Location, characteristics and processes of large scale ecosystems

  • Created by: CollinsN5
  • Created on: 15-11-18 11:39
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  • Location, Characteristics and Processes of Large Scale Eco-systems
    • what is an ecosystem?
      • A natural community of plants and animals and the environment in which they live. 
      • links between living parts e.g. plants [flora] and animals [fauna] and non-living parts, [the natural environment] e.g. climate, soils, rock, water and light. 
      • named according to the vegetation cover. 
      •  non-living environment provides warmth, nutrients, water and shelter for the living parts of the ecosystem.
      • A biome is a large, global scale ecosystem
    • Location and characteristics of biomes
      • dominant vegetation cover defines a biome
      • climate usually defines the vegetation type
      • Climate is the most important factor in determining the distribution of biomes.
      • Rainfall – the amount and seasonal pattern are key to the distribution of all biomes
      • Temperature – when rainfall is reliable and evenly distributed throughout the year, then temperature becomes the most important factor. Latitude is an important influence upon temperature.
    • Key processes in all ecosystems
      • links/processes between living and non-living things is called an ecosystem. 
      • developed through succession – pioneer plant – nutrients from soil support more insects and plant life – deeper soils – bigger and greater variety of plants – dominant species.
    • Processes in an ecosystem
      • Carbon cycle
        • carbon – stored in plants and other organisms, either above/below ground and in dead organic material such as leaf litter.
        • Climate affects the rates at which plants grow and therefore how much and where, carbon is stored.
        • Climate change may lead to this carbon being released as CO2 and methane [CH4] – greenhouse gases-global warming.
      • Nutrient cycle
        • Nutrients are foods used by plants and animals to grow, such as nitrogen, potash and potassium.
        • main sources of nutrients – rainwater and weathered rock.
        • plants and animals die the scavengers and decomposers recycle the nutrients
      • Food chains/webs
        • Photosynthesis is the process whereby green plants take substances from water, air and weathered rock
        • Plants are primary producers
          • make the living matter that can then be used by animals
        • nutrients and energy absorbed by plants are passed along a food chain


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