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Xxx… False-color composite image of global photoautotroph abundance from Wikimedia Commons The Biosphere.

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Presentation on theme: "Xxx… False-color composite image of global photoautotroph abundance from Wikimedia Commons The Biosphere."— Presentation transcript:

1 Xxx… False-color composite image of global photoautotroph abundance from Wikimedia Commons The Biosphere

2 Large-scale biological communities sharing similar plant growth forms - convergent adaptations to similar physical environments Terrestrial Biomes Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3A

3 Xxx… Terrestrial Biomes Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3.5

4 Map from Holt et al. (2013) Science Terrestrial Zoogeographic Regions Published as “an update of Wallace’s zoogeographic regions”

5 World Wildlife Fund team identified 14 terrestrial biomes Biomes & Biogeographic Realms Map from Olson et al. (2001) Bioscience

6 Ecoregions … and 867 distinct ecoregions Map from Olson et al. (2001) Bioscience

7 Dominant plants = broad-leaved evergreen trees Also epiphytes, lianas, palms, and generally sparse understory More-or-less continuous growing season Contain ~50% of Earth’s species in ~11% of terrestrial veg. cover Tropical Rainforests Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3A

8 E.g., scatter-hoarding of seeds by rodents Tropical Rainforests Photo of agouti and Astrocaryum palm fruits by Christian Ziegler; Figure from Jansen et al. (2012) PNAS

9 Tropical Seasonal Forests & Savannas Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3B Tropical dry forests Thorn woodlands Tropical savannas Resource availability, fire & large herbivores help determine the balance between grasses vs. woody species Pronounced wet / dry seasons

10 Tropical Seasonal Forests & Savannas Photo of Pseudomyrmex on Vachellia (formerly Acacia) – Wikimedia Commons; Table – Janzen (1966) Evolution E.g., protection of plants against herbivores by ants

11 Hot Deserts Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3C Sparse populations of plants & animals Succulent plants are common Sustained periods of high temp. & low water avail.

12 Hot Deserts E.g., large-male advantage in lek-mating tarantula hawks Photo of Tarantula Hawk and Tarantula – Figure from Alcock (1981) Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology

13 Temperate Grasslands Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3D Dominant plants = grasses Warm, moist summers & cold, dry winters Some have sufficient rainfall to support woody veg., but fire & grazers maintain grasslands Soils rich in organic matter

14 Temperate Grasslands Large ungulate & marsupial (in Australia) grazers are common Photos of pronghorn antelope and red kangaroo from Wikimedia Commons

15 Temperate Shrublands & Woodlands Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3E Winter rainy season (e.g., Mediterranean-type climates) Fire is a common feature Sclerophyllous leaves are common

16 Temperate Shrublands & Woodlands Resprouting is common Photo from

17 Temperate Deciduous Forests Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3F Deciduous leaves owing to freezing temperatures Sufficient rainfall & soil fertility to support tree growth

18 Temperate Deciduous Forests Insect populations sometimes outbreak Photo of tent caterpillars from outbreak-concerns-eased-by-dnr

19 Temperate Evergreen Forests Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3G From warm coastal zones to cool maritime climates Generally on nutrient-poor soils Northern Hemisphere – needle- leaved conifers Southern Hemisphere - needle- leaved & broad-leaved

20 Temperate Evergreen Forests Photo of British Columbian rainforest from Wikimedia Commons; K. Harms photo of Florida pine savanna

21 Boreal Forests / Taiga Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3H Coniferous species Extreme weather Permafrost common

22 Boreal Forests Immense carbon pools Photo of Canadian taiga from Wikimedia Commons

23 Tundra Cain, Bowman & Hacker (2014), Fig. 3I Beyond treeline Dominated by sedges, grasses, forbs & prostrate shrubs Primarily in the Arctic Extreme weather Permafrost common

24 Tundra Prey can be seasonally very abundant during short growing season Photo from

25 Transition zones between biomes or ecosystems Ecotones Photo of lakeside ecotone from Wikimedia Commons

26 Where the Land Meets the Sea Estuary – junction of a river & ocean Photos of Amazon estuary, a mangrove & a salt marsh from Wikimedia Commons Mangrove – shallow estuaries & mudflats with salt-tolerant evergreen woody species Salt Marsh – found on sediments carried to shorelines by rivers

27 Where the Land Meets the Sea Photos of a Galapagos sandy / boulder beach & a rocky intertidal shoreline from Wikimedia Commons Rocky Intertidal – stable substrate alternates between terrestrial & marine Beaches / Sandy Shores – unstable substrate limits opportunities for plants, so limited opportunities for animals Etc.

28 Coral Reef – warm, shallow water Marine Biomes Seagrass bed – flowering plants on subtidal mud or fine sand Photos of coral reef, kelp bed & seagrass bed from Wikimedia Commons Kelp bed – large brown algae in clear, shallow, temperate oceans

29 Marine Biomes Etc. Photo of 1700 m deep gray whale fall from Wikimedia Commons; photo of octopus that broods eggs for 4 yr at ~1700 m deep from Deep sea – extreme pressure & temperature; no light, so limited, patchy energy supply

30 We live in a very different world from the one we inherited from our Pleistocene forebears Anthropogenic Influence on Planet Earth Photo (1929) of New York City (previously Temperate Deciduous Forest) from Wikimedia Commons

31 “Perhaps it’s my natural pessimism, but it seems that an awfully large part of travel these days is to see things while you still can.” Anthropogenic Influence on Planet Earth Quote from Bryson (2001, pg. 279) In a Sunburned Country; photo of polar bear from Wikimedia Commons


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