Vegetation of the Earth and Ecological Systems of the Geo-biosphere

Vegetation of the Earth and Ecological Systems of the Geo-biosphere

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We shall limit our observations to the conditions in natural ecosystems, since it would be beyond the scope of this book to embark upon a consideration of secondary, man-made ecosystems. 2. Classification of the Geo-biosphere into Zonobiomes The biosphere is the thin layer of the earth's surface to which the phenomena connected with living matter are confined. On land, this comprises the lowest layer of the atmosphere permanently inhabited by living organisms and into which plants extend, as well as the root-containing portion of the lithosphere, which we term the soil. Living organisms are also found in all bodies of water, to the very depths of the oceans. In a watery medium, however, cycling of material is achieved by means other than those on land, and the organisms (plankton) are so different that aquatic ecosystems have to be dealt with separately. The biosphere is therefore subdivided into (a) the geo-biosphere comprising terrestrial ecosystems, and (b) the hydro-biosphere, comprising aquatic ecosystems, which is the field of hydrobiologists (oceanographers and limnologists) . Our studies are confined to the geo-biosphere (Walter 1976), which constitutes the habitat of man and is, therefore, of special interest. The prevailing climate, being the primary independent factor in the environment, can be used as a basis for further subdivision of the geo-biosphere since the formation of soil and type of vegetation are dependent upon it (see p. 3), and it has not yet been substantially influenced by man.... although oceanic currents also play a certain role. 2. Climate and Its Representation (Climate Diagrams, Homoclimes, and Climate-Diagram Maps) Our classification of the geo-biosphere into zonobiomes is based upon the climate, by whichanbsp;...

Title:Vegetation of the Earth and Ecological Systems of the Geo-biosphere
Author:Heinrich Walter
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2012-12-06


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