Ecology Exam III

Grass (Few Trees)10-30 inches RainRolling/FlatWarm Summers and Cold Winters VegetationGrasses and Forbs Greatests Productivity per Unity Standing CropHigh Root/Shoot Ratio 
Types of Grasslands
1.  Cultivated2.  Successional3.  North American Grasslands4.

  Eurasian Steppes5.  South American Pampas6.  South African Veldt7.  Australian Grassland

Types of North American Grasslands
Tall-grass pairie – Big Bluestem, Needlegrass, legumes, composites, squirrels, gophersMixed-grass pairie – Needlegrass-grama, bison, pronghorn, antelopeShort-grass prairie – blue grama, buffalo grass, prairie dogsDesert grassland – SW US, N Mexico, BunchgrassesAnnual grassland – San Joaquin Valley, CAPalosue Prairie – b/n Rocky Mtns and Cascades, cool season bunchgrasses, sagebrush
Grass with Scattered Woody Vegetation Wet/Dry SeasonsTropics/SubtropicsCentral and Southern Africa MammalsWildebeest, Leopard, Lion, Zebra, Giraffe, Elephants, Cheetah, Rhino, Hyaena, Termites, Bunchgrasses
Arid/Semi-Arid Regions Types of ShrublandMediterranean – Hot dry summers, cool wet winters, sclerophyllous Vegetation North American Chaparral – thicket of Shrubby Evergreen Oak, Active in Winter, Dormant in Summer, Scrub ak, Chamise Northern Desert Scrub – Cold Desert of Great Basin, Sagebrush Heathlands – Heath-like plants, sclerophyllous vegetation, Arctic Regions, NW Europe Successional – Sumac, Alder, and Willow
Animals of a Given Region or Area Jackrabbit, coyotesFound in Chaparral and Desert Shrubs
< 10 Inches of Rain Hot Summers Poor Soil Low Productivity
Types of Desert
North America    Great Basin – Cold Desert, Sagebrush     SW US – CAM Plants, Cactus (Giant Saguaro),        Yucca, Ephemeral Species, Lizards, Snakes,            Coyotes, Spadefoot Toda, Rodents (Kangaroo         Rat)
Treeless, Cold, Short Growing Season Arctic – permafrost, dwarf shrub and heaths, lichen, moss, chusion plants, grass, and sedge Alpine – no permafrost, wetter than Arctic
Types of Alpine Tundra
Western Mountains – Cushion, mat-forming plants, Marmots, Mountain Goats, Bighorn Sheep, and Pika Appalachian – heaths and sedge meadows Tropical – Rosette Plants
Types of Coniferous Forests

  1. Taiga
  2. Montane
  3. Southern Pine
  4. Temperate Rainforest

Boreal Forest Not very productive(little plant biomass produced each year)Not very Diverse VegetationSpruce, Fir, Larch, Pine, Birch, Aspen, Lichen, and Moss 
Of, or related to, Northern Biotic Region
Taiga Fauna
Caribou, Moose, Snowshoe hare, and Lynx
Central Europe – Norway Spruce, Scots Pine Rocky Mountains – Engelmann Spruce, Subalpine Fir, Douglas-fir, Ponderosa & Lodgepole Pines Sierra Nevada & Cascades – Red Fir, Lodgepole Pine, Giant Sequoia, Sugar Pine, Ponderosa
Southern Pine
Coastal Plains – Pine    Pine Barrens (NJ) – Dwarf Pine: pitch pine, dwarf blackjack oak Southeastern Mixed – Oak and Pine
Temperate Rainforest
Pacific NW – Douglas Fir, Redwood (CA), Ferns, and Mosses Fauna – Bear, Moose, Mountain Lion, Squirrel, and White-tailed Deer
Types of Temperate Broadleaf Forest

  1. Temperate Deciduous Forest
  2. Temperate Evergreen Forest
  3. Temperate Woodlands

Temperate Deciduous Forest
AsiaEupore – Beech, oak, ash, birch, elmNorth America – hemlock, northern hardwood forest, central hardwood forest
Hemlock Temperate Deciduous Forest
White Pine & Northern Hardwood Forest Mix
Northern Hardwood Forest – Temperate Deciduous Forest
Beech, maple, black cherry, red oak
Central Hardwood Forest – Temperate Deciduous Forest
Southern Slopes – Oak and Chestnut Northern Slopes/Cloves – Tulip tree, high diversity of temperate tree species Ozarks – oak and hickory
Temperate Evergreen Forest
Australia – Eucalyptus forest Gulf Coast and Florida Everglades – Magnolia, live oak, Spanish moss, Palm
Temperate Woodlands
Oak, Oak-Juniper, and Pine-Juniper
Tropical Rainforest
Regions:Amazon Basin, Indo-Malaysian, West & Central Africa Warm, Constant Temperature with 60 to 160 inches of rainFlora – Broadleaf evergreen trees, Epiphytes, Lianas Vegetation structure/stratification:    Feeding Layers, Most Productive Ecosystem,         Infertile soil, nudtrients are in the vegetation     not soil, Organic matter decomposes quickly,     no significant litter layer
Mountain Rainforest/Cloud Forest
Shorter Trees with gnarles limbs More even canopy
Tropical Seasonal Forest
Transitional – less rain, temperature more variable Few trees lose leaves during dry period
Tropical Dry Forest
> 40 % tropical Forest Most tropical forests are not rainforests distinct wet and dry seasons plants lose leaves during dry period
Lentic (Lacustrine)
Open Water Area
Zone of Lakes
Zones are relative to Light Compensation PointsLimnetic – Light PenetratesProfundal – Deep water, without Light
Wanderer Zoo Plankton – Rotifers, copepods Phytoplankton – Blue-green Algae, Green Algae, Diatoms
Free Swimming Organisms E.g.

