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Published on January 3, 2008

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All About: Geographic and Aquatic Ecology and Biomes:  All About: Geographic and Aquatic Ecology and Biomes By: Jessica DiPalma Marissa Kiersch Phillip Deutch Patrick J. Masters Chapter Seven:  Chapter Seven Geographical Ecology, Climate, and Biomes Ecology, Climate, and Biomes:  Ecology, Climate, and Biomes Weather and Climate Biomes:Climate and Life on Land Desert Biomes Grassland, Tundra, and Chaparral Biomes Forest Biomes Mountain Biomes New Perspectives on Geographical Ecology Weather Vs. Climate:  Weather Vs. Climate Weather= The short-term properties of the troposphere at a given time and place Properties such as: Temperature, Pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloud cover, wind direction and speed Climate=The average long-term weather of an area. Why does weather change?:  Why does weather change? The two main factors determining an area’s climate are temperature and precipitation The most dramatic weather changes occur along warm and cold fronts Warm Front =boundary between an advancing warm air mass and the cooler one it is replacing cold front=The leading edge of an advancing mass of cold air Atmospheric Pressure:  Atmospheric Pressure A high =an air mass with high pressure that contains cool, dense air=fair weather A Low=a low pressure air mass=cloudy, stormy weather Weather Extremes::  Weather Extremes: Tornadoes=violent storms Tropical cyclones=form over warm ocean waters Also known as hurricanes and typhoons Global air circulation patterns determined by::  Global air circulation patterns determined by: Uneven heating of the earth’s surface(equator) Earth’s axis=seasonal changes The earth rotates on its axis Effects properties of air and water(ocean water is evaporated.) The Effects of the earth’s tilted axis:  The Effects of the earth’s tilted axis El Nino-Southern Oscillation:  El Nino-Southern Oscillation Prevailing winds weaken or cease Normal upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water is suppressed Effects fish populations and creates weather changes in Pacific and Indian Ocean regions Atmosphere and the Greenhouse effect:  Atmosphere and the Greenhouse effect Greenhouses gases=ozone, methane, nitrous oxide, and others Greenhouse effect=the natural trapping of heat in the troposphere Biomes-what makes up a biome? Climate:  Biomes-what makes up a biome? Climate Climate- Makes a biome a terrestrial region with characteristic types of plant and animal communities that adapt to the region’s climate What makes up a Biome? Precipitation:  What makes up a Biome? Precipitation Precipitation- for plants precipitation determines whether a land area is a: desert, grassland, or a forest also determines:whether the region is: tropical, temperate, polar What Make up a Biome? Latitude and Altitude:  What Make up a Biome? Latitude and Altitude Latitude and Altitude- Latitude=distance on earth from the equator Hotter climates located near the equator Altitude=elevation above sea level Colder climates are located higher above sea level Plant Life in Various Biomes:  Plant Life in Various Biomes Cold air plants=adapt traits so they don’t loose heat or water Desert plants=must be able to loose heat ex.succulent plants with no leaves(saguaro cactus) Forest Plants:  Forest Plants Tropical Biomes-have broad leaf evergreen plants to absorb sunlight and water for photosynthesis Broadleaf deciduous plants=in biomes with both sun and cold. They shed leaves in times of drought Evergreen and coniferous trees=found in biomes with snowy winters, have waxy needles and cones. Biomes:  Biomes Broadleaf tropical plant Evergreen Tree Deserts:  Deserts A place where evaporation exceeds precipitation Precipitation=less than 25 cm of precipitation a year Deserts cover 30% of the earth’s land They cover 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south of the equator Types of Deserts:  Types of Deserts Tropical=high temperatures all year long Temperate=hot summers, cool winters Cold=hot summers, cold winters Semi deserts=zones between deserts and grasslands Human Impact on deserts:  Human Impact on deserts Humans have viewed deserts as useless often disrupted and polluted by mining ex. Saudi Arabia, the Sahara, and in Australia deserts take a long time to recover because of slow plant growth and low species diversity deserts also good for solar energy and storage of radioactive wastes Grasslands:  Grasslands Is a biome where moderate annual