John Ray D. Cuevas
EENV101 – B37
A biome is an ecological zone where biotic factors of same species greatly adjust to the abiotic factors of a specific zone like climate, geology, and vegetation. It refers to a community of living things adapting to a specific type of environment. There are actually 5 major types of biome namely aquatic biome, desert biome, forest biome, grassland biome, and tundra biome. Each biome differs greatly in their characteristics such as physical and chemical aspects of their environment. Each has their own roles and importance in balancing the ecosystem that is why conservation and preservation of our biomes is a must.
The first type of biome is the one making up about 71% of the Earth’s surface, the aquatic biomes. Aquatic biomes are the most significant biomes above all. As we all know, water is the primary basis of life. Without water, all earth creatures such as plants, animals, and humans will die. The aquatic biome is divided into two sections namely the freshwater biome and marine biome. Freshwater biome refers to the surface water like rivers, lakes, and wetlands which are the top layers or surfaces of the body of water. On the other hand, marine biome includes everything in the ocean like coral reefs which play important roles like habitats not just for fishes but also for all microorganisms. Aquatic biomes like the Great Barrier Reef should be preserved since they perform an important role not just home for creatures under water but also helps in the cycle of water around the earth.
Desert Biomes are considered high-temperature ecological zone where there is less vegetation compared to other biomes, large exposure to the sun due to lesser cloud and vegetation cover, and very rare events of rainfall every year. There is actually a little number of carnivores, insects, and reptiles living in this kind of biome. They are capable of adapting to the hot environment. Examples of this biome are Sahara Desert in Africa and Chihuahuan of USA. The third type of biome is the forest biome which
makes up the 30% of the total land of Earth. This biome is very important to the environment since they store carbon emitted from urban areas and help in controlling the climate. Opposite to the desert biome, forest biome has a high yearly rate of rainfall because of high humidity and receives a little amount of sunlight due to huge vegetation. In this type of biome, vegetation covers are huge trees with large trunks, branches and a large volume of leaves. In the forest, little mammals, birds, squirrels, deer are mostly found.
The fourth biome is the grassland biome. From the name itself, it is composed mostly of grasses with a small number of trees spread throughout the ecological zone. In this type of biome, animals habituating are large mammals such as tigers, lions, elephants, etc. The soil in grasslands is very abundant with organic matter providing nutrients to the plants even though the soil is thin and is capable of holding only a small amount of water. When it comes to weather conditions, grasslands experience a moderate amount of rainfall throughout the year. The last type of biome is the tundra biome. Among the biomes, tundra biome provides the highest temperature or the coldest ecological zone with the smallest amount of biodiversity due to the cold weather. Just like deserts, it also has a small amount of vegetation and trees. Only animals and plants that are capable of sustaining life in cold weather conditions are living here. Examples of plants in the tundra are mosses and lichen while some animals living here are polar bears, penguins, etc.
As observed, plants or vegetation are always present in every biome. Either it is a desert or tundra with the hottest and coldest weather respectively, has vegetation or plants even just a small amount. The aquatic biomes have their own algae as well. All of these are classified as autotrophs. Meaning, autotrophs are present in every type of biome. Autotrophs are organisms synthesizing their own food from light from the sun. Actually, most of the plants mentioned are considered autotrophs. They produce food with the use of the sunlight through the process photosynthesis and of course with the help of other internal factors and all other gained from external factors. That is why they are sometimes referred to as the “producers”.
Consumers of autotrophs and the consumers of the consumers of autotrophs are called the heterotrophs. In simple words, heterotrophs are the living organisms that eat plants or meat to live. They eat producers or the herbivores to gain energy. In the food chain, heterotrophs are actually the herbivores, carnivore and omnivores and are not capable of synthesizing their own food. Heterotrophs range from animals to humans. Yes, we are classified as heterotrophs since we are herbivores and carnivores (omnivores) at the same time. As observed as well, heterotrophs are also present in every biome. In every ecological zone, there are always consumers of plants or autotrophs.
Biomes really play an important role on Earth. They provide habitat for a lot of life forms, they help in the water cycle, decrease pollution and enrich the air we breathe. For the past years, these biomes are constantly degrading due to the wrong acts and decisions of people and their illegal activities. These brought so many ecological problems and climate change on earth which are undoubtedly happening all over. To enjoy our own Earth for life, we should promote the conservation and preservation of our environment. Start by doing our simple acts in our own sincere ways. With that, we could help save the different biomes on earth.