These are the biomes that I have chosen. Each one
can be subdivided into many more precisely described biomes, with more specific rainfall
amounts, growing seasons, and elevations. However, in a ten week course, I think
that these will be more than enough!
It is important to remember that
a biome contains smaller, specialized communities. For instance, a forest includes
meadows, streams, rocky areas and bogs. A desert includes oases, sand dunes, rocks
and gullies. Aquatic communities may live in fresh or salt water, shallow or deep
water, rocks and mud flats. Obviously these smaller zones will also have different
provide habitats for plants and animals not commonly found in the surrounding area.
It seems possible that climatic zones with
similar temperatures and rainfalls exist on other planets. Some alien biomes might
seem familiar to us, but others might be amazingly different. Will there be life
in these zones? We can only guess. Life on this planet survives in conditions
where tempertures allow terrestrial biochemistry to work. Some marginal zones, such
as the ocean bottoms, the near-boiling hot springs in Yellowstone, and very cold
areas in the Antarctic, support life forms with unique, specialized adaptations.
Could their biochemistry be the norm somewhere else? Who knows? Yet life forms must
adapt to their environments everywhere. To start thinking about this, let's see what
earth's biomes are like.
In order for life to evolve, conditions
must be the same over long periods of time. On land, temperature, elevation, and
rainfall are important variables. Over many generations, animals and plants adapt
to the conditions where they live. When climates change, the animals and plants adapt
to the changes or die out.
Photograph from a Corel CD-ROM : for viewing only, not for downloading. More Information.
Header by Viau from Yellowstone
1996,1997, 1998, 1999,
2000, 2002, 2003.
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