planetary ecosystems (biomes)
MAJOR PLANETARY ECOSYSTEMS (BIOMES) OF THE WORLD AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS
It is a large scale of ecosystem stretching across land masses and having similar species of plants and animals which exist under similar climatic conditions.
- Latitudinal location: it is located between latitude 0-5 degrees north and south of the equator.
- Area location:
- Coastal lowlands and southern plateau of Cameroon.
- COASTAL PLAINS of Columbia in South America.
- Coastal lowlands of west Africa
- The amazon lowlands
- Malaysia and east India
- Congo basin
- The climate is called the equatorial rain forest
- Temperatures are high throughout the year(26°C)
- The main form of precipitation is rainfall(2000mm)
- There are two seasons(rainy and dry season)
- Vegetation and animal life
The vegetation is made up of mostly of trees with huge trunks
- These trees make up dense forest vegetation called the selvas.
- The forest has three layers.
- There are animals that live on top of trees and others that live on forest floors. Example of animals is monkeys, birds, gorilla, etc.
THE major human activities are farming (bush fallowing and plantation agriculture), lumbering, tourism hunting etc.
THE main soil types that develop here is the ferralitic soil. This soil is deep softened and reddish in colour made up mainly of clay minerals.
The major activities here are bush fallowing, plantation agriculture(lumbering and tourism) and hunting.
Problems of the tropical rainforest:
- Low soil fertility
- Due to hot and humid climate, diseases such as malaria emerge, thus weakening the population.
- Floods due to heavy rainfall.
- Deforestation due to creation of new plantations and new settlement.
TROPICAL WET AND DRY SAVANNAH BIOME
- Latitudinal location: it is located between latitude 5°- 15° north and south of the equator.
- Aerial location:
- In Cameroon, it is found in the western highland, the Adamawa plateau, the Benue and Chad plains.
- THE Savannah of the west and central Africa.
- The Campos of Brazil
- The savannah of northern Australia.
- It is called the tropical continental climate
- It has a high average temperature of about 25 degrees.
- It has an average annual rainfall of about 500mm-1500mm per year.
- It has two seasons(the rainy and the dry season)
- Animal life
- There are many herbivores like; zebras, antelopes, dears, giraffes etc.
- These animals together with very scanty and scattered grassland produce very low biomass.
- There is high intensity of runoff which carries litter away.
There are two main types of soils (the ferruginous and the tropical black earth).
The ferruginous soil is reddish brown.
The main activities of the people here are agriculture, tourism and light manufacturing.
- Overgrazing cause soil erosion
- Afforestation and reforestation
- Use of pesticides
- Use of fertilisers
THE TROPICAL MONSOON BIOME
It is located between latitude 10°-13 north and south of the equator.
- South east of Pakistan
- Southern china
- Southern Pakista
Characteristics of the tropical monsoon biome
- Climate: the climate is called the monsoon climate
- The average annual temperature is about 27°C
- The main form of precipitation is rainfall and the average annual rainfall is 1800mm per year.
- There are three main seasons;
The cold dry season
The hot dry season
The hot wet season
- The vegetation is made up trees.
- THE forest is fairly open and not too close like the tropical forest.
- MOST Trees shed their leaves during the pronounced dry season.
- Animal life
- Some animals include; tigers, leopards, elephants, cheetahs etc.
- The main soils types are the ferralitic and the alluvial soils.
- THE main human activities are agriculture, lumbering and manufacturing.
- Problems of the monsoon biome
- The large population of these countries have resulted to poverty.
- THE hot humid monsoon climate and forest cause tropical diseases like malaria.
- Flooding destroys farms and reduces agricultural output.
- Creations of hospitals
- Use of flood controls measures.
- Use of organic manure.
TROPICAL HOT DRY BIOME
- Latitudinal location:
- Between latitude 15 AND 35 north and south of the equator.
- Aerial location:
- Sahara, namib and Kalahari deserts in Africa, The tar desert, the Atacama Desert, the Mohave desert etc.
- The climate is called the hot dry tropical climate.
- Very high temperatures(45°C) and very irregular and low annual rainfall(25-200mm per year)
- Very scanty vegetation.
- The few plants that grow in the desert are drought resistant plants and are called xerophytes with adaptations like long tap roots, little or no leaves etc.
- Animal life:
There are few animals due to scanty vegetation but they have adaptations to live in the desert like the kangaroo rat that live in holes in the day and come out in the night at night when the places are colder. Other animals that live here are foxes, lizards, snakes etc.
Some human activities here are cattle rearing, agriculture, mining etc.
- Problem faced
- Lack of water.
- Very hot condition.
- Infertile soils
- Desert inhabitants wonder from place to place with their animals in search of pasture
- They plant trees that are drought resistance.
- Desert inhabitants dig wells and bore holes in oasis
Between latitude 30°-45° north and south of the equator.
- Central California.
- Central Chile
- Cape town
- Southern Australia.
- The climate is called the Mediterranean climate.
- They have warm and dry summers and their winters are cool and wet
- They have a moderate annual rainfall of about 840mm.
- The soil is reddish brown in colour; high humus content and relatively fertile called the brown forest soil.
- The vegetation is called the Mediterrean woodland.
- It is dominated with trees and shrubs
- The vegetation is less dense and trees are widely spaced.
- Some trees are deciduous AND HAVE long tap roots.
- Animal life: common animals are foxes, rabbits etc.
- Human activities: activities carried out here are commercial farming, viticulture, market gardening, cattle rearing, and light manufacturing.
- Problems faced here are droughts and deforestation.
TEMPERATE GRASSLAND (steppe):
- Longitudinal location:
- It is located between 30-45° north and south of the equator.
- Aerial location:
- The Prairies of north of the America.
- The Pampas of Argentina.
- The steppes of Europe and Asia.
- The Veld of South Africa.
- The climate is called the steppe climate.
- It has a warm climate and a cold winter.
- Average temperature is 18°C in summer and 0°c in winter
- Precipitation is in the form of snow and rain (510mm/year)
- The soil is black and is called the chernozems. And is very fertile due to low leaching.
- The vegetation is called the temperate grassland vegetation.
- THE plants here are called xerophytes.
- The vegetation is treeless
- Human activities: activities carried here are manufacturing, extensive commercial farming and pastoral farming.
The main problems here are soil erosion and droughts.
- Latitudes 45°-60° only in the northern hemisphere.
- Northern parts of north America
- Central Canada
- Northern parts of Eurasia.
- The climate is called the Siberian climate.
- LONG temperatures with average temperatures at -68°c
- Low precipitation of about 530 mm per year.
- The soil is called the pod sols meaning ash grey colour in Russian language.
- The vegetation is called the Coniferous forest.
- THE forest is always ever green.
- THE trees have shallow roots in order to use.
- THE trees are conical in shape in order to avoid the accumulation of snow.
- Animal life:
- Few animals exist here and most of them have hair to protect them against cold. E.g. Bear, reindeer.
- Human activities are lumbering, hunting, manufacturing etc.
- Extremely cold conditions.
- Low population density.