Pond Succession Each group of plants has successively more mass, which helps to fill in the pond quicker as they die. The portions of immersed plants above water also help to trap dirt, causing the pond to fill even faster
Stratification of a lake These layers are based on temperatures of the water. With stratification in place in a "deep" lake, we can define three major layers within the lake. Epilimnion, an upper layer of circulating warm water, usually no more than 6 m (20 ft) deep, where dissolved oxygen concentrations are moderate to high. Thermocline, a layer of rapid temperature and oxygen decrease with depth, often quite thin, separating the upper and lower layers. Hypolimnion, a cold, deep-water, non-circulating layer in which oxygen is low or absent.
Temperature stratification is important in turnover of nutrients and oxygen levels in the lake, which in turn effects the organisms that can live in that layer.
Neritic – shallow part of the sea Pelagic – open sea Benthic – bottom part of a body of water
Animal Adaptations of the Tundra • Some common adaptations of resident animals in the arctic and alpine tundra: - short and stocky arms and legs. - thick, insulating cover of feathers or fur. Hollow fur • Black skin to absorb heat – polar bear- color changing feathers or fur: brown in summer, and white in winter. - thick fat layer gained quickly during spring in order to have continual energy and warmth during winter months. - many tundra animals have adapted especially to prevent their bodily fluids from freezing solid. They have an Antifreeze protein in the blood.- resident animals like the ptarmigan and the ground squirrel use solar heating to stay warm and save energy. Both animals stay out in the sun to warm up and during the summer when the weather is warm, seek shade to cool off.
Plant Adaptations of the Tundra • Tundra plants can grow at temperatures 15ºC to 20ºC (27ºF to 36ºF) which is cooler than any other plant in the world. Small and low growing plants are also a characteristic of tundra plants. This is because of the lack of nutrients found in the soil. Also being close to the dark, warmth, absorbent soil helps to keep plants from freezing.
Plant Adaptations of the Tundra • Plants are also dark and hairy. The darkness of their flesh absorbs solar heat, and the hair helps to trap the heat and keep it close to the surface of the plant. The warmer the plant the faster they grow. Some plants also grow in clumps in order to break harsh winds and protect each other from the cold. These plants also stay warmer because more of the plant is exposed to the sun.
Animal Adaptations in the Taiga • Long-Eared OwlLong-eared owl is a medium-sized owl that measures to about 35 cm in length. Its ears are not similar; one is about half times bigger than the another. This is an adaptation to hunt better in the dark conditions. Despite the name, this owl does not have long ears, rather it has long feathers in the head portion that appears like ears. Long-eared owl has yellow-colored eyes and black beaks. Snowshoe rabbitSnowshoe rabbit is larger than the typical rabbit species. It measures about 20 inches in length and 3-4 pounds in weight. Snowshoe rabbit is named so, as the toes can spread out resembling like a snowshoe. The coat color is grayish brown in summer that turns into snow white during the winter season, which helps them to protect from the predators such as wolf and lynx. Similar to other rabbits, it is herbivores and feeds on grass and other soft leaves.
Animals of the Taiga • Gray WolfGray wolf, the biggest wild canine, is found in the taiga biome. It is easily identifiable by its yellow eyes and pointed ears. Gray wolf has rough and woolly fur coat that may be white, gray, brown or black in color. The thick coat provides insulation to this animal during the cold winter seasons. The long legs and large paws help them to travel in the areas covered with thick snow. Other adaptations of gray wolf include a sharp hearing and smelling sense with reflective retina. Male gray wolf is bigger than the female. They hunt in groups and feed on moose, deer, caribou and other weak animals. Black BearBlack bear, found commonly in North America, lacks characteristic shoulder hump. It has round ears, short claws and a short tail. Though majority of them are black in color, some may exhibit brownish or bluish color. The thick coat is an adaptive feature of this animal to survive in the taiga biome. Black bear is omnivorous and feeds on a wide variety of coniferous trees. Its food also consists of honey, carcasses, insects and small mammals. Black bear can hibernate in order to escape scarcity of food.Other taiga animals include bald eagle, Canadian lynx, red fox, wolverine, river otter, bobcat and grizzy bear. Some common migrating birds found in taiga biome are geese, water fowl, woodpecker and duck. These birds migrate during winter and return to the taiga in warm summer months.
