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How do you describe the abiotic factors that determine a terrestrial biome? Pg. 68-73...

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soapwaffle | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:05 AM via web

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How do you describe the abiotic factors that determine a terrestrial biome? Pg. 68-73 of Biology Georgia Edition from Glencoe Science.

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:47 PM (Answer #1)

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Abiotic factors are non-living factors that are crucial to the functioning of a terrestrial(land) biome.  Some examples of abiotic factors include-- oxygen availability, sunlight, water, minerals, soil, temperature.  Some of these abiotic factors can be limiting factors because if something is in short supply in a terrestrial biome, it can have an effect on the type of species that can thrive there. For instance, water, a very important abiotic factor,  is a limiting factor in a desert biome. Because of that, only certain plant species adapted to a dry climate such as cacti and sagebrush will be found there, but trees with broad leaves would not. A tree with broad leaves and much surface area, would have many pore spaces through which water could be lost, via transpiration.  However, a cactus with needles, rather than leaves has a much reduced surface area and water loss is prevented. Therefore, in regards to abiotic factors determining a terrestrial biome, if there is little water and much sunlight and warm temperatures during the daylight hours, one would expect to find a desert biome. However, if a biome had rainfall on a daily basis, warm temperatures and soil poor in nutrients, one would expect to find a tropical rainforest. A biome in turn has particular organisms adapted to the specific conditions found there.

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