2021_SEM_Flipbooks

Sher_Ecology_9e

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Chapter 2 Life on Land 43 Review Questions Design elements: (Yellowstone thermal pool):©flickrRF/Getty Images tropical rain forest 19 primary producers 13 selective pressure 13 temperate grassland 29 tropical savanna 22 rain shadow effect 17 solifluction 36 tropical dry forest 21 tundra 35 weather 40 between high altitude at midlatitudes and high altitude at high latitudes? 7. How is the physical environment on mountains at midlatitudes similar to that in tropical alpine zones? How do these environ- ments differ? 8. English and other European languages have terms for four sea- sons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. This vocabulary sum- marizes much of the annual climatic variation at midlatitudes in temperate regions. Are these four seasons useful for sum- marizing annual climatic changes across the rest of the globe? Look back at the climate diagrams presented in this chapter. How many seasons would you propose for each of these environ- ments? What would you call these seasons? 9. Biologists have observed much more similarity in species compo- sition among boreal forests and among areas of tundra in Eurasia and North America than among tropical rain forests or among Mediterranean woodlands around the globe. Can you offer an explanation of this contrast based on the global distributions of these biomes shown in figures 2.11, 2.23, 2.32, and 2.35? 10. To date, which biomes have been the most heavily affected by humans? Which seem to be the most lightly affected? How would you assess human impact? How might these patterns change during this century? (You may need to consult the dis- cussion of human population growth in the Applications section of chapter 11.) 1. Plants form the foundation of most terrestrial ecosystems. Pick a biome from this chapter and explain how the functional traits of plants from that biome could affect the evolution of other organ- isms in that biome. 2. Draw a typical soil profile, indicating the principal layers, or hor- izons. Describe the characteristics of each layer. 3. Describe global patterns of atmospheric heating and circula- tion. What mechanisms produce high precipitation in the trop- ics? What mechanisms produce high precipitation at temperate latitudes? What mechanisms produce low precipitation in the tropics? 4. Use what you know about atmospheric circulation and seasonal changes in the sun's orientation to earth to explain the highly seasonal rainfall in the tropical dry forest and tropical savanna biomes. (Hint: Why does the rainy season in these biomes come during the warmer months?) 5. We showed how the rain shadow effects biome distribution in the western United States Where else in the world can you see the impact of a rain shadow? Do you think that the height of the mountains creating it matters? Why or why not? 6. Some of the earliest studies of the geographic distribution of veg- etation suggested a direct correspondence between latitudinal and altitudinal variation in climate, and our discussion in this chapter stressed the similarities in climatic changes with altitude and latitude. Now, what are some major climatic differences

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