Fundamentals of Environmental Science Cory Garfunkel's Chapter 5 Notes ENVI-1020
Fundamentals of Environmental Science Cory Garfunkel's Chapter 5 Notes ENVI-1020 ENVI 1020 - 001
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cory Garfunkel on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENVI 1020 - 001 at Auburn University taught by Robert F. Holm in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 56 views. For similar materials see Fundamentals of Environmental Science in Science at Auburn University.
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Date Created: 02/22/16
Chapter 5 Biomes and Biodiversity Ecological Succession: Transition Gradual & Fairly Predictable change in species composition with time o Some Species colonizeIncreased abundance o Others decline/disappear Primary Succession o Gradual Establishment of Biotic Communities in an area where no life existed before Secondary Succession o Gradual Re-establishment of biotic communities in an area where live was previously present o Ex. Farmland, weeds growing yearly, insects returning, trees Pioneer Species (Primary) and Successional Species (more secondary) What is a Biome? Large geographic region whose climate leads to a maximum association between plants and animals Usually refers to terrestrial habitats Mainly dependent on temperature and humidity/precipitation Types: o Tropical Rain Forests o Warm Tropical Deciduous Forest o Deserts o Temperate Deciduous (flowering/fruit-bearing trees) Forest o Savannas/Grasslands o Evergreen Coniferous (cone bearing) Forest (Boreal Forest/Taiga) o Tundra o Mountains/highlands o Riviera/Chapparal/Mediterranean General Climate Types Polar, subpolar, dry, warm & cool temperate, tropical, highland Air Circulation Patterns, Their Correlation to Latitude and Their Effects Wind tends to circulate in rough 30° bands (Equator to 30° N or S latitude and back, for example) o Leads to different climate types at different latitudes Tropical Rain Forests at/near equator (0° latitude, horizontal ring around the middle of Earth) Warm Tropical Deciduous Forest (next ones out) Deserts around 30° N/S where equatorial winds and northerlies tend to drive moisture and air away from these areas Cool Temperate Deciduous (flowering/fruit-bearing trees) Forest & Grasslands Evergreen Coniferous (cone bearing) Forest Subpolar (some trees and some permafrost, a permanently frozen layer of underground ice, containing Carbon Dioxide, methane, and other gases, sees snow) Polar Tundra (permafrost, above-ground ice, little precipitation) o Near desert latitudes (~30° N or S), cooler, denser, and drier air sinks, warms up near the ground, and absorbs moisture as it flows across Earth’s surface o Higher up (or lower down) in more temperate and coniferous climates, moist air rises, cools, and releases moisture as precipitation o Moisture levels decrease with higher latitudes and altitudes Rain Shadow Effect—Windward side of mountain range gets precipitation, leeward (usually the side farther away from coastline) side doesn’t o Examples: American Mountain West and Desert SW, Atacama Desert in Chile, Patagonia in Argentina Specific Types of Biomes Desert o Dry, extremely low and unpredictable precipitation levels o Wide, daily & seasonal temperature fluctuations o Easily disturbed soils, especially by human activities o Water conserving plants Grassland o Grasses, flowering plants, open savannahs o Few trees due to low rainfall o Rich soils o Large daily & seasonal temperature fluctuations o Frequent fires o Grazing by herds of large animals Tundra o Treeless, < 12 cm of precipitation/year o Permafrost o Vegetation mostly scrubby, including lichens, mosses, and small shrubs o Important waterfowl breeding habitats o Global warming beginning to melt permafrost, releasing trapped greenhouse gases, including methane and CO₂ Forest o High levels of Precipitation o Lots and lots of trees o Layers Understory of herbaceous plants and shrubs “Subcanopy” of tree saplings Canopy of full-grown trees o 3 main types Tropical—Broadleaf Evergreen with a high diversity of species High, constant rainfall > 250 cm/year Tall plants, thick canopy Soggy ground Epiphytes (plants that live on