The extreme opposite of endemism is cosmopolitan distribution. An alternative term for a species that is endemic is precinctive, the word endemic is from New Latin endēmicus, from Greek ενδήμος, endēmos, native. Endēmos is formed of en meaning in, and dēmos meaning the people, the term, has been suggested by some scientists, and was first used in botany by MacCaughey in 1917. It is the equivalent of endemism, precinction was perhaps first used by Frank and McCoy. That definition excludes artificial confinement of examples by humans in far-off botanical gardens or zoological parks, physical and biological factors can contribute to endemism. The orange-breasted sunbird is found in the fynbos vegetation zone of southwestern South Africa. The glacier bear is found only in limited places in Southeast Alaska, political factors can play a part if a species is protected, or actively hunted, in one jurisdiction but not another. There are two subcategories of endemism and neoendemism, paleoendemism refers to species that were formerly widespread but are now restricted to a smaller area.
Neoendemism refers to species that have arisen, such as through divergence and reproductive isolation or through hybridization. Endemics can easily become endangered or extinct if their restricted habitat changes, particularly—but not only—due to human actions, there were millions of both Bermuda petrels and Bermuda cedars in Bermuda when it was settled at the start of the seventeenth century. By the end of the century, the petrels were thought extinct, already ravaged by centuries of shipbuilding, were driven nearly to extinction in the twentieth century by the introduction of a parasite. Bermuda petrels and cedars are now rare, as are species endemic to Bermuda
Bryophyte is a traditional name used to refer to all embryophytes that are non-vascular plants, namely the mosses and liverworts, covering around 25,000 species. They are characteristically limited in size and prefer moist habitats although they can survive in drier environments, bryophytes are usually considered to be a paraphyletic group and not a natural group, although some studies have produced contrary results. Regardless of their status, the name is convenient and remains in use as a collective term. Bryophytes produce enclosed reproductive structures, but they produce neither flowers nor seeds, the term bryophyte comes from Greek βρύον, bryon tree-moss, oyster-green + φυτόν – phyton plant. Like all land plants, bryophytes have life cycles with alternation of generations, in each cycle, a haploid gametophyte, each of whose cells contains a fixed number of unpaired chromosomes, alternates with a diploid sporophyte, whose cell contain two sets of paired chromosomes. Gametophytes produce haploid sperm and eggs which fuse to form zygotes that grow into sporophytes.
Sporophytes produce haploid spores by meiosis, that grow into gametophytes, bryophytes are gametophyte dominant, meaning that the more prominent, longer-lived plant is the haploid gametophyte. The diploid sporophytes appear only occasionally and remain attached to and nutritionally dependent on the gametophyte, in bryophytes, the sporophytes are always unbranched and produce a single sporangium. Liverworts and hornworts spend most of their lives as gametophytes, gametangia and antheridia, are produced on the gametophytes, sometimes at the tips of shoots, in the axils of leaves or hidden under thalli. Some bryophytes, such as the liverwort Marchantia, create elaborate structures to bear the gametangia that are called gametangiophores, sperm are flagellated and must swim from the antheridia that produce them to archegonia which may be on a different plant. Arthropods can assist in transfer of sperm, fertilized eggs become zygotes, which develop into sporophyte embryos inside the archegonia. Mature sporophytes remain attached to the gametophyte and they consist of a stalk called a seta and a single sporangium or capsule.
Inside the sporangium, haploid spores are produced by meiosis and these are dispersed, most commonly by wind, and if they land in a suitable environment can develop into a new gametophyte. Thus bryophytes disperse by a combination of swimming sperm and spores, in a similar to lycophytes, ferns. The arrangement of antheridia and archegonia on an individual plant is usually constant within a species. The main division is between species in which the antheridia and archegonia occur on the plant and those in which they occur on different plants. The term monoicous may be used where antheridia and archegonia occur on the same gametophyte, in seed plants, monoecious is used where flowers with anthers and flowers with ovules occur on the same sporophyte and dioecious where they occur on different sporophytes. These terms occasionally may be used instead of monoicous and dioicous to describe bryophyte gametophytes and monoicous are both derived from the Greek for one house and dioicous from the Greek for two houses
Alpine plants are plants that grow in an alpine climate, which occurs at high elevation and above the tree line. Alpine plants grow together as a plant community in alpine tundra, alpine plants are not a single taxon. Rather, many different plant species live in the alpine environment and these include perennial grasses, forbs, cushion plants and lichens. Alpine plants must adapt to the conditions of the alpine environment, which include low temperatures, ultraviolet radiation. Some alpine plants serve as medicinal plants, alpine plants occur in a tundra, a type of natural region or biome that does not contain trees. Alpine tundra occurs in mountains worldwide and it transitions to subalpine forests below the tree line, stunted forests occurring at the forest-tundra ecotone are known as Krummholz. With increasing elevation it ends at the line where snow. Alpine plants are not limited to higher latitudes and these areas have different ecology than those located at higher latitudes. One of the biggest distinctions is that the bound of a tropical alpine area is difficult to define due to a mixture of human disturbances, dry climates.
