BIOB50H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Permafrost, Lightning, Cactus

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
School
UTSC
Department
Biological Sciences
Course
BIOB50H3
Ecology Chapter 3: The Biosphere
Terrestrial Biomes
- Biomes are large-scale biological communities shaped by the physical environment where
they are found
- Biomes relies on similarities in the morphological responses of organisms to the physical
environment
- The tropics are characterized by high rainfall and warm, invariant temperatures
- Subfreezing temperatures during winter are an important climatic feature of the
temperature and polar zones
- Terrestrial communities vary considerably, from the warm and wet tropics to the cold and
dry polar regions
- Tropical forests have multiple verdant layers, high growth rates, and tremendous species
diversity
- Polar deserts have a scattered cover of tiny plants clinging to the ground (high winds, low
temperature, and dry soils)
- Terrestrial biomes are classified by the growth form (size and morphology) of the dominant
plants
- Plant growth are used to categorize terrestrial biomes over animal growth because they
must cope with the environmental extremes as well as biological pressures (such as
competition for water, nutrients, and light) so therefore plant growth is a good indicator of
the physical environment
- Deciduous leaves is one solution to seasonal exposure to subfreezing temperatures or
extended dry periods
- Trees and shrubs invest energy in woody tissues in order to increase their height
- The same plants or the ones closely related grow in similar climatic zones on different
continents even if the plants aren’t genetically related
- Convergence is the evolution of similar growth forms amount distantly related species in
response to similar selection pressures
- The tropics (between 23.5 N and S) are characterized by high rainfall and warm, invariant
temperatures
- Temperature influences the distribution of plant growth
- Locations of terrestrial biomes are correlated with these variations in temperature and
precipitation
- Land use change is the effects of and conversion and resource extraction by humans
- There are 9 terrestrial biomes discussed:
1) Tropical Rainforests:
- Experience warm, seasonally variant temperatures
- Plants grow continually through the year
- Seasonal climatic rhythms are absent
- Characterized by broad-leaver evergreen and deciduous trees
- Light is a key factor
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Document Summary

Biomes are large-scale biological communities shaped by the physical environment where they are found. Biomes relies on similarities in the morphological responses of organisms to the physical environment. The tropics are characterized by high rainfall and warm, invariant temperatures. Subfreezing temperatures during winter are an important climatic feature of the temperature and polar zones. Terrestrial communities vary considerably, from the warm and wet tropics to the cold and dry polar regions. Tropical forests have multiple verdant layers, high growth rates, and tremendous species diversity. Polar deserts have a scattered cover of tiny plants clinging to the ground (high winds, low temperature, and dry soils) Terrestrial biomes are classified by the growth form (size and morphology) of the dominant plants. Deciduous leaves is one solution to seasonal exposure to subfreezing temperatures or extended dry periods. Trees and shrubs invest energy in woody tissues in order to increase their height.

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