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why do plants grow in different places

A biome is a community of plants, animals, and soil
organisms living in a climate. Climate is defined as the average weather in a region over a long period of time. There are three major biomes: terrestrial, marine, and freshwater. Each of these is further divided into more-specific biomes. Climatic factors that play a role in where biomes are located are: latitude (which means placement on Earth in relation to the equator; how much sunlight is available depends upon latitude), humidity (the amount of moisture in the air), and elevation (how high something is). Climate is the main factor in determining the location and distribution of terrestrial biomes. Some examples of terrestrial biomes are: tundra, desert, and tropical forest. The tundra biome is characterized by extremely low temperatures, a short growing season, and poor soil nutrients. The desert has low rainfall and the plants have evolved so they can live with less water. The desert soil is very nutritive and needs only water to become productive. The tropical rainforest is known for it highly diverse plant life. The average temperature is between 68 and 77 F, and annual rainfall exceeds 200 centimeters (cm). The marine biome covers three-fourths of Earth's surface and includes oceans, coral reefs, and estuaries. Coral reefs are found around continents and islands. Examples include the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Tahitian reefs, which are both great places to snorkel and scuba dive because of the wide variety of fish and beautiful coral to see.


Estuaries mark the region where freshwater meets the ocean. Estuaries are affected by the tides, but are sheltered from the full force of ocean wind and waves. Here, water of different salt concentrations mixes and create an interesting diversity of plant and animal life. An example of this type of biome is where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. The freshwater biome consists of ponds and lakes, and streams and rivers. Freshwater means that the salt concentration in the water is low; less than 1% compared to 3. 5% for ocean water. All of the plants and animals in freshwater biomes have adapted to the low salt concentration in the water. Ponds and lakes vary greatly in size and since they are isolated bodies of water, they sometimes have limited species diversity. Temperatures in ponds and lakes vary according to depth and season. At its deepest, temperatures can fall to 39 F, regardless of the season. At the top, the temperature of the water can reach 72 F in the summer and 32 F in the winter. Streams and rivers are different from ponds and lakes because they are flowing water. The characteristics of streams and rivers change from the source to the end, and the temperature at the source is usually much cooler than at the end of the stream or river. In this science fair project, you will learn more about the different biomes on Earth and will model a couple of terrestrial biomes. By the end of this science fair project you will understand what an amazing place our home planet is.


What is climate? What kind of climate do you live in? What is a biome? What are the major types of biomes? What kind of biome do you live in? There is a lot of information online and in your local library on biomes. The following are just a few examples. Wikipedia Contributors. (2008). Biome. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 23, 2008 from National Air and Space Administration. (n. d. ). Earth Observatory. Retrieved July 14, 2008 from University of California Museum of Paleontology. (n. d. ). The world's biomes. Retrieved July 10, 2008 from For help making graph paper, try: Create a Graph. (n. d. ). Create a Graph. Retrieved September 29, 2008, from Our planet has about 260,000 species, or types, of plants. They are found all over the place: your backyard, the rainforests, the deserts, and the poles. Plants cannot move from place to place the way animals can. That is why it is important that they are in the right environment. For example, a cactus would not grow very well at the South Pole. Sunflowers only grow well where the weather is warm and sunny. They turn their flowers to face the Sun. How Do Plants Adapt? Some plants move every day. They turn their leaves toward the Sun. Sunflower plants turn toward the Sun. They do this to catch as much sunlight as possible. When a fern sprouts, its leaves are curled up tightly. Next, the leaves uncurl and begin to photosynthesize.


Other plants adapt according to the season. In a woodland, lots of plants compete for light. In spring, plants grow new leaves. Ferns are one of the first plants to grow new leaves. They do this before the trees have sprouted leaves. This way, they can catch lots of light before they are shaded by the trees. In cold and exposed places, plants grow close to the ground so that they are protected from strong winds. There is not enough warmth or sunlight for them to grow tall. How Do Plants Survive Extreme Conditions? Each environment presents new problems for plants. Desert plants have plenty of sunlight. But they receive very little water. When it does rain, they soak up as much water as they can. Their roots are often very close to the surface of the soil or sand. They are ready and waiting to catch any drop of water that falls. Their next challenge is to hang onto the water. Desert plants have a thick, waxy surface. They have spikes instead of leaves. This stops a lot of water from being lost across their outside surface. Rainforests are found in hot, rainy regions of the world. They have a lot of sunlight and a lot of rain. Thousands of plant species grow here. They all compete for light and minerals. Rainforest trees grow very fast and extremely tall. Some stand over 150 feet (46 meters). The tallest trees get the most sunlight. In this way, they compete with each other for survival. Dense rainforest in Australia is home to a massive variety of plants and animals.

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