herbs such as sage and bay. Plants have small, leathery leaves that retain water and contain oils that promote burning. Common animals include quail, lizards, chipmunks, coyotes, mule deer, alligator lizards and horned toads.
Desert • Covers 1/5 of Earth’s land surface. • Very dry with hot days and cold nights. • Typically receive less than 25 cm. of precipitation a year and has little or no vegetation. • Hot deserts are closer to the equator than cold deserts.
Desert • Often located near large mountain ranges since mountains can block the clouds which limit precipitation.
Desert Plants • Have adaptations for obtaining and conserving water. • Succulents, such as cactuses, have thick sharp spines that keep animals away, and roots that spread out just under the surface of the soil to absorb as much rain as possible.
Desert Animals • Most are nocturnal; active at night when it is cooler. • Reptiles have thick, scaly skin that prevent water loss. • Amphibians bury themselves in the ground and sleep through the dry season.
Tundra • Located primarily north of the Arctic Circle.
Tundra • Coldest of all land biomes with little precipitation. • Thin layer of soil that is very infertile. The layer underneath is permafrost; permanently frozen soil.
Tundra Plants have darker shades of color and grow close to the ground to absorb more heat and provide protection from wind. Include mosses, lichens, cottongrass, and small shrubs. Common animals include caribou, deer, moose, lemmings, mice, rabbits, foxes, and migratory birds.