Plant Adaptations of the Grasslands • During a fire, while above-ground portions of grasses may perish, the root portions survive to sprout again • Some prairie trees have thick bark to resist fire • Prairie shrubs readily re-sprout after fire • Roots of prairie grasses extend deep into the ground to absorb as much moisture as they can • Extensive root systems prevent grazing animals from pulling roots out of the ground • Prairie grasses have narrow leaves which lose less water than broad leaves • Grasses grow from near their base, not from tip, thus are not permanently damaged from grazing animals or fire • Many grasses take advantage of exposed, windy conditions and are wind pollinated • Soft stems enable prairie grasses to bend in the wind
Plant Adaptations in the Taiga • Due to the harsh environmental conditions, not many plants can survive in the taiga biome. Hence, there is less diversity in the plants found in this biome. As already mentioned, the common plants found in taiga are coniferous trees or evergreens with long, thin and waxy leaves. The needle-shaped leaves reduce water loss and protect from weighing down by snow. These plants grow very close to each other, as an adaptation to protect from the cold snow and wind. Other than these plants, lichens and mosses are also found in the taiga biome. Most of the trees have thick barks to protect against fire.
Grassland Animals and Adaptations • Some animals, such as bison, have broad, flat-topped teeth and digestive systems especially adapted to feed on grasses. • Many prairie animals have front legs and paws that allow them to burrow into the ground, where they are protected from predators. • Many prairie animals are adapted for nocturnal life; that is, they are active at night, which helps conceal their presence from predators. • The color of many prairie animals blends in with the plant life, which also helps them hide from predators.
Plant Adaptations in the Savanna • Grasses in tropical savannas generally grow quickly during times when they get adequate water. When water becomes scarce, they turn brown to minimize water loss. They store nutrients and moisture in the roots while waiting for rain. Some trees only produce leaves during the wet season. These leaves tend to be small to retain water. Trees also can store water in trunks and use their long roots to reach deep water sources. Some plants also have specialized storage organs such as bulbs and corms.
Plant Adaptations of the Savanna Fire Resistance • Grasses keep a supply of nutrients and water in the roots below the ground. As such, they can survive fires that usually only affect the parts of the plants above ground. Fire actually replenishes the soil with nutrients, encouraging plant growth. After a fire, the acacia tree can re-sprout from the root crown, which is located under the ground and suffers no significant damage from a fire. Some plants in the tropical savannas use heat and smoke from a fire for germination. Others also have bark or leaves that protect the lower layers of the plants.
Plant Adaptations of the Savanna • Protection from Herbivores • Grasses in the tropical savannas grow from the base instead of the tips, so that they can immediately continue growing even if the tips are burned or eaten. Grasses also often contain substances that discourage animals from eating too much, for example by wearing down the animals' teeth or releasing toxins or unpleasant tastes. The acacia tree has sharp thorns to discourage herbivores from feeding on it. It also produces nectar that ants find attractive. The ants live in acacia thorns and protect the tree by stinging animals that eat the leaves. The ants also protect the tree from other insects. The acacia tree also pumps a poisonous alkaloid into its leaves when an animal feeds on them. The unpleasant substance stops the animal from eating more leaves. The acacia tree also releases a chemical into the air, prompting other acacia trees in the vicinity to pump the alkaloid into their leaves. • (Mutualism)
Animal Adaptations of the Savanna • Most birds and many of the large mammals migrate during the dry season in search of water. • Although elephants do migrate, they have a physical adaptation that allows them to access water that is not available to other animals. Baobab trees store water in their large trunks. The elephant's physical strength and anatomy allow it to tear open the trunk of the baobab tree and to suck the water from it. An adaptation used by small burrowing animals is to remain dormant during times of drought--much like bears do during the winter in other biomes. • During the dry season, lightning frequently ignites the brown, dry grasses that cover the savannah. Many of the animals have adapted to living with the fires. The ability to fly or to run fast enables most birds and large mammals to escape the flames. Some birds, such as the Fork-tailed Drongos, actually are attracted to the active fires. These birds feast on fleeing or flame-roasted insects. • Although small burrowing animals may not be able to outrun the flames, they frequently survive the fire by digging beneath the soil and remaining there until the flames pass by them.
