Talking Points for Biome Table

  1. Evapotranspiration is the combination of water lost from the soil by evaporation and the transpiration from plants.
  2. Lichen and mosses can withstand temperature extremes and desiccation.
  3. Mosses and ferns (non and semi-vascular plants) require a thin layer of water on plant surfaces for fertilization during sexual reproduction.
  4. Vascular plant leaves and stems have microscopic pores, stomata, that aid in gas exchange. These stomata can be closed to reduce water loss.
  5. Conifers have needle-like or scalelike leaves with reduced surface area.
  6. Conifer needles often are rich in volatile organic compounds with low freezing points.
  7. Many vascular plants have broad leaves that are presented to receive a maximum amount of sunlight.
  8. Corn and sugar cane are among some plants that have a specialized form of photosynthesis called C4 photosynthesis. C4 photosynthesis is more efficient in conditions of hot, bright sunlight.
  9. Pineapples and other plants have a different photosynthesis process called CAM ( crassulacean acid metabolism) . These plants open their stomata at night. They store CO2 for use during photosynthesis in the day when the stomata have to remain closed.
  10. Large populations of migratory birds head for the arctic. The swans we see around here in winter nest in Siberia. The population is recognizable there by the rust strains around their bills from the iron rich solid of the Skagit valley.
  11. Larger animals have a more favorable mass to surface area ratio.
  12. Mycorrhizal relationships - (Greek for fungus roots) fungus aid plant roots , to some extent taking over role of root hairs in extracting nutrients, plant provides carbon (symbiotic)
  13. Hare and lynx population cycles are classical predator-prey study.
  14. Red-backed voles eat nutritious fungi (truffles!) in conifer forests, disseminating spores which are otherwise stuck underground. (see mycorrhizal relationships)
  15. PNW is diversity center for salamanders (22 species).
  16. Bunch grasses do not form a 'lawn'. Bison feed preferentially in prairie dog towns due to higher protein levels of grasses (complex interaction of prairie dogs, bison, soil nitrogen and mycorrhizal relationships).
  17. Biodiversity decreases towards poles but numbers of individuals of a species increase.
  18. Metabolic water - when animals burn sugars, byproduct water can be used instead of animal having to drink free water. This is what K-rats do.
  19. Transpiration reduced by plants with small hairs to break-up the wind flow over leaf.