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"Biomes Of The Earth" Explains Biomes, Includes A Detailed Paragraph About Each Of The 7 Biomes Of The Earth.5 1/3 Pages Long

1055 words - 5 pages

A Biome is all of the life zones, all plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as the physical environment in a particular area. A biome is characterized by its plant life, which is determined by its location. For example, northern coniferous forests exist in sub-arctic portions of North America and Asia, but further north, the conditions are simply too harsh and the season too brief for trees to grow. Instead of trees, the short vegetation of the tundra thrives in these areas. The same occurs with altitude, as trees give way to short alpine vegetation in high mountainous regions.A biome is composed of many ecosystems, which are smaller communities of plants and animals and their ...view middle of the document...

These canopies may reach up to 160 feet high. The thick canopy allows little sunlight to penetrate, so rain forest floors have little ground cover. The soil lacks nutrients, and most plants are able to store what few nutrients they can absorb. There are more species of plants in rain forests than in any other ecosystem in the world. Deep within the clutter of dense foliage, individual species boast unique characteristics suited to their highly specialized existence. Middle-story plants, for example, often have large leaves to capture what little light filters through the canopy, while epiphytes have overlapping leaves that trap and store water.The northern coniferous forest, also known as the taiga in Russia, is found in a broad subarctic band across Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, and China, where the winters are long and cold. Conifers, such as spruce, larch, and fir, are the dominant plants, but lichens and mosses are abundant too. These forests usually occupy formerly glaciated regions and occur in association with lakes, bogs, and rivers.The tundra is the treeless plain that lies north of the northern coniferous forests and on the Antarctic Peninsula in the southern hemisphere. Trees cannot survive in this biome because of the cold temperatures, high winds, and heavy snowfall, as well as the permafrost, a layer of permanently frozen subsoil. Plant life tends to grow low to the ground. In the summer, large numbers of birds migrate to the tundra to feed on insects. Other animals found in this area include reindeer, wolves, fox, voles, and lemmings. A similar biome, called the alpine biome, is found in high mountain areas around the world. Similar harsh conditions cause vegetation to grow low to the ground in alpine meadows.Desert biomes are characterized by less than 10 inches of annual precipitation and high temperatures. To combat this lack of moisture, desert plants have developed water-conserving features, such as leaves that are light-colored, small, thick, or waxy. Animals that live in the desert are often light-colored, blend in well with their surroundings,...

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