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Lecture 14

BIO120H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Shortgrass Prairie, Northern Hemisphere, Ecophysiology

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Spencer Barrett

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BIO 120 Lecture 14 Notes
General trends of terrestrial vegetation with climatic variables
Vegetation growth (primary productivity) increases with moisture
and temperature
Vegetation stature also increases (tall forests in wet places)
Regions with certain combinations of moisture and temperature
develop predictable, characteristic types of vegetation (biomes)
Seasonality is secondarily important
Biome types depend on combination of temperature and precipitation
Central America, Vietnam Tropical rainforest
Ontario  Temperate deciduous forest
Colorado  Boreal forest
Arizona  Subtropical desert
From highest productivity to lowest productivity
Latitude mostly determines major terrestrial biomes
Learn classi.cation in SFE
Additional climate patchiness overlaid on basic latitudinal belts
Land changes temperature more readily than water
Maritime climates are moderate (ocean)
Continental climates are extreme (big land mass)
Oceans provide thermal inertia (can absorb more heat, it’s
hard to change the temperature)
Where does atmosphere get laden with moisture
Where does it condenses?
Evaporation high from warm bodies of water
Low from cold bodies of water
Prevailing winds (+ or – 30 degrees, the wind comes
from the east, elsewhere it comes from the west)
Orogenic precipitation
oAir forced up mountainsides undergoes cooling,
precipitates on upper windward slopes
Rain shadows created on leeward slopes of mountain
Seasonality of moisture also important
Latitudinal patterns complicated by distribution of landmasses
Temperatures vary more in the Northern Hemisphere where the
moderating in:uence of water is less
Where are grapes and cherries grown in cold climates?
Maritime pockets reduce incidence of late frosts
The driest deserts occur inland of cold-water upwelling
Oceanic currents are bringing cold water from the bottom of the
sea up to the surface, so the surface of the ocean is very cold
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