Biogeography 3

Increasing concentration of organic pollutants and metals upwards along the trophic cascade
Columbinan Exchange
Trade and interaction between continents when new ideas/products/agriculture/diseases were exchanged
Indroduced Species
Species living outside its nativerange having been moved to its new location by either deliberate or accidental human activity
“Law” of Unintended Consequences
Human intervention in complex systems tends to create unanticipated (and sometimes undesireable) outcomes
Invasive Species
Intriduced species that has an adverse effect of the economy, environment, or ecology of the area
Invasive Species in MN

  • Bighead/Asian Carp
  • Zebra Mussel
  • Emerald Ash Borrer


Invasive Species

  • Burmese Python
  • Buffel Grass
  • Cane Toad
  • Asian Carp
  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • Kudzu

Traits of a Successful Invasive Species

  • Reproduce quickly and produce many viable offspring
  • Disperse Rapidly
  • Tolerate a wide range of environments
  • Stable association with humans

Cooler, darker areas on the sun’s surface (area surrounding sunspots emits higher than normal energy)
Sunspot Cycle
Every eleven years sunspots go from low to high to low again
Solar Constant
Average amount of energy received from the sun
Carbon Dioxide vs Water Vapor
Water vapor traps more heat, but carbon dioxide has a residence time of five years, and the effects last for 35-95 years (as opposed to water, which is 9 days)
Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has slowly been increasing and it is letting less heat energy out of our atmosphere
Climate Models
Sets of mathematical equations that simulate the Earth’s climate
Future Climate Predictions
Average surface temp will increase between 3.2 and 7.2 degrees
Sea Ice

Frozen sea water floating on surface of the ocean

  • Has a distinct seasonal rhythm
  • Has been diminishing
  • Young ice more prevelent now

Positive Feedback
Output of the system acts in the same direction as the input
Potitive Feedback of Sea Ice Melting

 Warm up oceanaLess iceaExposed wateraLow albedoaWarm up ocean

Measure of reflectivity and describes amount of solar energy reflected back into space (ice is high, water is low)
How changing temp affects organisms

Spring green up starts earlier each year

Plants and pollinators may move out of synch (plants bloom before bees mature)

Climate v Weather

Climate: Average weather events over many years

Weather: What is happening right now

Urban Heat Island Effect

A build-up region (usually a city) that is significantly warmer than the rural regions surrounding it.

Replacing vegitation with impervious surfaces, and lots of people in one area

Warming in the last century

Earth has warmed by 1.5 degrees

Average temp of last glaciation was only 6 degrees colder than now (1.5 degrees is a lot)

Signs of Warming

Ice melting earlier in WI lakes

Glaciers dissapearing from Glacier National Park (150 to 26)

Observations from peopel living in arctic regions (rain, late ice, dangerous/thin ice)

The study of the timing of recurring biological events and their relationship to biotic and abiotic forced and the inter-relationships among phases of the same or different species
Tree Cycle

  • Dormancy (bud protected by scales)
  • Bud Break (green leaf tip visible)
  • Leaf Out (stalk or a base visible)
  • Flowers visible
  • Fruit Drop (mature fruit has dropped from tree) 

Length of time each day when a location receives visable illumination
Simultaneous action/Non-simultaneous action
Phenology and pretador-prey relations

Black Throated Warbler migrates when photoperiod changes

Budworms emerge when temperature changes

When photoperiod and temp don’t line up like they did before, birds arrive late and budworms are already matured

Energy sources in MN
59% imported coal, 24% nuclear, 7% renewables, 7% imported natural gas, 3% biofuels
Most used source of energy, product of zooplankton and algae, composed of hydrocarbons (molecules made entirely of H and C)

Hydrocarbons+Oxygen–> Energy+Water+Carbon Dioxide

One gallon of gas released 19lbs of carbon dioxide

Wind Energy

North American Wind Core=Saudi Arabia of wind energy

Intermittent Energy Source (varies hour to hour)

Climate Proxies
Types of natural phenomena which are climate dependent and which incorporate in their structure a measure of this dependency
Oldest on the bottom, or closest to the middle
Carbon Dating
Meausuring C-14 in organic material and finding age using half-life
Measuring Time with Mud

Mud on lake bottoms is sediment deposited over years

Macrofossils and pollen give us clues to past organisms

Only living part of a tree trunk (just under bark)
Measuring Time With Trees

Each band is one season

  • Dark is winter, light is summer
  • Wide is wet season, narrow is dry season
  • Fire scars give us a fire history of regions

Study of tree rings to answer questions about climate, water, resources, ecology, and natural history
Uncontrolled fire in a wilderness or natural area fueled primarily by vegitation
Crown Fire

Fire that burns the branches and leaves of tree

Low frequency, high intensity

Surface Fire

Burns low lying vegitation and leaf litter

High frequency, low intensity

Fire Frequency v Severity v Altitude
*Chart on moodle*
Some plants release seeds in response to environmental trigger (Jack Pines only release seeds during fire)
Fire Supression/10am Rule

With fire supression, more undergrowth present so fires are more intense

All forest fires should be extinguished by the morning after they were reported


Overflow that coems from a river or other body of water and causes or threatens damage

Recharges ground water and adds nutriends, but damages property and causes injuries and deaths

Meteorological Drought

Some degree of dryness in comparison to some normal amount of precipitation and the duration of the dry period (focus on precipitation)

 Hydrological Drought

Effects of shortfalls in precipitation of surface or subsurface water supply (focus on reservoir and lake levels, groundwater, streamflow, what is available for community use)

Agricultural Drought

Effects of shortfalls in precipitation on agricultural crop yields and stock production (focus on how much water available for farm use)
Drought (Class Definition)
Extended period of time when a region receives substantially less moisture than it does most years
Drought Index

Tools to measure intensity of drought

Zero is normal amount of moisture, negative is below and positive is above

Time Series
Series of data points measured consecutively at regular intervals in time
Island Biodiveristy
Ecological colonization (species arriving) and extinctions happening
Pioneer Species
Plants, airborn animals, small orgamisms
Late-Sccessional Species
Even large species can find their way to an island
Theory of Island Biogeography
Number of species S found on an undisturbed island is determined by the balance between immigration and extinction
Area Effect
Large islands contain more varied habitats which reduced the probability of extinction due to chance events
Distance Effect
Islands that are more isolated are less likely to recieve immigrants
Foster’s Rule
Members of a species get bigger or smaller depending on the resources available in the environment (islands have limited resources but limited competition)
Pacific Yew
Contains taxol and used to treat cancer
Moment of Extinction
Death of the last member of the species
Local, a species ceases to exist ina specific geographic region
End of a species globally
Golden Toad Extinction

Habitat: Restricted to cloud forests in Costa Rica

Disease: Fungus Bd (invasive from Africa) killed Golden Toads

Climate: El Nino warmed up Costa Rica and Bd exploded

Passener Pigeon Extinction

Humans hunted and just killed pigeons

Population had two equilibrium points, at several billion, population restabilizes, at several million, death rate is higher than birth rate

Small Pox
Deliberately eliminated using cow pox vaccine