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Ecosystems & Biodiversity
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the process of solar radiation striking Earth, being converted to infrared radiation, and being absorbed and re-emitted by atmospheric gases
what are the most prevalent greenhouse gases?
H2O and CO2
is the greenhouse effect beneficial?
only when it's naturally occurring
what effect have humans had on the greenhouse effect?
we have increased the concentration of CO2, CH4 and N2O through fossil fuels, agriculture, and landfills + produced unnatural gases
the fraction of solar energy reflected by an object (low=absorbing more light, high=reflecting more light)
to what degree is the axis of the Earth tilted?
the latitude receiving the most direct rays of the sun (not the same location all the time)
atmospheric convection currents
the circulation of air between the surface of Earth and the amosphere
limit of the amount of water vapor that air can contain
the cooling effect of reduced pressure on air as it rises higher and expands (results in rain)
the heating effect of increased pressure on air as it sinks down and decreases in volume
latent heat release
when water vapor is converted back to liquid, water releases energy in form of heat and warms air
the main deserts are all at what location on Earth?
30 degrees north and 30 degrees south
the two circulation cells of air between the equator and 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south latitudes
intertropical convergence zone
the area where the two Hadley cells converge and cause large amounts of precipitation
what determines the location of the ITCZ?
the location of the solar equator
atmospheric convection currents between 60 degree and 90 degree latitudes that are similar to Hadley cells
the deflection of an object's path due to the rotation of the Earth
northeast trade winds
winds that blow from the northeast to southwest
southeast trade winds
winds that blow from the southeast to northwest
winds in mid-latitudes that move from west to east
what do ocean currents do?
distribute unequal heating of Earth's water and influence the location of different climates
which way does warm tropical water circulate?
away from the equator on eastern reaches
which way does cold polar water circulate?
towards the equator on western reaches
large-scale water circulation pattern between continents
upward movement of water (cold water from ocean depths is drawn upward, typically happens on western coasts)
oceanic water circulation
cold water is forced equatorward from the poles along west coasts of major continents, results in coastal deserts
El Nino-Southern oscillation
trade winds reverse, moving warm water in the opposite direction
a global pattern of surface and deep water currents that flow as a result of variations in temp and salinity that change the density of water
is there more precipitation in Northern or Southern hemisphere?
Southern hemisphere because there is more water in the Southern hemisphere and water generates precipitation
a region with dry conditions because mountains cause the winds to lose their moisture before reaching it
moist subtropical mid-latitude climate
warm dry summers and cold wet winters
moist continental mid-latitude
warm summer and cold winters with moderate precipitation
laters of chemically and biologically altered material that overlies bedrock
what does soil contain?
mineral material from bedrock, organic matter from organisms, microorganisms, plants and animals
water movement through soil that can remove soluble minerals
what are the soil textures of sand, silt, and clay?
sand=large, silt=middle, clay=very fine
acidic soils, nutrients from E horizon leach to B horizon, reduces fertility in B horizon (in cool moist climates and coniferous forests)
weathering to great depth, buildup of oxides, loss of sand and clay, low in mineral nutrients, reddish color due to oxidation (in warm, humid climates and tropical rainforests)
geographic regions that contain communities composed of organisms with similar adaptations, due to convergent evolution
when two different species with unrelated ancestors have evolved similarly due to similar selective forces
boundaries between biomes aren't always clear. 2. biodiversity increases as temps and rainfall increase. 3. fire shapes vegetation toward drier end of spectrum within each temp range.
region where two communities come together with a sharp boundary
climate + vegetation = biome name
graphs that plot the average monthly temp and precipitation of a specific location on Earth
months that are warm enough to allow plant growth
coldest biome, low precipitation, treeless above permafrost, soil is acidic and nutrient poor, upper soils thaw during growing season, low species diversity
population by evergreen trees, short growing season and severe winters, rainfall is 50-100 mm, soil is acidic and podsolized, low species diversity
mild temps, high precipitation, evergreen trees, lower species diversity than tropical rainforest
temperate seasonal rainforest
moderate temps, moderate precipitation, deciduous trees, soils are slightly acidic and podsolized
hot dry summers and mild wet winters, drought-tolerant plants, 12 month growing season, frequent fires
temperate grasslands/cold deserts
hot dry summers and cold winters, grasses and flowering plants and drought-tolerant shrubs, soils are nutrient-rich
warm and rainy biome, plants constantly taking nutrients from soil, highest species diversity
tropical seasonal forests/savannas
warm temps and wet/dry seasons, deciduous trees, soil does not hold nutrients, high species diversity
hot temps, low rainfall, long growing season, soils have no organic matter and are neutral, low species diversity
narrow channel of fast-flowing water
wide channel of slow-flowing water
are ecosystems more nutrient-rich and complex up- or downstream?
terrestrial vegetation alongside rivers and streams
inputs of organic matter than come from outside of an ecosystem
inputs of organic matter that are produced by algae and aquatic plants inside an ecosystem
is most of the organic matter in streams allochthonous or autochthonous?
is most of the organic matter in rivers allochthonous or autochthonous?
cloudiness of water created by stirring up sediment
why are dams built?
to control flooding, provide water for irrigation, and to generate electricity
how do dams affect the water?
water becomes warmer, stream bottoms become filled with silt, water released from dams has low oxygen, they alter seasonal cycles of flooding and disrupt animals
aquatic biome smaller than a lake, non-flowing freshwater with some area of water that is too deep for plants to rise above the surface
aquatic biome bigger than a pond, non-flowing freshwater with more area of water that is too deep for plants to rise above the surface
how are a lot of lakes and ponds created?
from glaciers or shifting basins
broad bends of what was once a river, cut off by shifts in the main channel
the shallow edge of a lake or pond containing rooted vegetation
open water beyond the littoral zone, where the dominant photosynthetic organisms are algae
area in a lake that is too deep to receive sunlight
area with sediments at the bottom of the lake/pond
surface layer of water (most production occurs in the epilimnion)
deeper layer of water (anaerobic conditions)
middle of the epilimnion and hypolimnion, rapid changes in temp over short distance
aquatic biome with standing freshwater or saturated soils, shallow enough for emergent vegetation throughout all depths
contains emergent trees
contains emergent non-woody vegetation
contains acidic water and adapted vegetation
a saltwater biome that contains non-woody emergent vegetation
biome that occurs along tropical and subtropical coasts, and contains salt-tolerant trees with roots in water