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Notes for Chapt 20 (Post Mid-Term)

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Notes for Chapt 20 (Post Mid-Term) BSC 1005C

Marketplace > St. Petersburg College > Biological Sciences > BSC 1005C > Notes for Chapt 20 Post Mid Term
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Chapt. 20 Summary and Notes.
Biological Sciences with Lab
Jennifer Fernandes
Class Notes




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ambar Notetaker on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BSC 1005C at St. Petersburg College taught by Jennifer Fernandes in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Biological Sciences with Lab in Biological Sciences at St. Petersburg College.

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Date Created: 10/02/16
Biological Sciences Chapter 20 Notes The Biosphere / Ecology Biosphere – the biosphere compasses all organisms on Earth together with the physical environments in which we live. Ecology is the scientific study in the interactions between organisms and their environment. - Environment includes both biotic factors (other organisms) and abiotic (nonliving) factors. - Ecologist are interested in two parts of the biosphere: organisms and the environment in which they live. The Biological Hierarchy – Biosphere – All the ecosystems on Earth. Biome – Similar ecosystems characterized by similar climatic conditions. Ecosystem – Community and its nonliving surroundings. Community – Populations of various species that live together and interact with one another. Population – Groups of organisms of a single species. Organisms – Individual living things. Removing a species altogether from its ecosystem could have a devastating effect. In Australia, dingoes were removed to prevent them from killing sheep. The removal of the dingoes gave rise to the population of the red kangaroo. The rise in the red kangaroo population decreased the availability of food for the sheep because they eat the same plants. Furthermore, kangaroos dig deep in the Earth to eat below ground plants, which threaten to change the plants available in the area, affecting the sheep further. Weather, no interchangeable with climate, refers to the temperature, precipitation, (rainfall and snowfall), wind speed, humidity, cloud cover and other physical conditions of the lower atmosphere, at a particular place for a short amount of time. Climate – refers to the overall average weather conditions of an area over a long period of time. -Energy from the sun is major factor in shaping climate on Earth. The energy from the sun is not uniformly distributed because the Earth is more or less spherical. Sunlight strikes the equator directly but at a slanted angle near the North and South poles. This causes more energy to reach the equator, as well, as the regions on the either side of it (the tropics), than reaches to the poles. - Sunlight and warmth promote photosynthesis and increase the productivity of plants. Convection cell – Intense sun causes water to evaporate near the equator, the warm, moist air rises because heat causes it to expand and therefore to be less dense, or lighter, than air that has not been heated. The warm, moist air cools as it rises. Cool air cannot hold as much moisture, the moisture is released from the cool air and falls as precipitation. The cool air generally sinks. The cool air above the equator cannot sink, however, because of the warm air rising beneath it. The cool air is then drawn to the north and south, sinking back to the Earth at about 30- degree latitude. Part of the air mass flows back toward to the equator, and as it does so it absorbs moisture from the surface of the Earth. When it reaches the equator, the air is again warm and moist, rising again and beginning the cycle again. This is called a convection cell. Precipitation occurs when moisture laden warm air cools and releases its water as rain or snow. Coriolis effect is the phenomenon in which winds created by the giant convection cells, the winds do not move straight north or south relative to land spinning below, but instead, appear to curve as they travel near the Earth surface. Winds travelling the equator appear to curve to the left. They seem to blow from the east and are called easterlies, similarly winds towards the poles curve to the right, because they seem to blow west are called westerlies. Ocean currents tend to run clockwise between continents in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Mountains often produce a rain shadow in which little precipitation falls on the side of the mountain that faces away from the prevailing winds. This is called a rain shadow. Terrestrial Biomes Climate is the single most important factor controlling the location of natural terrestrial biomes. The climate of the area- particularly the temperature and the amount and timing of the precipitation. Biomes are large areas of biosphere, characterized by unique climatic and ecological features. Tundra – is a high latitude or high altitude biome characterized by cold, windswept plains. The arctic tundra covers ¼ of the Earth’s surface, encircling the North Poles in a vast sweep that includes half of Canada, and Alaska and sizable portions of northern Europe and Russia. In the summer, ice melt and thawing of the upper layers of soil create an abundance of bogs, pongs, (wetlands) and streams, which are prevented form draining because of the underlying permafrost. Alpine