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?
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