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Biogeography, GGR 305

What is Biogeography?

Week 1

Dr. Nina Hewitt

TA: Michael Wang PGB 305

shihao.wang@mail.utoronto.ca

Introduction
Scope
Terms and definitions
Taxonomy
Species

and Populations
Ranges

Closely Related to Fields:


study of relationships between organisms and their
environment
Biology, Conservation Biology
Biogeography:

study of distributions of plants and animals


and explanations for these

Ecosystem and Biome basics

spatial emphasis

Ecological vs. Historical Biogeography

the analysis and explanation of patterns of


distribution and the understanding of changes in
distribution that have taken place in the past and
are taking place today (Cox and Moore, p. 7)

the study of the facts and patterns of species


distribution the science that is concerned with
where animals are, where plants are, and where
they are notdoes more than ask which species
and where, but why; why not? (David Quammen)

For example:
The island of Bali, a small mound of volcanic rock .. just off the
eastern tip of Java, Indonesia, once supported a unique
subspecies of tiger, Panthera tigris balica Java had a different
subspecies Meanwhile the island of Lombok, just east of Bali
across a twenty-mile stretch of ocean, had no resident tigers at
all. D. Quammen, Song of the Dodo p. 17

Bali

biosphere

Ecology:
Wildflower (Compositae spp.) on rock
outcrop, Karakoram Himalayas. K. Hewitt

Fuller Definitions

Climatology atmosphere
Geomorphology geosphere
Glaciology cryosphere
Oceanography aquasphere

Biogeography

Geographic

A Component of Physical Geography:

Lombok

The deep water of the Lombok Strait between Bali and Lombok
formed a water barrier even during lower sea levels when land
linked the now-separated islands and landmasses on either side.

Ecological: The study of


current biogeographic and
ecological relationships
between organisms and their
physical and biotic
environments
Historical: Is concerned with
past events that explain
distributions and the evolution
of life. Aims to reconstruct the Wallaces biogeographic
origin, dispersal, and
Realms and Provinces
extinction of taxa.
Historical

explanations often
important to understanding
modern-day distributions

? Or Why ?

Movement of plates helps to


explain Wallaces line

Today the Balinese tiger


exists nowhere, not even in
y!
zoos. The javanese tiger is
log
o
c
E
probably also extinct And
and
the island of Lombok, no
y
r
o
smaller than Bali, with forests
Hist
no less inviting, is still basoth
d
tigerless as ever.
NeeWhy? Why
not?...
These facts, and their
explanations, represent
biogeography.
D. Quammen

The Human Element

Significance?

Last 2 mill. years: Social primate of Sub-Saharan


Africa Global Dominant
superspecies

At human emergence, biodiversity was at a


peak

exterminator species

http://www.radio.rai.it

From MacDonald 2001

Artists impression of Australopithecus Range of H. s. sapiens (red and light red). wikipedia.
afarensis www.bbc.co.uk

In the News:

News:

Research published in
Nature magazine (see
blackboard) provides
clear instructions as to
what, exactly we must
do to halt climate
change
Abandon the oil sands
to prevent a 2
temperature increase
Will the oil industry
be curbed?

Terms and Definitions

Taxonomy - central

The classification and


naming of organisms
We

organize groups based


on the evolutionary
relationships between them:
Linneaus: used hierarchies of
similarities to build
categories of relatedness

Underlies biogeography
Taxonomic Hierarchy,
Modern, 3-Domain System

Taxonomy - central

Taxonomic Composition of Earths Biota:


>10 million species 1.5 m are known:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-we-any-closer-to-knowing-how-many-species-there-are-on-earth/

Eukarya cells possess true nucleus


Animals: most are invertebrates, esp. insects
Plants: most are Vascular: possess system of conductive tissue (conduits)
for water and nutrients (see appendix)
Fungi

Archaea Algae, Viruses and Bacteria comprise the remainder

recent research: a larger proportion of taxa than previously thought

Revised classification: 3 Domains, Archaea, Bacteria, Eukarya

Species:

Naming: Latin binomials

The fundamental category of biological


classification
A group of individuals that:
a common ancestor
significant amounts of genetic material
Can interbreed to produce viable offspring
Usually* reproductively isolated from
members of other species.

Genus (noun)
Archilochus
Archilochus

species (adjective)
colubris
alexandri

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*But Hybridizaton complicates: Some closely related


species may produce viable offspring many plants, e.g.,
oaks (e.g., Quercus rubra x velutina), maples (Acer rubrum
x saccharinum).

Where will you find a Species? In its:

Geographic Range
Picea mariana (Black spruce)

Range: The entire area in


which a species is found,
whether common or rare.
A function of
environmental factors and
the species evolved
requirements/tolerance for
particular levels of these
Choropleth maps: area occupied by
species is circumscribed by an unbroken
line, often shaded within

From: MacDonald, 2003

A. colubris (Eastern or ruby-throated hummingbird). The only


NA species that regularly nests east of the Mississippi river
A. alexandri (Western or black-chinned hummingbird)
Two species overlap in the south tip of their ranges in
Mexico

The most pervasive feature of geographic distributions


is that they have limits (range margins) CM

The Human Factor:


Recent Changes In Species Ranges

Environmental Factors and


Species Tolerance Ranges
1.
2.

