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BIOL 373

What is a Biome?  Biome is a terrestrial environment defined by the growth forms of its plants.  Species richness – the number of species present in its communities. TUNDRA o Found in Arctic at high elevations in mountains at all latitudes o Vegetation consists of low-growing perennial plants underlain by permafrost o Little precipitation, lowland Arctic tundra is very wet (no drain source). o Plants grow for only a few months each year o Most Arctic tundra animals either migrate or remain dormant for most of the year. o Tropical alpine tundra is not underlain by permafrost. BOREAL FOREST AND TEMPERATE EVERGREEN FOREST o Found toward the equator Arctic tundra and at lower elevations on temperate-zone mountains. o Winters are long and very cold; summers are short (favours trees w/evergreen leaves). o Boreal forests of the N. Hemisphere are dominated by evergreen coniferous gymnosperms; in S. Hemisphere the dominant trees are southern beeches. o Temperate evergreen forests also grow along the western coasts of continents at middle to high latitudes in both hemispheres; winters are mild but very wet and summers are cool and dry; home to the Earth’s tallest trees, but only a few species of trees exist. TEMPERATE DECIDUOUS FOREST o Found in eastern N. America, E. Asia, and Europe. o Temperatures fluctuate dramatically and precipitated is evenly distributed. o Deciduous trees dominate these forests. o More trees live here than in boreal forests. HOT DESERT o entered on and o Receive most of their scarce rainfall in summer; also receive winter rains from storms that form over the mid-latitude oceans. o Driest large regions are in the center of Australia and the middle of the Sahara Desert. o Except in driest regions, hot deserts have richer and structurally more diverse vegetation than cold deserts. o A rich fauna of rodents, termites, ants, lizards, and snakes. CHAPARRAL o Found on the western sides of continents at mid-latitudes where cool ocean currents flow off-shore. o Winters are cool and wet; summers are warm and dry o Dominant vegetation are low-growing shrubs and trees with tough, evergreen leaves. o Annual plants are abundant; supports large populations of small rodents. TROPICAL DECIDUOUS FOREST o As length of the rainy seasons increases, tropical deciduous forest replaces thorn forests. o Have taller trees and fewer succulent plants than thorn forests; are much richer in plant and animal species. o Soils of the tropical deciduous forest biome are some of the best soils in the tropics for agriculture. What is a Biogeographic Regi
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