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Biomes, Landscapes, Restoration, and Management

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Presentation on theme: "Biomes, Landscapes, Restoration, and Management"— Presentation transcript:

1 Biomes, Landscapes, Restoration, and Management
Chapter 5

2 Outline: Terrestrial Biomes Aquatic Ecosystems Human Disturbance

3 TERRESTRIAL BIOMES Biomes - Areas sharing similar climate, topographic and soil conditions, and roughly comparable communities. Temperature and Precipitation are among the most important determinants in biome distribution. Most terrestrial biomes are identified by the dominant plants of their communities.

Discuss a TERRESTRIAL BIOME. Present ABIOTIC factors (climate, weather, rainfall, humidity, plant nutrients, and other nonliving factors) that have an influence over the type of plants and animals that live in this biome. Give examples of plants and animals and their adaptations for living in this biome. Discuss Human’s role in the disturbance of this biome.


6 Fig. 5.3

7 Deserts Characterized by low moisture levels and precipitation that is infrequent and unpredictable from year to year. Wide daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations. Soils are easily disturbed by human activities, and slow to recover. Plants exhibit water conservation characteristics.

8 Fig. 5.4

9 Grasslands Communities of grasses, seasonal herbaceous flowering plants, and open savannas. Few trees due to inadequate rainfall. Large daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations. Frequent grass fires. Historic grazing by roaming herds of large ungulates.

10 Tundra Treeless Very short growing season, with cold harsh winters. Damage slow to heal Arctic Tundra exhibits low productivity, diversity and resilience. Alpine Tundra receives intense solar radiation, hot daytime summer ground temperatures, and potential droughts.

11 Fig. 5.7

12 Conifer Forests Cone-Bearing Plants reduce water loss by evolving thin, needle-like evergreen leaves with thick waxy coating. Can survive harsh winters or extended droughts and accomplish photosynthesis even under poor conditions. Fire often plays role in maintenance.

13 Conifer Forests Boreal Forest - Northern Conifer Forest Broad band of mixed coniferous and deciduous trees between 45° and 60° N latitude. Moist and cool climate with abundant streams and wetlands. Taiga - Northernmost edge of boreal forest Species-poor. Harsh climate limits productivity and resilience. Produce large peat bogs.

14 Conifer Forests Temperate Rainforest Wettest portion of coniferous forests of Pacific Northwest. Mild temperatures, and very abundant precipitation. (>250 cm) Canopy condensation is major form of precipitation.

15 Broad Leaf Deciduous Forest
Temperate regions support lush summer plant growth when water is plentiful. Deciduous leaves an adaptation to freezing temperatures. Eastern half of US was covered with broad leaf deciduous forest when European settlers arrived. Much of that was harvested a century ago for timber. Now large areas have re-grown and are again approaching old-growth status.

16 Mediterranean Characterized by warm, dry summers and cool, moist winters. Fires are a major factor in plant succession. Referred to as Chaparral in California. Biodiversity hotspot

17 Fig. 5.9

18 Tropical Moist Forests
Humid tropical regions support one of most complex and biologically rich biomes. Ample rainfall and uniform temperatures. Cloud Forests - High mountains where fog and mist keep vegetation continually wet.

19 Fig. 5.10

20 Tropical Moist Forests
Tropical Rainforests - More than 200 cm annual rainfall with warm-hot temperatures year-round. 90% nutrients tied up in living organisms. Rapid decomposition and nutrient cycling. Thins soil cannot support continued cropping, and cannot resist erosion.

21 Tropical Seasonal Forests
Semi-evergreen and partly deciduous forests tending toward open woodlands and grassy savannas. Characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons with hot temperatures year-round

22 AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS Saltwater ecosystems cover vastly more total area and contain much greater volume of water than all freshwater bodies combined. Oceans hold bulk of world’s water. Aquatic ecosystems are influenced by local characteristics of climate, soil, and resident communities, and also by adjacent terrestrial ecosystems.

