North America: natural areas. Natural areas of North America: table
North America is located in the western hemisphere of our planet. The total area of the mainland (including islands) is 24.2 million km2. North America is smaller than Eurasia or Africa. It lies in the subtropical, temperate, northern and subarctic zones. The waters of the three oceans are washed by the mainland. All this in combination with the relief formed the natural zones of North America. The characteristic features of each of them will be discussed below.
It should also be noted that the formation of natural zones was influenced by the gradual movement of heat from the north to the south. And when moving from east to west, dryness increases in the southern part of the continent. The characteristic of the natural zones of North America is reduced to an analysis of their climate, average summer and winter temperatures, and precipitation. Also pay attention to the composition of the soil, plant species and animals, which can be found in the described area.
North America: natural areas of arctic deserts and tundra
The first zone (of the Arctic deserts) occupies a large part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Greenland. The huge area occupied by glaciers is located in the east of the zone. The western part is occupied by stony arctic deserts. Glaciers are almost lifeless space. Neither plants nor animals of the natural areas of North America live here. The only exception may be some types of algae. In the rocky part can be found, in addition to algae, bacteria, mosses and scale lichens. Also on land live lemmings - polar mice that feed wolves and foxes.
The tundra zone of the mainland is located in the subarctic climate zone. It is quite similar to the Asian or European tundra. Soils and soils are characterized by ubiquitous waterlogging, due to the small amount of precipitation and low temperatures. There are quite a lot of rivers, lakes and swamps in this area. On peat-gley soils you can find herbs such as Cassiopeia, forget-me-nots, polar poppies, cotton grass. Dwarf birch, wild rosemary and willow grow here as well. Huge areas are covered with lichens and mosses.From animals you can find wolves, arctic foxes, lemmings, musk oxen and caribou deer.
Forest tundra and taiga zones
Compared with Eurasia, the forest-tundra here is more variegated and diverse. The river valleys that are closer to the south are covered with forests. The northern border is a growing place for spruce (white and black), mosses and lichens. In the western part you can observe larch, but on Labrador - balsam fir. The forest tundra zone extends for 500 km.
North America, the natural areas of which are largely located in the temperate climate zone, can boast a zone of coniferous forests stretching from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. There are many swamps here. The vegetation cover consists mainly of balsamic fir, white and black spruce, but you can also find paper birch, American larch and several types of pines. The trees here are powerful, their height is often 70-100 meters. The animals in the taiga are inhabited by the wood bison, the American elk, several species of bears (grizzly, baribal), as well as the red fox, raccoon, muskrat, skunk, beaver.
North America: natural areas of mixed and deciduous forests
The first of these zones covers the territory of the Great Lakes. Here, arrays of coniferous trees are wonderfully combined with small-leaved species (poplar, birch) and deciduous forests. Soils are brown forest and sod-podzolic. Here you can find several types of maple (silver, red, sugar), beech, oak, linden, elm, ash. Among conifers, pine, thuja, fir, larch, spruce are distinguished.
Broadleaf (Appalachian) forests are located on the south and southeast of mixed forests. The main forest-forming species of this natural zone are oak (large-fruited, red and white), chestnut, beech, linden. Here you can meet magnolias, black walnut and hickory. A variety of vegetation complement vines, forbs and dense undergrowth. Such a wealth of deciduous forests associated with fertile brown forest soils. As for the animal world, it is preserved only in protected areas, in reserves, which North America is rich in.
Natural zones of forest-steppe and prairie
The prairies are located on the territory of the Central and Great Plains, just south of the taiga.Occupy part of the Central Plains (western). They are treeless plains covered with tall grass and grass vegetation. 80% of the entire plant world is small and blue bearded. The latter reaches 1.8 m in height. This is due to the chernozem-like soils of this subzone. This area has now become one of the main agricultural areas of the United States, where they are engaged in the cultivation of corn. The forest-steppe subzone is located from west to east across the Great Plains. The flora is represented mainly by small aspen groves, meadows (fescue, wheatgrass, reed grass). Soils - meadow chernozem and gray forest.
Steppe, desert and semi-desert zones
The steppe is rather heterogeneous. This zone receives on average up to 600 mm of annual precipitation. Black Earth plains overgrown with fescue, couch grass and bearded man. This zone is almost completely plowed up and cut by ravines and beams. The dry part of the steppes receives up to 400 mm of precipitation per year, which, together with soils with low humus content, does not produce high yields.
Deserts and semi-deserts occupy the most arid areas of the Colombian Plateau, as well as the main part of the Great Basin.There is no more than 250 mm of rainfall here per year. The main vegetation on the gray-brown soils is wormwood, and the quinoa grows on alkaline soils.
Tropics and subtropics, mixed monsoon forests
The tropical zone has a lot of heat. The change of natural zones is carried out from east to west, which is associated with different wetting areas. Monsoon forests grow in the southeast of the subtropical belt, on red and yellow earth soils. In addition to conifers, you can see dwarf palms, evergreen oaks and shrubs, magnolias intertwined with vines. In the swamps grows cypress, and in the more arid areas - palm sabal and pine. It is home to a huge number of birds, turtles and alligators.
Also in North America, there is a narrow band of hard-leaved forests and shrubs and zones of high-altitude zone. For clarity, it is better to issue all the information in the table, analyzing the natural areas of North America. The table will help to streamline the information and knowledge. Generalized material will also be more convenient to memorize.