Global climate classification and vegetation relationships
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Global Climate Classification and Vegetation Relationships. Weather vs. Climate. Weather short-term condition of the atmosphere days, weeks meteorologists Climate long-term (30 year) average of weather conditions and extremes climatologists. Climate Determinants.

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Global Climate Classification and Vegetation Relationships

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Global Climate Classification and Vegetation Relationships


Weather vs. Climate

  • Weather

    • short-term condition of the atmosphere

    • days, weeks

    • meteorologists

  • Climate

    • long-term (30 year) average of weather conditions and extremes

    • climatologists


Climate Determinants

  • Insolation and Temperature

    • latitude, altitude, land-water, ocean currents, mountain barriers

  • Precipitation

    • Air pressure (ITCZ and Subtropical Highs)

    • Air mass influences

    • Prevailing winds


The Köppen Climate Classification

  • ATropical (equatorial regions)

  • BDeserts (arid, semiarid)

  • CMesothermal (mild winter)

  • DMicrothermal (boreal, cold winter))

  • E Polar (always cold)

  • H Highland (mountains, plateaus)


The Köppen Climate Classification

3 letter system

First letter = temperature

Second letter = precipitation

Third letter = finer shades of temp

Csb = mediterranean

C = middle latitude temps

s = summer dry

b = warm summers (as opposed to hot [a])


Reading a Climograph


Koppen’s Categories


Climate Regions


Vegetation Regions


Tropical Climates (A)


Tropical Climates (A)

  • 1/3 of Earth’s total surface (about 20 ºN to 20 ºS)

  • Consistently warm (all months > 18ºC/64.4 ºF)

  • Daily temp range exceeds annual temp range

  • Subcategories based on rainfall (ITCZ influence)

  • Subcategories based on rainfall distribution:

  • Tropical rainforest (Af)

  • Tropical savanna (Aw)


Tropical Rainforest (Af)

  • High rainfall all year (>2” / month)

  • Warm every month

  • Precipitation exceeds evaporation.

  • Straddles Equator by 5o - 10o


Tropical Rainforest (Af)

  • Vegetation : Highest average biomass on earth. Highest biodiversity on earth!Thousands of species, tall trees, many canopy layers, evergreen, broadleaf trees, epiphytes, lianas (vines), climbers, stranglers, ferns

  • Fauna:More species than all other biomes combined!, colorful insects, amphibians, reptiles, and birds, few large animals, high density of biomass and incredible species diversity

  • Other: Among most threatened biomes


  • Lianas

    Epiphytes

    Buttresses


    Deforestation, Malaysia

    Strangler Fig

    3-Toed Sloth, Panama


    Savanna (Aw) – Tropical Grassland Climates

    • The tropical wet and dry or savanna (Aw) has an extended dry season during winter.

    • Region/Distribution: Subequatorial Africa, and South America, Southern India (25° N and S Latitude)

    • Vegetation: Continuous cover of grasses, scattered trees or shrubs

    • Other: Susceptible to desertification

    Masai Reserve, Kenya

    Acacia and Wildebeest Serengeti Plain, Tanzania


    Dry / Semiarid Climates (B)

    • Occupy about 1/3 of Earth’s land area (Most extensive climate over land surface)

    • Evaporation exceeds precipitation (water deficit)

    • Subcategories

      • Desert (BW)

      • Steppe (BS)


    Dry Arid / Semiarid Climates (B)


    Deserts (BW): dry


    • Temperature:

    • Widest range: up to 100oF/day!

    • Hot at low latitudes, wide variation at higher latitudes

    Deserts (BW):

    • Precipitation:

    • Scarce: <10 inches/year

    • Unreliable: wide variation from average

    • Intense: convective downpours

    • Desert Causation:

    • High Pressure Cells and resultant stability

    • Rainshadows


    True Deserts (BW)

    • Vegetation: Widely scattered thorny bushes, cacti, small flowers, extensive shallow roots or long tap roots, shrubs, succulents

    • Fauna: Many rodents, lizards, toads, snakes and other reptiles, many birds, owls, vultures, many insects (adaptive strategies)

    • Other: Deserts cover roughly 1/3 of earth. May be growing due to desertification.

