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Module 4: Biomes of the World (Part-I)

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1 Module 4: Biomes of the World (Part-I)

2 Biomes are the the world's major communities, classified according to the predominant vegetation and characterized by adaptations of organisms to that particular environment (Campbell ) Biome is a large geographical region whose climate produces a characteristic climax association of plants and animals

3 Major Biomes of the World
Desert Grassland Forest Tundra Aquatic Freshwater Marine

4 Distribution of major biomes of the world

5 Key points to understand a biome
Climate Distribution and geography Special adaptations of vegetation Types of animals found and their adaptations

6 Desert Biome: Distribution

7 Desert Biome Hot and Dry Deserts Semi-arid Deserts Coastal Deserts
Covers one fifth of the land surface Rainfall is less than 50 cm per year Specialized vegetation and animals Soils have abundant nutrients, but little or no organic matter Disturbances are fairly common Hot and Dry Deserts Semi-arid Deserts Coastal Deserts Cold Deserts

8 Hot and Dry Deserts: Distribution
North America: Chihuahua, Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin; Southern Asia: Thar; Africa: Sahara, and Australia                                      

9 Hot and Dry Deserts Climate is warm throughout the year and very hot during summers Evaporation rates exceeds rainfall Soils are course-textured, shallow, rocky or gravely with good drainage; no subsurface water Flora: Cactus, ocotillo, turpentine bush, prickly pears, false mesquite, sotol, ephedras, agaves and brittlebush Fauna: Small nocturnal carnivores, insects, reptiles, birds

10 Sonoran desert

11 Hot and Dry Deserts: Animals
Thorny devil Moloch horridus

12 Hot and Dry Deserts: Animals
Kangaroo-rat Dipodomys spectabilis

13 Semi arid Deserts Montana and Great Basin; North America, Newfoundland, Greenland, Russia, Europe and northern Asia. Summers are moderately long and dry Soil ranges from sandy to fine textured

14 Semi arid Deserts Flora:
Creosote bush, bur sage (Franseria deltoidea), Acacia constricta, cat claw cactus, Prosopis spp., brittle bushes (Encelia farinosa), Zizyphus spp. Fauna: Rabbits; insects like grasshoppers and ants; lizards and snakes; burrowing owls and the California thrasher

15 Semi arid Deserts

16 Coastal deserts Occur in moderately cool to warm areas
Soil is fine-textured with a moderate salt content; fairly porous with good drainage

17 Coastal Desert Flora: salt bush, buckwheat bush, black bush, rice grass, little leaf horsebrush, black sage, and Euphorbia spp. Fauna: spoonbill, sandpiper, coyote and badger, toads, great horned owl, golden eagle and the bald eagle, lizards and snakes

18 Coastal Desert: Fauna spoonbill Fennec fox Dorcas gazelle

19 Cold Deserts Cold winters with snowfall less than 10 inches; short, moist and moderately warm summers Soil is heavy, silty and salty

20 Cold Deserts Flora: Bunchgrass, Artemisia spp.(sagebrush), Chrysothamnus spp. (rabbit bush) Fauna: Proghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, marco polo sheep, mountain lion

21 Marco polo sheep Basin wildrye Proghorn antelope

22 Grassland Biome: Distribution
Large terrains of grasses, herbs and grasses Average annual precipitation is enough to support grasses; erratic..drought and fires prevent growing of trees Soil is thin and dry

23 Steppes Dry, cold grassland
Found in USA, Mongolia, Siberia, Tibet and China Found between forest and desert biome Grasses dominate                                                                                           

24 Steppes

25 Steppes: vegetation Rhubarb Rheum rhabarbarum Tumble weed
Salsola collina Fringed sagebrush Artimisia frigida

26 Steppes : Fauna Saiga antelope Saiga tatarica Northern Lynx Felis lynx

27 Prairies: Distribution
Found in North America Dominated by herbaceous plants and grasses                                                                                                 

28 Prairies: Vegetation Indian grass Sorghastrum nutans Milkweed
Asclepias currasavica Turkey feet grass Andropogon gerardii

29 Prairies: Fauna American bald eagle Haliaeetus leucophalus Prairie dog
Cynomis ludovicianus


31 Pampas: Distribution Found in South America
Flat, fertile plains; warm, humid climate Frequent fires                                                                                                 

32 Pampas: vegetation Geofrroy’s cat Silver pampas grass
Oncifelis geoffroyi Silver pampas grass Cortaderia selloana Ombu Phytolacca dioica

33 Savanna Also known as tropical grasslands
Warm temperature year around with a very long dry winter,and a lots of rain in the summer                                                                                                 

34 savanna

35 Savanna: Flora and Fauna
Cynodon dactylon, Pennesetum perpureum (napier grass/ elephant grass), Eucalyptus cinerea, Acacia tortilis, Acacia senegal Fauna: Elephant, buffaloes, antelopes, rhino, Giraffe, Wild Dog, Black Mamba, Caracal, Chacma Baboon, Egyptian Mongoose, Emu, Grant's Zebra, Koala Bear, Lion, leopard, cheetah, Nigriceps Ants, Nile Crocodile

