Comparing Biomes

Download 51.12 Kb.
Size51.12 Kb.
Name _______Key___________________

Comparing Biomes

The earth’s vegetation and animal life have become adapted to different climates, soils, and other abiotic features of the environment. As a result, broad ranges of similar life forms, called biomes, have developed.




Physical Features

Geographical Location



Importance of Biome

Ecological Challenges

Tropical Rain Forest

80 – 400 inches of rain/year

70 - 85º F

Warm and humid

Rich in plant & animal life, high degree of species diversity

Located near equator in Latin America, Southeast Asia & Western Africa

Cougars, pumas, snakes, birds, monkeys, bearded pig, tapir, capybara, chimpanzee, tree shrew, crested guan, flying dragon, gorilla, loris

Orchids, ferns, bromilads, mangroves, bamboo, bananas, plantains, cassava, rubber, cacao, vanilla, rattan, cola, ebony, fig, palm, fishbone cactus

Home to ½ of the world’s species; potential source of medicines, helps to maintain rain and weather patterns

Destruction of rainforest – loss of species; plants compete for sunlight;

Temperate Forest


30 – 60 inches of rain/year

Has 4 seasons, average temp is 50º F , hot summers, cold winters

Leaves change color in fall, prior to dropping

Eastern half of US, Canada, Europe, parts of Russia, China & Japan

Vole, black bear, squirrel, raccoon, deer, wild boar, cardinal, goshawk, turkey, rat snake, Spring Peeper (frog),

Silver maple, oak trees, walnut, sycamore, sweet gum, dogwood

Home to many species, source of wood products, maple syrup, important for recreation activities

Water is frozen in winter & is scare, animals and plants must adapt to cold winters and hot summers,


Less than 10 inches/year

Lows of -60º F

High of 50º F, annual average is 10 – 20º F, summer is very short

Permafrost, no trees, small vegetation

North pole

Caribou, musk oxen, gyrfalcon, rock ptarmigan, turnstone, snow bunting, snowy owl (birds) artic fox, lemming, polar bear, rabbits

Lichens, cushion plants, cotton grass, artic moss, artic willow, bearberry, caribou moss, tufted saxifrage, pasque flower

Major carbon dioxide sink (reservoir), reservoir for water stored as ice, source of oil, gas and minerals

Cold temperatures, high winds (30 – 60 mph), little vegetation, no trees for shelter


(Boreal Forest)

12 – 33 inches of rain/year

Winter -65 - 30ºF

Summer 20 - 70ºF

Long nights in winter and long days in summer,

Northern parts of Canada, Europe and Asia

Waxwing, hawk owl, grosbeak, loon, ermine, beaver, squirrel, lynx, marten, moose, rabbit

Primarily a coniferous forest (evergreen trees) includes spruce hemlock and fir; birch, poplar and aspen (broadleaf), some lichens and mosses

Home to many insects and birds during the summer, source of oil, minerals, fishing, logging

Prone to wildfires, decomposition is slow due to cool temps, logging causes erosion and flooding




Physical Features

Geographical Location



Importance of Biome

Ecological Challenges


Less than 10 inches rain/year

Day time can exceed 100 ºF, nights as low as 40 ºF

Very dry, sandy soil, mountainous

30 º north and south of equator Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Australia, southwestern US

Addux, wren, lark, dingo, fat sand rat, fennel fox, gila monster, snakes, thorny devil, jeroba

Saguro cacti, sagebrush, barrel cactus, aloe, spoon desert, yucca, Joshua tree

Home to some unique species, a source of oil, and gas, soil are abundant in nutrients

Human impact has caused some deserts, very little rainfall,


10 – 30 inches of rain/year

Temp varies with region, tropical are near the equator, temperate further north/south

Rich, fertile soil, very few bushes or trees (found near rivers or streams)

Found on every continent except Antartica

African elephant, bison (buffalo), black rhinoceros, ferret, hyena, giraffe, lion, ostrich, prairie chicken, pronghorn (deer like), warthog

Milkweed, coneflowers, blazingstar, stinging nettles, poison ivy, some silver maple trees, red bud tree, grasses

Rich soil, highly productive lands, lies between desert and forest

In US, once grassland was abundant, now it is farmland and ranch lands; if rain fall was scarce, grassland could become a desert, wildfires

Rivers and Streams

(Flowing water)

Rainfall and temp vary with location of river or stream

Contain 0.3% of world’s water,

Found all over the world

Anaconda, turtles, fish, birds, otters, gavial (alligator-like), hellbender, piranha, sunbittern (bird)

Algae, mosses, ferns, phytoplankton, grasses

Can be used for hydroelectric power (dams), recreation, food sources,

Pollution (industrial, farm, and cattle), erosion, sedimentation, invasive species, can be difficult for plants due to current

Ponds and Lakes

(Standing Water)

Rainfall and temp vary with location of pond or lake;
temps will also vary with the depth or layer of the water

Has little to no wave action

Found all over the world

Fish, bullfrog, birds, pelicans, platypus, newts, speckled caiman, Zambasi soft shell (turtle-like)

Algae, grasses, lily pads, diatoms, euglena, dinoflagellates

Food source, water reservoir, recreation,

Pollution, erosion, sedimentation, invasive species




Physical Features

Geographical Location



Importance of Biome

Ecological Challenges

Temperate Oceans

Will vary due to location

Covers about 75% of world’s surface, salt water

Temperate oceans are further from the equator, Atlantic, Pacific, Indian

Zooplankton, fishes, dolphins, whales, birds (pelicans, penguins,),crustaceans, sponges, mollusks, squids, octopus

Algae, seaweed, kelp, phytoplankton

Food source and source of many food additives, recreation, oxygen reservoir and producer

Overfishing, pollution

Tropical Oceans

(Coral Reefs)

Temperatures will be warm due to proximity of equator, rain fall varies

Grows very slowly, is a community of thousands of organisms living together, warm shallow waters, Found near equator (Australia, central America, Hawaii, Red Sea)

Fish (clown fish, marlin, barracuda, hammerhead, tuna), birds, porpoise, sponges, corals, squids, octopus, jellyfish, lobsters, crab

Algae, seaweed, kelp, phytoplankton

Natural beauty, home to many species and protection for smaller fishes, recreation,

Coral reef destruction, overfishing, pollution,


Temperatures will be warm due to proximity of equator, rain fall varies

May be temporary due to seasonal rains, Found all over the world

Birds (herons, bittern, snipe), alligators, snakes, dwarf siren, lungfish, fish, frogs, walking catfish, insects

Lotus plants, lily pads, moss, grasses, rushes, cattails, bushes,

Prevent flooding, water reservoir, filtration of waters that pass through it, recreation

Development, pollution, erosion,



Will vary due to location

Can be barrier island, rocky shores, marshes and estuaries, Can be found all over the world

Sea stars, clams, oysters, birds (gulls, kingfisher, plover), turtle, crocodile, alligator, snakes, insects, fish

Seaweeds, algae, kelp, phytoplankton, grasses,

Natural beauty and recreation, food sources, habitat for many, fish and crustacean nursery, rich soil

Litter, pollution, development, erosion

Download 51.12 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2023
send message

    Main page