Sierra Nevada

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  1. General formation of the current Sierra Nevada
    • -Tilted fault block of granite, 400 miles long.
    • -Covered by glaciers
  2. ecotone
    • Transition zones.
    • Where communities meet and species overlap.
  3. The four principal climatic zones
    • 1)Lower Montane (Yellow Pine Forest)
    • 2)Upper Montane (Red Fir/ Lodgepole Pine Forest)
    • 3)Subalpine
    • 4)Alpine
  4. Role of Elevation
    • ~ every 1000 ft increase in elevation is = to moving 300 miles north
    • Increase in elevation=decrease in temp. (3-5°F/1000 ft)
    • Shallower soils
    • Higher wind and drier air
    • Less CO2&O
















  5. Climatic Factors
    • -Rainshadow Effect, from west to eat
    • -Precipitation, from north to south
  6. Yellow Pine (Lower Montane Forest)
    • Highest amount of rainfall
    • Contains:
    • Incense Cedar, Giant Sequoia, White Fir, Sugar Pine, Douglas Fir, and Ponderosa Pine
    • Fire important to keep openness (8-15yrs)
  7. Upper Montane (Red Fir / Lodgepole Pine Forest)
    • has the highest snowfall in CA
    • Snow adapted not fire adapted
    • Growing season approx. 4 months
    • Contains: Red fir, Wolf lichen













  8. Subalpine Woodland
    99% of precipitation is snow



    Created by glaciers


    Drought conditions





    High winds





    • Very little soil
    • Vegetation: Bristle Cone Pine, Foxtail pine



















  9. Alpine
    • Little precipitation
    • Intense light, lots of UV rays


    Growing season 40-70 days





    • Temperature is very cold, -40°F
    • No trees



    • Animals: Bighorn sheep, Yellow-bellied marmot
  10. Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)

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    • Most abundant conifer in N.Am.
    • Lives 300-500 years



    • Over 100 ft tall
    • Needles in 3's



    Fire adapted







    Seeds need fire to germinate
  11. White Fir (Abies concolor)









    • Can reach up to 240 ft and 74 inches in diameter
    • Not fire adapted with resinous foliage that burns easily
    • Shade tolerant

    Have upright cones
  12. Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)





    Second tallest conifer, 329 ft and 15 ft diameter

    Not true firs



    Unique cones







  13. How fire alters the Lower Montane & why they're necessary
    • Giant sequoia and ponderosa pine seeds need it to germinate.
    • Fire removes litter and provides nutrients to the poor soil



    Fire also causes some species (Giant sequoia)



    cones to shed their seed









  14. Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana)



    Can reach heights of 250 feet with a diameter of 18+ ft


    BIG cones average 18 inches long





    Needles in 5’s















  15. Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

    • Live 3,200 – 4,000 years
    • Bark to 24” thick
    • 225 ft plus in height
    • Adult trees are fire adapted
    • Seeds need fire to germinate
    • Cones need fire to shed seeds
    • Have an extensive, "pancake" root system



















  16. FIRE Cycle in the Lower Montane
    • Every 8-15 years
    • Allows sequoia and ponderosa seeds to germinate
    • It removes litter and provides nutrients to the soil
  17. FIRE SUPRESSION
    • USFS began controlling fires in 1905. CDF in 1924
    • With excess fuel, most of the fires we see today are crown fires
    • Has altered the dominant tree species and structure has shifted from open to clumped












  18. PRESCRIBED/CONTROLLED BURNING
    • Management tool to bring back a normal fire cycle
    • Cut and pile smaller trees to burn in heaps
    • Then set a ground fire


    • USFS, NPS, State Dept. of Forestry and
    • California Dept. of Parks and Recreation use this method

    • •Success in germination and survival in
    • sequoia groves




  19. Black Bear
    • Only species of bear remaining in the state of California.
    • Adult males can be 250 to 600 lbs and extend 6 feet tall.
    • Lifespan: 25yrs+
    • During Hibernation: Winter
    • They don't wake up, urinate, or deficate (body recycles nitrogen waste)
    • Cubs are born during hibernation








  20. How are mountain meadows formed?
  21. Difference between the formation of a “U”-shaped vs. “V”-shaped valley
  22. Adaptations that flowering plants have in the alpine zone?






    Why is
    plant growth limited in the sub-alpine and alpine zones? Describe Krummholz.






    Why is
    plant growth limited in the sub-alpine and alpine zones? Describe Krummholz.








    Why is
    plant growth limited in the sub-alpine and alpine zones? Describe Krummholz.









    Why is
    plant growth limited in the sub-alpine and alpine zones? Describe Krummholz.







    Why is
    plant growth limited in the sub-alpine and alpine zones? Describe Krummholz.
  23. Alpine Animals
    • Yellow-bellied Marmot

    • Bighorn Sheep

Card Set Information

Author:
michellefool
ID:
1144
Filename:
Sierra Nevada
Updated:
2009-11-19 18:49:04
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Description:
BIO EXAM
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