Several ways chaparral plants are well-adapted to an arid (dry) climate.
Question 1. List several ways chaparral plants are well-adapted to an arid (dry) climate.
Question 2. List several ways chaparral plans are well adapted to a fire community.
Adaptations for reducing water loss/fire/reducing herbivory
Laurel Leaf Sumac
Initial Observations of the Field Site: Exit the laboratory, but before you start down the trails, stand along the Grossmont College perimeter road where you can get a good view of both slopes. Discuss what you see with the other members of your team and record these general observations below:
Question 3. Suggest some questions an ecologist might ask:
Figure 1. Grossmont College Wildlife Sanctuary:
North-Facing and South-Facing Slopes
Question 4. Observe Figure 1. Which side (A or B) faces north? _
Which side (A or B) faces south? _ Label this in Figure 1 above.
Question 5. Label the stations from the top to the bottom as N1 through N3 and S1 through S3 according to the slope they face (not which slope they are on!).
Question 6. While viewing the trails from this vantage point, what do you notice about the difference between north- and south-facing slopes?
Question 7. What could account for the differences?
Question 8. How does this relate to the position of the sun in relationship to San Diego (or anywhere in the northern hemisphere)?
Question 9. List the four most dominant plant species (in terms of % coverage) on the North-facing slope:
Question 10. List the two most dominant plant species on the South-facing slope:
Question 11. We observed that one of the slopes is steeper than the other. State which one is steeper and briefly describe:
Question 12. State which slope receives the greatest amount of light intensity throughout the year, and briefly explain why this is the case:
Question 13. Why is there higher air temperature primarily on one slope vs. the other?
Question 14. How do relative humidity (of the air) relate to transpiration? (Hint: if you’ve ever lived in a humid area (such as the southeastern United States), you know how it affects your ability to cool off via evaporation!)
Question 15. How does soil humus relate to soil moisture?
Question 16. In general, describe how the light intensity of a slope receives directly or indirectly affects the following characteristics of the slope’s environment:
soil temperature air temperatures soil moisture holding capabilities soil humus (organic) levels.
Indicate which slope is higher and which slope is lower for the following variables:
light intensity (again)
soil moisture holding
soil humus content
Question 17. Briefly explain the relationship between light intensity and soil temperature at the molecular level:
Question 18. Briefly explain the relationship between light intensity and air temperature at the molecular level:
Question 19. How do air and soil temperature relate to soil moisture, that is, water available to plants?
Question 20. Briefly explain the long-term relationship between light intensity and a soil’s moisture holding ability:
Question 21. Briefly explain the long-term relationship between soil humus (organic) content and soil’s water holding ability:
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