average precipitation(10 to 30 inches) is enough to support the growth of grass and small plants, but not enough to support large trees. Grasses in these biomes are renewable resources. Three types of grasslands; tropical, temperate, and polar (tundra). Climate Graphs of the different grasslands:  Climate Graphs of the different grasslands The three different types of grasslands:  The three different types of grasslands Tropical grasslands- found in areas with high average temperatures, low to moderate precipitation, a long dry season. Temperate grasslands- cover vast plains, winters are bitterly cold and summers are hot and dry. Polar grasslands- covers about 10% of the earth’s land, during most of the year there are no trees plains are bitterly cold, windy, covered with ice and snow. Winters are long and dark, with precipitation falling mostly as snow. Major types of forest biomes:  Major types of forest biomes There are three main types types of forests; tropical rain forest temperate rain forest boreal (polar) rain forest these forests result from a combination of various temperatures and precipitation levels. Further Discovery of Rainforests:  Further Discovery of Rainforests Tropical Deciduous Forests- or tropical monsoon forests are usually located between tropical rainforest and tropical savannas, they are warm all year round. Temperate Deciduous Forests- growth is strong in theses areas with moderate temperature that will change with the seasons. Cont.:  Cont. Evergreen Coniferous Forests- are also called boreal forests and taigas are found south of the arctic tundra. Temperate Rainforests- or coastal forests collect most of their moisture from the dense coastal fog and heavy rainfall. Human Impact on Forests:  Human Impact on Forests With more than 1/2 the worlds population living in the tropics and subtropics, their demand for forest resources is growing rapidly. Forests are being cleared for timber, grazing lands, and agriculture. The effects are that of erosion and desertification. Chart of various biomes:  Chart of various biomes Mountain Biomes:  Mountain Biomes Makes up 20% of the earth’s surface. Prone to erosion when the vegetation holding soils in place is removed by natural factors such as human activity, landslides, and avalanches. The re-growth process takes much longer when the vegetation and soil is lost. And the majority if the earth’s forest are contained inside of the mountain zones. Animals of the mountains:  Animals of the mountains Impacts on mountain zones brought on by humans:  Impacts on mountain zones brought on by humans Rapidly increasing population. Increased commercial extraction of timber and mineral resources. Growing number of hydroelectric plants and dams. Degradation caused by the expansion of tourism, skiing, trekking, and other forms of recreation. Increase in warfare storage. Changes in climate and the level of UV rays. Understanding the ecological process:  Understanding the ecological process Ecology involves the understanding of the connections between time and space. Understanding the general characteristics of each biome which leads to a global view. Chapter 8:  Chapter 8 Saltwater Aquatic Ecosystems :  Saltwater Aquatic Ecosystems Properties:  Properties Aquatic ecosystems are locally homogeneous – there is usually little difference between any two points in an aquatic zone This contrasts with terrestrial ecosystems where there are landscapes – trees, shrubs, caves, etc. As a result, aquatic ecosystems can be completely described by a few simple, numerical variables Defining Variables (* - important):  Defining Variables (* - important) Physical *Temperature *Sunlight Current Chemical *Salinity *Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations of important ions (NO3-) (PO43-) pH Defining Variables (* - important):  Defining Variables (* - important) Biological Amount of microorganisms Food Web Interrelations of Variables:  Interrelations of Variables The variables that define aquatic ecosystems are not independent Examples Physical variables affect an ecosystems biotic factors Temperature affects DO pH influences the solubility of metal ions Slide43:  Common Saltwater Animals Saltwater Ecosystems:  Saltwater Ecosystems Open Ocean Three levels Euphotic is surface waters Bathyal is below Euphotic Abyssal is the depths of the ocean Shore Estuaries Estuaries are where saltwater mixes with freshwater from land Saltwater Ecosystems:  Saltwater Ecosystems Coastal Wetlands Coastal wetlands are areas of land inundated with saltwater Mangrove Swamps