Plant Adaptations of the Temperate Deciduous Forest • wildflowers grow on forest floor early in the spring before trees leaf-out and shade the forest floor • many trees are deciduous (they drop their leaves in the autumn, and grow new ones in spring). Most deciduous trees have thin, broad, light-weight leaves that can capture a lot of sunlight to make a lot of food for the tree in warm weather; when the weather gets cooler, the broad leaves cause too much water loss and can be weighed down by too much snow, so the tree drops its leaves. New ones will grow in the spring. • trees have thick bark to protect against cold winters
Animal Adaptations in the Temperate Deciduous Forest • A great variety of birds migrate to warmer places where they can find food more easily. • Some mammals (e.g., bears) hibernate during the cold winter months.Hibernation is an inactive, sleeplike state that some animals enter during the winter. Animals that hibernate protect themselves against the cold and reduce their need for food. A hibernating animal's body temperature is lower than normal, and its heartbeat and breathing slow down greatly. An animal in this state needs little energy to stay alive and can live off fat stored in its body. Thus, hibernating animals can more easily survive the cold winter months. • Squirrels, chipmunks, and some jays often store large supplies of food (such as nuts and seeds) in the ground, under fallen leaves, or in tree hollows for use during the cold winters when food is scarce. Cold temperatures help prevent the decomposition of the nuts and seeds. • Camouflage to hide from predators • Mimicry
Plant Adaptations in the Desert • Some plants, called succulents, store water in their stems or leaves; • Some plants have no leaves or small seasonal leaves that only grow after it rains. The lack of leaves helps reduce water loss during photosynthesis. Leafless plants conduct photosynthesis in their green stems. • Long root systems spread out wide or go deep into the ground to absorb water; • Some plants have a short life cycle, germinating in response to rain, growing, flowering, and dying within one year. These plants can evade drought. • Leaves with hair help shade the plant, reducing water loss. Other plants have leaves that turn throughout the day to expose a minimum surface area to the heat. • Spines to discourage animals from eating plants for water; • Waxy coating on stems and leaves help reduce water loss. • Flowers that open at night lure pollinators who are more likely to be active during the cooler night. • Slower growing requires less energy. The plants don't have to make as much food and therefore do not lose as much water.
Animal Adaptations of the Desert • To prevent over heating, both reptiles and animals make burrows to escape the heat. Burrows can remain at a much cooler temperature during the day and a much warmer temperature during the night. Some animals come out of their burrows in the early morning and afternoon, before the heat gets too overwhelming. Other animals only come out during the night, which is one reason why the daytime in the desert can seem so lifeless. Nocturnal Activity vs Diurnal Activity (during day) • During the hottest, driest times of the year, some animals estivate. Estivation is like hibernation except these animals are not avoiding the cold, but the sweltering heat. By estivating, animals conserve more moisture.
Desert Animal Adaptations • Active only during the rainy season • Longer legs that absorb less heat while running • Long ears to radiate heat • Retaining water and only excreting solid urine • Ability to obtain water from food only and cellular respiration
Plant Adaptations in the Estuary • Flora must be able to withstand changes in salinity levels and must be adapted for surviving in the soft muddy bottom with its accompanying hydrogen sulfide layer. Shoal grass and turtle grass help stabilize the muddy bottom of the bay. The grasses trap sediments, building low mounds. They are found only in shallow water because they require light for photosynthesis. They create excellent habitats for the burrowing animals of the bay. • They must withstand changing salinity levels
Animal Adaptations of the Estuary • The stable, soft bottom of the bay and tidal channel is an ideal habitat for burrowing animals. Many faunal organisms in the estuary are osmoregulators. They can regulate the composition of their body fluids by mechanisms which maintain a steady state of water exchange between external and internal factors. They must be able to cope with fluctuating oxygen levels, temperature changes, and salinity level.
Animals of the Estuary Adaptations • When unfavorable chemical or physical conditions occur, bacteria may go dormant to permit survival until favorable conditions return. • Mussels feed by filtering out the detritus and minute plants that hang in suspension in the water. Grass shrimp also feeds on the detritus and are good for the flounder and striped bass that follow the tide in to feed.