The Environment Notes Week 6
The Environment Notes Week 6 ENVT 0845-005
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katrina Salamon on Saturday February 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENVT 0845-005 at Temple University taught by Dr. Udoeyo in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see The Environment in Professional Education Services at Temple University.
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Date Created: 02/20/16
February 15, 2016 Ecosystem Ecology The integrated study of biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems and their interactions within an ecosystem framework. Human activity can alter ecosystems o Connecticut River Basin o Settlement and development of area o Nitrogen content in water increased o Purity of water is measured by the amount of nitrogen it contains Agriculture Sewage o 1972 water act—no pollution should be seen in the water in this country. Sewage treatments, etc., so the nitrogen levels in the water started coming down. Biosphere o All organisms and nonliving environment o It includes the rocks, soils, fresh water, oceans and its atmosphere Biogeochemical Cycle o Flow of matter through ecosystem Elements (carbon, nitrogen, etc.) Flow of compounds (water, etc.) Biochemical cycles o Distribution, abundance, and movement of elements Pools o Parts of ecosystem where matter resides such as the atmosphere or soil Fluxes o Rate matter moves from one pool to another o Fluxes into pool are positive and fluxes out are negative Massbalance accounting o Process that accounts for the abundance of an element in an ecosystem Capital (of a pool) o Total mass of an element in the pool. Measured in teragrams or petagrams Equilibrium o When capital in a pool remains constant and the net flux of an element is zero. Residence time—average time an element stays in pool. Calculated as the size of the equilibrium pool divided by the flux through the pool Cycling time o Average time it takes an element to move through the cycle Nutrients o Elements needed to carry out life function o About 25 Macronutrients o Required in realitively large amount Carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, phosphorous Micronutrients o Required in very small amounts Manganese, boron Elements in Earth’s crust and mantle cycle o Rocks are converted from one type to another Three categories of rock o Igneous Solidified magma o Sedimentary Sediments (sand, silt) bound by pressure o Metamorphic Heat and pressure transform igneous or sedimentary Hydrologic Cycle o Distribution and flux of water through biogeochemical system 98% located in the ocean Earth’s water Solar energy and gravity drive cycle Includes all three phases of water o Solid ice: melt due to solar radiation o Liquid water: evaporate, flow across earth’s surface or percolate o Gaseous water vapor Precipitation o Moves water from atmosphere to hydrosphere Water returns to atmosphere via o Evaporation o Transpiration Evaporation from plants o Water percolates through soil/rock to become groundwater Aquifers Carbon only 0.032% of atmosphere and lithosphere Most tied in sedimentary rocks 0.0005% cycles through biosphere Carbon essential for life Flux of carbon driven by life Respiration: returns carbon to atmosphere Photosynthesis pulls carbon from atmosphere o Gross primary production (GPP) Total CO 2converted by photosynthetic organism to organic carbon each year o Net primary production (NPP) Organic carbon available to consumers o Net ecosystem production (NEP): subtracting the respiration of nonphotosynthetic organism from NPP Net flux of carbon into an ecosystem. Terrestrial carbon Most carbon stored in biomass terrestrial o Soil contains large amounts of organic carbon Plant litter, waste, dead organisms. 90% of biomass stored in plants Portion not consumed by decomposers remain Aquatic and marine carbon o CO2 dissolves in oceans, lakes, and rivers Phytoplankton Carbon used to make shells of marine organisms o Much of this carbon falls as sediment to ocean floor o Ocean absorbs carbon February 17, 2016 Pulls and Fluxes (represented in the boxes in the PowerPoint of the ecosystem with the mountain and oceans and stuff) Human impacts o Humans have altered the carbon cycle o Ecosystem change/destruction reduces NPP o Burning off fossil fuels Releases stored carbon o The fossil fuel emissions have increased steadily since the 1750’s Nitrogen Cycle o Most abundant element in earth’s atmosphere o Small amounts in crust o Microorganisms transform nitrogen gas to usable forms o Plants modify to create essential compounds Amino acids Nucleic acids Nitrogen cycles rapidly between atmosphere and biosphere o Nitrogen enters biosphere by nitrogen fixation Bacteria convert N to NH 2 3 Ammonia dissolves in the water to form ammonium (NH +). 