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Plant Ecology - Chapter 17. Climate & Physiognomy. The Abiotic Components of Ecosystems. 1) Outside energy source 2) Physical factors that determine weather, climate 3) Chemicals essential for life. Outside Energy Source. Powers photosynthesis. Warms earth. Powers water cycle.

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Plant ecology chapter 17

Plant Ecology - Chapter 17

Climate & Physiognomy


The abiotic components of ecosystems
The Abiotic Components of Ecosystems

1) Outside energy source

2) Physical factors that determine

weather, climate

3) Chemicals essential for life


Outside energy source
Outside Energy Source

Powers

photosynthesis

Warms earth

Powers water

cycle


Physical factors that determine weather climate
Physical factors that determineweather, climate

Heat

Wind

Precipitation

Topography


Heat

  • Location

  • Reflection

  • Retention






Heat

  • Daily temperatures can also vary dramatically in some habitats

  • Deserts - dry air, loses heat rapidly

  • High altitudes - thinner “blanket” of atmosphere


Heat

  • Long-term changes in earth’s orbit, position

  • Collectively produce Croll-Milankovic effects on climate

  • Orbit shape change

  • Affects range of seasonal variation


Heat

  • Degree of tilt

  • Affects range of seasonal variation


Heat

  • Direction of the tilt - the “wobble”

  • Changes which hemisphere is pointed toward sun when orbit is closest to sun

  • Affects severity of seasonal shift


Wind and precipitation
Wind and Precipitation

  • Uneven heating

  • Ascending, descending air masses - Hadley cell


Modifiers
Modifiers

  • Rotation of the globe - Coriolis effect

  • Hadley, Ferrel cells, jet streams


Modifiers1
Modifiers

  • Ocean currents, gyres induced by surface air mass movements


Modifiers2
Modifiers

  • Topography - mountains

  • Rain shadows


Modifiers3
Modifiers

  • Topography - lakes

  • Lake effect precipitation


Modifiers4
Modifiers

Annual precipitation




Multi year patterns
Multi-year Patterns

3-7-year El Nino

Southern Oscillation


Multi year patterns1
Multi-year Patterns

  • Combined ocean currents and jet stream


Multi year patterns2
Multi-year Patterns

El Nino

  • Milder winters along US-Canada border

  • Increased winter storms in California

  • Floods in SE, snow in SW mountains

  • Decreased hurricane activity in Atlantic


Multi year patterns3
Multi-year Patterns

La Nina

  • More, stronger tornadoes in Midwest

  • More, stronger hurricanes

  • Drought, forest fires in SW


Plant physiognomy
Plant Physiognomy

  • North-south gradient in vegetation form due to temperature

  • West-east changes in response to precipitation


Plant physiognomy1
Plant Physiognomy

  • Evergreen broadleaf

  • Deciduous broadleaf

  • Evergreen coniferous

  • Tree line


Plant physiognomy2
Plant Physiognomy

  • Tree line climate can produce strange tree forms - krummholz

  • Atypical growth pattern resulting from borderline growth conditions - mean annual soil temps. <5-8°C, air temps. ~10°C


Plant physiognomy3
Plant Physiognomy

  • Gradual transition from west to east, grassland to woodland to forest

  • Changes in amount, seasonality of rainfall


Plant physiognomy4
Plant Physiognomy

  • East of Rockies, start with short-grass prairie

  • Low-growing clumps of grass with bare patches between clumps


Plant physiognomy5
Plant Physiognomy

  • Gradual shift from midgrass prairie to tallgrass prairie in Nebraska/Iowa

  • Taller grasses, forbs, more diversity and biomass

  • Follows pattern of increasing rainfall


Plant physiognomy6
Plant Physiognomy

  • Further east - trees appear in places other than along streams

  • Woodlands - dominated by trees, but without a closed canopy (oak savanna)


Plant physiognomy7
Plant Physiognomy

  • Forests appear near Illinois-Indiana border

  • Continue to the east coast


Plant physiognomy8
Plant Physiognomy

  • Seasonality of precipitation (spring and fall) and warmer temperatures increase chance of drought in grasslands


Plant physiognomy9
Plant Physiognomy

  • Mid-, tall-grass prairies experience fire every 3-5 years (too little combustible material in short-grass prairie)

  • Trees can’t survive frequent fires (apical meristems)


Plant physiognomy10
Plant Physiognomy

  • Woodlands appear where fire frequency is low enough to allow trees to grow tall enough to avoid fire

  • Still are more fire-tolerant species


Plant physiognomy11
Plant Physiognomy

  • Precipitation in forests is high enough to keep fire frequency low


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