Altered Biomes
Students will be investigating characteristics of major biomes and examine the impact of land-use changes as
the result of human activities by completing a web-based inquiry assignment.
Access the appropriate webmap at -
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Name (Last, First)
Your answer
1. Engage
What is the geographic distribution of biomes?
Click the map URL link above to open the map What colors cover the map? What are their associated land covers?
Your answer
What spatial patterns are visible in terms of coloration of the earth in relation to the equator?
Your answer
Locate the equator. What climate conditions support this vegetation? ? What is the role of solar radiation in regional climate?
Your answer
2. Explore
What are other classifications of large ecoregions?
With the Details pane visible, click the button, Show Contents Of Map. Click the checkbox to the left of the layer name, Biomes. What biome is most common across the continental U.S.?
Your answer
Click the checkbox to the left of the layer name, N. American Ecoregions (III). What is the number of ecoregions here in Nebraska? Do ecoregions extend across more than one state?
Your answer
Biomes focus on similar climate and general vegetation type. Ecoregions are based on similar ecosystems and incorporate humans as biotic components. What is the goal for ecoregions?
Your answer
3. Explain
How much prairie remains today?
Turn off the layer, N. American Ecoregions III. Click the checkbox to the left of the layer name, N. American Grasslands (Grasslands are commonly broken down into tall, mixed height and short prairies) Why do differences in dominant vegetation within ecosystems matter?
Your answer
Click the checkbox to the left of the layer name, Prairie Loss.? Tall grass prairie has shown the largest decline. Which state has the most left?
Your answer
Why do more short and mixed-grass prairies remain?
Your answer
4. Elaborate
What human activities have led to the decline of prairies?
Turn off the layer, Biomes. Turn on and off the layers, Global Human Footprint Index and N. American Grasslands. Click the button, Show Map Legend. Use the legend to identify areas of increased human modification.? What patterns do you notice in the prairie ecoregions?
Your answer
What trends are visible across the U.S.?
Your answer
5. Evaluate
Case study: how does land-use change impact endemic species?
Turn off layer, Global Human Footprint Index and turn on the Original Range (unoccupied) layer. Turn on the layers, Acquired Range (late 1800's) and Current Range (Occupied). Click the regions to investigate occupied and unoccupied regions. Prairie chickens require uninhabited grasslands. What past human actions enabled prairie chickens to acquire more range?
Your answer
Click the button, Bookmarks. Click a location and go to the remaining populations of prairie chickens. Why is the current range so limited?
Your answer
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