    • Steppe: semi-arid high elevation or high latitude


    Desert Plant Survival Strategies

    • schlerophyllousadaptations - small, waxy leaves or thorns replace leaves

    • succulents - stems modified to spongy water storage structures

    • ephemerals(obligate seeders) - fast reproductive cycle

    • wide spacing with shallow roots - collect sparse rainfall


    Death Valley, CA


    Anza-Borrego State Park, CA Winter 2004/2005


    Organ Pipe CactusOrgan Pipe National Monument, Arizona


    Steppe (BS): temperate grasslands

    • more precipitation than BW

    • narrower temperature ranges

    • grasslands


    Temperate Grassland/Steppe (BS)

    • Region/Distribution: Central North America, parts of Africa, Australia, SE South America (Pampas)

    • Soil: very fertile soils, best on earth

    • Vegetation: Grass tall to short prairie, pampas, steppe. Sod forming grasses, Sparse bushes, occasional trees in some areas

    • Fauna: large grazing animals, bison, antelope, wild horses, kangaroos, giraffes, burrowing animals: rabbits, prairies dogs…; predators: coyotes, lions, leopards…...

    • Other: Most N. American grasslands have been converted to agricultural fields. Wild grazers replaced by cattle, sheep, goats. Less than 1% of original grasses left.


    Mesothermal Climates/Temperate (C)

    • True seasonality (air mass conflict)

    • Subdivisions based on precipitation variation

      • Humid Subtropical (Cfa)

      • Mediterranean (Cs)

    Humid Subtropical

    Broad-leaf Deciduous Forest Allegheny Mtns., Pennsylvania

    Mediterranean Coastal Sage ScrublandChannel Islands N.P., California


    Subtropical Forest Sarasota, Florida

    Mesothermal Climates (C)

    Humid Subtropical (Cfa)Mediterranean (Cs)


    Humid SubtropicalMidlatitude Forests

    • Hot summer, substantial year-round precipitation

    • Low latitude east coasts (warm currents).

    • Summer max precipitation.

    • Cold spells; seasonality.

    Cfa - New Orleans, LA


    Temperate Broad-leafed Forest (Deciduous)

    • Region/Distribution: Western Europe, East Asia, Eastern U.S.. Between 30-50° north or south

    • Soil: brown soils, good for agriculture

    • Vegetation: Broad-leafed deciduous trees, (120-150’ tall), oaks, hickories, maples, …

    • Fauna: mammals such as white tail deer, porcupines, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, most carnivores eliminated by hunting i.e. wolf, mountain lion, bobcat; many birds; frogs and salamanders, snakes

    • Other: Plants and animals well adapted to seasonality including hibernation, migration


    Mediterranean

    • Dry summers (shifting subtropical highs)

    • Surrounds Mediterranean

    • Also on west coasts near 30o N and S (Australia, S. Africa, Chile)


    Mediterranean

    • Region/Distribution: West coast and Central California, SW. Australia, tip of S. Africa, West Peru. Chile, Mediterranean (good wine places!)

    • Vegetation: Scrubland, scattered trees (oaks, eucalyptus), grasses. Fire tolerant, sclerophyllous (hard-leafed) evergreens, chaparral (scrubby evergreen)

    • Fauna: Burrowers like ground squirrels, gophers; deer, mountain lions, coyotes, many birds

    • Other: Susceptible to fire during dry season, some species need fire to regenerate; susceptible to erosion and desertification, development; threatened biome


    Chaparral


    Manzanita


    Microthermal Climates (D)

    Only found in Northern Hemisphere


    Subarctic Climates (Boreal or Taiga)

    • 50o-70o N latitude

    • long, bitterly cold winters

    • highest annual temp range: up to 100O F

    • Great annual temperature ranges (continentality, air mass conflicts)

    Dw – Calgary, Canada


    Coniferous (Boreal) Forest – Koppen D

    • Region/Distribution: Northern parts of North America, Europe and Asia, South So. America, much of Russia

    • Vegetation: Coniferous (mostly evergreen) forest, ex. Spruce, Fir, Pine, Larch, needle-leaved

