VI. Ecosystems

VI. Ecosystems
•Ecosystem – a group of plants and animals that
depend on each other and their environment for
• They can be very large or extremely small
• can change over time due to physical processes or
human activities.
• for example, lack of rainfall in a temperate forest or
the building of a city.
A. Types of Ecosystems
Tropical or Subtropical Forest
•Steady hot temperatures and moist air
• vast, thick areas of trees
• rainfall is common
Temperate Forest
•Moist temperate climates support thick forests of
deciduous trees.
• Deciduous Trees – trees that lose their leaves in the
• Some temperate forests include a mix of deciduous
and evergreen trees.
Subarctic Forest
•Coniferous Trees – trees that produce cones
to carry seeds.
• These trees contain needles
• needles protect trees from the cold dry
winters of subarctic climates.
Tropical or Subtropical Grassland or
•Savanna – is a park-like landscape of
grasslands with scattered trees that can
survive dry spells.
• Savannas are found in tropical areas that
have dry seasons.
Temperate Grassland and Brush
•Vast grasslands cover most of the region
• contains more rainfall than desert
• However, not enough rain to support
Mediterranean Brush
•Shrubs and other low plants in
Mediterranean climates hold in water.
• This is to help plants survive hot, dry
Desert and Desert Brush
•Dry semiarid areas and deserts with some rain.
• support animals and low-lying desert plants.
• plants need little water and can live in extreme
• driest of desert areas have little or no plant
Mountain Grassland and Brush
•Vegetation depends on elevation.
• temperatures drop as altitude increases.
• the higher the elevation, the fewer plant and
animals there are.
•The tundra is an area of cold climate and lowlying plants.
• grasses grow and low shrubs bloom during
brief, cool summers.
• animals survive in cold temperatures with little
Ice Cap
•Thick ice caps form around the poles
• year round climate of extremely cold
• no plant life exists on this ice.
Global Warming?