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Community Distribution

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Presentation on theme: "Community Distribution"— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Distribution

2 Homeostasis in Communities
Changing with the Environment Ecosystems are always changing. Changing conditions affect communities. There are patterns to these changes that helps us understand how ecosystems developed.

3 Limiting factors Limiting factors: any biotic or abiotic factor that restricts the existence, numbers, reproduction, or distribution of organisms. Remember that effects on one population have indirect effects on other populations within the community.

4 Ranges of tolerance Tolerance: the ability to withstand fluctuations in biotic and abiotic environmental factors. Some species can tolerate conditions that other species cannot.

5 Seccession: A Change in Communities over Time
Seccession: orderly, natural changes that take place in the community of an ecosystem. Primary Succession: the colonization of new sites by communities of organisms E.g. lava forming new land, silt creating new soil

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7 Pioneer plants create soil
Pioneer plants die and decay adding their nutrients to the raw environment and lay the foundation for soil. Once soil is present it is possible for small weedy plants, ferns and insects to move in. More plants die and add to the increasing amount of soil. Eventually a climax community is achieved.

8 Climax community Climax community: a stable mature community that undergoes little or no succession. The climax community represents the combination of plants and animals which make the most efficient use of available resources and conditions. In other words, the community established by nature is the one which works best given the climate, topography and other characteristics of the area.

9 Temperate Broadleaf Deciduous Forest

10 Secondary succession Secondary succession: the sequence of community changes that takes place when a community is disrupted by natural disasters or human actions. Since the soil is already in place, secondary succession can take place five to ten times faster than primary succession.

11 Secondary seccession (cont)
When a community is significantly disturbed, the loss of the vegetation may change the abiotic conditions. If this occurs and the habitat has changed, secondary succession may lead to a different climax community. An example is the tropical rain forest. The forest "creates" the rainfall through the process of transpiration. When the trees are removed, the rainfall stops. The land then becomes arid. The resulting new climax community is often desert shrubs

12 Example of human interference with succession-
1. Producing a lawn means a constant battle against natural 2. What you must do to maintain such a system a. plant grass seed- competition against natural seed dispersal b. mow- limits the establishment of trees and other tall species c. apply herbicides- to eliminate interspecific competition and to cut down on species diversity- d. apply fertilizer- grass species use up soil nutrients quickly e. irrigate- natural rainfall is often inadequate for lawn grass f. apply fungicides and other chemicals to control disease and insect pests- must be done because an unnatural ecosystem is more prone to disruption 3. Thus, when humans interfere with plant communities -> many problems that would be controlled in a natural system (this same thing happens in farming) 4. Without the continued interference of humans, the yard would have a natural sequence of succession over time

13 Example: secondary succession on abandoned farm in Maryland
1. Annuals (weeds like crabgrass) 1-2 years 2. Perennials (herbs and tall grasses) 2-5 years 3. Young pine seedlings in tall grass 5-10 years 4. Pine forest years 5. Deciduous hardwood forest (climax) 150+ years

14 Temperate Broadleaf Deciduous Forest

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16 Biomes

17 Aquatic Biomes: Life in the Water
Biome: a large group of ecosystems that share the same type of climax community. 75% of earth’s surface is covered with water. Most are marine. Fresh water is confined to rivers, streams, ponds, and most lakes.

18 2 Main Types of Aquatic Biomes
Marine Freshwater

19 Marine Biomes Life began in the ocean billions of years ago.  Most of the life forms which currently occupy the earth had their start as single-celled organisms, forced into evolution by an ever-changing environment. 

20 Ecologist often separate marine biomes
Shallow, sunlit zones called the photic zone. They exist along coast lines (coastal ecosystems). Unlighted zones: aphotic zone

21 Another way to divide The marine regions can also be divided into
coral reefs Estuaries oceans

22 Coral Reefs In the warm shallow waters which line the continents and surrounding islands lie barriers called coral reefs. Coral is a living organism consisting of animal and algae tissues.   The coral reef is also host to other species such as starfish, octopi, and other mollusks.

23 Estuaries Estuary: A costal body of water partially surrounded by land in which fresh water and salt water mix. Salinity in the estuary changes with the tide and contain salt marsh ecosystems.

24 Intertidal Zone The portion of the shoreline that lies between high and low tide lines is called the intertidal zone.

25 Coasts   Because of rising and falling tides, coastal areas are constantly changing, with various animals and marine plants living at the bottom, and on the seashore.  Rocky coastal areas are host to fewer species.

