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Ecology 260 Ch 3 Notes

by: Michaela Humby

Ecology 260 Ch 3 Notes Bio 260

Michaela Humby
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Chapter 3- These notes include class notes, extra notes from the book, and extra things the professor stated in class.
Charles Price
Class Notes




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michaela Humby on Thursday January 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Bio 260 at University of Tennessee - Knoxville taught by Charles Price in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 45 views. For similar materials see Ecology in Biology at University of Tennessee - Knoxville.


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Date Created: 01/14/16
Chapter  3-­‐  These  notes  include  class  notes,  extra  notes  from  the  book,  and  extra   things  the  professor  stated  in  class.   The  biosphere  is  the  zone  of  life  on  Earth.  It  lies  between:   • the  lithosphere—Earth’s  surface  crust  and  upper  mantle   and   • the  troposphere—the  lowest  layer  of  the  atmosphere   • Most  living  things  occur  within  a  thin  layer  of  Earth’s  surface,  from  the  tops   of  trees  to  the  surface  soil  layers,  and  within  200  meters  of  the  surface  of  the   oceans.   CONCEPT  1  Terrestrial  biomes  are  characterized  by  the  growth  forms  of   the  dominant  vegetation.   Biomes  are  large-­‐scale  terrestrial  communities  shaped  by  the  physical   environment,  categorized  by  dominant  plant  forms  and  characteristics  such  as  leaf   deciduousness(deciduous  trees)  or  succulence  (ex-­‐  cacti).   • Plants  occupy  sites  for  a  long  time  and  are  good  indicators  of  climatic   conditions  and  disturbances,  they  reflect  the  prevailing  environment     Convergence:  Evolution  of  similar  growth  forms  among  distantly  related  species  in   response  to  similar  selection  pressures.  In  the  same  climate,  they  reach  the  same   solution  to  stay  alive  in  that  climate.   • Distribution  of  the  terrestrial  biomes  is  determined  by  Earth’s  climate  zones.   • Example-­‐  major  deserts  at  30  degrees  North  and  South   • Topography,  ocean  currents,  and  other  factors  also  help  determine  biome   distribution.   • Temperature  has  direct  physiological  effects  on  plant  growth  form.   • Precipitation  and  temperature  act  together  to  influence  water  availability   and  water  loss  by  plants.   • Water  availability  and  soil  temperature  determine  the  supply  of  nutrients  in   the  soil.   • Average  annual  temperature  and  precipitation  can  predict  biome   distributions  quite  well,  but  seasonal  variation  is  also  important.   • Climate  extremes  can  sometimes  be  more  important  than  average  conditions.   • Human  activities  can  also  influence  the  biome     Climate  diagrams  are  graphs  of  average  monthly  temperature  and  precipitation   at  a  location,  showing  the  characteristic  seasonal  climate  pattern.     The  axes  are  scales  so  that  1  degree  Celsius  corresponds  to  2  mm  of  precipitation     • Plot  avg  annual  precipitation  on  the  X  axis  and  the  avg  annual   temperature  on  the  y-­‐axis         9  Biomes   1. Tropical  Rainforest   2. Tropical  Seasonal  Forest  and  Savannas   3. Temperate  Evergreen  Forests   4. Temperate  Deciduous  Forests   5. Boreal  Forests     Chapter  3-­‐  These  notes  include  class  notes,  extra  notes  from  the  book,  and  extra   things  the  professor  stated  in  class.   6. Temperate  Grasslands   7. Temperate  Shrublands   8. Deserts   9. Tundra       Tropical  Rainforests:   • Predictable  and  consistent  precipitation  to  temperature  correspondence   • Between  10°N  and  10°S   • Annual  precipitation  >  2000  mm   • No  seasonal  changes   • High  biomass,  high  diversity—about  50%  of  Earth’s  species   • Broadleaved  evergreen  and  deciduous  trees   • Light  is  a  key  factor—plants  must  grow  very  tall  above  their  neighbors  or   adjust  to  low  light  levels.   • Emergents  rise  above  the  canopy.   • Lianas  (woody  vines)  and  epiphytes  use  the  trees  for  support.   • Understory  trees  grow  in  the  shade  of  the  canopy,  and  shrubs  and  forbs   occupy  the  forest  floor.     Tropical  Seasonal  Forests  and  Savannas   • Precipitation  and  temperature  varies   • North  and  south  of  the  wet  tropics   • Wet  and  dry  seasons  associated  with  movement  of  the  ITCZ   • Shorter  trees,  deciduous  in  dry  seasons,  more  grasses  and  shrubs     This  biome  includes:   • Tropical  dry  forests   • Thorn  woodlands—trees  have  heavy  thorns  to  protect  from  herbivores   • Tropical  savannas—grasses  with  intermixed  trees  and  shrubs   • Fires  promote  establishment  of  savannas;  some  are  set  by  humans.   • In  Africa,  large  herbivores—wildebeests,  zebras,  elephants,  and   antelopes—also  influence  the  balance  of  grass  and  trees.   • On  the  Orinoco  River  floodplain,  seasonal  flooding  promotes  savannas.   Deserts:   • Temperature  exceeds  precipitation   • In  high  pressure  zones  at  30°N  and  S   • High  temperatures,  low  moisture   • Sparse  vegetation  and  animal  populations   • Low  water  availability  constrains  plant  abundance  and  influences   form   • Many  plants  have  succulent  stems  that  store  water.   • Convergence  of  this  form  is  shown  by  cacti  (Western  Hemisphere)  and   euphorbs  (Eastern  Hemisphere).     Chapter  3-­‐  These  notes  include  class  notes,  extra  notes  from  the  book,  and  extra   things  the  professor  stated  in  class.   • Desert  plants  also  include  drought-­‐deciduous  shrubs,  grasses,  and  short-­‐ lived  annual  plants  that  are  active  only  after  a  rain.   • Abundance  may  be  low  but  species  diversity  can  be  high.   Temperate  Grasslands:   • Between  30°  and  50°N  latitude   • Warm,  moist  summers  and  cold,  dry  winters   • Grasses  dominate;  maintained  by  frequent  fires  and  large  herbivores   such  as  bison   • Grasses  grow  more  roots  than  stems  and  leaves,  to  cope  with  dry  conditions.   • This  results  in  accumulation  of  organic  matter  and  high  soil  fertility.   • Most  fertile  grasslands  of  central  North  America  and  Eurasia  have  been   converted  to  agriculture.   Temperate  Shrublands  and  Woodlands:   • Between  30°  and  40°N  latitude   • Evergreen  shrubs  and  trees   • Mediterranean-­‐type  climates—wet  winters  and  hot,  dry  summers   • Fire  is  common  and  helps  maintain  the  biome   • Evergreen  leaves  allow  plants  to  be  active  during  cooler,  wetter  periods.   • They  also  lower  nutrient  requirements—the  plants  do  not  have  to  develop   new  leaves  every  year.   • Sclerophyllous  leaves—tough  and  leathery—deter  herbivores  and  prevent   wilting.   • After  fires,  shrubs  sprout  from  underground  storage  organs  or  produce  seeds   that  sprout  and  grow  quickly.   • Without  regular  fires  at  30-­‐  to  40-­‐year  intervals,  shrublands  may  be  replaced   by  forests.   • Shrublands  in  continental  interiors  occur  in  rain  shadows  and  seasonally   cold  climates.   Temperate  Deciduous  Forests:   • 30°  to  50°N,  on  continental  edges  with  enough  rainfall  for  tree   growth   • Leaves  are  deciduous  in  winter   • Oaks,  maples,  and  beeches  occur  everywhere  in  this  biome   • Species  diversity  lower  than  tropical  rainforests   • Fertile  soils  and  climate  make  this  biome  good  for  agriculture.  Very  little  old-­‐ growth  temperate  forest  remains.   • As  agriculture  has  shifted  to  the  tropics,  temperate  forests  have  regrown.   • Shifts  in  species  composition  are  due  to  nutrient  depletion  by  agriculture  and   due  to  invasive  species  such  as  chestnut  blight.   Temperate  Evergreen  Forests:   • 30°  to  50°N  and  S,  coastal,  continental,  and  maritime  zones   • Lower  diversity  than  tropical  and  deciduous  forests   • Leaves  tend  to  be  acidic,  and  soils  nutrient-­‐poor   • Temperate  evergreen  rainforests  are  located  on  west  coasts,  at  45– 50°.     Chapter  3-­‐  These  notes  include  class  notes,  extra  notes  from  the  book,  and  extra   things  the  professor  stated  in  class.   • They  receive  high  rainfall  amounts  and  have  mild  winters.   