Lecture Exam 1

Lecture Exam 2

Lecture Exam 3



Lecture exams will cover approximately one-third of the class material each time. The class covers quite a bit of material from lectures, readings, and greenhouse tours, but the coverage is supposed to add depth to main ideas and concepts. Thus, use the review sheets below to get a feel for the most the most important parts of each section and what details to add to round out the key ideas and concepts.  Exams will typically include a little of each of the following: definitions, short answers, matching, true/false, problem solving, and essays. Use the link to see an example of a typical lecture 1 exam.

Lecture 1 Exam Study Sheet [download it]

1st exam covers through Feb. 20 - to the end of the biomes

 I.  Introduction: Read: TextB. Chpt. 1: The Science of Biogeography [pp. 4-14]

what is biogeography – be able to define it
approaches to biogeography & what each does

 II. Climate and Vegetation

outcomes of earth's rotation and path around the sun
important latitudinal lines (e.g., where and why is the Tropic of Capricorn defined?)
important latitudinal climatic zones
Hadley cells, Coriolis effect, wind patterns
equatorial low, subtropical high, ITC zone
ocean currents and their directions
lapse rates, Hopkin's bioclimatic law, adiabatic cooling/drying
subsolar convectional precipitation
orographic precipitation, adiabatic warming on leeward side of mountains
know where to expect precipitation patterns on continents and corresponding biomes (be able to locate these on a world map or idealized continent map!)

 III. Vegetation vs.Flora

Humboldt's contribution to phytogeography – be able to discuss “vegetation vs. flora”
Raunkiaer life forms forms – what are the basic types (be able to match dominant life forms for each biome)

 IV. Biomes – Read: TextB. Chpt. 5: Distributions of Communities [pp. 136-150]

1. Tropical Rainforest (note examples from Greenhouse Tour #1)

where located, climate pattern
diversity, complexity, soil
emergents & their adaptations
dominant families of plants
battle for light,leaf adaptations
herbs (a characteristic family or two)
lianas (a characteristic family or two)
epiphytes (a characteristic family or two)
stranglers (characteristic family)

2. Cloud Forests (note examples from Greenhouse Tour #1)

characteristic vegetation
some impoortant plant families
what is found above cloud forests in taller tropical mountains, why?

3. Mangroves (note examples from Greenhouse Tour #1)

adaptations, reproductive strategies
know a plant representative

4. Tropical Deciduous Forest (note examples from Greenhouse Tour #1)

location, climate, seasonality
nature of adaptations to aridity
continuum of dry forest types in Venezuela

5. Thornforest & Thornscrub (note examples from Greenhouse Tour #1)

convergence in adaptation to environment
Acacia, Cactaceae, Euphorbia, Didieriaceae

6. Tropical Savannas (note examples from Greenhouse Tour #1)

convergent adaptations to savannas
specific ecological factors affecting savanna vegetation in the Llanos, sand savannas, lajas, cerrados

7. Deserts (note examples from Greenhouse Tour #1)

locations of rainless deserts, fog deserts
nephelophytes, halophytes, xerophytes, succulents
match characteristic plant genus/family to Namib, Peruvian fog desert, N. Amer. deserts
why is their gradation in desert-ness from Chihuahuan to Sonoran to Mojave?
pattern of floristic links

8. Mediterranean Biome (note example from Greenhouse Tour #1)

location and characteristic climate
dominant vegetation types and nature of convergent adaptations, Ericaceae
adaptations to fire?
match characteristic woody plant genus/family to Mediterranean region, South Africa, Australia, California

9. Temperate Forests

know basic climatic conditions and therefore general locations of each
subtropical moist forests: why would these be called 'laurel forests'?
temperate rainforests: why absent from Africa? How are the northern and southern Hemisphere floras so different? What major plant groups dominate here?
temperate deciduous forest: what does the deciduous habit gain?
boreal and montane forest: what plant group dominates the tree canopy, and why? why worldwide similarity in flora?

10. Arctic and Alpine

nature of tundra and/or alpine biome; why are these similar in vegetation and flora?
major life forms, reproductive strategies
some major families

11. Grasslands and Steppes

where are they generally found?
adaptations to fire, grazing
3 dominant families

 V. Read text (Chapters 1, 3, and especially 5)

 VI. Take the Greenhouse Tour #1 looking at 20 plants representing various biome typesand illustrating some unusual biogeographical distributions/stories. [Don't need to memorize the Latin names - common name of species or family is OK; we are more interested in you getting a feel for what the plants actually look like in some of the biomes, some general families typical of these biomes, their general adapatations to these biomes, and some peculiar distribution patterns; if given].


Lecture 2 Exam Study Sheet
[download it]

  I.  Read text for chapters covering material that is new to you (these in order of how topics presented):

Chapter 4: Distribution of Single Species [pp. 65- 71; 77-84]

Chapter 10: Geography of Diversification [pp. 327-348; 358-366]

Chapter 7: Speciation and Extinction [pp. 177-207]

Chapter 10: The Geography of Diversification [pp. 380-386]

Chapter 8, Infraspecific Variation and the Ecotype Concept [pp. 148-171]

Chapter 2: The History of Biogeography [pp. 13-26]

Chapter 8: The Changing Earth [pp.227-261]

Chapter 11: Reconstructing the History of Lineages [pp. 389-404]

Chapter 12: Reconstructing the History of Biotas [pp. 421-450]

Chapter 11: Reconstructing the History of Lineages [pp. 404-408]

Chapter 12: Reconstructing the History of Biotas [pp. 450-457]

  II.  Floristic Biogeography

Know the main kinds of distribution patterns

What are various kinds of endemics?