26 Ocean The Pelagic zone: Out in the open ocean (photic)
host to many species of fish and marine mammals, plankton ,and some floating seaweed. is called sargasum. The Benthic zone: deep-sea (aphotic host to silt, sand, and slowly decomposing organisms.  This area is very cold because of its depth. There are few plants at this level, and the animals include mostly bottom feeding organisms such as starfish, anemones, sponges, amongst others, as well as various micro-organisms.

27 Oceans cont. Abyssal zone: the deepest part of the ocean
host to many species of invertebrates and fish including such oddities as the coelacanth, a prehistoric fish once thought extinct, and other fish that bioluminescence.  The abyssal zone is very cold, and highly pressurized.  Its floor features thermal vents formed by spreading tectonic plates which release hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and  other minerals which are consumed by bacteria that form the bottom of the food web.

28 Terrestrial Biomes Include:
The Tundra Taiga (coniferous forests) The Temperate Forests Deserts Grasslands

29 There are 2 types of Tundra
The Tundra There are 2 types of Tundra Arctic tundra Alpine tundra

30 Arctic tundra Permafrost: a layer of frozen ground, found under the thin layer of top soil, which never thaws. The soil in the tundra is lacking in nutrients because low temperatures slow the decay process. Short growing season. Long days during the “summer” and long nights during the “winter”. Mosquitoes are the most common tundra animal.

31 Alpine Tundra The alpine tundra biome exists on rocky mountaintops. Because trees cannot grow at this high altitude, most of the alpine tundra plant life consists of shrubbery and small leafy plants Animals include bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, pika, marmots, and birds such as the white-tailed parmigan and the grouse.

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34 Taiga (northern coniferous forest)
Lies just south of the tundra. Still harsh but although often are warmer and wetter than the tundra. Permafrost is usually absent Conifer needles make the soil acidic and poor in minerals. More large species (moose, deer, lynx, wolves)

35 Coniferous forest

36 Desert South of the taiga. Arid Sparse to nonexistent plant life.
Plant include cacti, tumble weeds. Animals are small and nocturnal. The burrow during the day to reduce water needs.

37 Grasslands Include: Prairies Steppe Savanna

38 Prairies Large communities covered with grasses and similar small plants. Climate where dry seasons occur so cannot support forests. Rich soil due to yearly die-off of grasses. Animals include large herbivores such as deer and bison. Predators include the wolf, coyote, and fox. Small animals like the rabbit, praire dog, and chipmunk (pocket gopher).

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40 Steppe The Steppe biome is a dry, cold, grassland that is found in all of the continents except Australia and Antarctica. It is mostly found in the USA, Mongolia, Siberia, Tibet and China.

41 Steppe cont. The Steppe biome is usually found between deserts and forests. If it got more rain, it would become a forest. If it got less rain, it would become a desert. The average rainfall is inches per year, with 4-5 being received in the spring.

42 Savanna A savanna is a rolling grassland scattered with shrubs and isolated trees, which can be found between a tropical rainforest and desert biome. Not enough rain falls on a savanna to support forests. Savannas are also known as tropical grasslands. They are found in a wide band on either side of the equator on the edges of tropical rainforests.

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44 Temperate Forests

45 Forest Biomes Represent the largest and most ecologically complex systems.  They contain a wide assortment of trees, plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, insects and micro-organisms which vary depending on the zone's climates. 

46 2 Types of temperate forests
Deciduous forests Rain forests

47 Temperate Deciduous Forest
Are a close relative of the Taiga biome, and can be found in areas with a milder, shorter winter season. Trees in the temperate forest include evergreens, maple, elm, oak, cedar and other trees which shed their leaves in the fall.  The temperate forest's soil in richer than that of the coniferous forests The forests' canopy is thinner, allowing more light and heat to penetrate, permitting photosynthesis in the forest floor plants Animals include cold blooded such as garter snakes, turtles, and a few amphibians as well as a variety of warm blooded animals. Many species hibernate, and/or burrow in the ground to pass the winter months.

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49 Rainforests 2 Types Temperate Rain Forests Tropical Rain Forests

50 Temperate Rain Forest Borders oceans and found on western edge of North and South America moist air from the Pacific Ocean drops between 60 and 200 inches of rain a year

51 Temperate Rain Forest cont.
The temperate rain forest has seasonal variation, with summer temperatures rising to about 80 ˚F and winter temperatures dropping to near freezing. In the northernmost regions, winter may be cold enough for some ice and snow. Although this rain forest has layers of tall, medium, and low growing vegetation, the cool winters limit the numbers and kinds of life forms that live here. Compared to the tropical rain forest, the temperate rain forest has a less complex ecology.

52 Tropical Rain Forest Found along the equator
Receives as much as 400 cm of rain a year with an average temp. of 25˚C As a climax comm. The forest floor is bare due to thick canopy. Thick canopy full of diverse life.

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