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Fish, large Invertebrates

Organisms associated with Surface of Lake E.g.  Water striders
Bottom (on or in) Zones Profundal benthosLittoral benthos
Margin of Lake
Shoreline Types:  Muddy and Oozy, Rocky and Sandy Shores
Large Plants in a Lake
Types of Macrophytes

  1. Emergent – e.g. reeds, cattails, bulruches
  2. Floating – rooted – e.

    g. water lilies, pondweeds

  3. Free-floating – (surface) – e.g. duckweed
  4. Free-floating – (submerged) – e.g.


  5. Submerged-rooted – e.g. Chara, Elodea


Lacustrine Succession

  1. Bare bottom and Open Water – pioneer stage
  2. Submergent Vegetation and Phytoplankton (Algae)
  3. Emergent Vegetation
  4. Temporary Pond
  5. Marsh
  6. Grassland – Prairie, meadow
  7. Forest


Littoral Fauna
Insects:Dragonflies, mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, midges, backsimmers, water strider, and diving beetle Fish
Physical Features of Lakes

  1. Light
  2. Temperature

Light:     Zones: euphotic, disphotic, and aphotic     Light Compensation Point TemperatureThermal Stratification: epilimnion, metalimnion, hypolimnionDimictic Lakes: 2 mixing periods/overturns

Formation of Lakes

  1. Glaciers – e.g.

    Kettle Lakes

  2. Ice Scour – e.g. Finger Lakes, Great Lakes
  3. Tectonic Lakes – e.g. Rift Lakes, Lake Tahoe
  4. Volcanic Lakes – e.

    g. Crater Lake

  5. Riverine Lakes – Oxbow Lakes, Floodplain Lake
  6. Coastal Impoundment – e.g. Coast of S Africa
  7. Organic Origins – e.g.

    Hoover Dam

Major Lakes

  1. Caspian Sea – Largest Inland body of Water
  2. Dead Sea – Most concentrated natural salt Lake in world, Lowest point on Earth
  3. Great Salt Lake
  4. Baikal – Largest (Volume) Deepest
  5. The Great Lakes – e.g. Superior (Largest in Surface Area), Michigan
  6. Aral Sea

Salt Marshes
Associated with Estuaries, Flooded daily by tides, High Productivity, Low Diversity, and Food web Changes with Tide Flora – Saltwater Cordgrass Fauna – Fiddler Crab, ribbed mussel, and Marsh Periwinkle
E.g. – River deltas, bays, lagoons Primarily marine, benthic organisms (e.

g. Oysters) Salinity Stratification

Coral Reefs
Warm, shallow, nutrient-deficient seas Very productive, high biodiversity Living Coral, Coralline red algae, foraminifera, mollusks
Why do Streams Exist?

  1. Surface Water
  2. Channels
  3. Slope or Gradiant

Area or River where a water stream drains
Stream Order
Stream Orders from 1 to 3 = Headwater StreamsStream Orders from 4 to 6 = Mid Size StreamsStream Orders from 6 and Above are Larger Streams
Major Rivers

  1. Nile – Longest River
  2. Mississippi/Missouri River – 12 miles shorter than Nile
  3. Amazon River – Widest River
  4. Colorado – Drains into the Pacific Ocean
  5. Columbia/Snake
  6. St. Lawrence

Stream Physical Features

  1. Flow
  2. Pools and Riffles

Flow:Must be moving and it MeandersWater flows the fastest in the Center of the River

Benthic Structures of Streams

  1. Sandy Benthic
  2. Bedrock Benthic
  3. Gravel and Rubble Benthic – Most productive becuase of small spaces for small organisms to hide


Detritus of Streams

  1. CPOM – Coarse Particulate Organic Matter – Size is anything > 1 mm in Diameter (e.g. trees, woods, plants, leaves)
  2. FPOM – Fine Particulate Organic Matter – Size range from .

    5 mm to 1 mm (e.g. invertebrates that live in small spaces)  Some of these particles can actually move out and dissolve into UPOM

  3. UPOM – Ultrafine Particulate Organic Matter – Size is < .5 mm and Particles generally do not dissolve at this level