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Forest Ecosystem

Tundra Ice frozen soil with severe climatic conditions
Tropical Lying near the tropics or in equatorial region
Temperate Between Tropics & Arctic circles i.e. from 23.5* to 66.5* approx.
Evergreen Trees do not shed their leaves periodically & always looks filled
Deciduous Trees which shed their leaves periodically
Coniferous Needle leaved trees
Alpine Relating to high mountains
Montane Pertaining to mountainous region

 

FORESTS ECOSYSTEM


Tundra

Word Tundra means barren land since they are found where environmental conditions are very severe. There are 2 types of Tundra:

Arctic Tundra

  • Northern most region adjoining the ice bound poles
  • Region below polar ice caps & above the tree line in northern hemisphere.
  • On the South Pole tundra is very small as most of it is covered by oceans.
  • Devoid of trees except stunted scrubs which includes mainly lichens, Birches, mosses & sedges.

Alpine Tundra

  • Occurs at high mountains above the tree line at all the latitudes (because mountains are found at all latitudes with variation in day & night temperature)
  • Mammals of tundra have large body size covered with furs and small tail & ear to avoid loss of heat.
  • Found mostly at Canada, Alaska, Russia, Siberia & island group of Arctic Ocean.

 

Taiga or Boreal or coniferous Forests

  • Found mostly in Northern Europe, Asia, Northern America
  • Moderate temperature than Tundra (Cold regions with high rainfall, long winters & short summers) with dominating vegetation being coniferous (needle-leaved ) evergreen, mostly spruce with some pine & firs
  • Soil is deficient in humus content as litter derived from conifer leafs decompose slowly & is not rich in nutrients and weathering of rocks in persisting cold climate also proceeds slowly
  • Soils are mainly acidic & mineral deficient due to water logged area & without significant evaporation essential soluble nutrients leaches deep down beyond the reach of roots.

Types of forests

Temperate deciduous forests

  • Extends over central & southern Europe, Eastern North America, Western China, Japan, New Zealand etc.
  • Moderate temperature & moderate rainfall, Shed their leaves during fall, are bare over winters & grow new foilage in spring.
  • Generally the most productive areas on the earth, Trees include mainly Beech, Oak, Maple & Cherry

 

Littoral & Swamps

  • Found along A & N islands & at deltas
  • Have roots which consist of soft tissues so that plant can breathe in water

 

Tropical Rain Forests

  • Equatorial regions with high temperature & high rainfall.
  • Covers approx 7 % of earth’s surface & 40 % of world’s plant & animal species.
  • Abundant in multiple story broad leaved evergreen trees with epiphytic plants concentrated in canopy or trees top zones

Grassland

Steppe (semi-arid)

  • Sandy & saline soil
  • rainfall less than 20 cm a year
  • 10 months dry season

 

Savannah

  • Rainfall is aprox. 50 cm a year
  • dry season 6 – 8 months

Characteristics of Desert’s Flora & Fauna

Flora

  • Mostly shrubs
  • leaves are absent or small in size
  • leaves & stem are succulent or water storing
  • Root system is well developed & spread over large area.

 

Fauna

  • Nocturnal
  • Fast runners
  • Conserve water by excreting conc. Urine
  • Long legs to avoid hot grounds.

 

For more information, refer to geography section

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