Boreal  Forests  (Taiga):   • 50°  to  65°N   • Long,  severe  winters   • Permafrost  (soil  that  remains  frozen  year-­‐round)  prevents  drainage   and  results  in  saturated  soils   • Trees  present  are  conifers—pines,  spruces,  larches—and  birches   • Cold,  wet  conditions  in  boreal  soils  limit  decomposition,  so  soils  have   high  organic  matter.   • In  summer  droughts,  forest  fires  can  be  set  by  lightning  and  can  burn   both  trees  and  soil.   • In  low-­‐lying  areas,  extensive  peat  bogs  form.   Tundra:   • Above  65°  latitude,  mostly  in  the  Arctic   • Cold  temperatures,  low  precipitation   • Short  summers  with  long  days   • Vegetation  is  sedges,  forbs,  grasses,  low-­‐growing  shrubs,  lichens,  and   mosses   • Widespread  permafrost     CONCEPT  2:  Biological  zones  in  freshwater  ecosystems  are  associated  with  the   velocity,  depth,  temperature,  clarity,  and  chemistry  of  the  water.     Streams  and  lakes  connect  terrestrial  and  marine  ecosystems.   They  process  chemical  elements  from  terrestrial  systems  and  transport  them  to  the   oceans.   Biological  assemblages  are  characterized  by  both  plants  and  animals,  reflecting  the   greater  proportion  of  animals  in  aquatic  ecosystems.   Land  surfaces  are  shaped  by  the  erosional  power  of  flowing  water.   Streams  and  rivers  are  lotic  (flowing  water)  systems.   The  smallest  streams  at  high  elevation  are  first-­‐order  streams.  These  converge  to   form  second-­‐order  streams.  Large  rivers  are  sixth-­‐order  streams  or  greater.   THE  ordering  scheme  is  called  Horton  Strahler  Orderign  Scheme     Streams  tend  to  form  a  pattern  of  riffles  and  pools,  with  different  biological   communities.   Riffles:  Fast  moving  water  with  coarse  particles  on  the  stream  bed-­‐  go  over  rocks   and  stuff   Pools:  Deeper  water,  with  slower  flow  and  finer  sediments.     The  river  continuum  concept  describes  changes  in  biological  communities  with   stream  order  and  channel  size.   Benthic  zone  organisms  are  bottom  dwellers  and  include  many  kinds  of   invertebrates.  Some  feed  on  detritus  (dead  organic  matter),  others  are  predators.     Chapter  3-­‐  These  notes  include  class  notes,  extra  notes  from  the  book,  and  extra   things  the  professor  stated  in  class.   Some  live  in  the  hyporheic  zone—the  substratum(zone)  below  and  adjacent  to  the   stream  where  there  are  lots  of  invertabrates  too  (silky  and  sandy  down  there  too)     • As  streams  increase  in  size,  detritus  from  riparian  vegetation  decreases  and   becomes  less  important  as  a  food  source;  fine  organic  matter,  algae,  and   macrophytes  become  more  important.   • Feeding  styles  of  organisms  also  change:  from  shredders  that  tear  up   and  chew  leaves,  to  collectors  that  collect  fine  particles  from  the   water.   Lakes  and  still  waters  (lentic)  occur  where  depressions  in  the  landscape  fill  with   water.   Lakes  can  be  formed  by  glacial  processes,  from  river  oxbows  (where  river  bends   back  on  itself),  in  volcanic  craters,  in  tectonic  basins,  or  by  damming  streams.   Lake  depth  and  area  influence  the  composition  of  biological  communities.   Deep  lakes  with  relatively  small  surface  area  tend  to  be  nutrient-­‐poor(limited  photic   zone  vs  a  shallow  lake).   Shallow  lakes  with  relatively  large  surface  area  tend  to  be  nutrient  rich.   Pelagic  zone:  Open  water;  dominated  by  plankton  (small  and  microscopic   organisms  suspended  in  the  water).   Phytoplankton  are  photosynthetic,  restricted  to  the  upper  layers  through  which   light  penetrates  (photic  zone).   Zooplankton  are  nonphotosynthetic  protists  and  tiny  animals.   The  littoral  zone  is  near  shore,  where  the  photic  zone  reaches  the  bottom.   Macrophytes(big  plants)  occur  in  this  zone.     In  the  benthic  zone,  detritus  from  the  littoral  and  pelagic  zones  is  food  for  animals,   fungi,  and  bacteria.  This  zone  may  be  cold  and  have  low  oxygen.       Concept  3   Marine  biological  zones  are  determined  by  ocean  depth,  light  availability,  and  the   stability  of  the  bottom  substrate.     