Chapter 52: Ecology and the Distribution of Life (Lecture 19)
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Dr. K. Persaud
Lecture 19 (video)
Ecology and the Distribution of Life
What is Ecology?
The study of interactions between different species and the environment
Biotic and abiotic are enclosed within an ecosystemcommunity
How are Climates Distributed on Earth?
Climate: the average atmospheric condition over a long-term varies mainly due to
1.Angle that light hits the earth
2.Amount of earth’s atmosphere passed through
oHigher latitudes receive less solar energy than the equator
At about 30 degrees north and south air descends, picking up moisture
with increasing pressure (deserts)
Wind travels towards the equator creating, causing evaporations and
condensation near the tropics
Cooled air from the north and south to the equator meet at the
“intertropical convergence zone” where it rises and releases moisture
At 60 degrees north and south, air rises again, releasing moisture, and
descends at the poles (picking up moisture dry areas).
As the earth spins faster at the equator than poles. Air masses
deflected right in north hemisphere and left in the south hemisphere,
creating “westerlies” and “trade winds”
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•Influences how currents move
When air travels over a mountain, it releases a lot of water in the air,
and when it descends, it hits a “rain shadow” where the air takes away
the moisture making the other side of the mountain dry
What is Biome?
A biome is a terrestrial environment defined by the growth forms of its plants
oBiomes are defined by:
Patterns of temperature and precipitation strongly influence the
distribution of plants
Activity of different types of organisms throughout the year
Growth forms of plants, as well as patterns of species richness (# of
oTypes of Biomes:
•low temperature and precipitation: Arctic and at high
•relatively flat, and not much vegetation (shrubs)
•layer of permafrost: frozen layer under the soils that never
thaws and does not allow for drainage
•migratory animals, or hibernators
•Normal latitude, but lots of evergreens (no need to lose and
regrow leaves can quickly synthesize in summer)
•Cold, long winters, and short winters
Temperate Deciduous Forest
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