Environmental Sciences set 3 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Environmental Sciences set 3 Deck (43):

What is taiga?

Taiga is boreal forest


How much of the earth is taiga/boreal forest?

11% is the biome of boreal forest


What is special about taiga?

It is the world's largest terrestrial (on land) biome


Where is boreal forest located?

50-60 degrees north


how are taiga and boreal forest different?

Taiga tends to be the northern area of the biome, and boreal forest is the southern part of the biome


Which part of the boreal biome is closer to tundra?

the northern area 'taiga' is closer to tundra


What is the boreal forest known for?

Boreal forest is known for its coniferous (cone bearing evergreen) trees and lots of lakes and rivers, bogs and marshes


What is the soil like in boreal forests?

the soil is not fertile (not good for growing plants)


Where are most nutrients in the boreal soil?

nutrients are at the surface of the soil in boreal biome


What do evergreen needles do to the soil?

they make the soil acidic


What is boreal biome weather like?

21 C in the summer to -54 in the winter, 200-600 mm of rain, and rarely droughts


How are plants adapted to this biome?

plants are adapted to cold and low nutrients, they have a shallow root system,


What is mycorrhizal fungi?

this is a fungus that helps the boreal plants to get nutrients


What does the southern boreal forest look like?

Thick trees with a closed canopy (where the branches all meet). In clearings there are shrubs and wild flowers.


What is usually on the forest floor in a boreal forest?

Moss tends to cover the forest floor


How is a more northern boreal forest different than one in the south?

The northern forests have trees more spread apart.


What is lichen woodland?

Lichen woodland is where the trees are spread apart


What are the boreal biome trees?

spruce, firs, hemlock, larch, pine, aspen, birch, willow (must be where we live!)


How are larch trees unusual?

They are found a lot in Siberia and their needles turn yellow and fall off in the winter


How are animals adapted to the boreal biome environment?

they can live in cold, caribou, reindeer, moose,elk, bison, lynx, wolf, black and brown bears, beavers, racoons and voles.


How do we know that humans have lived in boreal forests for a long time?

cave art from thousands of years ago


Why is human impact on the boreal forest increasing?

More people are living in the forest areas and using the forest as a source of natural resources, trees, oil and gas


How will climate change affect boreal forest biomes

warmer, drier conditions will cause trees to die and insects to increase.


What is the Canadian Boreal Initiative?

It is a group of people working to save the forests and offer sustainable solutions to keep them strong


What is arctic tundra?

Arctic tundra is the northern-most biome covering lands north of the arctic circle up to the polar ice cap and as south as the Hudson's Bay


How big is Arctic tundra biome?

1/5 of the earth's surface is arctic tundra, 5 million acres


Where does alpine tundra happen?

on mountains


where does Antarctic tundra happen?

in Antarctica and surrounding islands


What is arctic tundra like as a biome?

vast, dry, rocky, lack of trees


What does tundra mean?

tunturi means treeless plain


What is an important characteristic of tundra?

the perma frost layer – permanently frozen soil starts within a meter of the surface even in the summer


how does permafrost affect roots

roots cannot extend into the soil very far, so trees are prevented from growing


Where is the organic matter in tundra biome?

deposits of peat (decayed sphagnum moss) and humus (organic matter) still have carbon


What is the temperature range in tundra?

very cold from 15.5 C in the summer to -90 C in the winter, summers are much shorter than winter.


How is sunlight different in the arctic tundra?

Winter almost 24 hrs darkness, in the summer almost 24 hours of light


How much precipitation falls in the arctic tundra?

200-600 mm of precipitation, but due to low temperatures not much evaporates so the soil is very soggy in the summer and frozen in the winter.


What kinds of plants grow in the arctic tundra?

Herbaceous (non-woody) plants such as moss, grass, liverwort and lichen


What kinds of trees live in the tundra?

If they are there, the trees are dwarf varieties such as willow, they are short and spread to the ground. This is a plant adaption to high winds


How are plants adapted to this biome?

short growing seasons, go dormant (slow down life) in the winer, and have most of their biomass (mass of their living parts) below ground


How are animals adapted to the arctic tundra biome environment?

Animals tend to be brown in summer and white in winter, birds leave in the winter (migrate) very few insects, but those that are there are huge...mosquitos


What is human impact on tundra?

Until recently, very little, but now they have found oil up there, people are moving there.


How does global warming affect tundra?

higher temperatures melt sea ice and permafrost, destroying habitats for plants and animals


What is the Boreal Research Institute?

The Boreal Research Institute studies ways to help save the forest and reclaim land that was used for oil and gas or forestry.