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BIO120H1 (305)
Chapter 5

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University of Toronto St. George
James Thomson

Chapter 5The Biome Concept in Ecology 87104 B 105110 DConvergence when unrelated organisms begin to resemble each other due to similar environmental pressures Biomes a system of categorizing ecosystems based on climate conditions and overall type of vegetation Ecosystems around the world which belong to the same type of biome often have similar types of vegetation The fact that biomes can be distinguished from one another is evidence that different plants have different ranges of tolerance In addition to range of tolerance interaction between species mutualism predation competition combined with history and mere chance define distribution of vegetation It is impossible to understand the adaptations that plants have without understanding the environment in which they live as these adaptations are a product of said environment Vegetation in different biomes varies not simply in its type but also its distribution this means that different areas of the planet are affected by vegetation the stresses they place on soil their water needs animal communities etc differently Terrestrial environments are mainly defined by temperature and moisture These two variables largely affect the type of vegetation that grows in different areas Specific types of plants may on a finer scale also show preference for particular topography different types of soil levels of drainage etc At a broad scale one can define the boundaries of different biomes by their climate zones defined by annual temperature and precipitation This system was created by Heinrich Walter who classified climate zones into nine categories I equatorial tropical rainforest always moist and lacking temperature seasonality always warm evergreen tropical rain forest II tropical tropical seasonal forestsavanna summer rainy season dry winter season seasonal forest scrubs or savanna III subtropical hot desert subtropical desert highly seasonal dry desert vegetation
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