Chapt11 Outline.doc - Chapter 11 Terrestrial Flora and...

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Chapter 11: Terrestrial Flora and Fauna – p. 1 of 13 Chapter 11: Terrestrial Flora and Fauna I. Ecosystems and Biomes A. Ecosystem: A Concept for All Scales 1. ecosystem : an association of plants and animals along with the surrounding nonliving environment and all the interactions in which the organisms take part 2. ecosystem concept is built around the flow of energy 3. can be applied at various scales: global ecosystems; ecosystem of the underside of a rock; etc. B. Biome: A Scale for All Biogeographers 1. biome : any large, recognizable assemblage of plants and animals in functional interaction with its environment 2. most appropriate scale for understanding world distribution patterns 3. biomes are usually identified and named on the basis of its dominant vegetation which normally makes up bulk of the biomass 4. 10 major terrestrial biomes : a. tropical rainforest b. tropical deciduous forest c. tropical scrub d. tropical savanna e. desert f. Mediterranean woodland and scrub g. Midlatitude grassland h. Midlatitude deciduous forest i. boreal forest j. tundra (Arctic and alpine) 5. biome includes other vegetation as well as diverse animal species 6. significant and predictable relationships exist between the biota of a biome and the associated climate and soil types 7. ecotone : the transition zone between biotic communities in which the typical species of one community intermingle or interdigitate with those of another II. Terrestrial Flora A. reasons geographers are interested in the natural vegetation: 1. over much of the planet, terrestrial flora is the most significant visual component of the landscape 2. vegetation is sensitive indicator of other environmental attributes 3. vegetation influences human settlement and activities B. Characteristics of Plants 1. perennials : plants that endure seasonal climatic fluctuations from year to year 2. annuals : plants that perish during times of climatic stress (such as winter) but leave behind a reservoir of seeds to germinate during the next favorable period
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Chapter 11: Terrestrial Flora and Fauna – p. 2 of 13 C. Floristic Terminology 1. plants that reproduce through spores: a. Bryophytes 1) true mosses, peat mosses and liverworts 2) have never been very important b. Pteridophytes 1) ferns, horsetails, club mosses 2) more important in past 2. plants that reproduce through seeds a. gymnosperms /conifers (naked seeds) 1) carry their seeds in cones 2) more important in past 3) only large survivors are cone-bearing trees such as pines b. angiosperms (vessel seeds) 1) flowering plants 2) seed encased in some sort of protective body: fruit, nut or pod 3) have dominated vegetation for last 50-60 million years 3. stem or trunk composition a. woody plants : stems composed of hard fibrous material b. herbaceous plants: soft stems 4. leaf loss a. evergreen tree: sheds its leaves on a sporadic or successive basis but always appears to be fully leaved b. deciduous tree: experiences an annual period in which all leaves die and usually fall from the tree, due either to a cold season or a dry season 5. leaf shape a.
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