36 Savanna: vegetation Euphorbia ingens Acacia tortilis

37 Savanna: Fauna Emu Black mamba Egyptian mongoose savanna baboons

38 Forest Biome Tropical forests Deciduous forests Alpine forests
Boreal forests OR Taiga

39 Tropical forest: Distribution

40 Tropical Forest Biome Occur near the equator
Cover around 6% of the earth’s surface Distinct seasonality: winter is absent, and only two seasons are present (rainy and dry). Temperature and water are not limiting Soil is nutrient-poor and acidic. Decomposition is rapid and soils are subject to heavy leaching Greatest diversity of species

41 Tropical Forest Biome Canopy is multilayered and continuous, allowing little light penetration Vegetation: mostly evergreen, with large dark green leaves. Plants such as orchids, bromeliads, vines (lianas), ferns, mosses, and palms are present Fauna: numerous birds, bats, small mammals, and insects

42 Tropical forest: vegetation
Bambusa tulda Ceiba pentandra Ficus spp.

43 Tropical forest: Fauna
spider Golden toad


45 Temperate deciduous Forest Biome
Occur in eastern North America, northeastern Asia, and western and central Europe Well-defined seasons with a distinct winter Moderate climate and a growing season of days during 4-6 frost-free months

46 Temperate deciduous Forest Biome
Temperature varies from -30° C to 30° C Precipitation ( cm) is distributed evenly throughout the year Soil is fertile, enriched with decaying litter

47 Temperate deciduous Forest Biome
Flora: Broad leaved deciduous plants-oak, hickory, pine, beech, hemlock, maple, basswood, cottonwood, elm, willow, and spring-flowering herbs Fauna: squirrels, rabbits, skunks, birds, deer, mountain lion, bobcat, timber wolf, fox, and black bear.

48 Alpine Forests: Distribution
                                                                                                 Himalayan mountains Andes mountains…South America Rocky mountains…western North America

49 Alpine: Climate Found in the high mountains all over the world usually above 10,000 ft. Cold and dry throughout the year Soil is well drained Vegetation: Alpine Phaceli, Bear Grass, Bristle cone Pine, Moss Campion, Polylepis Forest, Pygmy Bitterroot, Wild Potato Fauna: mountain goat, snow leopard, Yak, Himalayan tahr, takin, marmot etc.

50 Himalayan Alpine: Distribution and climate
                                                                                             Dry air, low precipitation Harsh environment with long cold winters, mild short summers

51 Himalayan Alpine: Vegetation
Rhododendron spp.

52 Himalayan Alpine: Fauna
Snow leopard Panthera uncia Himalayan tahr Hemitragus spp. Yak Bos grunniens

53 Himalayan Alpine: Fauna
Takin Budorcas taxicolor Marmot Marmota himalayana

54 Taiga biome: Distribution

55 Boreal forests/ Taiga biome
Largest terrestrial biome, covers 11% area Broad belt of Eurasia and North America: two-thirds in Siberia with the rest in Scandinavia, Alaska, and Canada short, moist, and moderately warm summers and long, cold, and dry winters The length of the growing season is 130 days Precipitation is primarily in the form of snow, cm annually.

56 Boreal forests/ taiga Soil is thin, nutrient-poor, and acidic
Canopy permits low light penetration, and as a result, under story is limited. Flora :Evergreen conifers with needle-like leaves: Balsam Fir, Black Spruce, Douglas-fir, Eastern Red Cedar, Jack Pine, Paper Birch, Siberian Spruce, White Fir, White Poplar, White Spruce Fauna: American Black Bear, Bald Eagle, Bobcat, Canadian Lynx, Gray Wolf, Grizzly Bear, Long-Eared Owl, Red Fox, River Otter, Snowshoe Rabbit, Wolverine

57 Taiga Biome: vegetation
Balsam fir Abies balsamea Jack pine Pinus banksiana

58 Taiga Biome: vegetation
White Birch Betula populifolia White popular Populus alba

59 Taiga Biome: vegetation
Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii White spruce Picea glauca

60 Taiga Biome: Fauna American Black bear Ursus americanus
Snow shoe rabbit Lepus americanus Bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus

61 Tundra biome: Distribution
Tundra Finnish word ‘tunturia’ barren land Bleak and treeless place World’s youngest, coldest and driest biome..formed 10,000 years ago Covers 20% of the Earth’s surface..Northern hemisphere

62 Tundra biome: Climate The ground is permanently frozen 10 inches to 3 feet Main seasons: Winter..summer Average annual temperature -280C [ max –700C; max 120C] Land of midnight sun Strong winds; 6-10 inches of precipitation each year One of the major sinks of carbon

63 Tundra biome: Lichens

64 Tundra biome: vegetation
Bear berry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Adaptations: low growing plant; fine silky hair, leathery leaves Arctic willow Salix arctica Arctic moss Calliergon giganteum

65 Tundra biome: animals Arctic fox Lagopus alopex Caribou / Reindeer
Rangifer tarandus

66 References Campbell, N.A. 1996. Biology, 4th Edition. The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc., Menlo Park, California.

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