Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Each passing day the world changes as our climate begins to change and evolve. We see these different kinds of natural phenomena as self-sustaining, living communities, also called biomes. Biomes have changed and moved many times during the history of life on Earth. More recently, human activities have drastically altered these communities. Thus, conservation and preservation of biomes should be a major concern to all. There are many ways to categorize the types of climates found around the world (Some climate combinations more unique to certain parts of the world) and these biomes exhibits and explores the ancestor/descendant relationships which connect all organisms, past and present.

What is a biome?

A method to classify the Earth’s terrestrial communities as ecological units that correspond with regional climate types. Also seen by writers, artists, as the natural world’s major communities. Though because of human movement and activities, they are been altered from their original states. Farming and irrigation are two examples.

Biome derives from scientists Frederic Clements and Shelford were both studying communities, groups of organisms living together in the same place or habitat. Plants and animals worked together in a self-sustaining unit formulated by S.A. Forbes while studying lakes.

Some places are devoid of life, sandy dunes, new lava flow, and a new glacial lake. A predictable series of plant communities would come to occupy the site, one replacing the other until a final stable assemblage of plants would develop and persist until a major change in the climate occurred. This is called a climax community. Endpoint of succession!

Typically there are 7 Terrestrial Biomes (There are actually more, but these are the 7 main ones):

Tropical Rainforests – Amazon Rain Forest, Ranomafana National Park; Costa Rica

Savannas – Kenya, East and Central Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela

Deserts – Sahara, Great Basin, Gobi Desert

Temperate Grasslands – Great Plains; US

Temperate (Deciduous) Forests – Basically, the forests of Michigan! Pretty much Northern United States

Boreal Forests – Forests in Stockholm; Sweden, Central Canada

Tundra – Newfoundland; Canada, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska

Marine Biomes (Basic Idea, there are so many)

Coastal – zone of transition between land and sea

Coral Reefs – Great Barrier Reef; Australia, Florida Keys,

Continental Shelf – 7.5% of the world’s surface area

Deep Sea – 2/3s of earth’s surface.

Where people live determines what is most important to them.

Alaskan Tundra:

In the Northern most city in the United States, the people of the city follow tradition. The Iñupiat Heritage Center was designed to serve as an inspirational facility to promote and protect Iñupiaq culture, history, and language through exhibits, classes, performances, and educational activities. Things like Whaling, sewing skins to cover boats, carving whale bones, and storytelling. They do not have television, computers or smartphones, but radios to communicate and listen. Whales give themselves to whalers who respect them and treat them properly. As part of this reverence, we offer the whale a clean place to come to. We store our whale meat and blubber in underground ice cellars that we clean out each year before whaling. This their connection to nature and use of their environment. They seek only what is necessary and important to their cultural value and that is keeping their bond to the animal life and adapting to the cold weather for their survival. They know their weaknesses and strengths and yet they have managed to strive as a society for thousands of years on their ancestral lands.

In Northern Siberia/Mongolia:

In a land where the ground is always frozen, one creature has nourished man both physically and spiritually. Author Piers Vitebsky tells Debbie Elliott about The Reindeer People, his book about the Eveny herders of Siberia. They are called the Evenki.

For thousands of years, man and beast have co-existed in a brutally cold environment where human life would simply not be possible without reindeer. Vitebsky has studied them for two decades, emerging with a moving profile of a people "who know how to be." Evenki had moved out from their previous homeland in northeast China and spread for thousands of miles across forests and tundras, swamps and mountain ranges, from Mongolia to the Arctic Ocean, from the Pacific almost to the Urals, making them the most widely spread indigenous people on any landmass. Even today, elders can tell stories of journeys that make young people, tied to their villages and dependent on aircraft, smile with disbelief. The old people achieved this mobility by training reindeer to carry them on their backs and pull them on sledges. The endless succession of short migrations from one camp site to the next, which they have shared with me, gives no more than a glimpse of the power of reindeer transport and of the way in which this creature has opened up vast swathes of the earth's surface for human habitation.


Fresh milk

In Bhutan "Where Nature & People Live in Harmony":

The tiny nation of Bhutan ranks among the most biodiverse in the world.

According to Wikipedia: Bhutan is seen as a model for proactive conservation initiatives. The Kingdom has received international acclaim for its commitment to the maintenance of its biodiversity. This is reflected in the decision to maintain at least sixty percent of the land area under forest cover, to designate more than 40% of its territory as national parks, reserves and other protected areas, and most recently to identify a further nine percent of land area as biodiversity corridors linking the protected areas. Environmental conservation has been placed at the core of the nation's development strategy, the middle path. It is not treated as a sector but rather as a set of concerns that must be mainstreamed in Bhutan's overall approach to development planning and to be buttressed by the force of law.

The southern part of Bhutan nearest to India is warm and supports wildlife that is usually associated with a tropical-jungle climate. As one progresses north, the wildlife changes according as the elevation increases. In much of Bhutan, it is quite cool - even in the summer. High in the Himalayan mountains, there is snow year round and this is an area inhabited by incredibly hardy animals and plants.Innumerable rivers wind through the valleys of Bhutan. Waterfalls are everywhere, tucked in between the cliffs and draining into the rivers and streams. Currently, 72% of the country is covered with forests (or other communities of native vegetation), and the Bhutanese government policy is that this percent must never fall below 60% in the future. The forests that grow between the riverbanks and the mountain peaks include a variety of trees, such as bamboo, cypress, and the rhododendron. The rhododendron forests are of special interest, as Bhutan has over fifty species. The entire country is composed of several types of biomes -- Tropical Forests, Temperate Forests, Subalpine Forests, and the Alpine Tundra.

"Taking things from nature has a cost, and it will be paid by future generations when they lack the natural resources that we have today. Always remember that we do not own the earth. We are only minding it for our children."

The rough terrain makes it difficult for homes to be built -- but the Bhutanese have managed to make their way around these natural phonenomena.
Unique flora managed to grow in a preserved environment.
Trekking around the mountains can allow you to see the country's national flower, the Blue Poppy. A rare find in the country itself and a rare color of flora in the world.

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