Abiotic (physical) factors:


Biotic: Competition, mutualism etc.

has displaced bluebird and yellow-shafted


flicker See CM: Invasion, pp 71-77; Fig. 2.29

See Appendix or watch: https://sandybiology1-2.wikispaces.com/Ch


+7+Environmental+Factors

Factors tend to occur as gradients


Species has a Tolerance range for
each factor over which it can exist

But dont forget role of past events historical factors, e.g., pp 50-57,
evolutionary and climatic relicts

Population

becomes limiting in short or


excessive supply relative to species
evolved needs (see p. 59-65)
A single factor may be particularly
limiting; decide species limits

Range of Tolerance

Factor

Lower limit
of tolerance Optimum

Low

Precipitation

Upper limit

High

Introduced (Invasive)
Garlic mustard in NA

Ecological Hierarchy
Species is part of a hierarchy of increasing scale:
Population
Species
Metapopulation
Guild
Population: A group of individuals
of the same species:
Assemblage
1.
living in one locale and
Community
2.
actively interbreeding
Ecosystem
Think of some species with a local
population in Toronto
Biome
Biosphere

See CM, Fig 2.31

See Cox and Moore Chap 3 for definitions

Biomes

Ecosystems Basics
Ecosystem: association
of plants and animals
and their physical
environments

Large areas of earths surface


having similar climate and
vegetation
e.g.,

Grassland, Tropical Forest

energy

and material
flows
Integrated Systems:
Abiotic and Biotic
Components interact

MacDonald 2001

Websites:
http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~ldaniels/biomes/explore/
Copyright 2013 Pearson Canada Inc.

Figure 19.2a

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5/biome/
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/rainforest.htm

Biomes:

How Classified, Defined? Controls?


Taxonomy not appropriate: encounter different species,
same biome (across different world regions).
Instead, we define by characteristics of dominant

vegetation
Physiognomy: form, morphology, and structure of dominant
vegetation (outward appearance), e.g,. Cushion plants
(arctic/alpine veg); Shrubs; canopy trees
Functional type: morphological or physiological type, e.g.,
nitrogen fixer.

Biomes broadly reflect:


1. climate

Broadly controlled by climate (temp, ppt, *seasonal


distribution), soils, biotic interactions

Global Climate Variation:


Pattern and Causes

Note location of:

1.

forest types
Grassland types

2.

Changing insolation with Latitude: Tropics vs. Temperate vs.


Polar (Arctic/Antarctic) Climates.
Atmospheric pressure systems: influence humidity;
Subtropical Deserts due to dry, descending air of Hadley
pressure cells @ 30 N, S Lat. (Fig. 5.8, p. 133)
Equatorial Rainy
climates due to
intense heating,
convective (low
pressure cells)
creating uplift and
cloud cover

MacDonald 2003

MacDonald 2003

e.g., Tropical Rain Forest in


Equatorial Rainy Climates

Hadley Cell

Recall GGR 100:


Global Circulation
Patterns responsible for
Pressure Systems and
associated Biomes

Lush, dense forests with


horizontal complexity
Variety of species and lifeforms:
trees shrubs, epiphytes, lianas

Bromeliad (epiphyte),
tropical riparian forest,
Pine Ridge Savanna,
Belize

Ancient ruins of Caracol, in the Mayan mountains Belize,


Central America
N. Hewitt 1998

Other Climatic Influences:

Biomes also broadly reflect: 2. Soils

Mountain ranges
Alpine effect:
Lose 6.5C / 1000 m rise (thinning atmosphere)
1 km elevation = 800 km
northward change in latitude
sea-level temp = 31C
4000 m mountain 5C

Alfisols (northern deciduous forest)


Andisols (volcanic)
Aridisols (desert)
Entisols (rocky)
Gelisols (permafrost underlain)
Histosols (swamps)
Inceptisols (young)
Mollisols (prairie)
Spodosols (boreal, coniferous)
Oxysols (red), Ultisols (yellow) (highly-weathered, oxide-rich, trop/subtrop.)
Vertisols (swelling clays)
Rocky land; shifting sands; ice

Get treeline, tundra vegetation

Rainshadow effect:
Mountain-lee desert conditions:
Prairie, desert, chaparral, scrub
veg.

Appendix:

Vascular Plants: 3 Major Taxa

Plant Taxa

Non-vascular: primitive (e.g., mosses, liverworts)


Vascular: Have evolved a vascular system: conductive tissue for
moving water and nutrients; Include
Non-seed (e.g., ferns) and
Seed plants (the most common); are sub-divided into Gs and As
n

1) Non-seed Vascular plants: reproduce


via spores:
Clubmosses
(Lycopodium,
Selaginella

see some species of each on the next 3 slides

Kingdom Plantae
Non Vascular
Vascular Plants

Non-seed
Ferns etc.

Seed Plants

Gymnosperms Angiosperms
Ferns (Pteridophytes): mostly herbs,
but can be trees, vines

Horsetails (Equisetum
Equisetum arvense

From: Virginia Tech For. Dept. http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=38

3) The most recent, largest group:


Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Cycads (Cycadales)

Trees: Quercus rubra L. (red oak; dicot)

Shrubs: Lonicera (honeysuckle)

Herbs:

Poa pratensis L. (Blue grass monocot);


Daisy (Asteraceae),

Pea family (Leguminosae)

Pinus strobus L.
(Coniferales)

Picea mariana (Coniferales)

Ginkgo biloba
(Ginkgoales)

2) Gymnosperms: The oldest Seed Plants;


dominant in the Mesozoic; almost all are trees.
Cycads, Ginkgoes, Conifers

From:
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/
Poaceae/Poa_pratensis.html

A note about Non-vascular Plants:

include very primitive plants like mosses,


liverworts lacking a developed vascular system

Abiotic Ecosystem Components


E.g.,
Temperature
Precipitation
Soils (and mineral
nutrient ions)

Christopherson Fig. 19.8 Temperature


precipitation effects on ecosystems:

Biotic Ecosystem Components


Interactions with other plants, animals
Positive:

Facilitation/commensalism
Mutualism

benefits to both members

Negative:
Competition

require the same


resources
Predation one species preys on
another
Parasitism
http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Both competition and predation


occur in this picture.