4 Bacteria in the soil then converts NH4+ to nitrite (NO2–) and nitrate (NO3–) Small amount by lightning Soil bacteria carries out nitrification Makes nitrogen available to other organisms o Plants take up ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate through their roots and manufacture nitrogencontaining organic molecules, such as amino acids and nucleic acids Denitrification: nitrogen in soil and water is returned to the atmosphere Bacteria transform nitrates (NO3) to 2 gas. Human impacts o Humans have doubled rate of nitrogen fixation o HaberBosch process Nonbiological method of nitrogen fixation Source of chemical fertilizer o Excess nitrogen may act as a pollutant o Aquatic ecosystems extremely sensitive Eutrophication: higher concentrations of rapidly growing algae in streams due to elevated amounts of nitrogen Phosphorous is abundant in crust but absent from atmosphere Phosphorus makes up 0.5%1.0% of the tissues of organisms Organisms use phosphorous as phosphate (PO ) 4 Must me weathered out of sedimentary rock Limiting factor in marine production Human impacts of phosphorus cycle o Humans mine large quantities of phosphorous for fertilizer o Mining activities disrupt ecosystems o Excess phosphorous Alters aquatic systems o Enrichment of phosphorous Can produce eutrophication similar to that produced by excess nitrogen Sulfur is 0.07% of crust o Most chemically bound to rock o Weathering and volcanic activity releases usable forms o Flux of sulfur into atmosphere high but residence time low o Volcanic eruption of sulfur dioxide reflect solar radiation and have a cooling effect on the atmosphere. Human impact Mining and fossil fuel burning NH4+ to nitrite (NO2–) and nitrate (NO3–) Small amount by lightning Biochemical cycles vary Seasonal change o Climate affects NPP Disturbance and succession o Plant growth and change after disturbance alters flux and pools. February 19, 2016 Geography: the science dealing with the areal differentiation of the earth’s surface, as shown in the character, arrangement, and interrelations over the world of such elements as climate, elevation, soil, vegetation, population, etc. Interstate Biogeography: human activities can alter distribution of plants and animals o Roads and highways block access for plants and animals o Fire suppression halts cyclical o Succession o Removal of animal species Bison Wolves o Exotic species Characteristics of Biomes: o Atmospheric circulation and climate determine the distribution of biomes o Why do plants that grow so far apart look so much alike? o Convergent Evolution: process by which natural selection favors similar features among otherwise unrelated species Terrestrial Biomes and Climate o Biomes: The Earth’s major types of ecosystems, such as forests, deserts, and grasslands Tropical Zone: Equator to 25 degrees north and south latitude Temperate Zone: falls between 25 and 60 degrees north and south latitude Polar Zone: Above 60 degrees N and S latitude Continental Climates: More variation in temperature, away from large bodies of water Maritime Climates: the climate typical of the west coasts at the middle latitudes of continents, and generally features warm (but not hot) summers and cool (but not cold) winters, with a relatively narrow annual temperature range. Depicting the climate of Biomes: Climatograph: is a graphical representation of basic climatic parameters, that is monthly average temperature and precipitation, at a certain location. It is used for a quickview of the climate of a location. Tropical rain forest o Annual rainfall greater than 2,000 mm (80 in.) o Plentiful rainfall, warm climate o Enormous plant and animal diversity o Net primary production greater than any other terrestrial biome Nutrients rapidly cycled The soil has low nutrient content o Many unique niches and endemic species Tropical Seasonal Forest: o Annual rainfall 1,5002,500 mm (6098 in.) o Wet and dry seasons Months with little or no rain common Tropical Savanna o Occurs where rainfall is highly seasonal Drought persists more than half the year o Dominated by grasses Supports massive herds of grazing animals o Climate overlaps with seasonal tropical forest Temperate Zone o Over 60% Earth land mass is in temperate zone o Annual precipitation ranges from 2002,000 mm o Annual temp. ranges 520 degrees Celsius o Dominated by deciduous (trees loose leaves) forest, temperate evergreen forest, chaparral, and temperate grassland o Growing seasons range 410 months Temperate Deciduous Forest o Dominated by broadleaf trees o Lose their leaves in the autumn and grow a new set in the spring o Moderate summers and cold winters o Growing seasons last between last and first hard frosts in autumn Temperate evergreen forest o Dominant trees keep leaves Evergreen conifers o Generally less precipitation and warmer winters than temperate deciduous forest o Summer drier than winter Some regions are temperate rain forests Mild temperatures year round Chaparral o Dominated by summer drought o Evergreen shrub land and low woodlands o Mediterranean climate o Shrubs are sclerophyllous o “Stony leafed” o Adaptations to resist water loss and wilting o Fire adapted Temperate Grasslands o 90% have been altered by agriculture and cattle grazing o Too dry for forests o Wet enough to not form deserts o Winters long and cold Summers hot
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