Plants: Balsam fir, black spruce, douglas fir, eastern red cedar, jack pine, paper birch, siberian spruce, white fir, white poplar, white spruce
Animals: American black bear, bald eagle, bobcat, Canadian Lynx, gray wolf, grizzly bear, lone-eared owl, red fox, river otter, snowshoe rabbit, and the wolverine
soil: young and poor in nutrients
temperature: winter low is -65 degrees, winter high is 30 degrees, summer low is 30 degrees, summer high is 70 degrees (Fahrenheit)
rain: about 40 in per year
snow: about 30 in. per year
air: bitter, cold, and very windy
Definition: the balance between the availability of habitat components and the number of animals that the habitat can support
Resources needed to survive: Water, sunlight, shelter, food, and area to live in
For over 300 years, people have been hunting the Canadian lynxes for there fluffy pelts. This caused there population to be relatively small. Sometimes the population can grow quite large if the snow hare (there food) population grows. If the snow hares get enough vegetation then they'll increase rapidly and reach carrying capacity. By then the Lynx now have plenty to eat and since the rabbits have more then doubled, they are now starving so they are easier to catch. Another possible situation is if the Lynx produce too many offspring (and reach carrying capacity) then they will eat out all the hares so then they start to starve. Then only the strongest survive until the hares can reproduce more.
This is a graph of the snowshoe hare and Canadian Lynx population from 1855-1925
Limiting Factor and Predator/Prey Relationship
Definition: Anything that affects the survival of an organism in an ecosystem
Example: If the snowshoe hare decreases in population then the a Canadian Lynx will also decrease in population.
Predator/Prey Relationship: The Canadian Lynx is the predator of the snowshoe hare. Snowshoe hares depend on the vegetation that grows around the taiga to feed on. If the hares get plenty to eat then they produce many offspring. This becomes a bountiful meal for the Canadian Lynx since their main diet is hares. Since they have enough to eat, they will produce more lynxes until they eat out the hare. Which soon they will starve and only some will survive to eat the hares that are starting to reproduce again.
Scavenger: Animals that eat dead things Ex: hawks, Eagles, wolves Producers: Organism that can produce its own food Ex: Club moss, lichen, crow berry, conifer cones Decomposers: organism that breaks down waste and returns nutrients back to earth Ex: honey fungus, sow bug Consumers: receive energy from eating other organisms//Herbivore: Animals that eat producers (plants) Ex: Snowshoe hares, red squirrels, voles Carnivore: Animals that eat other animals Ex: bobcat, Canadian Lynx, red fox Omnivore: Animals that eat both plants and animals Ex: blue jay, crow
Where they get their energy from: Herbivores get it from producer. Carnivores eat the herbivores to get energy. Scavengers eat the left over food from the carnivores (they scavenge for food). Decomposers get their energy from dead/decayed things. Producers get energy from the food they make. (With the help of the sun, water etc.)
Producers are vital to any ecosystem, because they can produce their own food so they don't need to depend on other organisms to get food. They can produce their own through photosynthesis. (they only need the sun, nutrients, and water)
Food Webs and Food Chains
Food webs are better than food chains because they show more than one thing that an animal eats. The food chain only shows one organism that the consumer eats.
If the fish population was eliminated from this ecosystem, the wolf and bear would lose a source of energy. Then they would depend on the other animals until they eat each other out and they would probably decrease in population until one day, they MIGHT die.
Tropic Levels and Energy Pyramid
The pyramid shape is better than any other shape, because it shows that as you go up less energy is being passed on. If it were another shape such as a cube or a cylinder, the animals would just be placed in there, they wouldn't represent anything. But the pyramid (tertiary consumer) shows that as you go up, the animals at the very top 9 get less energy than the ones at the bottom (producer).
Producers are at the base of the pyramid and the top predators are at the top, because the producers can reproduce the most and they give of the most energy when eaten. Top carnivores are at the top, because when they are eaten, they give off less energy than the producers at the bottom. This is why producers are at the bottom and top carnivores are at the top of the energy pyramid.
Chemical Equation: CO2+H2O----->C6H12O6+O2
The things needed for photosynthesis to happen are water (H2O), sunlight, carbon dioxide, and chloroplast
The things that are produced by photosynthesis are glucose (sugar) and oxygen
Photosynthesis takes place in the plants chloroplast (small cells)
Definition: turning or bending movement of an organism of an organism toward or away from an external stimulas
Example: Gravi-tropism can be found when paper birch trees grow up and away from the direction of gravity. That is a negative tropism. Another example is when a jack pine tree grows towards the sun. That is called photo-tropism and a positive tropism.
These tropisms help the plants survive in the taiga by letting them get enough sunlight, water, etc.
The Role of Decomposers
Decomposers are important to this ecosystem, because they can turn dead animals and un-useful things into nutrients for the plants. Without them, the producers would not have they nutrients to reproduce more and some consumers would have less food to eat.
Examples: Sow bug and honey fungus
The importance of adaptations is so that animals can survive in different places/climates. They help animals survive by letting them keep warm/cool in certain types of weather or letting them save their energy by hibernating.
Some examples of adaptations in the taiga include hibernating during the cold seasons (bears) and having fur changing colors during different seasons as camouflage (Ex. Snowshoe hare: brown in spring and white in winter). Plants also adapt to this cold climate by staying green forever so that they won't have to replant during spring (Ex. Evergreen spruce).
If you placed an organism from this environment into another one, the organism would try to adapt and find a new way of living there, but it would soon weaken until the point of death or it would successfully adapt to the environment and reproduce/repopulate there.
Definition: the process where organisms have adapted to their environment and tend to survive and produce more offspring.
Natural selection is important because without it animals may not be able to reproduce or adapt to the environment.
A naturally selected organism is the snowshoe hare. Since the hare has a snowy white coat in the winter, it can blend in with the snow and not be caught by predators. This lets them be able to reproduce in many numbers so that they will not go extinct.