Monday, October 29, 2007

Well anways this is todays lesson.

Ecological Succession
What is Ecological Succession you ask? Well i guess i will answer your question for kicks. Ecological Succession is the changes or sequences a community goes through naturally. This is why we like to mow our lawns (not sure if i said that right) because if we did not, a forest would grow in your backyard, literally (although you must be really lazy and not mow it for about 50+ years). There are two types of Ecological succession:

Primary succession
  • This is when an ecosystem is forming life (plants) from all inorganic material (no soil).
  • In this succession life must begin from Pioneer species such as, bacteria (a.k.a. beasties), lichens, and mosses, which can break down the lifeless material such as sedimentary rock and use its compounds to release nutrients into the ground making soil and setting the stage for other organisms such as grass.

Secondary succession
  • This succession takes place where their had previously been life, usually having been wiped out by some type of disturbance such as Forest fires, and tsunamis.
  • This is usually taken place on soil with an abundance in nutrients, making plants grow more quickly.
Order of succession
  • First ones to come into play are the pioneer species including lichens, and mosses which can start on both primary and secondary succession. These start releasing nutrients, making soil and initially starting a whole living ecosystem.
  • Next are grasses which can tolerate high sunlight, and also set the stage for other plants changing soil pH, and fertility.
  • After are shrubs and small trees which are more tolerant to shade and starts to out-compete grass for sunlight.
  • The final stage in succession is climax forest, this creates a very stable community, containing tall trees. Once a disturbance such as a forest fire occurs (which eventually must happen because of the lack of available nutrients)
Only if this family had been given Sherpa for todays lesson maybe they would have realized their situation and prevented a tragedy such as this.

Earth's biomes
For starters, a biome is defined as an area of similar environmental factors and ecosystems. This includes abiotic factors such as climate, water, light, temperature, and nutrients, and biotic factors such as animals, plants, and biodiversity. There are many different biomes on earth such as (important biomes):

  • Aquatic Biome
  • Intertidal zone, where the tide allows for immense biodiversity.
  • Shallow water where Coral reefs strive, and aquatic flora (plant life).
  • Benthic zone, bottom of ocean where organisms are able to strive without the use of sunlight but by the use of sulfur .
Tropical forest
  • High Rainfall
  • Supports large amounts of Fauna (animal life) and Flora, supporting up to 2/3 of all these organisms.
  • Large leave trees, broad, woody flanges at trunk
  • Tall trees allow for layers of different ecosystems
Temperate Deciduous Forest
  • North hemisphere, mid-latitude
  • Broad leaf trees, (Oaks, Beeches, Maples, and Birches).
  • Warm and rainy climates
  • Coniferous forests (woody plants, gymnosperms( needle trees))
  • large temperature range between summer and winter
  • low precipitation
  • Fauna consists of mostly herbivores, not enough energy to support numerous carnivores
Arctic Tundra
  • Impossible for growth of trees because of low temperatures, and short seasons
  • permafrost soil ( permanently frozen soil)
  • supports low ground Flora such as liverworts,moss, and lichens.
  • low biodiversity
  • few species with large populations

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