Marine  zones  next  to  continents  are  influenced  by  local  climate,  tides,  waves,  and   inputs  from  the  land.   Tides:  Ocean  water  rises  and  falls  in  most  nearshore  zones  twice  daily.   Tides  produce  unique  transition  zones  between  terrestrial  and  marine   environments.   Estuaries  occur  where  rivers  flow  into  oceans.   Salinity  varies  as  fresh  water  from  the  river  mixes  with  salt  water  from  the  sea.   Rivers  also  bring  in  terrestrial  sediments  and  nutrients,  contributing  to  the   productivity  of  estuaries.   Salt  marshes:  Shallow  coastal  wetlands  dominated  by  grasses  and  rushes.   Terrestrial  nutrients  enhance  productivity.   Tides  produce  salinity  gradients  that  result  in  zones  with  different  plant  species.   Marshes  provide  food  and  protection  for  fish,  crabs,  birds,  and  mammals.   A  lot  of  recruitment  in  this  area     Chapter  3-­‐  These  notes  include  class  notes,  extra  notes  from  the  book,  and  extra   things  the  professor  stated  in  class.   Mangrove  forests  dominate  some  tropical  coastal  zones.     Mangroves  are  salt-­‐tolerant,  evergreen  trees  and  shrubs  from  16  different  plant   families.   The  roots  trap  sediments,  which  build  up  and  modify  the  shoreline.     Mangrove  forests  provide  nutrients  to  other  marine  ecosystems  and  habitat  for   many  animals.   Several  unique  animals  associated  with  mangroves  include  manatees,  crab-­‐eating   monkeys,  fishing  cats,  and  monitor  lizards.   Salt  tolerant     Rocky  intertidal  zones  provide  a  stable  substrate  for  many  organisms.   Sessile  organisms  must  cope  with  wet  and  dry  conditions  and  changing  salinity  as   the  tides  rise  and  fall.   Mobile  organisms  can  move  into  pools  at  low  tide  to  avoid  desiccation.   Sandy  shores  are  not  very  stable(not  as  good  of  a  place  to  live  because  most  plants   would  not  be  able  to  root),  have  little  available  food,  and  lots  of  wave  action.   But  many  invertebrates,  such  as  clams,  sea  worms,  and  mole  crabs,  burrow  into  the   sand.   Smaller  organisms,  such  as  polychaete  worms,  hydroids,  and  copepods  live  on  or   among  the  grains  of  sand.   In  shallow  ocean  zones,  light  penetrates  to  the  bottom  and  supports  sessile   photosynthetic  organisms.   These  organisms  support  a  diverse  community  of  other  organisms  by  providing   both  energy  and  physical  support.   Coral  reefs  (in  the  photic  zone)  are  restricted  to  warm,  shallow  water.   Corals  are  related  to  jellyfish,  form  large  colonies,  and  have  associated  algal  partners   (symbiotic  mutualism).  Coral  bleaching  is  when  the  coral  dies   “tropical  forest  of  the  ocean”   Seagrass  beds  are  submerged  communities  of  flowering  plants  in  subtidal  marine   sediments.  Large  recruitment  in  this  area  because  most  are  safe  from  predators   Algae  and  animals  grow  on  the  plants,  and  larval  stages  of  many  organisms  use  them   for  habitat.     Kelp  beds,  or  “forests,”  support  a  diverse  marine  community,  including  sea  urchins,   lobsters,  mussels,  abalones,  many  other  seaweeds,  and  sea  otters.   Kelp  are  large  brown  algae,  with  leaf-­‐like  fronds,  stems,  and  holdfasts  which  anchor   them  to  the  bottom.   Pelagic  zone:  Open  ocean  beyond  the  continental  shelves.   The  photic  zone,  which  supports  the  highest  densities  of  organisms,  extends  to   about  200  m  in  depth.   Below  the  photic  zone,  energy  is  supplied  by  falling  detritus.     In  the  pelagic  zone:   • Nekton  (swimming  organisms  capable  of  overcoming  ocean   currents)—fish,  mammals,  sea  turtles,  squid,  octopus   • Phytoplankton—green  algae,  diatoms,  dinoflagellates,  cyanobacteria   • Zooplankton—protists,  crustaceans,  jellyfishes       Chapter  3-­‐  These  notes  include  class  notes,  extra  notes  from  the  book,  and  extra   things  the  professor  stated  in  class.              


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All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.