The other major difference between tropical and arctic alpine ecology is the temperature differences, the tropics have a summer/winter cycle every day, where as the higher latitudes stay cold both day and night. In the northern latitudes, the factor to overcome is the cold. Intense frost action processes have an effect on what little soil there is. Tropical alpine regions are subject to conditions as well. Because northern alpine areas cover an area it can be difficult to generalize the characteristics that define the ecology. One factor in alpine ecology is wind in an area, wind pruning is a common sight within northern alpine regions. Along with wind pruning, wind erosion of vegetation mats is a common sight throughout Alaska, alpine plants can exist at very high altitudes. For example, there is a moss that grows at 6,480 m on Mount Everest, arenaria bryophylla is the highest flowering plant in the world, occurring as high as 6,180 m. In order to survive, alpine plants are adapted to the conditions at altitudes, including cold, high levels of ultraviolet radiation
An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes. It is where two communities meet and integrate and it may be narrow or wide, and it may be local or regional. An ecotone may appear on the ground as a blending of the two communities across a broad area, or it may manifest itself as a sharp boundary line. The word ecotone was coined from a combination of eco plus -tone, from the Greek tonos or tension – in other words, there are several distinguishing features of an ecotone. First, an ecotone can have a sharp transition, with a distinct line between two communities. For example, a change in colors of grasses or plant life can indicate an ecotone, second, a change in physiognomy can be a key indicator. Scientists look at color variations and changes in plant height, third, a change of species can signal an ecotone. There will be specific organisms on one side of an ecotone or the other, other factors can illustrate or obscure an ecotone, for example and the establishment of new plants. These are known as spatial mass effects, which are noticeable because some organisms will not be able to form self-sustaining populations if they cross the ecotone.
Lastly, the abundance of species in an ecotone can reveal the type of biome or efficiency of the two communities sharing space. Because an ecotone is the zone in two communities integrate, many different forms of life have to live together and compete for space. Therefore, an ecotone can create a diverse ecosystem, changes in the physical environment may produce a sharp boundary, as in the example of the interface between areas of forest and cleared land. Elsewhere, a more gradually blended interface area will be found, mountain ranges often create such ecotones, due to the wide variety of climatic conditions experienced on their slopes. They may provide a boundary between species due to the nature of their terrain. Mont Ventoux in France is an example, marking the boundary between the flora and fauna of northern and southern France. Plants in competition extend themselves on one side of the ecotone as far as their ability to maintain themselves allows, beyond this competitors of the adjacent community take over.
As a result, the ecotone represents a shift in dominance, ecotones are particularly significant for mobile animals, as they can exploit more than one set of habitats within a short distance. The ecotone contains not only common to the communities on both sides, it may include a number of highly adaptable species that tend to colonize such transitional areas
In physical geography, tundra is a type of biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr uplands, there are three types of tundra, Arctic tundra, alpine tundra, and Antarctic tundra. In tundra, the vegetation is composed of shrubs and grasses, mosses. Scattered trees grow in tundra regions. The ecotone between the tundra and the forest is known as the line or timberline. Arctic tundra occurs in the far Northern Hemisphere, north of the taiga belt, the word tundra usually refers only to the areas where the subsoil is permafrost, or permanently frozen soil. Permafrost tundra includes vast areas of northern Russia and Canada, the polar tundra is home to several peoples who are mostly nomadic reindeer herders, such as the Nganasan and Nenets in the permafrost area. Arctic tundra contains areas of landscape and is frozen for much of the year. The soil there is frozen from 25–90 cm down, and it is impossible for trees to grow, instead and sometimes rocky land can only support low growing plants such as moss and lichen.
