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Lecture 2

REN R440 Lecture 2: Lecture 2

3 Pages

Renewable Resources
Course Code
REN R440
Nadir Erbilgin

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Ren R 440: Lecture 2 -most common terrestrial habitats: grasslands, forest (temperate, tropical etc.), wetlands -how they are defined: plant structure, vegetation types, conifers vs deciduous, climate -which are the most sensitive: water bodies, tundra, rainforest, wetlands, peatlands (specially adapted organisms, carbon sinks) -terrestrial habitats have been affected by anthropogenic disturbance, but with different severities and scales (temporal and spatial), these disturbances influence biotic processes from competition to evolution, there’s no single disturbance in one place, so interactions b/w disturbances are key -human alteration of disturbance regimes can be intentional or unintentional Natural disturbances & their major habitat alterations: -volcanoesdestroy biota, create new landscapes, fertilize -earthquakesdamage biota, alter topography -dunesbury soil, provides unstable, new environments -erosioncreates heterogeneity, fewer nutrients, more light -glaciersexpose new, unstable terrain, alter topography -cyclonesdamage biota, cause erosion, create community gaps -floodsdisrupt topography, rearrange nutrients and soil -insect & pathogen outbreaksmake plants vulnerable to other disturbances, promote species diversity -droughtsdestroy susceptible, but promote tolerant, biota -firesrecycle nutrients, create gaps, alter microsites Soil: a mixture of minerals and organic matter, includes gas, water, bacteria, animals, it’s formation is a process that takes millennia -disturbances affect soil chemistry, microbial community, and structure (physical characteristics and texture) -soil is a critical factor in the response of ecosystems to disturbance -soil profile made up of: A-surface horizon, B-subsoil, C-substratum, O-organic horizon can be on surface or buried, E-horizons that have suffered the loss of minerals through eluviation, R-hard bedrock, which is not yet soil Soil disturbances: animal burrows loosen soil which improves water percolation and aeration, grazing compacts soil and decreases aeration flooding decreases aeration, leading to erosion and anoxic conditions wind causes erosion and creates land formations by depositing air borne soil ash and dust particles fire deposits a layer of C rendering soil impermeable agriculture and human activity leads to compaction, agricultural pesticides and herbicides can affect microbial communities in soil, logging also causes compaction and soil erosion and plant water relationships Natural Disturbance effects volcanoes: most intense natural disturbance, no human lava is highly nutritious, leads to unique impacts: destruction then full succession, but establishment is slow as they must disperse from surrounding undisturbed vegetation, followed by aerial dispersion of insects and birds earthquakes: affect 1% of terrestrial habitats, can be natural, but can also be precipitated by human activity such as fracking, construction, blasts at mines, can cause widespread mortality, landslides and sedimentation, can cause tsunamis when the ocean floor is displaced dunes: become disturbances when they bury ecosystems in their path, cover 7% of the earth land mass, coastal dunes are subject to water erosion, whereas terrestrial dunes are subject to wind erosion, depositions and droughts, can have diverse flora and fauna adapted to the unstable conditions (extensive rhizomes in plants, salt water tolerance), once dune plants are established, animals and insects can become established as well, dunes can remain unstable for thousands of years erosion: can be triggered by glacial melting, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, heavy and prolonged rainfall, effects 10% of land mass, human activities that remove vegetation and disrupt soil can cause erosion, recovery of flora and fauna can be the most rapid in the deposition zone insect & pathogen outbreaks: integral to heterogeneity, but they can cause significant biomass loss and alter community and ecosystem dynamics, human altered co
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