Alpine Biome

Topics: Plant, Endangered species, National Park Service Pages: 4 (1543 words) Published: January 23, 2014

The Alpine Biome
What is a biome? Well, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, a biome is simply “a major ecological community type.” This is just a brief definition. In detail a biome is a large ecosystem that contains animals and plants that adapt in that certain type of environment. The climate and geography of the region determines the biome. The biosphere is anywhere on the Earth where life exists. It can range anywhere from the skies to the depths of the ocean where anglerfish and squids dwell. The alpine biome is located in the high mountains of the world where the altitude exceeds 10000 feet, but below the snow lines on a mountain, and is inside the biosphere. The alpine biome is usually surrounded by many biomes. For example, the Rocky Mountains, which is an alpine biome, are surrounded by taiga biomes, grassland biomes, deciduous forest biomes, and desert biomes. The alpine biome has harsh winter months and cool summer months. Similar to every other biome, the alpines have several abiotic and biotic factors. One of the main abiotic factors are temperature, which is usually below freezing and drops 10 degrees Celsius every thousand meters higher. Along with cold temperatures, there are over 100 inches of precipitation; usually in form of snow, annually, strong winds over 100 mph, and long winters. Due to these harsh abiotic factors, permafrost, or frozen soil, is present and prevents tree growth in the alpines. In addition all these abiotic factors, there are an abundance of rocks at the alpines. Furthermore, there are several biotic factors in the alpine biomes. One factor is the presence of animals. While several animals, like bighorn sheep, stay all year long, some animals migrate and hibernate in the alpines. There are few plants in the alpine biome; however, the alpines are carpeted in wildflowers, moss, and wild mushrooms. Any animals that live in the alpine biome must be adapted to harsh and cold weather. Since these...
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