Chapt10 Outline.doc - Chapter 10 Cycles and Patterns in the...

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Chapter 10: Cycles and Patterns in the Biosphere – p. 1 of 8 Chapter 10: Cycles and Patterns in the Biosphere I. The Impact of Plants and Animals on the Landscape II. The Geographic Approach to the Study of Organisms A. geographic viewpoint: 1. seeks generalizations and patterns 2. interested in distribution and relationships 3. biogeography : study of the distribution patterns of plants and animals and how these patterns change over time B. The Search for a Meaningful Classification C. Seeking Pertinent Patterns 1. about 600,000 plant species; twice as many animal species 2. biota : total complex of plant and animal life a. flora : plants b. fauna : animals III. Biogeochemical Cycles A. Earth’s atmosphere and hydrosphere have been composed of approximately the same balance of chemical components for the last billion years B. The Flow of Energy 1. sun is the basic energy source on which nearly all life ultimately depends a. ~ 0.1% of solar energy that reaches Earth is fixed in photosynthesis b. > ½ of that total is used immediately in the plant’s own respiration c. remainder is temporarily stored, eventually entering the food chain 2. Photosynthesis and Respiration a. photosynthesis: the basic process whereby chlorophyll-containing plants produce stored chemical energy from water and carbon dioxide and which is activated by sunlight b. in the presence of sunlight a green plant takes carbon dioxide from the air and combines it with water to form carbohydrate compounds (sugars) and release molecular oxygen 1) CO 2 + H 2 O (light) carbohydrates + O 2 2) the energy of the sunlight is locked up as chemical energy in the sugars c. the stored chemical energy is used in two ways: 1) the chemical energy flows through the biosphere as animals eat the plants or other animals that had eaten the plants earlier 2) it is consumed by plants themselves in respiration 3. Net Primary Productivity: a. net photosynthesis of a plant community over a yea r (net photosynthesis is the difference between amount of carbohydrate produced in photosynthesis and that lost in plant respiration) b. measured in amount of fixed carbon per unit area (kg carbon/m 3 /year) c. basically a measure of the amount of chemical energy stored in a plant community
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Chapter 10: Cycles and Patterns in the Biosphere – p. 2 of 8 d. biomass : total dry weight of all organic material in a plant community e. net primary production varies widely around the world from environment to environment (Fig 10-4) 1) highest : on land within tropics where high precipitation and insolation are available for plant growth 2) diminishes poleward , especially in extremely arid and cold environments 3) oceans: varies by nutrient content; high off west coasts of continents in midlatitudes where there’s upwelling of cold, nutrient rich water C. The Hydrologic Cycle 1. water is the most abundant substance in the biosphere 2. two ways water is found in the biosphere: a. in residence with its hydrogen chemically bound into plant and animal tissues b.
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