Soils and Veg—Midterm Review
Plants are more complete organisms than animals, because they photosynthesize
and respire. They are the foundation of the trophic hierarchy, primary producers,
and they fix the sun’s energy into chemical energy that powers the biosphere.
We classify plants according to their size and age.
Scientific knowledge such as modern genetics and cell theory are built on the
study of plants.
Chronosequences assume that the same changes will take place at all sites.
We use Latin names to classify plants because of the fact that they only have one
correct botanical name/species, and Latin names are often descriptive. The old
system used to have 5 classifications, the new one has 3(animalia, plantae,
In the American west, during peak fire season, we can have dozens of fires per
day. There has been a recent increase here due to fire suppression along the
coast, climate change, and the availability of highly flammable fuels. Eucalyptus
are planted here, because humans like them, and they are highly flammable,
increasing the freq of forest fires. Climate change has added extra heat and
energy to grow fuels.
*Note: Lichens are not plants. They just behave similar to plants. They have a
symbiotic association with algae and fungus.
Two examples of vascular plants that reproduce via spores and not seeds are
clubmosses and horsetails.
Succession theory: divided into the traditional and modern view. Refer to key
table in Slide 1. Documenting succession is difficult because it occurs over long
periods of time. The most common methods are using repeated observations,
chronosequence studies, and experimental studies.
Factors of plant environments 1) Physical factors
-Climate is dependent on sunlight(insolation) and temperature
Assemblage: Group of plant species in a given location. Note that this is not a
community, because a community has mutual connections that may/may not
Association: a particular type of community that recurs. It has been described
repeatedly in several locations. Ex: maple-beech forest.
Angiosperms: Flowering plants. They emerged in the Cretaceous period, are
shrubs, vines, trees, and herbs, and they have vegetative and sexual reproduction.
They are divided into monocotyledons and dicotyledons. Note that angiosperms
outnumber conifers by 20:1.
Biogeography: the study of spatial patterns of organisms on Earth and their
Chloropeth maps: area occupied by species is circumscribed by an unbroken line,
often shaded within
Chaparral: a wet season followed by a dry one. We have wet tissues that build up
during the wet season, and dry during the dry season.
Dicot: 2 leaves at germination (unlike monocots that just have one leaf) that
developed from the cotyledon
Ecology: the scientific discipline concerned with the relationships of all kinds of
organisms with their environment.