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Page | 1 HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS I.P. CLASS: XII KENDRIYA VIDYALAYA SANGATHAN B A N G A L O R E R E G I O N 2008-2009
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Plant Ecology
Biology 5460

Lecture 3: Biomes and climate relationships
Thursday September 2, 2010 Plant Ecology September 6, 2005
Biome and climate relationships
• classifying plants by life form
• life form similarities in similar climates
• classifying climate with climate diagrams
• homologous climates
• convergent evolution
Climate and vegetation relationships
There are global latitudinal and continental climate
patterns, which result in patterns of convergent
ecosystem structure repeated on the different continents
Similar climatic regions occur at equivalent latitudes
north and south of equator on all continents;
the extent of climate zones depends on land mass size
Associated with specific climate zones are particular
vegetation types and soil types in a one-to one
correspondence
1Plant Ecology September 6, 2005
Koppen climate classification
http://ferret.wrc.noaa.gov/ferret/bigpix2.gif http://climate.geog.udel.edu/~climate/gif_files/title_map.gif
The global distribution of ecosystems
2Plant Ecology September 6, 2005
We can identify combinations
of temperature and precipitation
associated with each ecosystem
3Plant Ecology September 6, 2005
We can also identify specific
combinations of evapotranspiration
and water balance associated with
each ecosystem.
The vegetation in a region can be classified
on the basis of different structural characteristics
• Raunkiaer classifications
• Life form classifications
4Plant Ecology September 6, 2005
Raunkiaer life form distributions
phanerophytes
chameophyte geophytes
chameophyte
hemi- therophytes
cryptophyte
Raunkiaer life form distributions
Trees and shrubs
subshrubs bulbs
annuals
grasses
5Plant Ecology September 6, 2005
Why did Raunkiaer choose perennating buds?
They represent a measure of the kind and degree
of protection offered to meristematic tissues
during unfavorable season ("resting period")
hypothesis - plants have different ecological
amplitudes (more or less limited in their capacity
to endure different environmental stresses)
guiding rule -
character must be structural and essential
Raunkaier life forms are based on
the location of the perennating bud
phanerophyte - >0.5 m
chamaephyte - 0-0.5 m
hemicryptophyte - on surface
geophyte - in soil
therophyte - seed
helophyte - underwater (marsh)
hydrophyte - in water column
6Plant Ecology September 6, 2005
Comparison of plant communities
in different climates, %
wet hot cold
tropical desert tundra
phanerophyte 61 26 1
chamaephyte 6 7 23
hemicryptophyte 12 18 61
geophyte 5 7 15
therophyte 16 42 1
Raunkiaer life form distributions in deserts
sub-trees/ grasses bulbs annuals
shrubsshrubs
7Plant Ecology September 6, 2005
Climates can be ordinated using
precipitation and temperature as axes
Climate diagram
temperature
precipitation
8Plant Ecology September 6, 2005
Climate diagram scaling is 10 °C = 20 mm
which approximates equivalency of precipitation
and evapotranspiration
excessive
humid
period
humid
period
arid
period
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