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Lecture8CAGrasslands

Lecture8CAGrasslands - Lecture 8 California Grasslands...

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Lecture 8: California Grasslands California grasslands or “prairie” QuickTime  and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
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I. BIOMES: California’s grasslands (sometimes also called prairies ) occur in a broad latitudinal belt from roughly southern Orange County to Pt. Arena/Mendocino, extending from the coast inland. • Mountain ranges interrupt the basic latitudinal distribution of grassland, with coastal-interior (or maritime-continental) position influencing their distribution as well. • Grasslands thus occur from the coast inland, replaced at higher elevations in the mountains by woody communities of shrublands (chaparral), woodlands (oak and mixed woodlands) and forest. • The most extensive grassland is in the Central Valley on the lee side (west of) the Coast Ranges.
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• If we look at the global biomes and the climates within California, many of our CA grasslands would be classified as Mediterranean, not temperate interior grasslands (as in the Great Plains). This is due to their Mediterranean, winter wet, summer dry climate, not a temperate climate that also receives both winter and summer precipitation. California grasslands receive more precipitation than our deserts (typically 250 mm or 10 inches a year to 500 mm or 20 inches a year max.), but less than our chaparral, woodlands, and forests. • Our CA grasslands are really LOW ELEVATION habitats, which are drier than higher elevation habitats in general.
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QuickTime  and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. GLOBAL BIOMES
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Biomes of North America Tundra Taiga Montane Forest Temperate Deciduous Forest Tropical Rainforest Grasslands and Savannas Deserts and Semideserts Mediterranean Scrub (includes Chaparral) http://fp.bio.utk.edu/botany120lect/Biomes/biomemap.htm
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Mediterranean type grasslands are found in areas that are too dry for forests, woodlands, and shrublands, but not as dry as deserts, both in coastal and interior locations (especially the Central Valley). QuickTime  and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime  and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Sac NWR Yellow-billed Magpie QuickTime  and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Valley Gartersnake
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California grasslands thus have a very different biological composition (species, plant and animal communities) than interior, Great Plains grasslands . Although grasses (monocots) are often dominant, a high diversity of broad- leafed (forbs) flowering plants occur (dicots). There are also some differences between the species and communities in our coastal grasslands vs. our interior Central Valley grasslands , for example, with more ANNUAL PLANT SPECIES in our coastal grasslands, and more PERENNIAL PLANT SPECIES (bunchgrasses) in our interior grasslands. Both grasslands historically also had a lot of leafy forbs (dicot flowering plants) in them.
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