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Welcome
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Welcome

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  1. Welcome • Grant from National Science Foundation: Fire, Atmospheric pCO2, and Climate as Alternative Primary Controls of C4-Grass Abundance: The Late-Quaternary Perspective • Overall Goals • Build on core ecosystem concepts through current research • Develop a framework for engaging students in critical thinking and active learning about ecology • Provide dynamic educational tools, lesson ideas, and online resources • Build bridges between science educators, scientists, and students • Schedule • Day 1: Ecosystems (Present) • Day 2: Paleo-ecology (Past) • Day 3: Climate Change (Future)

  2. “The past is a key to the future” http://angielskidlakazdego.blox.pl/resource/family_tree3_pop.jpg

  3. Last 50 years History of atmospheric CO2 concentrations Last 12,000 years 12,000 0 Last 650,000 years 650,000 0 Images from IPCC. 2007.

  4. “The past is a key to the future” Primary succession in habitat with no history of plants or soil • Characterize processes that occur over tens to thousands of years • Baseline information; variability • Identify phenomena outside our range of experience (e.g. novel communities, rapid changes) • Responses to environmental change • Testing models used to predict future changes

  5. What are ecosystems? • Ecological systems • All of the organisms (plants, animals, microbes) and the abiotic (sun, soil) environment with which they interact • Community + physical & chemical environment • These factors vary over space & time • They provide goods & services (clean air, food, habitat)

  6. Examples of ecosystems

  7. Ecosystem properties • Structure • Diversity (species richness, evenness) • Species composition (relative abundance) • Soil type • Function • Productivity • Decomposition • Carbon uptake • Nitrogen cycling

  8. Ecosystem structure: latitudinal gradients in diversity

  9. Ecosystem function: Net Primary Production (blue = water green = land) % area X NPP/area = % of total NPP

  10. Biodiversity influences ecosystem function Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota Biomass (post/pre drought) Pre-drought species richness Tilman and Downing. 1994.

  11. Ecosystem Function Energy Flows: sun producers  consumers  decomposers Elements/Nutrients Cycle : Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Phosphorus http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/kling/ecosystem/ecosystem.html

  12. Energy flow: food & trophic relationships Consumers (heterotrophs) Producers (autotrophs)

  13. Food energy available to humans

  14. Carbon cycle Buried carbonate 60,000

  15. Biome: a major type of terrestrial community categorized by its dominant plant form, seasonality of leaves, leaf morphology, latitude.

  16. Geography of biomes

  17. Geography of grass-dominated biomes Jacobs et al. 1999.

  18. Importance of grasslands

  19. Photosynthetic pathways Calvin Benson cycle in C3plants RUBISCO also binds with O2, especially at high temperatures (photorespiration)

  20. Controls of biome distributions and ecosystem processes