Summarizing Biogeography


Biogeography is the study of the geographic distribution of living things and the abiotic factors that affect their distribution. Endemic species are species that are naturally found only in a specific geographic area. The distribution of living things is influenced by several environmental factors that are, in part, controlled by the latitude or elevation at which an organism is found. Ocean upwelling and spring and fall turnovers are important processes regulating the distribution of nutrients and other abiotic factors important in aquatic ecosystems. Energy sources, temperature, water, inorganic nutrients, and soil are factors limiting the distribution of living things in terrestrial systems. Net primary productivity is a measure of the amount of biomass produced by a biome.


aboveground biomass

total mass of aboveground living plants per area


study of the geographic distribution of living things and the abiotic factors that affect their distribution


ecological community of plants, animals, and other organisms that is adapted to a characteristic set of environmental conditions


species found only in a specific geographic area that is usually restricted in size

fall and spring turnover

seasonal process that recycles nutrients and oxygen from the bottom of a freshwater ecosystem to the top

net primary productivity

measurement of the energy accumulation within an ecosystem, calculated as the total amount of carbon fixed per year minus the amount that is oxidized during cellular respiration

ocean upwelling

rising of deep ocean waters that occurs when prevailing winds blow along surface waters near a coastline


layer of water with a temperature that is significantly different from that of the surrounding layers

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