trees, using their frame as support) common Most animals live in the canopy Problems with nutrient leaching if trees cut down for whatever reasons Temperate—Deciduous broadleaf, moderate diversity (Middle amount of Precip.) Cold winters Shrubby and herbaceous plant groundcover Deer, small mammals Rich soil Migratory birds and hibernation common Taiga (Boreal)—Evergreen Conifers, low diversity (Least Precip.) Subarctic Needle leaves (lots of pine) to help maintain moisture and cut down on transpiration (tree sweatingloss of moisture) Extensive shrubby ground cover (boggy) Furry (Lynx, wolf, wolverine) and fowl-y (grouse, goose) animals Much of Canada and Siberia Snow is main form of precipitation Aquatic Ecosystems Factors Affecting Life o Temperature (Declines as the water gets deeper) Affects dissolved gas ratios, rates of chemical reactions, & where organisms can live o Light (Declines as the water gets deeper) Essential for Photosynthesis o Nutrient Availability Macronutrients: Phosphorous & Nitrogen Micronutrients: Iron for growth of phytoplankton o Dissolved gases Dissolved CO₂ for growth of phytoplankton Dissolved Oxygen for respiration of organisms o Salinity (Salt levels) o Pressure (Gets higher the deeper you get) Saltwater o Ocean & its zones 71% of Earth’s surface area Helps distribute solar heat Reservoir for CO₂ Regulate temperature of troposphere (lower atmosphere), where weather occurs Habitat & Unfortunately, communal dumping ground Zones defined by amount of solar radiation penetrating the zone Euphotic—Coastal, high tide to edge of continental shelf o Contains Coral reefsLimestones Bathyl Abyssal o Estuaries—Where seawater mixes w/ freshwater from land generally @ mouth of river Examples: Caloosahatchee in Florida, St. Lawrence River in Canada o Coastal wetlands—Areas of coastal land covered by saltwater all or part of the year Human Impact on Coastal Wetlands Over 50% of Estuaries and CW’s gone (Even higher %age in USA) Urban runoff, sewage treatment plant discharge, & sediment and/or chemical runoff from farming all feeds into these CW’s Mangrove forests Great indicator of wetland environment health, keystone species in a sense Called “Tree that walks to the sea” due to elevated root system that often sticks out of water/ground Seedlings sprout on tree, then drop into water, takes root, and then grows Often protected by law o Coral Reefs Formed by mutualism between polyps & algae Hard deposits remain when the polyps die Located in coastal zones of tropical oceans Vulnerable & Slow-growing Easily disturbed Thrive only in clean water Human Impact Sediment runoff & liquid waste Increased UV radiation due to hole in Ozone layer Tropical fish exploitation via fishing with dynamite and/or cyanide Freshwater o Lakes—Standing body of freshwater formed when rain, runoff, and/or groundwater fills depressions in landscape Lentic Environment (Stillwater) 4 Zones (Shallowest to Deepest) Littoral—turtles, frogs, snails, birds Limnetic—phyto- and zooplankton, fish Profundal Benthic—Bloodworms Some lakes turnover seasonally, circulating water and organic material via changing wind patterns and temperature differences Eutrophy—Aging of Lake via sediment fillingturns lake into wetlandultimately dry land o Rivers & Streams Lotic Environment (Moving water) Source Zone—steeper terrain near headwaters, hilly/mountainous, least water, fastest flow Transition zone—still hilly and somewhat steep, slower flow Floodplain zone—land typically flatter, slowest flow, most water, most prone to flooding All zones support different biotic communities due to differing levels of water and Dissolved oxygen o Freshwater wetlands—Areas of coastal land covered by freshwater all or part of the year Functions Habitat, especially for waterfowl and amphibians Filter sediments & pollutants”Nature’s Kidneys” Flood attenuation (lessen the severity of floods) Human Impact Some states have lost > 90% of their wetlands Mainly from filling in land for development and/or draining for agriculture Cypress swamps common Examples Everglades (still under environmental repair) Prairie Pothole ecosystems in North Dakota, Minnesota, S. Central Canada
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