Biology focuses on a single living organism at a time, examining the life stages, reproduction, morphology and range. In the case of fauna, there is considerable attention to the motor and social behavior of each species. For both animals and plants, biologists examine carefully the relationship of organisms to nutrient sources. Subject species may be microscopic as small as bacteria, or include the largest creatures ever known, such as present day cetaceans or extinct dinosaurs. Some biology studies focus on the reconstruction of events deep back into prehistory, while other research is preoccupied with events that are happening today and forward into the future.
Wind turbine bird mortality is a by-product of large scale wind farms, which are increasingly promoted as an alternative to fossil fuel derived energy production. To adequately...
Earth's atmospheric airLast Updated on 2014-02-08 16:22:29The Earth's atmospheric air is a colorless, odorless and tasteless mixture of gases consisting mostly of nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2). It is the part of Earth's atmosphere that humans and all other animals breathe in order to obtain the oxygen needed to sustain life.
The Earth's atmosphere not only contains the air we breathe, it also holds clouds of moisture (water vapor) that become the water we drink. Furthermore, it protects us from meteors and harmful solar radiation and warms the Earth's surface by heat retention. In effect, the atmosphere is an envelope that protects all life on Earth.
The air may contain pollutants that originate from a variety of sources such as our industries and our vehicles, and can directly or indirectly affect our health and the natural environment. These effects may be experienced near the sources of air pollution and some air... More »
Leather OakLast Updated on 2014-01-18 12:16:02
The Leather Oak, a California endemic, occurs primarily in the California interior chaparral and woodlands ecoregion. It is a species with strong affinity for ultramafic soils, a geochemical class of high magnesium, low calcium and nutrient deficient media. In appearance this is a shrub-like tree whose leathery leaves reveal its common name and obvious membership in the sclerophyll vegetation category, a morphological class of hard leaved species that may occur in such diverse places as Australia, Southern Africa, the Chilean matorral and the Mediterranean Basin as well as the California Floristic Province.
Q durata has two recognized varieties:
* var. durata, occurs at elevation 150 to 1500 m in the California North and South Coast Ranges, San Francisco Bay Area and northern Sierra Nevada foothills. Upper leaf sufaces of this variety are severely... More »
California Central Valley grasslandsLast Updated on 2013-12-22 20:43:55
The California Central Valley grasslands extends approximately 430 miles in central California, paralleling the Sierra Nevada Range to the east and the coastal ranges to the west (averaging 75 miles in longitudinal extent), and stopping abruptly at the Tehachapi Range in the south. Two rivers flow from opposite ends and join around the middle of the valley to form the extensive Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that flows into San Francisco Bay. The ecoregion is an element of the Temperate Grasslands, Shrublands Savannas biome.
Desert grasslands occur in the southern end of the valley due to increasing aridity. The valley is ringed by oak woodlands and chaparral of the California interior chaparral and woodland ecoregion. Faunal biodiversity of the California Central Valley grasslands is relatively modest, especially given the habitat destruction wrought upon this region by man's... More »
Panamanian dry forestsLast Updated on 2013-11-04 17:59:07The Panamanian dry forests ecoregion occupies approximately 2000 square miles of coastal and near-coastal areas on the Pacific side of Panama, around portions of the Gulf of Panama.
Originally, the Panama dry forests were distributed exclusively in the lower and premontane portions of the Pacific versanta region of land sloping in one general direction (0-800 metres in elevation), around the Gulf of Panama;. This ecoregion has a dry climate and intermediate flora diversity, which is distributed in distinct areas, such as small residual deciduous and semi-deciduous forests and gallery forests along the rivers.
Habitat destruction of this ecoregion has been extensive, with overgrazing, agricultural conversion and urbanization and resultant fragmentation, strong pressure for cattle ranching, burning, and hunting.This process of habitat destruction began in earnest with the Spanish... More »
Windward Islands dry forestsLast Updated on 2013-11-01 10:33:27The Windward Islands dry forests ecoregion is sparsely distributed among the Windward Island Group of the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles. It is typically found as an intermediate gradient between the more mesichabitat characterized by moderate soil moisture, high-elevation forests and the xeric, coastal areas. Much of this ecoregion has been substantially altered by shifting cultivation. Many areas that were once dry evergreen or semi-evergreen seasonal forest, are now cultivated and dominated by farms, rural villages, roads, pastures and banana tree patches. This ecoregion shares flora and fauna with adjacent moist forests and, in some areas, with species native to coastal habitats. Arid coastal areas and inaccessible interior mountains put a disproportionate amount of human-related pressures (i.e., agricultural expansion, roads, buildings) on this ecoregion. Consequently,... More »
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