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Lecture 30

GPHY 102 Lecture 30: L30

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GPHY 102
Ryan K Danby

Lecture 30 Global Biomes Natural Vegetation Plant community that develops with little or no human interference. o Humans have dramatically changed the natural vegetation in many parts of the world. o Notion of natural vegetation refers to community that would develop without land alteration Biomes Natural vegetation types that are global in scale Largest recognizable subdivision of terrestrial ecosystems Attempt to classify terrestrial communities on basis of vegetation structure (physiognomy) Based on recognition that plant life forms (and 3D structure of plant communities) reflect the predominant influence of climate and soil Similar climate supports structurally and functionally similar vegetation across globe 5 major types (which can be further subdivided) o 1) FOREST dominated by trees with closednearly closed canopy (leafy area above forest) found in moist climates with at least 1 warm season Lowlatitude Rainforest Monsoon Forest Subtropical Evergreen Forest midlatitude deciduous forest leaves are shed in the winter needleleaf forest in winter drops its needle leaves which is unusual for coniferous trees but it is a deciduous tree species Sclerophyll Forest o 2) SAVANNA o 3)GRASSLAND Midlatitude and subtropical zones with welldefined summer and winter seasons. Tallgrass prairie Forbs (broadleaved herbs) also present. Shrubs and trees limited to river valleys. Mixed prairie (short and midgrass species) Steppe (shortgrass prairie o 4) DESERT o 5) TUNDRA Brief growing season exists when the soil thaws during the summer. The soil overlies permafrost; does not drain well Include small and dwarf plants, mosses and lichens. Arctic tundra found at high latitudes. Alpine tundra found at high elevations
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