Figure 12.1 summarizes the ideas about the spatial and temporal variability of ecosystems presented in this book. From these ideas, we can draw the following conclusions:
1. We recognize all natural ecosystems by differences in climatic regime. Climate, as a source of energy and moisture, acts as the primary control for the ecosystem. As this component changes, the other components change in response. The primary controls over the climatic effects change with scale. Regional ecosystems are areas of essentially homogeneous macroclimate that biogeographers have traditionally recognized as biomes, life zones, or plant formations.
KeywordsClimatic Regime Tall Grass Prairie Historical Biogeography Life Zone Ecological Unit
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