The African Savanna

Biotic Factors

  • Acacia and baobab trees, lions, zebras, tall grasses, elephants, and giraffes.

Abiotic Factors:

  • Sky, water, temperature (at least 80 degrees F), air, and soil.

carrying capacity

Carrying capacity is the maximum number of organisms in a species that an enviorment can hold.

Resources needed for a population to survive are: food, water, shelter.

Zebras

The zebra, for example, has lost its habitat very frequently to live stock. We "claim" the land as our own, and then insert the live stock and move on to our next project. Zebras not only have lost their habitat(s) to live stock, but food as well. They eat the grass that once belonged to the zebra. Now the zeal (a group of zebras) will (and can) migrate 1,800 miles for food.

Want to learn more about zebras? Click the button below for some cool facts!

Limiting Factors

A limiting factor is any factor or condition that limitshe growth of a population in an ecosysem.

Although there are many good qualities about the African savanna, it does a have a few limiting factors that hinder its ability to be a perfect ecosystem. For one, the african savanna gets 100 inches during the wet season(May-Nov.) or 20 inches per month. During the dry season, the savanna gets 4 inches of rain. This weather creates for dry grasses(during dry season), and not much plant growth.

Predator/Prey relatioships

Back to the zebra; so, lets say that it's the dry season, and a zebra had been separated from its zeal, and was looking for food and water. It is very tired, having traveled long distances. A lucky leopard has laid its eyes on the zebra, and now waits for the perfect moment to strike. The leopard lunges from its hiding spot, and runs toward its dinner. The zebra runs for its life, but because it was so tired from trying to find water, it was not fast enough.

Energy Roles

FYI:

Producer- an organism that is capable of making its own food through photosynthesis.

Consumer- an organism that is not capable of making its own food; therefor it gets its energy from the producer.

Decomposer- an organism that breaks down dead organisms, and releases the nutrients for the dead organisms into the soil to enrich it.

Producers: Acaia and boboa trees; grass(es)

Consumer:Zebras(herbivores); Lions(carnivores); Giraffes(herbivores); Vulture(carnivore, scavenger)

Decomposers: earth worms, beetles, fungi,

Food webs vs. Food Chains

Food webs are multiple food chains, that intersect through one another.  I believe food webs are much more realistic because it shows most of the different combinations. For example: A mouse might eat the grass, but so does the grasshopper; or the leopard may eat both the baboon and the impala.

If you were to remove the grasshopper, the Fiscal Shrike and the Baboon populations would suffer(the Fiscal Shrike more than the Baboon). The Fiscal Shrike populate would most likely die off, whereas the Baboon population could change their diet to strictly snakes.

If you were to remove the grasshopper, the Fiscal Shrike and the Baboon populations would suffer(the Fiscal Shrike more than the Baboon). The Fiscal Shrike populate would most likely die off, whereas the Baboon population could change their diet to strictly snakes.

But a food chain is just simply a flow chart with organisms in place of an explanation.

And the winner is....

the Food Web!!!

Food webs are much more realistic because it shows most of the different combinations. For example: A mouse might eat the grass, but so does the grasshopper; or the leopard may eat both the baboon and the impala.

Energy Pyramids

Energy pyramids are basically food chains inside a pyramid. Th pyramid shape resembles the amount of energy is available for the next trophic level, which decreases by 10%( the other 90% is used for life processes and heat loss). Producers are at the bottom level because they get their energy directly from the sun. While tertiary consumers are at the top because they get they least energy after it has gone through 2 other organisms.

Photosynthesis

Chemical equation for photosynthesis:

CO2+H2O---->C6H12O6+O2

CO2= Carbon Dioxide

H2O= Water

C6H12O6= Sugars

O2= Oxygen

What's needed for photosynthesis?

Sunlight, water,carbon dioxide,and roots(to get the water into the plant).

What does photosynthesis produce?

Photosynthesis produces glucose, known as sugar, which is the "food" for the plant. Photosynthesis also creates oxygen, which the plant gets rid of because it will not use it.  

This picture shows how photosynthesis takes place within a cell. As you can tell, the end result is glucose, the plant's food.

what kind of energy transformation happens?

Radiant Energy----->Chemical Energy

Radiant Energy= Sunlight

Chemical Energy= Glucose(Sugar)

TRopisms

Tropisms-the turning or bending movement of an organism toward or away from an external stimulus.

Examples:

  • A tree(its trunk+branches) growing away from the ground-geotropism
  • Grass growing towards the sun-phototropism

These tropisms help provide food and energy for consumers, and also, the trees provide shade from the harsh, and large amount, of sun that the savannah gets.

Decomposers

  • Without decomposers, we would be living in our own filth! YUCK!Decomposers do the dirty work no one else wants to do; they get rid of dead organisms, and help break down nutrients to enrich the soil.
  • Earth worms, beetle, ants, and flies are all decomposers that could be found in the African savannah.

Adaptations

If we did not have adaptations, we would struggle to survive. We could not survive in our environment when it changes, therefor spending our lives migrating to find a "perfect" environment.Animals too; the polar bear adapted to help it camoflauge in the snow better to hunt.

Adaptations in the savanna:

  • Zebras migrate in large herds, so it is difficult for a predator to locate a single zebra, and the zebra can run up to 40 miles per hour, in a zig-zag pattern so it is even harder to catch.
  • Elephants use their tusks to protect them, and use their trunks to gather food, drink, and bathe itself
  • A giraffe's adaptations are its neck, which helps it reach food at high levels, and it can go a very long time without water. Which both can very handy when in the african savanna.
  • Baobab trees (and many other trees in the savanna) are adapted to the dry climate. They have long tap roots, and thick bark for resistance against annual wildfires.The baobab trees use their trunks as a water storage organ, to hold water during the dry season.

If, lets say, a giraffe named Bill was placed in the arctic tundra, Bill would not use his long neck to reach trees anymore. Bill might be able to use it to stick his head under water in order to "fish." But that could be unsuccessful, due to Bill's lack of experience, and he could drown. That's assuming Bill can survive long enough to eat something; because his hair pattern is very different than the background of the arctic tundra.

Natural Selection

Natural selection- the process where organisms are better adapted to their environment, and therefor survive and are able to produce more offspring.

  • Natural selection is important for all organisms: First, the organism(s) going through it so they can survive, and produce more of that species. Second, if that species does not survive, that can mess up the food chain it was originally in. The organisms who ate the species that has now become extinct, ands it will need to find another species to hunt. That, in itself, could off balance many other food webs as well.

REAL Example:

Many african elephants have died from the heat in the savanna. But, they have adapted and found a way to cool down... MUD BATHS!! Elephants roll around in the mud, and the moister(water) in the mud stays in their skin, that's why they have so many wrinkles.Also, it is hard for the water to evaporate, because it is trapped in the elephants' skin, and therefor, stays with the elephant(s) longer.

Below are two african elephants.

In the picture below, there is an asian elephant.

*Look at the difference in skin, and the shape in ears.

And Don't forget...

HAKUNA MATAtA!

Comment Stream

2 years ago
0

i recommend that you make the abiotic factors specific

2 years ago
0

I agree with all of your abiotic and biotic factors.

2 years ago
0

I would like to know the amount of sunlight.

2 years ago
0

I would like to know the air pressure.

2 years ago
0

i would like to know how much sunlight there is

2 years ago
0

I would like to know how much sunlight the savanna gets.

2 years ago
0

Ok, THX!😊