1. Mediterranean Climates, like those in Central California, experience extremely hot and dry summers and relatively cool and moist winters. Relate the soil-water balance to the growth strategies of plants in this region. Include discussion of surplus and deficit periods in this region. Explain what the effects of growing non-Mediterranean crops during the summer months, using large irrigation works, are likely to be on the soils (remember the four regimes!).
2. Explain the different ‘strategies’ for growth employed by deciduous and coniferous trees in mid-latitude areas and relate these differences to climatic conditions. In your answer, explain the difference between deciduous and coniferous trees. Explain the climatic and soil-water conditions under which coniferous trees grow and relate it to those trees’ ‘strategies’. Explain the climatic and soil-water conditions under which deciduous trees grow and relate it to those trees’ ‘strategies’.
3. Midlatitude prairie grasslands are typified by well developed root systems also known as sod. Explain why sod grasses thrive under climatic conditions of hard summer droughts and cold winters with limited quantities of precipitation. In your answer make sure that you first describe the soil-water balance of a Steppe Climate and then explain how this balance encourages the growth of grasses and discourages the growth of trees. Next, point out the influence of the soil-water balance on soil regime and discuss how this encourages the growth of sod.
4. Desert climates are hot and dry all year. Rainfall levels are low and humidity levels are low (high evapotranspiration). Comment of the soil water-budget identifying any periods of surplus and/or deficit in these regions. In light of this balance and other climatic conditions discuss the ecosystems found in these regions and the two basic ‘strategies’ for growth used by plants in these ecosystems.
5. Compare and contrast tropical savanna climates with a distinct wet and dry season to mid-latitude grassland areas with pronounced mid-latitude summer deficits of soil-moisture. Make sure that you point out both the similarities and differences in soil moisture in these regions. Contrast the growth ‘strategies’ of grasses in these two regions by commenting on differences in soils and the effects of climate on these soils.
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