There are two seasons and summer, in the polar tundra areas. During the winter it is cold and dark, with the average temperature around −28 °C. However, extreme temperatures on the tundra do not drop as low as those experienced in taiga areas further south. During the summer, temperatures rise somewhat, and the top layer of seasonally-frozen soil melts, the tundra is covered in marshes, lakes and streams during the warm months. Generally daytime temperatures during the rise to about 12 °C. Arctic tundras are sometimes the subject of conservation programs. In Canada and Russia, many of areas are protected through a national Biodiversity Action Plan. Tundra tends to be windy, with winds often blowing upwards of 50–100 km/h, however, in terms of precipitation, it is desert-like, with only about 15–25 cm falling per year. Although precipitation is light, evaporation is relatively minimal, there is a natural pattern of accumulation of fuel and wildfire which varies depending on the nature of vegetation and terrain
North American Cordillera
The North American Cordillera is the North American portion of the American Cordillera which is a mountain chain along the western side of the Americas. The North American Cordillera covers an area of mountain ranges, intermontane basins. It is called the Western Cordillera, the Western Cordillera of North America. This cordillera extends from the U. S. state of Alaska to the border of Mexico. The North American Cordillera includes some of the highest peaks on the continent and its mountain ranges generally run north to south along three main belts, the Pacific Coast Ranges in the west, the Nevadan belt in the middle, and the Laramide belt in the east. These three orogenic belts arose due to the engagement of tectonic plates which deformed the Earths lithosphere, for example, the Laramide orogeny changed the topography of the central Rocky Mountains and adjoining Laramide regions during the Late Cretaceous 80 million years ago. Prior to this time the Rocky Mountain region was occupied by a broad basin, further topographical evolution occurred during the Eocene and Oligocene, but since that time the deformation of the region has been relatively stable.
Generally speaking, it will be convenient here to consider these three belts going west to east, and north to south. In Alaska, south of the Interior Plains area, is the Rocky Mountain System, the Intermontane Basins and Ranges, in the Alaska panhandle, the mainland mountain ranges and offshore islands are extensions of respective ranges further south. In Canada, the North American Cordillera is usually divided into three regions, the western system, the interior system, and the eastern system. The western system includes the Coast Mountains, the system includes the Columbia Mountains. In Mexico, the Sierra Madre Occidental, and the Sierra Madre Oriental further east, to the west of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the Peninsular Ranges border the Pacific Ocean, and the Sierra Madre del Sur is the southern extension of the Peninsular Ranges. Sierra Madre means Mother Range in Spanish, the Nevadan belt runs up and down the middle of the North American Cordillera. Therefore, the areas of the cordillera can be divided up into the areas east of the Nevadan belt.
The Pacific Coast Ranges, comprising the Pacific Coast Belt, parallel the North American Pacific Coast, along the British Columbia and Alaska coast, the mountains intermix with the sea in a complex maze of fjords, with thousands of islands. Off the Southern California coast the Channel Islands archipelago of the Santa Monica Mountains extends for 160 miles, in southern Alaska, the primary mountain ranges are the Alaska Range, Wrangell Mountains, Saint Elias Mountains, Kenai Mountains, Chugach Mountains, and Talkeetna Mountains. The Yukon Ranges comprise the mountains in the part of the U. S. state of Alaska and most of the Yukon. This range has an area of 140,820 square miles, the Coast Mountains run from the lower Fraser River and the Fraser Canyon northwestward, separating the Interior Plateau from the Pacific Ocean
Phacelia sericea, the silky phacelia or blue alpine phacelia, is a showy perennial species of Phacelia endemic to western North America. Uncommon, it grows mainly at subalpine to alpine elevations in forest openings or above treeline among rocks, sericea comes from the Latin sericeus, or silky, referring to the fine hairs on the leaves and stem. Phacelia sericea consists of several upright or ascending stems to 0.6 m from a tap-rooted, branched woody base and its leaves are pinnatifid with cleft or entire segments. The basal leaves are larger than the upper cauline leaves and are more persistent. The leaves and stems are covered with silvery silky hairs but are scarcely glandular. The inflorescence consists of several short panicles, tightly packed, at the end of the stem, the dark blue to purple bell-shaped corolla is 4–6 mm across. It is hairy inside and out but not glandular, the filaments are two to three times as long as the corolla and give the inflorescence a fuzzy appearance. The anthers are yellow or orange and the style is shortly cleft.
The fruit consists of two-chambered capsules with 8 to 18 seeds and it generally blooms from near the end of May through the end of August. P. sericea ssp. ciliosa is distributed from Oregon and California east to Wyoming, P. sericea ssp. sericea is restricted to the Rocky Mountains, British Columbia and Washington. The latter is smaller, more densely hairy, shorter, i. e. less than 0.3 m, with relatively narrow, where the ranges overlap, P. sericea ssp. ciliosa occurs at a lower elevation than ssp. sericea. These are listed as subspecies by the USDA PLANTS database and ITIS, Phacelia sericea is listed by the Federal Highway Administration as a native species suitable for landscaping along roadsides in Colorado
A natural region is a basic geographic unit. Usually it is a region which is distinguished by its natural features of geography, geology. Thus most natural regions are homogeneous ecosystems, human impact can be an important factor in the shaping and destiny of a particular natural region. The concept natural region may refer to a small, well defined area, or to a large basic geographical unit, the term may be used generically, like in alpine tundra, or specifically to refer to a particular place. The term is useful where there is no corresponding or coterminous official region. The Fens of eastern England, the Thai highlands, and the Pays de Bray in Normandy, are examples of this. Others might include regions with particular geological characteristics, like badlands, such as the Bardenas Reales, an upland massif of acidic rock, or The Burren, in Ireland
The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4000 metres, the altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe, in the mountains precipitation levels vary greatly and climatic conditions consist of distinct zones. Wildlife such as live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era, a mummified man, determined to be 5,000 years old, was discovered on a glacier at the Austrian–Italian border in 1991. By the 6th century BC, the Celtic La Tène culture was well established, Hannibal famously crossed the Alps with a herd of elephants, and the Romans had settlements in the region.
