Lab 08 Wa'ahila Trip II Habitat Analysis

Lab 08 Wa'ahila Trip II Habitat Analysis - WA'AHILA RIDGE...

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WA’AHILA RIDGE TRIP II: HABITAT ANALYSIS Lab 8 8-1 Reminders ! 1 LITER OF WATER! Clothes that can get dirty Closed toed shoes Lab notebook Calculator Maps of your group’s sub-plots from Lab 5 I. CLIMATE Climate, season, and weather affect the distribution and activities of both terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Climate refers to the general prevailing atmospheric conditions over the years in a given region. Seasonal temperature, humidity, precipitation, and solar irradiance usually characterize climate. In contrast, weather refers to the momentary conditions of the atmosphere. Climates are often broadly categorized by latitude. Examples of major climate types include arctic, temperate, and tropical. Climate is important in determining the general type of ecological community, or biome that will be found across a broad area. Major biome types include tropical rainforest, savanna, desert, and tundra. Temperature and precipitation (rainfall) are basic concepts with which you should already be familiar. Consult your ecology text for more information on the importance of temperature and precipitation in determining the distribution of organisms. Humidity refers to the amount of gaseous water in the air. Humidity is important because it directly affects the water loss in animals and plants. For example, most centipedes quickly become dehydrated in low humidity environments, dying in a matter of hours. Likewise, low humidity conditions may force some plants to close their stomata, reducing photosynthesis and growth. Although a high humidity environment may seem ideal for life since dehydration is less of a problem, high humidity environments also pose challenges for many organisms. For example, persistent high humidity conditions can promote the growth of pathogenic microorganisms like fungi, killing certain plants or animals. Solar irradiance refers to the density and intensity of photons (light) from the sun. Solar irradiance is highest at the equator, and decreases as you approach the poles of the Earth. Despite this trend, many other factors affect an organism's exposure to solar irradiance. A population may be located near the equator, but if it is located under a thick canopy of vegetation, then its exposure will be greatly reduced. In aquatic environments, irradiance is reduced with increasing water depth. Like humans, many animals and plants can be “sunburned” if exposed to excessive solar radiation. However, some plants are adapted to grow extremely quickly under intense sunlight (e.g. corn). Heat generated by irradiance promotes dehydration, so organisms that are regularly exposed to high irradiance must have a dependable water supply or have adaptations to conserve water. Figure 1.
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Lab 08 Wa'ahila Trip II Habitat Analysis - WA'AHILA RIDGE...

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