What does provincialism mean?

What is the general “area” pattern (allopatric vs. sympatric) seen in closely related vs. distantly related species?

What are the four main floristic hierarchical levels and how are they generally delimited?

Floristic kingdoms: what are they and where are they located?

How do floristic kingdoms and faunistic provinces compare and contrast? What are various kinds of endemics?

What does provincialism mean?

  III.  Evolution

Understand the historical setting in biogeography both from the perspective of geological and biological evolution

Evidence for evolution; know how biogeography contributes towards the formulation of evolutionary theory

Anagenesis vs. cladogenesis, what is the difference?

What is an ecotype? Why is it important in biogeography? What is a cline? Read chapter 8 from Briggs and Walter

Know the basic steps in allopatric speciation; how is the "island" type of allopatric speciation different? how do allopolyploid species form?

  IV.  Historical Biogeography

Know the main players and what they contributed or believed concerning earth history and/or organism history (Linnaeus, Buffon, von Humboldt, de Candolle, Darwin, Wallace, Hooker, Cain, Wegener, Rosen&Nelson&Platnick)

Dispersalism vs. vicariance: is this a black and white issue? Be able to defend your answer. Read Stace in handouts

Center of origin idea; how is this idea still around today?

Filters, corridors, and sweepstakes routes: what are they and give an example?

Evidence for continental drift (sea floor spreading + plate tectonics)

Know basics (!) of systematics/phylogenetics (cladistics)

What is different in the way phylogenetic and cladistic biogeography work and in their assumptions? What are the steps in phylogenetic or cladistic biogeography? What are some problems with these approaches? Note: this kind of question and/or work problem will be part of the take home exam portion.

  V. Relationships of Floras

How does knowledge of “clocks” as well as of “continents” and “clades” help in answering questions of vicariance vs. dispersal?

Relate continental drift and other geological phenomena to the relationships of floras in temperate and tropical southern hemisphere continents.

Is vicariance or dispersal or both important in explaining the disjunct patterns of the southern hemisphere? Between Southern Hemisphere temperate vs. tropical floras? Between South American and African mammals?

What is the boreotropics hypothesis?

Is there a Wallace line? If so, what evidence is there for it (from animals, from plants)? Why would there be such a line?

What is known about the "ArctoTertiary" Flora? Why are these peculiar disjunct patterns seen today? What does recent molecular systematic studies suggest about these disjunct patterns? Read article by Donoghue and Smith (2004)

  VI. Phylogeography - will NOT be on the 2nd exam

  VII.  Take the Greenhouse Tour #2



Lecture 3 Exam Study Sheet

 I.  Island Biogeography

Why are islands important in biogeography? Who are MacArthur and Wilson? What is the relationship between species number and area? Know the "theory of island biogeography," especially as it relates to immigration, extinction, island size, and island remoteness - try graphing these.

 II.  Island Biology

What peculiar things happen to plants and animals on islands? Know the important principles of dispersal as highlighted in class. What are the most important dispersal mechanisms for the Hawaiian flora? Why? Read the paper by Carlquist on chance dispersal. What does it mean that the Hawaiian flora is depauperate, endemic, and disharmonic? What are the floristic affinities of the Hawaiian floras (in general)? What is adaptive radiation? Know briefly (!) the important aspects of adaptive radiation in Hawaiian silverswords and lobelioids (the paper by Givnish et al. summarizes the Hawaiian lobeliad adaptive radiation). What is unusual about the tepuis and paramos, in an island biogeographic sense? Read the paper by Knox and Palmer on Afro-alpine mountain top plants.

  III.  Paleogeography

Know the main eras and periods of the geological time scale. What were the main innovations for terrestrial vegetation during the periods of the Paleozoic? Know the important fossils (Cooksonia, Rhynia, Lepidodendron, Calamites, Glossopterids for example). Link if possible these genera/floras to areas of the world and their then continental positions/climates. What were the main changes during the Mesozoic? When did the angiosperms arise? Know something about when cosmopolitan or provincial floras developed and why they did at those times. Review the fossil plant display in Birge 254 that depicts some of these - see Greenhouse Tour 3 for write up of these fossils.

  IV. North American Flora

What was the general trend in climate in North America during the Tertiary? Know a general picture of how the North American vegetation (and flora if possible) changed during the last 70 million years up to the ice ages. Read the chapter by Graham on reserve in the Biology Library. Review the fossil plant display in Birge 254 that depicts some of these - see Greenhouse Tour 3 for write up of these fossils. When did grasslands become important? When did the Arcto-Tertiary flora arise and decline? What are lines of evidence for the activity of continental glaciers? Who is Agassiz? Know briefly (!) the Milankovitch cycles and their effects. What kind of periodicity is known from the Pleistocene, and what evidence supports it? Explain the nature of the eastern North American vegetation at about 18,000 ya. Briefly describe how and when various floristic elements entered Wisconsin during the Holocene; use the terms refugia or survivia in your answer. What are the two main floristic provinces in Wisconsin? What is the tension zone? Was western Europe affected differently during the Quaternary? Were there similar Pleistocene cycles in the tropics? Who is Haffer (and Prance)? What was his theory and what support is there for the theory? What evidence is there against his theory today?

  V. Future of Biogeography (or of the Biota)

What are several current problems that impact plant distributions? What is a weed? What are possible effects of weeds? What is now known about hybridization between invasive and native species? Read the paper by David Quammen on Planet of Weeds. Read the paper by Saltonstall on reed invasion in North America. How can climate warming impact the biogeography of plants? If extinction is an on-going natural process, why should we be worried about the present extinction events?

  VI. Greenhouse/outside tour!