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TYPES OF ECOSYSTEMS

Kinds of Ecosystems and Communi2es

Outline
Succession
Primary
Secondary
Climax Community
Terrestrial
Aqua2c

Biomes
Aqua2c Ecosystems
Freshwater
Marine
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Succession
Succession - A series of regular, predictable
changes in community structure over 2me.
Ac2vi2es of organisms change their surroundings
and make the environment suitable for other
kinds of organisms.
Climax community - Rela2vely stable, long-las2ng
community, primarily determined by climate.

Succession
Primary Succession - Begins with total lack of
organisms on bare mineral surfaces or water.
Secondary Succession - Begins with
disturbance of an exis2ng ecosystem.
Much more commonly observed, and generally
proceeds more rapidly.

Primary Succession
Terrestrial Primary Succession
Pioneer Community - Collec2on of organisms able
to colonize bare rock (i.e., lichens).
Lichens help breakdown rock, and accumulate debris
helping to form a thin soil layer.
Soil layer begins to support small forms of life.

Terrestrial Primary Succession


Lichen community replaced by annual plants.
Annuals replaced by perennial community.
Perennial community replaced by shrubs.
Shrubs replaced by shade intolerant trees.
Shade intolerant trees replaced by shade
tolerant trees.
Stable, climax community oNen reached.

Each step in the process is known as a Successional


(seral) Stage.
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Primary Succession on Land

Climax Community Characteris2cs

Maintain species diversity for extended period.


Contain mul2ple specialized ecological niches.
Maintain high level of organism interac2ons.
Recycle nutrients while maintaining a rela2vely
constant biomass.
The general trend in succession is toward increasing
complexity and more ecient use of maPer and
energy.

Aqua2c Primary Succession


Except for oceans, most aqua2c systems are
considered temporary.
All aqua2c systems receive inputs of soil
par2cles and organic maPer from surrounding
land.
Gradual lling of shallow bodies of water.
Roots and stems below water accumulate more
material.
Establishment of wet soil.
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Primary Aqua2c Succession

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Secondary Succession
Occurs when an exis2ng community is disturbed
or destroyed.
With most disturbances, most of the soil remains,
and many nutrients necessary for plant growth may
be available for reestablishment of previous
ecosystem.
Nearby undamaged communi2es can serve as sources of
seeds and animals.
Tends to be more rapid than primary growth.

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Secondary Succession on Land

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Modern Concepts of Succession and


Climax
As sePlers changed original ecosystems to
agriculture, climax communi2es were
destroyed.
Many farms were abandoned, and land began to
experience succession.

Ecologists began to recognize there was not a


xed, pre-determined community.
Only thing dieren2a2ng a climax community
from any other successional community is its 2me
scale.
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Biomes: Terrestrial Climax


Communi2es
Biome - Terrestrial climax communi2es with
wide geographic distribu2ons.
Usually dened by undisturbed natural plant
communi2es.
Two main non-biological factors determining biomes:
Temperature
Precipita2on

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Biomes of the World

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Eleva2on Eects on Climate and


Vegeta2on
As al2tude increases, average temperature
decreases.
Moving from sea level to mountain tops, it is
possible to pass through a series of biomes similar
to what would be encountered moving from the
equator to the north pole.

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Desert
Less than 25 cm annual precipita2on.
Unevenly distributed throughout the year.

Large daily temperature uctua2ons.


Likely to be windy.
Infrequent cloud cover.
Many species, but low numbers.
Most species exhibit specialized adapta2ons to
climate.
Water Conserva2on
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Desert

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Grassland
Also known as prairies or steppes.
Receives 25 -75 cm of annual precipita2on.
Fire regime usually present.
Rainfall sporadic enough to cause droughts.

Historically evolved with large herds of migratory


grazing mammals.
Supply fer2lizer and discourage invasion by woody
species.

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Grassland

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Savanna
Receives 50-150 cm annual precipita2on.
Unevenly distributed throughout year.

Seasonally structured ecosystem.


Fire is a common feature.
Many trees involved in nitrogen xa2on.

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Savanna

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Mediterranean Shrublands
Also known as Chaparral.
Receives 40-100 cm annual precipita2on.
Wet, cool winters and hot, dry summers.
Typical of Mediterranean coast, coastal southern
California, as well as parts of Africa, Chile, and
Australia.

Vegeta2on dominated by woody shrubs


adapted to hot, dry summers.
Fire is a common feature.
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Mediterranean Shrubland

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Tropical Dry Forest


Annual precipita2on ranges 50-200cm.
Many exhibit monsoon climate.
Rainfall highly seasonal.
Drought resistant plants.