In 1800 Napoleon crossed one of the passes with an army of 40,000. The 18th and 19th centuries saw an influx of naturalists, writers, in World War II, Adolf Hitler kept a base of operation in the Bavarian Alps throughout the war. The Alpine region has a cultural identity. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, French, at present, the region is home to 14 million people and has 120 million annual visitors. The English word Alps derives from the Latin Alpes, maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator of Virgil, says in his commentary that all high mountains are called Alpes by Celts. The term may be common to Italo-Celtic, because the Celtic languages have terms for high mountains derived from alp and this may be consistent with the theory that in Greek Alpes is a name of non-Indo-European origin. According to the Old English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might possibly derive from a pre-Indo-European word *alb hill, Albania, a name not native to the region known as the country of Albania, has been used as a name for a number of mountainous areas across Europe.
In Roman times, Albania was a name for the eastern Caucasus, in modern languages the term alp, albe or alpe refers to a grazing pastures in the alpine regions below the glaciers, not the peaks. An alp refers to a mountain pasture where cows are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found. The Alps are a crescent shaped geographic feature of central Europe that ranges in a 800 km arc from east to west and is 200 km in width, the mean height of the mountain peaks is 2.5 km. The range stretches from the Mediterranean Sea north above the Po basin, extending through France from Grenoble, the range continues onward toward Vienna and east to the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. To the south it dips into northern Italy and to the north extends to the border of Bavaria in Germany
A forb is a herbaceous flowering plant that is not a graminoid. The term is used in biology and in ecology, especially in relation to grasslands. Forb is derived from the Greek φορβή, pasture or fodder, the spelling phorb is sometimes used, and in older usage this sometimes includes graminids and other plants currently not regarded as forbs. Forbs are members of a guild – a group of plant species with similar growth form. In certain contexts in ecology, guild membership may often be more important than the relationships between organisms. In addition to its use in ecology, the term forb may be used for subdividing popular guides to wildflowers, distinguishing them from other such as grasses, shrubs. Some examples of forbs are clover, daylily, dicotyledon Herbaceous plant Overgrazing United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service link to Growth habits Codes and Definitions
A microclimate is a local set of atmospheric conditions that differ from those in the surrounding areas, often with a slight difference but sometimes with a substantial one. The term may refer to areas as small as a few meters or square feet or as large as many square kilometers or square miles. Microclimates can be found in most places, another contributing factor of microclimate is the slope or aspect of an area. The terminology micro-climate first appeared in the 1950s in publications such as Climates in Miniature, microclimates can be used to the advantage of gardeners who carefully choose and position their plants. Cities often raise the temperature by zoning, and a sheltered position can reduce the severity of winter. Roof gardening, exposes plants to more extreme temperatures in summer and winter. Tall buildings create their own microclimate, both by overshadowing large areas and by channeling strong winds to ground level, wind effects around tall buildings are assessed as part of a microclimate study.
Microclimates can refer to environments, such as those in a room or other enclosure. Microclimates are commonly created and carefully maintained in museum display and storage environments and this can be done using passive methods, such as silica gel, or with active microclimate control devices. Usually, if the areas have a humid continental climate. The type of soil found in an area can affect microclimates, for example, soils heavy in clay can act like pavement, moderating the near ground temperature. On the other hand, if soil has many air pockets, the heat could be trapped underneath the topsoil, two main parameters to define a microclimate within a certain area are temperature and humidity. A source of a drop in temperature and/or humidity can be attributed to different sources or influences, often microclimate is shaped by a conglomerate of different influences and is a subject of microscale meteorology. The well known examples of cold air pool effect are Gstettneralm Sinkhole in Austria, the presence of permafrost close to the surface in a crater creates a unique microclimate environment.
As similar as lava tubes can be to caves which are not formed due to volcanic activity the microclimate within the former is different due to dominant presence of basalt, lava tubes and basaltic caves are important astrobiological targets on Earth and Mars. Artificial reservoirs as well as natural ones create microclimates and often influence the climate as well. Northern California above the Bay Area is known for microclimates with significant differences of temperatures. Even as far north as the Klamath River valley around the 41st parallel north between Willow Creek and Eureka averages such temperatures, which is hot for such northerly areas