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Chapter 52

Chapter 52: Ecology and Distribution of Life

13 Pages
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Department
Biological Sciences
Course Code
BIOA02H3
Professor
Kamini Persaud

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CHAPTER 52: ECOLOGY AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF LIFE
52.1 What is Ecology?
Ecology the scientific study of the rich and varied interaction between
organisms and their environment.
Community any ecologically integrated group of species of
microorganisms, plants, and animals inhabiting a given area.
Ecosystem the organisms of a particular habitat, such as a pond or forest,
together with the physical environment in which they live.
Biosphere all regions of Earth (terrestrial and aquatic) and Earths
atmosphere in which organisms can live.
Environment whatever surrounds and interacts with a population,
organism, or cell. May be external or internal encompasses both abiotic
(physical and chemical) factors, such as water, light, temperature, and biotic
factors (living organisms).
Abiotic nonliving
Biotic alive
Organisms both influence and are influenced by their environment.
Climate is one of the abiotic factors that determines what kinds of organisms
can survuce and reproduce in a particular place.
52.2 How are Climates Distributed on Earth?
Climate the average of the atmospheric conditions (temperature,
precipitation, wind direction, and velocity) found in a region overtime.
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Weather is the short-term state of those atmospheric conditions (climate).
Therefore climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.
Climates vary greatly from place to place on Earth, primarily because
different places receive different amounts of solar energy.
Atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns are the factors that most
strongly influence climates.
Solar Energy Drives Global Change:
The differences on air temperature among different places on Earth are
largely determined by differences in solar energy input.
Every place on Earth receives same total #s of hours of sunlight each year
an average of 12 hours per day but not same amount of solar energy. Rate at
which solar energy arrives on Earths surface depends primarily on the angle of
sunlight. If sun low in sky, a given amount of solar energy is spread over a
larger area (and therefore less intense) than if the sun is directly overhead.
When sun is low in sky, its light must pass through more of Earths
atmosphere, so more of its energy is absorbed and reflected before it reaches the
ground. Therefore higher latitudes (closer to poles) receive less solar energy
than latitudes closer to the equator.
On average, mean annual air temperature decreases 0.4 ° C for every degree
of latitude (110 km) at sea level.
Ait temperature also decreases with elevation. As air rises, it expands (its
molecules move farther apart), its pressure and temperature drops, and it
releases moisture.
When air descends, it is compressed, its pressure rises, its temperature
increases, and it takes up moisture.
Global air circulation patterns result from global variation in solar energy
input and from the spinning of Earth on its axis.
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Warm air rises in the tropics when it is heated by the sun; air from the
tropics receives the greatest solar energy input. This rising air is replaced by air
that flows in toward the equator from the north and south.
Intertropical convergence zone the tropical region where the air rises
most strongly; moves north and south with the passage of the sun overhead.
Cool air can`t hold as much moisture as warm air, so heavy rains fall in the
intertropical convergence zone as the rising air cools and releases its moisture.
At the poles, where there is little solar energy input, air descends. These
movements of the air masses are largely responsible for global wind patterns.
Spinning of the earth on its axis also influences surface winds because
earth`s velocity is rapid at the equator, where its diameter is greatest, but
relatively slow close to the poles.
As an air mass moves toward equator, it confronts an increasingly faster spin,
and its rotational movements are slower than that of earth beneath it.
As an mass moves pole ward, it confronts an increasingly slower spin, and it
speeds up relative to earth beneath it.
Air masses moving latitudinally are deflected to the right in the Northern
Hemisphere, and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.
Air masses moving toward equator from north and south veer to become the
westerly winds that prevail at mind-latitudes.
When air masses are brought into contact with a mountain range, the air
rises to pass over the mountains, cooling as it does so. Therefore clouds
frequently form on the windward side of the mountains (side facing into the
winds) and release moisture as rain or snow. On leeward side (opposite from
direction of winds) of mountains, the now-dry air descends, warms and once
again picks up moisture.
Rainshadow the relatively dry area on the leeward side of a mountain
range.
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Description
CHAPTER 52: ECOLOGY AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF LIFE 52.1 What is Ecology? Ecology the scientific study of the rich and varied interaction between organisms and their environment. Community any ecologically integrated group of species of microorganisms, plants, and animals inhabiting a given area. Ecosystem the organisms of a particular habitat, such as a pond or forest, together with the physical environment in which they live. Biosphere all regions of Earth (terrestrial and aquatic) and Earths atmosphere in which organisms can live. Environment whatever surrounds and interacts with a population, organism, or cell. May be external or internal encompasses both abiotic (physical and chemical) factors, such as water, light, temperature, and biotic factors (living organisms). Abiotic nonliving Biotic alive Organisms both influence and are influenced by their environment. Climate is one of the abiotic factors that determines what kinds of organisms can survuce and reproduce in a particular place. 52.2 How are Climates Distributed on Earth? Climate the average of the atmospheric conditions (temperature, precipitation, wind direction, and velocity) found in a region overtime. www.notesolution.com Weather is the short-term state of those atmospheric conditions (climate). Therefore climate is what you expect, weather is what you get. Climates vary greatly from place to place on Earth, primarily because different places receive different amounts of solar energy. Atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns are the factors that most strongly influence climates. Solar Energy Drives Global Change: The differences on air temperature among different places on Earth are largely determined by differences in solar energy input. Every place on Earth receives same total #s of hours of sunlight each year an average of 12 hours per day but not same amount of solar energy. Rate at which solar energy arrives on Earths surface depends primarily on the angle of sunlight. If sun low in sky, a given amount of solar energy is spread over a larger area (and therefore less intense) than if the sun is directly overhead. When sun is low in sky, its light must pass through more of Earths atmosphere, so more of its energy is absorbed and reflected before it reaches the ground. Therefore higher latitudes (closer to poles) receive less solar energy than latitudes closer to the equator. On average, mean annual air temperature decreases 0.4 C for every degree of latitude (110 km) at sea level. Ait temperature also decreases with elevation. As air rises, it expands (its molecules move farther apart), its pressure and temperature drops, and it releases moisture. When air descends, it is compressed, its pressure rises, its temperature increases, and it takes up moisture. Global air circulation patterns result from global variation in solar energy input and from the spinning of Earth on its axis. www.notesolution.com
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