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Tropical Dry Forest

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Tropical Rainforest
Located near equator where temperature is
rela2vely warm and constant.
Most areas receive 200+ cm annual rainfall.
(Some in excess of 500 cm)

Soil allows high levels of leaching, thus most


nutrients are 2ed-up in biomass.
Mul2-layered canopy.
Epiphy2c plants

Very high species diversity.


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Tropical Rainforest

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Temperate Deciduous Forest


Receives 75-100 cm annual precipita2on.
Evenly distributed throughout the year.

Trees typically lose their leaves during the


winter and replace them the following spring.
Mild winters
Long growing season (6 months).
Rela2vely few species.
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Temperate Deciduous Forest

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Taiga, Northern Coniferous (Boreal)


Forest

Receives 25-100 cm precipita2on annually.


Short, cool summers.
Long winters with abundant snowfall.
Humid climate
Trees adapted to winter condi2ons:
Needle-shaped leaves prevent water loss.
Flexible branches

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Taiga, Northern Coniferous (Boreal)


Forest

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Tundra
Less than 25 cm annual precipita2on.
Permanently frozen soil (permafrost).
Short, wet summer.
Waterlogged soils and shallow ponds and
pools in spring and summer.
Plants usually less than 20 cm tall.
Alpine Tundra found on mountaintops.

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Tundra

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Major Aqua2c Ecosystems


Marine Ecosystems
Freshwater Ecosystems - Low salt content.
Marine Ecosystems - High salt content.

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Pelagic Marine Ecosystems


Pelagic Region - Open sea above sea oor.
Eupho2c Zone - Upper layer of ocean where suns
rays penetrate.

Phytoplankton - Microscopic plants oa2ng in


the ocean. (Perform photosynthesis)
Zooplankton - Microscopic animals of many
kinds - feed on phytoplankton.
Produc2ve aqua2c ecosystems contain a plen2ful
supply of essen2al nutrients.
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Marine Ecosystems

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Marine Ecosystems
Benthic Marine Ecosystems
Benthic organisms, aPached or non-aPached, live
on the ocean boPom.
Substrate and Temperature are very important
characteris2cs in determining benthic community
development.

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Marine Ecosystems
Coral Reef Ecosystems - Large number of
animals that build cup-shaped external
skeletons.
Contain single-celled algae and carry on
photosynthesis.
Require warm water, thus are found only near the
equator.
Most require clear, shallow water with ample sunlight
penetra2on.
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Marine Ecosystems
Mangrove Swamp Ecosystems
Occupy region near shore.
Trees tolerate high salt content.
Excrete salt from leaves.

Extensively developed roots.


Can extend above water.

Trap sediment in shallow areas.


Develop terrestrial ecosystems.

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Marine Ecosystems
Estuaries
Shallow, par2ally enclosed areas where
freshwater enters the ocean.
Extensive produc2on because areas are shallow,
warm, and nutrient-rich.
Nursery sites for sh and crustaceans.

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Freshwater Ecosystems
Two broad categories:
Sta2onary Water
Lakes, Ponds, and Reservoirs

Running Water (Downhill)


Streams and Rivers

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Lakes and Ponds


LiPoral Zone - Region of a lake with rooted
vegeta2on.
Emergent Plants - Have leaves that oat on, or
protrude above, waters surface.
Submerged Plants - Stay submerged below
waters surface.

Limne2c Zones - Region of lake with no rooted


vegeta2on.
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Lakes and Ponds


Produc2vity of a lake determined by many
factors.
Cold temperature reduces rate of photosynthesis.
Shallow water allows more photosynthesis.
Erosion from land increases nutrient levels.
Dissolved oxygen input via wave ac2on and
photosynthesis from aqua2c plants.

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Lakes and Ponds


Oligotrophic - Deep, cold, nutrient-poor.
Eutrophic - Shallow, warm, nutrient-rich.
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
Amount of oxygen used by decomposers to break
down specic amount of organic maPer.

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Streams and Rivers


Even though most streams are shallow, it is
dicult for most photosynthe2c organisms to
accumulate nutrients necessary for growth.
Most clear streams are not very produc2ve.
Most debris is input from terrestrial sources.

Periphyton - Collec2on of algae, animals and


fungi aPached to rocks and other objects on
the boPom.

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Streams and Rivers


Swamps - Wetlands containing trees able to
live in environments permanently ooded, or
ooded most of the year.
Marshes - Wetlands dominated by grasses and
reeds.

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Review
Succession
Primary
Secondary
Climax Community
Terrestrial
Aqua2c

Biomes
Aqua2c Ecosystems
Freshwater
Marine
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