Background & Overall Range (~1 min) A little background!..The redwood forest ecosystem only grows in a select few locations, including the Sierra Nevada mountains and Oregon, but namely California, specifically the coast of central and northern California. Their distribution is correlated with the “California fog belt” (a cool fog that moves off the ocean each day during the summer). The redwood ecosystem needs a lot of water (100 inches annually) by constant precipitation or very dense fog (contributes 13-45% of total water used). This is because redwood trees are such big plants -- the bigger the plant, the greater the need for water. The redwood trees are the tallest trees in the world (more than 300 ft tall) and live for several thousands of years. The longevity of redwoods can be contributed to several factors. Their bark are tough, spongy, fibrous, and thick which allows the trees to survive wildfires. The bark also contains toxic tannins so that no insects or fungus can steal its nutrients. The redwoods’ fireproof and toxic nature makes it resilient and resistant to disease and predation. Abiotic (45 sec)1)Temperatures: Temperatures in the Coast Redwood Region are relatively mild. 2)Light: Light is necessary for the ecosystem, but is not a limiting factor for the ecosystem. 3)Wind: Wind removes moisture from the leaves, increasing transpiration. 4)Soil: Soil provides mineral nutrients, holds moisture and anchors the plants.*pick up soil 5)Flooding: redwoods are more resistant to flood than other species 6)Fire: Redwood trees are resistant to damage to fire. Biotic 1)Decomposers: During high periods of rainfall, the soil becomes depleted of nutrients but the trees then obtain nutrients from decaying matter. 2)Invasive plant species: These can affect the health of the ecosystem as it can alter biological cycles and create competition for water, light, space and nutrients. 3)Reproduction: This can occur in three ways, including seeds, sprouting from stumps or injured trees and sprouting from fallen branches. 4)Root system: the root system of the coast redwoods has adapted and some roots interlock with their neighbors so it can provide stability. -2:20 min- Water Cycle: Speaking of roots, heres our first ecological concept. To see a quick example of this, if you put a redwood branch inside a bag of water within 1 hour you will have enough water to drink. Water circulates from the soil, up to the trunk, into the cloud and back to the ground. There is pressure from below as roots absorb water from the soil. The most important force of these is transpiration. That is when the pores open up and release water vapor into the atmosphere. A study done by Professor Todd Dawson of UC Berkeley shows that the redwood trees attract fog and use their leaves to pull in the moisture. There have been many times
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- Fall '02
- Biology, sequoia, redwood trees, Redwood Forest Ecosystem