23 Fig. 5.12

24 Critical Aquatic Characteristics
Dissolved Substances Suspended Matter Depth Temperature Flow Rate Bottom Characteristics Internal Convective Currents Connectivity to Other Aquatic Ecosystems

25 Vertical Component Vertical stratification is an important aspect of many aquatic ecosystems. Organisms tend to form distinctive vertical sub-communities. Benthos - Bottom sub-community. Low oxygen levels Thermocline - Distinctive temperature transition zone that separates warm upper layer and deeper cold layer.


27 Estuaries Estuaries - Bays or semi-enclosed bodies of brackish water that form where rivers enter the ocean. Usually carry rich sediments. Fan-shaped sediment deposit (delta) formed on shallow continental shelves.

28 Wetlands Land surface is saturated or covered with water at least part of the year. Swamps - Wetlands with trees Marshes - Wetlands without trees Bogs and Fens - Waterlogged soils that tend to accumulate peat. Water usually shallow enough to allow full sunlight penetration. Trap and filter water, and store runoff.

29 Coastal Barrier Islands - Low, narrow, sandy islands that form offshore from a coastline. Protect inland shores from surf. Prized for human development. Loss of vegetation triggers erosion. Coral Reefs - Accumulated calcareous skeletons of colonial organisms (coral). Depth limited by light penetration. Among most endangered communities.

30 Barrier Islands

31 HUMAN DISTURBANCE By some estimates, humans preempt about 40% of net terrestrial primary productivity. Temperate broad-leaved deciduous forests are the most completely human-dominated biome. Tundra and Arctic Deserts are the least disturbed. About half of all original wetlands in the US have been degraded over the past 250 years.

32 Table 5.1

33 LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY Landscape Ecology - The study of reciprocal effects of spatial patterns on ecological processes. Spatial patterns shape, and are shaped by, ecological processes occurring in them. Considers humans an element of most landscapes. Few places, if any, are devoid of human impacts.


35 Patchiness and Heterogeneity
Landscape ecologists claim all landscapes consist of similar mosaics of discrete, bounded patches with different biotic or abiotic composition. Predominate cover type acts as a matrix in which other patch types are embedded. Landscape heterogeneity can exist across a wide range of scales.

36 Landscape Dynamics Boundaries between habitat patches are considered significant. Dynamics between patches may be of greater importance than processes within each patch. Departs from classic ecological focus, and aligns with conservation biology.

37 RESTORATION ECOLOGY Restoration Ecology - Seeks to repair or reconstruct damaged ecosystems. Restoration - Active manipulation to re-create species composition and ecosystem processes as close to pre-disturbance state as possible. Rehabilitation - Attempt to rebuild ecological structure or function without necessarily achieving original conditions.

38 Restoration Ecology Remediation - Cleaning chemical contaminants from a polluted area by physical or biological methods. Living organisms are highly effective cleaning agents for many contaminants. Reclamation - Chemical or physical manipulations of severely degraded sites. Historically - irrigation projects to transform wetlands and deserts into agricultural production.

39 Restoration Ecology Re-creation - Attempts to construct new biological communities on a severely disturbed site where basically nothing is left to restore. Mitigation - Developers and government agencies are often required to mitigate damage caused in one area by re-creating a comparable biological community somewhere else.

40 Restoration Ecology Questions:
Is the best strategy to avoid destruction in the first place, or is nature a simple social creation to be molded ? Under what conditions can / should we walk away let nature heal itself ? What role should community / plant authenticity place in restoration ? Which historic state should an area be restored to ?

41 ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT Ecosystem Management - Attempts to integrate ecological, economic, and social goals in a unified systems approach. Most resource agencies (Federal and state) are attempting to identify endangered landscapes and implement ecosystem management as their guiding policy. Turning away from commodity production and commercial / recreational resource use as top priority.

42 Ecosystem Management Critiques
We do not understand ecosystems in the detail necessary to manage them as single entities. In developing countries, immediate needs of the poor will hamper enforcement of environmental protection. Preservation / Management

43 Summary: Terrestrial Biomes Aquatic Ecosystems Human Disturbance Landscape Ecology Restoration Ecology Ecosystem Management


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