In contrast the rainforest has the highest biodiversity of any biome on Earth

In contrast the rainforest has the highest

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parts of the desert may have no organisms, and therefore zero biodiversity. In contrast, the rainforest has the highest biodiversity of any biome on Earth. Adaptations Plants, animals, and other organisms evolve adaptations to suit them to the abiotic factors in their biome. Abiotic factors to which they adapt include temperature, moisture, growing season, and soil. This is why the same type of biome in different parts of the world has organisms with similar adaptations. For example, biomes with dry climates worldwide have plants with similar adaptations to aridity, such as special tissues for storing water (see Figure 6 ). In biomes with a severe cold or dry season, plants may become dormant during that season of the year. In dormant plants, cellular activities temporarily slow down, so the plants need less sunlight and water. For example, many trees shed their leaves and become dormant during very cold or dry seasons. Animals in very cold or dry biomes also must adapt to these abiotic factors. For example, adaptations to cold include fur or fat, which insulates the body and helps retain body heat. Lesson Summary • A biome is a group of similar ecosystems that cover a broad area. Climate is the average weather in an area over a long period of time. Climate is the most important abiotic factor affecting the distribution of terrestrial 6
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www. c k12 .org Chapter 1. Biomes, Ecosystems, and Communities FIGURE 1.6 (left) The large hollow leaves of an African aloe plant store water and help the plant survive in its arid biome. (right) Cacti like these are found in arid biomes of North America. They store water in their thick, barrel-like stems. biomes. • Climate includes temperature and precipitation, and it determines growing season and soil quality. It is the major factor affecting the number and diversity of plants in terrestrial biomes. • By affecting plants, which are the main producers, climate affects the biodiversity of terrestrial biomes. Plants and other organisms also evolve adaptations to climatic factors in their biomes, including adaptations to extreme cold and dryness. Review Questions 1. Name three factors that help determine the climate of an ecosystem. 2. What is a rain shadow? 3. List some important factors related to climate that plants need in order to grow? 4. Compare the data for Seattle and Denver in the table below. What factors might explain why Seattle is warmerin the winter than Denver, even though Seattle is farther north?: 5. 6. 1 7. Average low temperature in January
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