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The physical environment.docx

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Biology 2483A
Robert Cumming

The physical environment Key concepts:  Climate is the most fundamental component of the physical environment  Winds and ocean currents result from differences in solar radiation across earth’s surface  Large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns establish global patterns of temperature and precipitation  Regional climates reflect the influence of the distribution of oceans and continents, mountains, and vegetation  Seasonal and long-term climatic variation are associated with changes in earths position relative to the sun  Salinity, acidity, and oxygen concentrations are major determinants of the chemical environment.  Grizzly bears feed on salmon migrating upstream to reproduce  Potential causes of salmon declines in the North Pacific Ocean: o dam construction, sediment from logging operations, water pollution, overharvesting  But the conditions of oceans, where salmon spend most time as adults, have also been implicated. o Hare and Francis (1994) studied fish harvest records and showed alternating periods of high and low production associated with climatic variation in the North Pacific.  A) sockeye salmon and B) pink salmon in Alaska over 65 years show abrupt drops and increase in production o Red lines indicate annual catch o Purple lines are a statistical fit for data  Mantua et al. (1997): Periods of high salmon production in Alaska correspon
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