Which of the following questions would best differentiate between Taiga and the Tundra?

A.Is the vegetation tall or l


Which of the following questions would best differentiate between Taiga and the Tundra?

A.Is the vegetation tall or low to the ground?

B.Is the biome located in the northern hemisphere?

C.Does the biome have a cold climate?

D.Does the biome consist of deciduous trees?

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Amelia 5 months 2021-06-30T07:57:37+00:00 1 Answers 0 views 0

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    Figure 1. Each of the world’s eight major biomes is distinguished by characteristic temperatures and amount of precipitation. Polar ice caps and mountains are also shown.

    There are eight major terrestrial biomes: tropical rainforests, savannas, subtropical deserts, chaparral, temperate grasslands, temperate forests, boreal forests, and Arctic tundra. Biomes are large-scale environments that are distinguished by characteristic temperature ranges and amounts of precipitation. These two variables affect the types of vegetation and animal life that can exist in those areas. Because each biome is defined by climate, the same biome can occur in geographically distinct areas with similar climates (Figures 1 and 2).

    Relationship between climate and type of biome

    Figure 2. Precipitation and temperature are the two most important climatic variables that determine the type of biome in a particular location. Credit: “Climate influence on terrestrial biome” by Navarras is in the Public Domain, CC0

    Tropical rainforests are found in equatorial regions (Figure 1) are the most biodiverse terrestrial biome. This biodiversity is under extraordinary threat primarily through logging and deforestation for agriculture. Tropical rainforests have also been described as nature’s pharmacy because of the potential for new drugs that is largely hidden in the chemicals produced by the huge diversity of plants, animals, and other organisms. The vegetation is characterized by plants with spreading roots and broad leaves that fall off throughout the year, unlike the trees of deciduous forests that lose their leaves in one season.

    The temperature and sunlight profiles of tropical rainforests are stable in comparison to other terrestrial biomes, with average temperatures ranging from 20oC to 34oC (68oF to 93oF). Month-to-month temperatures are relatively constant in tropical rainforests, in contrast to forests farther from the equator. This lack of temperature seasonality leads to year-round plant growth rather than just seasonal growth. In contrast to other ecosystems, a consistent daily amount of sunlight (11–12 hours per day year-round) provides more solar radiation and therefore more opportunity for primary productivity.

    The annual rainfall in tropical rainforests ranges from 125 to 660 cm (50–200 in) with considerable seasonal variation. Tropical rainforests have wet months in which there can be more than 30 cm (11–12 in) of precipitation, as well as dry months in which there are fewer than 10 cm (3.5 in) of rainfall. However, the driest month of a tropical rainforest can still exceed the annual rainfall of some other biomes, such as deserts.Tropical rainforests have high net primary productivity because the annual temperatures and precipitation values support rapid plant growth. However, the high amounts of rainfall leaches nutrients from the soils of these forests.

    Photo depicts a section of the Amazon River, which is brown with mud. Trees line the edge of the river.

    Figure 3. Species diversity is very high in tropical wet forests, such as these forests of Madre de Dios, Peru, near the Amazon River. (credit: Roosevelt Garcia)

    Tropical rainforests are characterized by vertical layering of vegetation and the formation of distinct habitats for animals within each layer. On the forest floor is a sparse layer of plants and decaying plant matter. Above that is an understory of short, shrubby foliage. A layer of trees rises above this understory and is topped by a closed upper canopy—the uppermost overhead layer of branches and leaves. Some additional trees emerge through this closed upper canopy. These layers provide diverse and complex habitats for the variety of plants, animals, and other organisms. Many species of animals use the variety of plants and the complex structure of the tropical wet forests for food and shelter. Some organisms live several meters above ground, rarely descending to the forest floor.

    Figure 4. A MinuteEarth video about how trees create rainfall, and vice versa.

    Savannas are grasslands with scattered trees and are found in Africa, South America, and northern Australia (Figure 4 below). Savannas are hot, tropical areas with temperatures averaging from 24oC –29oC (75oF –84oF) and an annual rainfall of 51–127 cm (20–50 in). Savannas have an extensive dry season and consequent fires. As a result, there are relatively few trees scattered in the grasses and forbs (herbaceous flowering plants) that dominate the savanna.

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