TERRESTRIAL HABITAT; TROPICAL RAINFOREST, GRASSLAND, ARID LAND, FEATURES

These are concerned with the forest and its environment. The four basic terrestrial habitats are marsh, forest, grassland and arid land.
TROPICAL RAIN-FOREST

Characteristics of the habitat are;
1. The forest is rich in epiphytes and climbers.
2. The interior of the forest has high humidity, low light intensity and damp floor.
3. It’s composed of tall trees with canopy strata.
4. Trees in this habitat are mesophytes with broad leaves.

DISTRIBUTION OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS IN THIS HABITAT
Plants: Plants in this habitat are mahogany, mango trees, coconut trees, oil palm, orchids, ferns, and herbs.
Animals: Animals in this habitat are birds, monkeys, squirrels, snakes, toads and snails.

ADAPTIVE FEATURES OF TROPICAL RAINFOREST ORGANISMS

Plants (Morphological Features)
1. Trees have broad leaves to increase rates of transpiration or gaseous exchange of leaves to increased exposure to light.
2. Leaves have pointed draw-out tips for easy dripping of water or to prevent growth of fungi or algae underneath.
3. Trees have thin bark, to facilitate transpiration or gaseous exchange.
4. Trees have tall unbranched trunks or clean boles to enable them reach source of light at the top.
5. Bearing of flowers and fruits on trunks to facilitate pollination by climbing or shade-loving insects.
6. Plants with twining stems, for climbing up to source of light.
7. Plants with clasping or straggling roots for support.
8. Presence of aerial roots of epiphytes for absorption of moisture.
9. Trees with buttress roots at base for stronger anchorage.
10. Presence of hydathodes for guttations.

Adaptive Features of Animals
These include gasping pads, e.g. tree frogs, grasping scales, e.g. snakes, the ability to fly, e.g. birds, the ability to jump, e.g. monkeys.

Food Chain Existing in the Habitat
Palm fruit ———-squirrel ——–Snake ——— Bird.

GRASSLAND OR SAVANNAH

The following are the characteristics of grassland;
1. Its temperature is usually high and sunshine is intense.
2. Has a relatively low humidity and rainfall is scanty.
3. Has abundant grass with few short trees which is sparsely distributed.
4. Many trees found in this habitat are deciduous.
5. Bush fire is frequent and the trees are of fire resistance.
6. Many herbivores, predators, scavengers, insects, birds, mostly seed eaters and termite nests are found in this habitat.

Types of Grassland
In Nigeria, we have the Southern Guinea Savannah, the Northern Guinea Savannah, The Sahel Savannah, and the Derived Savannah.

DISTRIBUTION OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS IN GRASSLAND
Plants: Mainly grasses, with few scattered trees all over the area.
Animals: Rodents, snakes, leopards, antelopes, insects, grass cutters, birds (mostly seed eaters), and zebu.

ADAPTIVE FEATURES OF THE PLANTS AND ANIMALS
PLANTS
1. Trees have corky bark, to resist severe fire.
2. Grasses with underground stem to escape fire and dry climate.
3. Leaves with waxy surfaces to reduce transpiration.
4. Reduced or small leaves to reduce transpiration.
5. Presence of curly leaves to conserve water.
6. Leaves are hairy, to reduce transpiration.
7. Leaf fall to conserve water during dry season.

Animals adaptations include air conditioned nest, e.g. by termites for cooling animals with hoofs for running and animals with long limbs for fast movement.

Food Chain Existing In the Habitat
Grass ——- Grasshopper ——- Toad ———Snake.

ARID LAND
Types Of Arid Lands
1. Hot arid lands e.g. hot deserts and semi-deserts.
2. Cold arid lands e.g. the cold deserts or tundra.

Characteristics of Tropical Arid Lands
1. Water is very scarce and annual rainfall is less than 25cm.
2. Temperatures are very high by day and very low at night.
3. The vegetation is very scanty.
4. The soil are sandy or rocky.
5. Winds occur frequently.
6. Sunshine is very intense.

Distribution of organisms in Arid Hot Lands
Animals: camels, rodents, scorpions, lizards, insects, even some birds, and snakes.
Plants: Cactus, prickly pear and date palms.

ADAPTIVE FEATURES OF ORGANISMS IN ARID LANDS

PLANTS:
1. Plants have thin leaves to reduce transpiration.
2. Some plants, e.g. cacti have their leaves reduced to spines to conserve water.
3. Some plants, e.g. cacti have water storage tissue to conserve water.
4. Some plants have long roots to absorb water at great depth.

Animals
1. Most desert animals excrete solid wastes to conserve water.
2. Many live in burrows to minimise water loss.
3. Reptiles have scales to limit water loss by evaporation.
4. Camels can go a long distance after taking little water.
5. Desert rats take very little water.

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