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Section #3: Grassland, Desert, and Tundra Biomes

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1 Section #3: Grassland, Desert, and Tundra Biomes


3 Biomes of the World

4 General Info found in climates that have less rainfall
less rainfall = less species diversity although you might have less variety, you still might have high numbers of individuals in those species that are present

5 Savannas these grasslands are located in tropical & subtropical areas near the equator found in parts of Africa, India, Australia, and South America overall receive little precipitation throughout the year – but there are periods of heavy rainfall followed by periods of drought

6 Vegetation of the Savannas
contain grasses, scattered trees, and shrubs plants must be able to survive prolonged periods without water plants have horizontal roots systems to capture as much moisture as possible grasses have long vertical leaves that expose less surface area to the hot sun some savanna plants even lose their leaves during the dry season to conserve water thorns & sharp leaves keep herbivores at bay

7 African Savanna

8 Savanna Fires during the dry season, fires often sweep across the savanna burning the grasses and shrubs this returns nutrients to the soil plants quickly regenerate from the shallow root systems

9 Animals of the Savanna mostly grazing herbivores & the predators that feed on them some grazers have adopted a migratory way of life to follow the rains & find newly sprouted grasses & fresh watering holes predators usually follow & stalk the migratory animals savanna animals usually give birth only during the rainy season when more food is available to increase chances of survival

10 Competition in the Savanna
herbivore species reduce the competition for food by eating vegetation at different heights Example: small gazelles – feed on grasses black rhinos – feed on shrubs giraffes – feed on tree leaves

11 Temperate Grasslands dominated by grasses, very few trees
hot summers, cold winters moderate rainfall, cm of precipitation per year summer temps and lack of precipitation can make the grasslands susceptible to fires that commonly sweep across the lands

12 Temperate Grasslands located on the interior of continents - include North American prairies, steppes of Russia & the Ukraine, and the pampas of South America few natural temperate grasslands remain, most have been replaced by farms & grazing areas located near mountains that block the grasslands from receiving much precipitation

13 Plants of the Temperate Grasslands
mostly perennials – prairie grasses & wildflowers grass height depends on root depth root systems are dense – designed to survive the periods of drought & also hold the rich soil in place few trees can survive – little rain, fires, & constant wind thwart tree growth

14 Grasslands

15 Animals of the Temperate Grasslands
grazers with large, flat teeth for chewing the coarse prairie grasses (bison & antelope) burrowers like badgers & prairie dogs are protected underground from the weather & fires – also they burrow underground to escape predators

16 Threats of the Temperate Grasslands
most fertile soil – so many people farm or graze the grasslands grain crops do not have good root systems to hold the soil – leads to soil erosion overgrazing leads to grasses being overeaten & trampled – soil cannot regenerate & becomes less productive

17 Similarities? Differences?

18 The Chaparral type of temperate woodland biome
located in mid-latitudes (30° N or S) near coastal areas with Mediterranean climates warm, dry summers & mid, wet winters too dry to support a forest, but more rain than a desert receives enough precipitation to support vegetation that grows in bunches

19 Chaparral

20 The Chaparral Plants mostly low-lying evergreen plants that grow in dense patches dominated by broad-leafed evergreen shrubs plants include chamise, manzanita, scrub oak, olive trees, sage and bay herbs, plus piñon & juniper trees

21 The Chaparral Plants the small, leathery leaves retain water and contain oils that promote burning well adapted to survive fires that kill competition for sunlight can re-sprout from small bits of plant tissue

22 The Chaparral Animals examples include quail, lizards, chipmunks, mule deer most animals utilize camouflage (shape or coloring) to blend into the environment

23 Threats to the Chaparral
human development of the land for both commercial & residential use humans like the area because of the mild climate year-round, proximity to oceans, and the large amounts of sunlight

24 Deserts areas that receive less than 25cm of precipitation a year
have little or no vegetation extreme temperatures located at several latitudes covering 1/5 of the Earth’s landmasses located near large mtn. ranges that block the passage of moisture-filled clouds


26 Desert Examples hot deserts cold deserts Sonora Desert, Arizona
Sahara, Africa Australia cold deserts Gobi Desert, China Greenland Antarctica

27 Desert Plants all plants must be adapted to obtain & conserve water
some plants even die & drop their seeds when the conditions get too dry the seeds remain dormant until the next rainfall when they quickly germinate & grow some can even survive when their water content drops to only 30% of their mass

28 Other Adaptations succulents - such as cactuses – have thick fleshy stems & leaves to store water waxy coatings to reduce water loss sharp spines or thorns to keep thirsty animals away plant roots that spread out just under the sand to absorb as much rain as possible

29 Desert Animals reptiles – like the Gila monster, rattlesnakes, & lizards – have thick scaly skin to prevent water loss amphibians – like the spadefoot toad – survive the high temps by ESTIVATING (burying themselves in the ground and sleeping through the dry season) desert insects & spiders are covered in body armor to retain water most creatures are nocturnal to avoid the heat of the day

30 Tundra located north of the Arctic Circle very short summers
topsoil thaws out during the summer months creating a pattern of bogs & swamps across the land below the topsoil is PERMAFROST – permanently frozen ground constant winds

31 Tundra Vegetation dominated by tough grasses, lichens, herbs, & small shrubs that grow close to the ground soil is extremely thin – wide, shallow roots anchor plants against the icy winds lichens & mosses don’t even need soil to grow plants try to absorb heat from the sunlit soil

32 Tundra Animals summer wet areas are breeding grounds for huge numbers of swarming insects like mosquitoes & black flies many migratory birds feed on these insects some herbivores are temporary summer visitors like caribou, deer, & moose plus the wolves that hunt them

33 Tundra Animals some very well insulated creatures stay year-round, like arctic foxes, arctic hares, ptarmigan, & lemmings although they may burrow to escape the cold, they are still active during the winter, often growing white fur to camouflage themselves in the winter snow

34 Threats to the Tundra very fragile biome
simple food chains can be easily disrupted and lead to the demise of the other species land is easily damaged & slow to recover until recently, most areas were undisturbed by human activities – until oil was discovered

35 Threats to the Tundra oil exploration, extraction, & transport has been particularly disruptive to plants and animals pollution from spills or leaks of oil & other toxic materials can lead to the poisoning of food & water sources


37 Compare

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