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Lecture Notes Biomes

6 Pages

Biological Sciences Program
Course Code
BSCI 106

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Biomes 09/05/2012 Biomes – major groupings of plant and animal communities defined by dominant vegetation Each biome associated with distinctive abiotic conditions Terrestrial biomes depend on climate. Term “Biome” not usually applied to aquatic systems – but they can also be divided into types by  abiotic parameters Aquatic Biomes Occupy the largest part of the biosphere Environment Affects Distribution of Organisms in Aquatic Communities 5 major environmental factors temperature nutrient supply light intensity salinity type of bottom Light decreases with depth Marine Biomes Salt concentration of up to 3% Cover approximately 75% of the Earth’s surface Ocean has lower species diversity than does land All phyla represented in oceans, but only a few species of each 2  Biomes In contrast, few phyla represented on land, but many species in each phyla Marine zonation Neritic zone – shallow waters along coasts Relatively large number of species Nutrients from runoff leads to high productivity (great fisheries) Interactions between land and sea, transition zone from ocean to land Organisms pre­adapted to life on land due to desiccation resistance Intertidal zone (part of Neritic) – area between low and high tide 3 different types, depending on substrate mudflats water moves slowly mangrove swamps and salt marshes hatcheries and nurseries of many marine animals (shrimp, flounder, fish) nesting and feeding spots for waterfowl sand less stable than mudflats water moves faster rocky more diverse than mudflats or sand substrate for anchoring of sessile animals and algae desiccation and wave action result in distinct zonation Biomes 3 Coral reefs (tropical neritic zones) Nutrient­poor waters Productivity dependent upon photosynthesis Clear water aids symbiotic algae Photic zone 100­200m from surface – light penetrates phytoplankton accounts for 40% of Earth’s photosynthesis heterotrophic organisms (nekton or zooplankton) also abundant productivity may be underestimated due to rapid turnover Benthic zone Ocean bottom In neretic zone – can have anchored algae In peagic zone – fed by rain of nutrients Bacteria, fungi, seaweed and filamentous algae, numerous invertebrates, and fish Abyssal zone Area twice that of exposed land masses Covered by thick layer of fine mud Dependent on material sinking fro
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