Coral Reefs Human Impact:  Human Impact Humans are responsible for extremely rapid shrinkage of coastal environments About half of the original coastal wetlands in the U.S. have been destroyed California alone has lost more than 90% of its original coastal wetlands It is estimated that the world has lost more than a tenth of its original coral reefs Human Impact:  Human Impact The cause of this shrinkage is coastal development Coastal areas are prime real estate because of ocean transportation and scenic value To mitigate this impact, ecological measures can be taken Slide48:  Human Impact on Water Ecosystems Human Impact:  Human Impact Beach erosion threatens developed coastal areas Erosion makes these areas susceptible to flooding Erosion reduces the stability of building’s foundations Mitigating Beach erosion is expensive Special structures (groins, seawalls) must be built Slide50:  Aquatic Life Zones Freshwater Life Zones:  Freshwater Life Zones What Constitutes fresh water? Water Concentration of salt [Na] is 1% by volume. Examples: Lentic (standing) bodies of water like lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands. Lotic (flowing) water like streams and rivers. Lakes:  Lakes Large Bodies of Natural Standing Water Lakes are formed by seepage depressions in the earth’s surface. Lakes have distinct zones, littoral, limnetic, and profundal zones The Four Zones of the Lake Littoral Zone- Shallow Area near the shore, most productive zone because of the abundance of sunlight, highest biological bio-diversity. Limnetic Zone- Open sunlit area, phyto and zoo plankton and small fish. Profundal Zone- Deeper water, dark, cooler with adapted animals for lack of sunlight. Benthic Zone- bottom of the lake, inhabited by decomposers:  The Four Zones of the Lake Littoral Zone- Shallow Area near the shore, most productive zone because of the abundance of sunlight, highest biological bio-diversity. Limnetic Zone- Open sunlit area, phyto and zoo plankton and small fish. Profundal Zone- Deeper water, dark, cooler with adapted animals for lack of sunlight. Benthic Zone- bottom of the lake, inhabited by decomposers Slide54:  Lakes are classified by the nutrient levels that they have and their productivity. Oligotrophic- Newly formed lake, deep with steep banks, low productivity Eutrophic- Sediments wash into oligotrophic lakes, shallow, poor visibility, high primary productivity. Mesotrophic- The median of lakes, the difference between the two extremes; Eutrophic and Oligotrophic. Slide55:  The Littoral Zone of a Lake Usually contain specified species with specified niches. Above the surface, animals such as the green frog , painted turtle, and pond snail who are primary consumers who feed off other organisms who use the sunlight to produce the food like the diving beetle and yellow perch. Slide56:  Surface Water- Precipitation that doesn’t sink into the ground. Runoff- Excess surface water that becomes part of the ocean or other water systems like rivers. Watershed- Entire Area that delivers water, sediment, and dissolved substances. Slide57:  Rivers Ecosystems 1) Narrow, fast flowing zone: -Contains large amounts of dissolved oxygen, few phytoplankton, and fish that are able to live under rocks to evade strong currents. Slide58:  2) Transition Zone- Wider deeper water. Warmer water. Level of phytoplankton and fish becoming more level. 3) Flood Plain Zone- Broad crossing rivers. Murky, slower moving water because more space to cover, increased erosion runoff, high particulate matter content. Slide59:  Inland Wetlands ~Examples: Marshes, Prairie Potholes, Swamps, Mud Flats, Flood Plains, Bogs, and wet meadows. ~United States delegates have been trying to broaden the definition of a wetland in order to protect more wetlands. ~They play an ecologically important role. They provide habitats and food for water fowl and fish. Slide60:  Inland Wetlands Importance 1) Filters nutrients, toxic wastes, and sediments. 2) Reduce Flooding and Erosion. 3) replenish ground water supply 4) Play key role in rock, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur cycles, and of course the water cycle. Slide61:  Aquatic Life Zones Water covers 71% of the earth’s surface and therefore is very important to the environment and even more so to understand it. It has the most photosynthesis and biotic systems. It contains more dissolved oxygen than any other place. Slide62:  Bibliography 1. Www.google.com 2. “Living in the Environment”, Brooks/Cole Publishing, Albany, 1999.

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