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Tundra

The Taiga
Tundra is the coldest of all the biomes.
Tundra comes from the Finnish word
tunturi, meaning treeless plain. It is
noted for its frost-molded landscapes,
extremely low temperatures, little
precipitation, poor nutrients, and short
growing
seasons.
Dead
organic
material functions as a nutrient pool.
The two major nutrients are nitrogen
and phosphorus. Nitrogen is created
by biological fixation, and phosphorus
is created by precipitation.

Taiga is the Russian word for forest


and is the largest biome in the world.
It

Characteristics of tundra include:


1. Extremely cold climate
2. Low biotic diversity
3. Simple vegetation structure
4. Limitation of drainage
5. Short season
reproduction

of

growth

and

6. Energy and nutrients in the form of


dead organic material
7. Large population oscillations

stretches over Eurasia and North


America. The taiga is located near the
top of the world, just below the tundra
biome. The winters in the taiga are
very cold with only snowfall.
The summers are warm, rainy, and
humid. A lot of coniferous trees grow
in the taiga. The taiga is also known as
the boreal forest. Did you know that
Boreal was the Greek goddess of the
North Wind?

The Deciduous Forests


Deciduous forests can be found in the
eastern half of North America, and the

middle of
Europe.
There are
many
deciduous
forests in
Asia. Some of the major areas that
they are in are southwest Russia,
Japan, and eastern China. South
America has two big areas of
deciduous forests in southern Chile
and Middle East coast of Paraguay.
There are deciduous forests located in
New
Zealand,
and
southeastern
Australia also.
The average annual temperature in a
deciduous forest is 50 F. The average
rainfall is 30 to 60 inches a year.
The Grasslands
Grassland biomes are large, rolling
terrains of grasses, flowers and herbs.
Latitude, soil and local climates for the
most part determine what kinds of
plants grow in a particular grassland.
A grassland is a region where the
average annual precipitation is great
enough to support grasses, and in
some areas a few trees. The

precipitation is so eratic that drought


and fire prevent large forests from
growing. Grasses can survive fires
because they grow from the bottom
instead of the top. Their stems can
grow again after being burned off. The
soil of most grasslands is also too thin
and dry for trees to survive.

The Desserts
A Hot and Dry Desert is, as you can
tell from the name, hot and dry. Most
Hot and Dry Deserts don't have very
many plants. They do have some low
down plants though. The only animals
they have that can survive have the
ability to burrow under ground. This is
because they would not be able to live
in the hot sun and heat. They only
come out in the night when it is a little
cooler.
A cold desert is a desert that has snow
in the winter instead of just dropping a
few degrees in temperature like they
would in a Hot and Dry Desert. It
never gets warm enough for plants to
grow. Just maybe a few grasses and
mosses. The animals in Cold Deserts

also have to burrow but in this case to


keep warm, not cool. That is why you
might find some of the same animals
here as you would in the Hot and Dry
Deserts.

The Rainforest
The tropical rain forest is a forest of
tall trees in a region of year-round
warmth.
Rain forests belong to the tropical wet
climate group. The temperature in a
rain forest rarely gets higher than 93
F (34 C) or drops below 68 F (20
C); average humidity is between 77
and 88%. There is usually a brief
season of less rain. In monsoonal
areas, there is a real dry season.

Almost all rain forests lie near the


equator.
Rainforests now cover less than 6% of
Earth's
land
surface.
Scientists
estimate that more than half of all the
world's plant and animal species live
in tropical rain forests. Tropical
rainforests produce 40% of Earth's
oxygen.
A tropical rain forest has more kinds of
trees than any other area in the world.
Scientists have counted about 100 to
300 species in one 2 1/2-acre (1hectare) area in South America.
Seventy percent of the plants in the
rainforest are trees.

THE

Kinds

Biomes
Land
Earth
OF

A short introduction to the kinds of


thatLand
is found
on
Biomes