ENV200 Chap 6 Notes Textbook Notes (Ecosystems in the Environment)

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University of Toronto St. George
School of Environment
Karen Ing

ENV200 Chapter 6Ecosystems in the Environment 1Biome y Large distinct terrestrial region with similar climate soil plants and animals regardless of where it occurs in the world y Classified differently around world by factors such as plant structures trees grasses leaf types plant spacing forest woodland savanna and climatey Encompasses many interacting ecosystemsy Near poles temperature is the overriding climate factor defining a biome y In temperate and tropical regions precipitation is more significant than temperaturey Elevation also affects biomes y Changes in vegetation with increasing elevation resemble changes in vegetation observed in going from warmer to colder climates Worlds terrestrial biomes y Tundra boreal forest temperate deciduous forest and temperate rainforest temperate grassland chaparral desert tropical rainforest tropical dry forest savanna mountains with complex zonation Tundra y Occurs in extreme Northern latitudes where snow melts seasonallyy Very low annual precipitation1025 cmdead leaves stems feces y Soils are nutrient poor and have little detritusy Layer of permafrost permanently frozen ground varies in thickness and depth y Supports few species compared with other biomesy Species that do exist here often exist in large numbers y Mosses lichens grasses are the dominant plantsy Student trees and shrubs grow only in sheltered locations y Plants seldom grow taller than 30 cm y Tundra recovers slowly from even small disturbancesy Harsh cold winters and extremely short summers Boreal forest y Is a region of coniferous forest pine spruce fir in the northern hemisphere y Located just south of the tundra y Also called taiga y Winters are extremely cold and severe not as harsh as Tundra 50 cmy Low annual precipitationy Soil is acidic and mineral poor with thick surface layer of partly decomposed tree needles y Conifers conebearing evergreens dominate and have drought resistant adaptations like needle leavesy Mammals are small to medium sizedy Worlds top source of industrial wood Temperate rainforest Coast forest y Occurs on the Northwest coast of North America y Coniferous biome with cool weather and dense fog 200380 cmy High annual precipitation
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