Essay about Ecosystems in Colorado

1447 Words Nov 26th, 2007 6 Pages
The Journey Through
Colorado 's Ecosystems

Grand Lake, CO

By:

Principles of Ecology
Biology

What makes Colorado so majestic and grand? This beautiful state has eight different ecosystems according to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Each strategically placed ecosystem has its own uniqueness. These unique areas can also be called a Biome. To define an Ecosystem, we say that there are numerous species of plants and animals that make homes in these different areas. This includes the physical and chemical parts of the environment. It also includes the acquiring and recycling nutrients, and the capture and flow of energy. Most amazingly, in one day a person could go from the desert and grasslands up and
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This ecosystem forms a distinctive, narrow belt in the eastern foothills. Annual precipitation is about 14 inches, so very dry. Therefore, not a lot of trees grow here. Plants such as gambel oak (Quercus), sumac (Rhus), serviceberry (Amelanchier), mountain mahogany (Swietenia), and other shrubs grow in the course soils on rocky terrain. These type plants provide many seeds, nuts, and fruits. Animals that enjoy this environment include wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), squirrels (Sciuridae), deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and the fox (Vulpes). "Deer mice can also be a menace and threat to the conifer or pine tree forest. These rodents devour vast quantities of seeds and they reproduce very rapidly (Institute 1978)." Each of these are used to making the necessary adjustments for survival. The Montane Forest ecosystem is just above the Montane shrubland ecosystem. Elevation is usually between 6,000 and 9,000 feet. This can be observed in the western Rocky Mountain ranges. "Precipitation doubles to about 25 inches per year, usually from snow melt. The summers are usually hot and dry, and winter is quick snow melt (mesastate.edu)." Not always a mountainous area and birds such as wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), sparrows (Passeridae), scrub jays (Corvidae), sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), pigeons (Columba livia), and bluebirds

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