Ecosystems – Grassland vs. Mountains
Every single day, we breathe in air and take a look at the green grass, we taste the blue water, we subconsciously analyze the soil, feel grey rocks, look down on small insects, watch the growing trees, the flying birds, and even ourselves, the people. But all of these elements do not exist just to be there, they have a further important meaning interacting with organisms. We are talking about a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment, called Ecosystem. In this text, we will in our minds grow up in two new ecosystems and environments; the Grassland ecosystem and the Mountain ecosystem, by comparing their climates. Climate is a very important part of an ecosystem, as it determines the living conditions for different organisms. The climate of Grassland ecosystems can vary depending on location, but are usually quite dry, with an average of 600 – 1500 mm precipitation. The average annual temperature is -5 to 20 degrees Celsius, and can be both colder and warmer, giving the ecosystem cold winters and hot summers. This diverse climate makes the richness of plant species very high, especially in grasslands of low soil fertility. The low soil fertility provides low nutrition, and causes the lack of trees and heavy bushes in grasslands, making it difficult for creatures to hide. However, it is a great home for large herds of grazing mammals, such as the zebra and the bison, because of the open land. Unlike Grassland ecosystems, the Mountain ecosystems vary a lot more in climate, due to different altitudes and reliefs. The altitude affects the climate, as the atmospheric temperature drops by 0,5 – 0,6 degrees Celsius per 100 meters. The climate is affected by the relief, as the mountains stand in the path of wind systems, forcing air to rise over them. When the air rises, the temperature is cool and leads to higher precipitation, while on the lower parts, it becomes warmer with falling...
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