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BIOMES INFORMATION PACKET

ARCTIC/ALPINE TUNDRA

Climate Characteristics: In the arctic/alpine tundra there are two seasons: winter and
summer. In the summer, the sun is present almost 24 hours a day. This sun however, only
warms the tundra up to a range of about 3C to 12C. In the winter the opposite light
conditions are present. There are several weeks where the sun never rises. This causes the
temperatures to drop to extremely low levels. The average temperature of the tundra is
around -28C while extremes can dip to -70C
Typical Trees: alpine grasses/sedges, low woody shrubs, cold-tolerant Engelmann spruce
and lodgepole pine.

protrails.com
Engelmann spruce, lodgepole pine,
and alpine grasses and sedges

Engelmann spruce pollen

msichicago.org
BIOMES INFORMATION PACKET
BOREAL FOREST

Climate Characteristics: The boreal forest corresponds with regions of subarctic and cold
continental climate. There are long, severe winters (up to six months with mean
temperatures below freezing) and short summers (50 to 100 frost-free days), with a wide
range of temperatures between the lows of winter and highs of summer. There is little
rainfall in the boreal biome. Precipitation comes in the form of fog and snow, with a little rain
during the summer months. Because much of the zone that this biome covers was formerly
glaciated, today large sections have permanent permafrost (frozen soil).
Typical Trees: extensive boreal forests of lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, and grand fir.

Boreal Forest

Lodgepole pines and grand firs

fs.usda.gov

Lodgepole pines and grand firs

Lodgepole pines pollen

msichicago.org
BIOMES INFORMATION PACKET

DRY TEMPERATE DECIDUOUS FOREST

Climate Characteristics: dry temperate deciduous forests have both a warm and a cold
season, a long growing season with 4-6 frost-free months, and precipitation evenly
distributed throughout the year. The mid-latitude deciduous forest biome is located between
the Polar Regions and the tropics. Because of its location, air masses from both the cold
polar region and the warm tropical region contribute to the changes of climate in this biome.
Typical Trees: Deciduous trees (like oaks and maples) mix with species of evergreens (like
douglas fir). Deciduous trees shed their leaves each fall. Lying on the forest floor, the leaves
decay. As the leaves decompose, the nutrients contained in the leaves are absorbed by the
soil. For this reason, the soils of this biome tend to be very fertile.

Douglas fir and cedar maple


fs.fed.us
Douglas `fir and cedar
maples

Douglas fir pollen

Douglas fir pollen

msichicago.org
BIOMES INFORMATION PACKET

CHAPARRAL
Climate Characteristics: In the winter the Chaparral climate, also known as the
Mediterranean climate, is mild and moist, but not rainy (only 25-43 cm of rain fall annually).
During the summer it is very hot and dry. The temperature is usually mild but it can get very
hot or nearly freezing. The temperature range is between 0 and 40C.
Typical Trees: Douglas fir and dry meadowland. Because of the long period of dryness in
the summer, only plants with hard leaves can survive, such as scrub oaks, chamiso shrubs,
pines, cork and olive trees. Many leaves are also hairy so they can collect the moisture out
of the air and use it.

azfirescape.org
Douglas fir and dry chaparral

Dry chaparral pollen

Douglas fir and dry chaparral

Dry chaparral pollen

msichicago.org
BIOMES INFORMATION PACKET

MOIST DECIDUOUS FORESTS


Climate Characteristics: much like the dry deciduous forest, moist deciduous forests have
warm summers and mild winters, and trees that lose their leaves in the winter. Moist
deciduous forests also have quite a wet environment. Following rainforests, temperate
deciduous forests are the second-rainiest biome. The average yearly precipitation is 75 -
150 cm. This precipitation falls throughout the year, but in the winter it falls as snow. The
average temperature in temperate deciduous forests is 10C. Summers are mild, and
average about 21C, while winter temperatures are often well below freezing.
Typical Trees: extensive coniferous forests and deciduous trees, with species such as
hemlock and western red cedar.

Hemlock and western red cedar

Hemlock pollen

orgonexplorer.info
Hemlock and western
red cedar

Hemlock pollen

msichicago.org