tundra, a similar habitat, is encountered above the tree line in the high mountains. Permafrost is permanently frozen soil that may be a quarter mile deep. Boreal Forest – the largest terrestrial biome, it is also known as taiga. Includes sub-arctic landmass, immediately south of the arctic tundra. Temperature deciduous forest are the familiar forest type for most people who live in North America. Deciduous trees (tress that shed leaves in cold season) are the dominant vegetation in this biome. Temperature deciduous forest display greater diversity in species than tundra and boreal forest. They experience cool rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Grasslands biome are characteristics of regions that receive about 25 -100 centimeters of precipitation annually. They are found in both temperate and tropical latitudes. Soils in grasslands are exceptionally deep and fertile. Chaparral is the shrub land biome dominated by dense growths of scrub oak and other drought resistant plants. It is found in regions with a Mediterranean climate characterized by cool, rainy winters, and hot, dry summers. Soil is poor in these habitats and most species are adapted to hot dry conditions. Most plants have thick, leathery, leaves that reduce moisture loss. Desert biome makes up 1/3 of the Earth’s land surface. The defining feature is a scarcity of moisture, not high temperatures. Most animals in desert are nocturnal, desert plants have small leaves; the reduced surface area minimized water loss. Tropical forest biome is characterized by warm temperatures and about 12 hours of daylight all year. Rainfall may be heavy year-round, remaining wet all year. Due to quick decomposition at warm temperatures, soil tends to be nutrient poor for two reason: large percentage of nutrients are locked up in the living tissues (biomass) of organisms, especially large trees and second, heavy rains tend to leach out soil nutrients, depleting certain minerals in particular. Aquatic Biomes Aquatic ecosystems cover about 75% of the Earth’s surface. Two main aquatic biomes can be distinguished on the basis of salt content: freshwater and marine. Lakes, rivers, and wetlands are examples of freshwater biome and estuaries, coral reefs, the coastal regions and the open ocean are examples of marine biome. Aquatic ecosystems are also strongly influenced by climate. Climate helps to determine the temperature, movement, and salt content of the world’s oceans. El Niño events are when warm waters from the west deflect the cold Peru Current along the Pacific coast of South America. The results of this change are spectacular, including dramatic decreases in numbers of fish, die-offs of seabirds, storms along the Pacific Coast of North America that destroy underwater “forests” of brown algae called kelp, crops failure in Africa and Australia, and drops in sea level in the western Pacific that destroy coral reefs. Lakes are standing bodies of water that are surrounded by land and according to some authorities, are at least 2 hectares (5 acres) in size. Rivers are bodies of freshwater that move continuously in a single direction. Wetlands are characterized by standing water, shallow enough that rooted plants emerge above the water surface. Wetlands and estuaries are often destroyed for human building development. Estuaries are the shallowest of the marine ecosystems. An estuary is region where a river empties into the sea. It is marked by the constant ebb and flow of freshwater and salt water, and all organisms that thrive on its bounty have to be able to tolerate daily and seasonal fluctuation of salinity (salt levels). Estuaries are highly productive because they receive nutrients delivered by rivers and stirred up by the tide action. Coastal region stretches from the shoreline to the edge of the continental shelf, which is the undersea extension of the continent. The coastal regions are among the most productive marine ecosystems because of the ready availability of nutrients and oxygen. Intertidal zone is part of the coast that is closest to the shore, where the ocean meets the land. Extends from the lowest tide mark to the highest tide mark. It is challenging for plants and organisms because they must endure being submerged and exposed to dry are on a twice daily basis, in addition to being pounded by surf and sand. Benthic zone, or ocean floor of the coastal regions my lie as deep as 200 meters (656 feet) below the water surface. This is a relatively stable habitat, rich in sediments containing the dead and decaying remains of organisms (detritus). Oceanic region begins about 40 miles offshore, where the continental shelf, and therefore he coastal region ends. The open ocean forms a vast, complex interconnected ecosystem that we know little about. Although sufficient oxygen and are well lit, the surface layers of the open ocean are much less productive than estuarine and coastal waters. Nutrients are lacking from detritus tends to settle on the seafloor, and the nutrients locked in it are readily stirred up. Abyssal zone is the cold, dark waters of great depths; where the continental shelf ends, the seafloor plunges deeply to a depth of approximately 6,000 meters (20,000 FT). Few organisms, survive the great pressures and low temperatures. Complex communities do of Archean and invertebrates are knowns to be associated with the hydrothermal vents in geologically active regions of the deep ocean.


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