Section 20: Terrestrial Biomes

SLOs: biogeographic realms and evolution, terrestrial biomes, biodiversity.


Lesson 1:

Instruction

The geographic region in which a group of plants and animals evolve is called a biogeographic realm.  These realms mainly correspond to continents, because oceans are a huge barrier to dispersal.  Other barriers, such as climate, topography, and other specific habitat conditions, also exist and separate biogeographic realms.  The transition zone between each realm is an ecotone.  Both Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace studied biogeography in the 19th century, and made many great advancements in this field.  The idea behind evolution and natural selection (in which only organisms best adapted to their environment survive to produce succeeding generations while organisms less well adapted to their environment are eliminated) was one such scientific achievement.  The botanical and zoological biogeographic realms are very similar.   

Photos, Images, and/or Videos
 

 (approximate locations of world continents)  

Quiz

Using the image above, draw imaginary lines around what you think are the proper boundaries between biogeographic realms.  What part of the world is included within each realm?

 


Lesson 2:

Instruction

Terrestrial ecosystems are self-sustaining, land-based plants and animals groups along with their environments.  A biome is simply a big terrestrial ecosystem characterized by certain plants and animals.  Most biomes are labeled according to the dominant vegetation.  The major terrestrial biomes are listed as follows: Equatorial and Tropical Rain Forest, Tropical Seasonal Forest and Scrub, Tropical Savanna, Midlatitude Broadleaf and Montane Forest, Temperate Rain Forest, Mediterranean Shrubland, Midlatitude Grasslands, Warm desert and Semidesert, Cold desert and Semidesert, plus Arctic and Alpine Tundra.  The main biome category that makes up Ventura County is the Mediterranean Shrubland.  

Photos, Images, and/or Videos

 
(Los Padres National Forest) (Santa Monica National Recreation Area) (Los Padres National Forest) (Santa Monica National Recreation Area)

Quiz

Using the Christopherson text or another source on terrestrial biomes, list the major characteristics of the only biome in Ventura County: Mediterranean Shrubland.

 


Lesson 3:

Instruction

The loss of biodiversity on Earth is a major concern.  Many species of plants and animals on land and in the water are at risk.  Especially in our area, we must fight to keep our environment (and our species) sustainable!      

Photos, Images, and/or Videos
    (please protect the California sea lions)          (please protect the giant coreopsis)  (please protect the water foul)    

Quiz

Your assignment is to support the local preservation/conservation efforts in Ventura County.  Some suggestions include: voting for local, state, and federal environmentally-friendly political candidates; contacting your local representative, senators, mayors, and even the president about important federal environmental issues; giving your time or money to an environmentally-friendly good-cause group; stopping the spread of invasive plant species by not planting these types of species in your yard; stopping the spread of the black market pet trade by not buying fish or animals that originate from other countries; educating yourself on the rare/endangered species in your area and helping with the conservation efforts; and above all, support the protection of the Los Padres National Forest, the Santa Monica National Recreation Area, the Santa Barbara Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary, and the Santa Barbara Channel.         


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2006 Jessica Douglas