The Olympic rainforest is on the state of Washington’s olympic peninsula in the Pacific northwest.
The rainforest reaches across many different ecosystems from the peaks of the Olympic mountains to old growth forests, at almost 100,000 acres. Weather in the olympic is often unpredictable and variable, no matter what time of year it may be. For different weather conditions to occur at the same time in the olympic is common. Summer Temperatures vary from 10-20 degrees along the coast line, mainly due from cool winds coming off the Pacifics waters. As storms move across the peninsula from the Pacific, they encounter a very large obstacle; that of the olympic mountains. In order for the storm to reach the other side of these tall peaks, moisture is released, As a result, the western locations of the Olympic experience much higher levels of precipitation than say the eastern locations, creating a rain shadow effect.
By the time any storm cells pass the Mountains, most of the moisture has already been released. While precipitation occurs still, the amounts are considerably lower than they would be if the mountains were not there. The Olympic National Park Headquarters, located in Port Angeles, only averages 25-30 inches of rain a year. This decrease in rainfall impacts the type of ecosystems that are on the eastern side of the park. While the western parts are dominated by temperate rain forests, the eastern slope possesses lowland forests that are much dryer. The park has four basic regions: the alpine areas, the Pacific coastline, the west side temperate rainforest, and lastly the forests of the east, which are commonly more drier. Everyday pollutants are released from humans visiting the Olympic, camping and or hiking. Not only do we pollute the air, we also pollute water sources.
Runoff containing fertilizers from humans, pump waste material into its lakes and rivers. Many other human made sources affect and pollute this rainforest. For example the nitrogen cycle is the cyclic use of nitrogen in an given environment. When we use fertilizers, abundant nitrogen is usually in them because it is one of the key nutrients for plant growth.
When rain then washes those unabsorbed fertilizers into the streams and rivers, it caused the higher amounts of nitrogen cause the growth rate of algae to boom. The great amount of algae growth on the surface prevents sunlight from reaching the lower plants at the bottom, causing them to die, which overall reduces the dissolving oxygen concentration and reducing the available number of plants capable of producing nitrogen. Rainfall in the Olympic is very common, everyone knows that in any given water cycle, water evaporates into the atmosphere where it has has condensation and soon after returns to the earth’s surface as precipitation. Since the Olympic is next to the pacific, rainfall is even more common than say other rainforests. Water basically defines the Olympic National Park. in clouds, snow and rain is delivered, as frozen glaciers it sculps the peaks. When snow melts, lots of it comes rushing down from the mountains, feeding lots of powerful rivers. These rivers then take this water to the Pacific and the cycle restarts.
These streams and rivers around and in the Olympic are a circulatory life system, its one of the mains sources that shape the parks diversity. The African Savannah is drastically different from the Olympic Rainforest. It is lower towards the equator, meaning that it is very hot and dry there. Most of Africa is covered by Savannah grasslands, but the African Savannah it self is in the northern parts of Africa, taking up almost all of the upper region. Other Savannah’s are located throughout Africa, but none are as massive or diverse as the African Savannah. The African Savannah is a Tropical grassland, with warm temperatures year-round, and its highest rainfall takes place in the summer.
The savannah is often characterized by its small dispersed trees that allow sunlight to hit the ground, and grasslands. A communtity is a group of organisms interacting in a specific region under environmental conditions that are similar. Healthy well balanced ecosystems usually have interacting food chains, called food webs. In the Savanna predators such as, Lions, Hyenas, and Leopards, feed on herbivores, such as cattle, warthogs and impalas. These herbivores feed on producers, who are commonly plants and grasses.
Lastly, Scavengers, such as hyenas and vultures, feed on decomposers like bacteria, termites, and fungi, who break down organic matter, making it available for producers, completing the food web. Humans are also part of the community of the savannah, and often compete with other organisms for space and food. The nitrogen cycle in the Savannah is very similar to the Olympic. Nitrogen is picked up from plants in the soil, which in turn may be eaten by animals. When these animals die the nitrogen is released back into the atmosphere just like the Olympic.
The water cylce in the Savannah is drastically different than the olympic. Since the African Savannah is near the equator its temps are often are hotter, meaning that the grass is not as lively and green as it would be in the Olympic. Heat from the sun causes water to evaporate and rise into the sky. But since rainfall isn’t as common, it doesn’t get released back into the earth’s surface as frequently.
This causes the savannah to be very dry, from the evaporation to the rainfall everything goes not as fast and slower, however other than the fact the water cycle is the same in the Savanna biome as everywhere else around the world.