In this module, we will tackle biomes (sometimes called habitats). The main goal is for you to fully understand biomes because they are a very important feature that comprises our planet. Here are the topics that we will cover this module:
- The definition of biomes and how they are a significant part of our geography.
- The major types of biomes and their purpose in our ecosystem.
- The human activities that impose a threat on the various biomes.
Typically, biomes are defined by scientists as the categories of the ecosystem that make up our planet. Examples of biomes include:
- Aquatic biomes – this is the most significant biome simply because the primary medium for this biome is water, which is a very important natural resource that we cannot live without. It covers 75% of our planet’s surface and is home to many species of animals and plants.
Freshwater biomes give us the water to drink and for other important uses, like farming, which gives us the food that we eat. Some examples of aquatic biomes are:
- Desert biomes – this is an ecosystem that is created because of the minimal rainfall that occurs in the area every year. The four major types of desert biomes are:
- Hot desert
- Semi-arid desert
- Coastal desert
- Cold desert
- Grassland biomes – this is a huge environment with different grasses, flowers, plants, and herbs. In this kind of location, there is a standard rainfall which makes it possible for plants – specifically different grasses – to grow and thrive.
- Tropical rainforest biomes – in this biome, there is a warm season throughout the year. The temperatures do not alter much between day and night. However, in the rainy season, it can experience violent rainfall depending on the intensity of the weather disturbance.
- Temperate rainforest biomes – this habitat has almost the same characteristics as a tropical rainforest biome, but it has a lower average rainfall than a tropical rainforest biome.
It possesses two seasons: a long, wet winter and a short, dry summer. There are two types of temperate rainforest biomes, namely:
- Deciduous forest biomes – this is a biome that always changes.
It has four different seasons: fall, spring, summer, and winter. This biome can commonly be found in the middle latitude on our planet.
- Coniferous forest biomes – this type of forest has long, cold, snowy winters and warm, humid summers. There is an abundant presence of conifers and evergreen trees in coniferous forest areas.
- Deciduous forest biomes – this is a biome that always changes.
- Tundra biomes – this biome has a freezing climate. It can be distinguished by its snow and ice-covered landscapes, severely low temperatures, low amounts of precipitation, low amounts of nutrients, and seasons with very little to no chance of plant growth.
- Taiga biomes – this is the biggest terrestrial biome and its scope reaches Europe, North America, and as far as Asia. It can also be seen at freezing climates because of high elevations, particularly mountainous areas. It is located below the tundra biome and is also known as coniferous forest.
- Scrub Biomes – this biome is a typical desert biome. They typically have many scrub oaks that abundantly grow as well as other shrubs that are resistant to the dry climate. This biome has very little precipitation per year – approximately 10 to 17 inches.
The Significance of Biomes in our Biodiversity
We live in a world that is being shared by many organisms, so it is very crucial to preserve the various biomes as they are the home of the various life forms that play a big role in the earth’s survival.
The increase in human population, which has resulted in the heightened activities of humans, has a big impact on these biomes, especially illegal activities such as exploitation of the biomes – overfishing, deforestation, and ocean pollution, etc. This produces a threat that can eventually destroy the biome and all the living organisms in them.
What activities are we humans doing in the biomes that cause it to deplete?
- Overfishing – this has been a big problem that still hasn’t been solved by a lot of countries. Many fishing companies and small-scale fishermen are using fishing methods that are unhealthy for the environment and places a threat on the depleting number of fish in an aquatic area.
Some examples of this is dynamite fishing and catching fish that are still very young, which means the fish doesn’t have the opportunity to grow and multiply because they are caught and killed while still young.
- Illegal cutting of trees – by cutting trees excessively, we impose the risk of complete destruction of the biomes and eventually the whole ecosystem. That is this illegal activity destroys many century-old trees that have grown in the beautiful forests, and when these trees are not replaced, we face deforestation.
The main cause of this is the increasing demand for human needs like paper, furniture, houses, and other products that are made of wood. Many initiatives are done by the governments of different countries and their local environmentalists to slow down the depletion of these resources, such as planting trees and limiting the number of trees being cut down.
- Excessive mining – this human activity is taking a massive toll on our terrestrial biomes, especially the tundras. Excessive mining drains the minerals of a certain area and also emits pollution that will eventually destroy the land. Add to that the fact that drilling destroys the quality of the soil as mining breaks into the soil by the use of massive drilling equipment.
- Hunting of wild animals – although we humans naturally hunt animals for food, it is completely unnecessary to hunt animals that are not used for human consumption. This is an especially big issue in countries like Africa, where lions, elephant, and rhinoceroses are hunted for the skin, teeth, horns, and tusks.
So what can we do to preserve our biomes?
The best thing we can do to conserve the healthy environment for our biomes is to avoid harmful activities that can cause destruction of these biomes. Take care of your environment for the betterment of it and preserve it for the future generations.
- Biomes of the world: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:World_biomes.jpg
- Aquatic biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coral_reef_PloS.jpg
- Desert biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Desert_Landscape.jpg
- Grassland biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:June_2015_Grassland_Plants_in_Northwestern_SD_(19934734000).jpg
- Tropical rainforest biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rainforest_Biome_Biosphere_2.jpg
- Temperate rainforest biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Valdivian_temperate_rainforest.JPG
- Deciduous forest biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Deciduous_forest_(4843082944).jpg
- Coniferous forest biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coniferous_forest_habitat.jpg
- Tundra biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alpine_tundra.jpg
- Taiga biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Siberian_autumn_in_taiga..JPG
- Scrub biome: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Scrub_forest_patch_near_Padmanabham.jpg