    • Fauna: Large herbivores: moose, elk; small herbivores: squirrels snowshoe hare, beaver; Predators: wolves, foxes, bears, lynx, weasel family; Mosquitoes in summer

    • Other: Acid rain, logging , oil drilling, hunting of predators


    Fir Trees, Alaska

    Spruce Needles

    British Columbia


    Polar Climates (E)- all months < 50OF


    Polar Climates (E)- all months < 50OF

    • Tundra (ET)

      • warmest month 32-50F

    • Ice caps (EF)

      • warmest month below 32F

    • Both have very low precipitation


    Koppen Classification: ET


    TundraRegion/Distribution:North of the Boreal Forest, high latitudes of northern hemisphere in a belt around the Arctic Ocean, near the coast Soil: Permafrost, no true soil development Vegetation: Low growing lichens, mosses, grasses, sedges, dwarf shrubs, small plants typically ground hugging or warmth preserving in some wayFauna: Small burrowing mammals, lemmings, also foxes, lynx, owls, grizzly bear, caribou and musk ox: migrants Other: many insects in summer, standing water


    Highland Climates (H)

    How are these like the poles? How different?


    Highland Climates (H)

    How are these like the polar regions? How are they different?

    • Lower temperatures

    • More moisture available

    • More insolation

    • High winds in both


    Where in the world?


    Koppen Af - Hilo, Hawaii

    *


    Where in the world?


    Koppen Dfd - Verkhoyansk, Russia (67.4 N, 133.3 E)

    *


    Where in the world?


    Koppen Af - Iquitos, Peru (3.4 S, 73.2 W)

    *


    Where in the world?


    Koppen Dfa - West Point, NY

    *


    Where in the world?


    Koppen Csb - San Francisco, California

    *


    Where in the world?


    Koppen Cfa - Sydney, Australia Elev: 62 ft    Lat: 33 52' S    Long: 151 02' E


    Where in the world?


    Koppen Csb - Santiago, Chile

    Elev: 1706 ft    Lat: 33 27' S    Long: 70 42'W

    *


    Where in the world?


    Koppen BW - Phoenix, AZ Elev: 337.4 m    Lat: 33 26'N    Long: 112 00'W


    Where in the world?


    Koppen Aw - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Elev: 61.3 m    Lat: 22 55' S    Long: 43 12'W


    The Köppen Climate Classification

    • ATropical (equatorial regions)

    • BDeserts (arid, semiarid)

    • CMesothermal (mild winter)

    • DMicrothermal (boreal, cold winter)

    • E Polar (always cold)

    • H Highland (mountains, plateaus)


    The Köppen Climate Classification

    • ATropical (equatorial regions)

    • BDeserts (arid, semiarid)

    • CMesothermal (mild winter)

    • DMicrothermal (boreal, cold winter)

    • E Polar (always cold)

    • H Highland (mountains, plateaus)


    Riparian Vegetation

    • Vegetation that grows along water courses.

    • Often supports richer diversity of plant and animal life, including more hardwood trees in a dry environment.


    Vertical Zonation of Vegetation


    Vegetation Succession

    Climax Stage

    Pioneer Stage

    Occurs after disturbances: fires, storms, landslides, etc.


    • California Invasive Species: Old World Grape, livestock, Eucalyptus (Gum Trees), wild hog, mustards, horse, Mediterranean grasses/mustards

    • Methods of Transfer

      • Domesticated animals (fur, droppings)

      • Ornamentals

      • International tourism/migrations (New Zealand)

    • Problems with Invasives

      • Often out-compete native species.

      • Don’t provide habitat for local fauna.

      • Upset balance of ecosystem.

    Ecological Invasions


    The American Chestnut

    100 feet tall, thick symmetrical branches, over an acre of greenery, about a million lush leaves in all. Massive quantities of protein-rich nuts.

    In 1904 a handful of Asian chestnut trees were planted in New York City at the Bronx Zoo. An Asian chestnut blight quickly destroyed over 99.99 percent of the American Chestnut population - almost all of four billion trees - annihilating at least six specialized insect species, decimating wild turkey populations, and depriving humans of a priceless resource in a single generation.

    This loss represented one fourth of the tree cover in the Appalachians!


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