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Earth Science - Essay Example

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Food chain is a representation of the energy transfers from one organism to another. It starts from a producer, usually plants, which are autotrophs that can harness light energy to form organic compounds. …
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Download file to see previous pages Usually, their association with other animals, such as that depicted in a food chain, gives an impression as to the place or habitat a particular food chain is present. As to the example above, one might consider a grassland as the place where this food chain occurs. Definitely, this is not something you will see on a marine ecosystem. On the other hand, biologists look at organisms at a closer way. They look at their anatomical structures, and how these structures allow them to function and live in the habitat where they are located. They also study how organisms reproduce so that it is able to exist for millions of years Biomes are general descriptions of areas based on the kinds of vegetation present and the adaptations that the animals have to undergo to flourish in such areas. It is different from a zoogeographical region, in that the latter are specific areas on Earth defined by the animals living in that area. These regions are divided by oceans, mountain ranges, or desserts (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/202763/faunal-region). Two types of biomes are desert and tundra. Deserts are dry areas of the Earth where rainfall is less than 50 cm/year. As such, the plants present in these areas have water retaining properties, such a thick cuticle to prevent excessive water evaporation. As well, they tend to be closer to the ground, and their leaves have limited surface area (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/deserts.php, 2007). On the other hand, plants in tropical forests exhibit wide diversity, with large canopies interspersed with small shrubs in between them. The plants are also tall, maximizing the amount of light present without having to compensate for the water losses that may occur upon evaporation http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/forests.php, 2007). 2. Forrested areas tend to have acidic and less structured soils than that of grasslands because forest tree leachates are acidic in nature (http://www.soils.wisc.edu/courses/SS325/formation.htm#organisms). Aside from the organisms present in the soil, the climate, parent material, and time are important factors that affect soil development. Specifically, parent material affects greatly the soil development. The chemical and mineralogical composition of parent material determines the effectiveness of weathering forces. For example, that made up of mostly silica may not be as effectively weathered as that of soil composed of calcium carbonate. As well, the downward movement of water is controlled by the permeability of the material. However, on certain occasions, other soil-forming factors are more important than the parent material. For example, a plant growing on sandy soil with low moisture content is still better than another which is grown on clay, provided that the former is in area with better precipitation than latter. In addition, time is important, such that a relatively old and weathered soil contain more nutrients, both organic and inorganic, than a relatively young soil that has not undergone much weathering yet http://www.soils.wisc.edu/courses/SS325/formation.htm#climate. Through time, the surface of the Earth is modified by external and internal processes. External processes are driven by solar energy, and include wind-carried ash, glaciation, stream erosion, water cycle, the oceanic circulation system and weathering. On the other hand, internal processes driven by radioactive decay beneath the Earth’ ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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