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agbiogeography - Biogeography/Plants-plant ecologists(study...

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Biogeography/Plants -plant ecologists (study plant production) are interested in the net amount of vegetation produced by photosynthesis -an important indicator of plant productivity is biomass (is the dry weight of all living organisms in a given area -this measure is important because it reflects the amount of chemical energy that had been stored and is this available for consumption -measured in kilograms per square meter of ground -varies greatly across geographic regions -forest has the highest biomass, where grasslands have less Relationship of Climate and Vegetation: The Character and Distribution of Global Biomes -many factors influence the geographic distribution of plants and biomass - Most important factor influencing the geographic distribution of vegetation is climate - Secondary factors: geology, soils, landscape position, and human behavior -geographic climate patterns are related to many other primary factors, including: 1. Latitude 2. Proximity to oceans 3. Global atmospheric circulatory system -good way to study relationship between climate and vegetation is through concept of global biomes
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- A biome is a definable geographic region that is classified and mapped according to the predominant vegetation and organisms of that particular environment (A complex of living communities maintained by the climate of a region and characterized by a distinctive type of vegetation) -each biome is a distinct ecosystem (community of plants, animals, and micro-organisms that are linked by energy and nutrient flows) -can be viewed at many different scales, ranging from local (such as a pond) to regional (such as large desert) -Potential natural vegetation - the vegetation that would exist in a region if humans did not modify the landscape -There biomes are organized into four categories: 1. Forest Biomes 2. Grassland Biomes 3. Desert Biomes 4. Tundra Biome Ecotone- The transition area where two or more ecosystems FOREST BIOMES -geographic regions where the vegetation is dominated by trees -vegetation assemblages occur in areas where there is a net surplus of available moisture, either because there is a high average annual precipitation or because average temperatures are sufficiently cool that little evaporation occurs -tropical regions to high midlatitudes -includes tropical rainforest biome, midlatitude forest biomes, and the
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boreal forest biome TROPICAL FOREST BIOMES -occur in the low latitudes within South America, Africa, Asia, and northern Australia -generally characterized by dense biomass and tremendous species diversity TWO MAJOR SUBDIVISIONS 1. Tropical Rainforest 2. Tropical deciduous forest and scrub Tropical Rainforest Biome -straddles the equatorial region between 23.5 N and 23.5 S -closely related to the tropical rainforest climate Af zones -associated with small areas of tropical monsoon climate (Am) that have a very limited dry season -areas are always warm, with averages 68-77 F -staggering assortment of trees and plants that form a very dense biomass
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