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1 Life on Land Chapter 2. 2 Terrestrial Biomes Biomes are distinguished primarily by their predominant plants and are associated with particular climates.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Life on Land Chapter 2. 2 Terrestrial Biomes Biomes are distinguished primarily by their predominant plants and are associated with particular climates."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Life on Land Chapter 2

2 2 Terrestrial Biomes Biomes are distinguished primarily by their predominant plants and are associated with particular climates.  Geographic and seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation are fundamental components.  Predominant plants share similar growth characteristics although species may vary.  Soil types of a biome are often similar due to similar climate and plant type influences.

3 3 Uneven Solar Heating of Earth

4 4 Solar-Driven Air Circulation (convection)

5 5 Temperature, Atmospheric Circulation, and Precipitation Spherical shape and tilt of earth’s axis cause uneven heating of earth’s surface.  Drives air circulation patterns and consequently precipitation patterns.  Warm, moist air rises.  Cools, condenses, and falls as rain.  Cooler, dry air falls back to surface.  Rainforests found near equator.  Major deserts found near 30 o N / S.

6 6 Solar-Driven Air Circulation

7 7 Temperature, Atmospheric Circulation, and Precipitation Coriolis effect causes apparent deflection of winds clockwise in the N hemisphere and counterclockwise in the S hemisphere.

8 8

9 9 Vernal equinox Mar 22 nd Autumn equinox Sept 22 nd Summer solstice June 22 nd Winter solstice Dec 22 nd Seasons due to tilt of the Earth and its annual orbit around the Sun.

10 10 Climate Diagrams Mean annual temperature. Mean annual precipitation.

11 11 Soil : Foundation of Terrestrial Biomes Soil is a complex mixture of living and non- living material. Development of soil:  Weathering (fracture and dissolution) of parent rocks and other minerals portions.  Organic matter deposition by roots and litter (leaves, twigs, logs).  Infiltration of water leaches material to deeper layers (horizons) in the soil profile.  Climate influences weathering processes.

12 12 Soil Horizons O horizon: Organic Layer freshly fallen and decomposing organic material – the most obvious surface layer (humifications begins). A horizon: Mixture of minerals, clay, silt, sand, mixed with humus (older dark organic matter – what makes dirt brown). B horizon: Clay, humus, and other materials leached from A horizon - often contains plant roots. C horizon: Weathered parent material.

13 13 Soil Profile

14 14 Terrestrial Biomes Biomes are distinguished primarily by their predominant plants and are associated with particular climates.  Tropical Rainforests  Tropical Dry Forest  Tropical Savanna  Desert  Mediterranean Woodland and Shrubland  Temperate Grassland  Temperate Forest (Deciduous & Evergreen)  Boreal Forest (Tiaga)  Tundra

15 15 Tropical Rainforest A broadleaf tropical forest growing in tropical regions where conditions are warm and wet year-round. Vertical structure. Epiphytes

16 16 Tropical Rainforests

17 17 Tropical Rainforests Most occur within 10 o latitude of equator. Little temperature variation between months. Annual rainfall of 2, ,000 mm relatively evenly distributed. Soils low organic and nutrient poor.  Rain quickly leaches soil nutrients.  High decomposition and fast nutrient cycle.  Mycorrhizae help gather nutrients. Harbor staple foods and medicines for world’s human populations - increasingly exploited.

18 18 Tropical Dry Forest Mostly broadleaf forests in tropical regions with pronounced wet and dry seasons where trees drop their leaves during the dry season (“dry deciduous forest”). Tropical dry coniferous forests are rare.

19 19 Tropical Dry Forest

20 20 Tropical Dry Forest Usually located between 10 o - 25 o latitude. Climate more seasonal than tropical rainforest (wet versus dry) Soils generally richer in nutrients than rainforests, but vulnerable to erosion. Shares many animal and plant species with tropical rainforests. Heavily settled by humans with extensive clearing for agriculture.

21 21 Tropical Savanna Tropical grassland with a few scattered trees; characterized by pronounced wet and dry seasons, with periodic fires.

22 22 Tropical Savanna

23 23 Tropical Savanna Most occur north and south of tropical dry forests within 10 o - 20 o of the equator. Climate alternates between wet / dry seasons.  Drought associated with dry season leads to lightning-caused wildfires. Soils have low water permeability.  Saturated soils in wet season inhibit trees. Landscape is more two-dimensional with increasing pressure to produce livestock.

24 24 Desert Arid lands occupying 20% of global land area, where evapotranspiration exceeds precipitation for most of the year.

25 25 Desert

26 26 Desert Major bands at 30 o N and 30 o S latitude. Water loss usually exceeds precipitation. Soil usually extremely low in organic matter (lithosols) and often with mineral deposits of calcium carbonate (caliches). Plant cover ranges from sparse to absent. Animal abundance low, but biodiversity may be high; many are nocturnal and burrowers. Human intrusion increasing. Rain shadow quiz.

27 27 Mediterranean Woodland and Shrubland Mild and moist winters and dry hot summers, between 30º and 40º latitude, vegetation is short with small, tough leaves, adapted to periodic fires, found in dry coastal regions (e.g. California chapparal).

28 28 Mediterranean Woodland and Shrubland

29 29 Mediterranean Woodland and Shrubland Occur in all continents except Antarctica. Climate cool and moist in fall, winter, and spring, but can be hot and dry in summer. Fragile soils with moderate fertility. Trees and shrubs typically evergreen. Fire-resistant plants due to fire regime. Long history of human intrusion.  Cleared for agriculture.

30 30 Temperate Grassland Midlatitude grasslands receiving 0.3 to 1.0 m rainfall per year, falling mostly during summers.

31 31 Temperate Grassland

32 32 Temperate Grassland Extremely widespread distribution. Annual rainfall ,000 mm. Experience periodic droughts. Soils tend extremely nutrient rich and deep. Thoroughly dominated by herbaceous vegetation. Large roaming ungulates.  Bison vs. cattle

33 33 Temperate Forests Coniferous or deciduous forests of 40º to 50º latitude with precipitation of 0.65 to 3.0 m per year, with more precipitation in winter than at temperate grasslands.

34 34 Temperate Forest (Old Growth)

35 35 Temperate Forest (Old Growth) Majority lie between 40 o and 50 o latitude. Rainfall averages ,000 mm. Fertile soils  Long growing seasons dominated by deciduous plants.  Short growing seasons dominated by conifers. Biomass production can be very high. Many major human population centers.

36 36 Boreal Forest (Taiga) Northern forest south of the arctic tundra, mostly containing conifers (spuce) and some aspen and birch.

37 37 Boreal Forest (Taiga)

38 38 Boreal Forest (Taiga) Confined to Northern Hemisphere.  Covers 11% of earth’s land area. Thin, acidic soils low in fertility. Generally dominated by evergreen conifers. Relatively high animal density. Historically, low levels of human intrusion.

39 39 Tundra Northern most biome dominated by mosses, lichens, and dwarfed willows and birch, low to moderate precipitation and very short growing season.

40 40 Tundra

41 41 Tundra Covers most of lands north of Arctic Circle.  Climate typically cool and dry with short summers.  mm precipitation. Low decomposition rates. Supports substantial numbers of native mammals. Human intrusion historically low, but increasing as resources become scarce.

42 42 Mountains: Islands in the Sky

43 43 Mountains: Islands in the Sky Built by geological processes and thus concentrated in belts of geological activity. Climate changes with elevation and latitude. Soils are generally well-drained and thin. Flora and fauna change with elevation. Rare or unique flora and fauna due to geographic isolation. Historically used as a source of raw materials for human settlements.


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