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Phytosphere  RSS feed

 
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I recently wrote an article in Wikipedia about a layer of the atmosphere not formally recognized by science, but having distinct characteristics from other layers of the atmosphere. The page was deleted and I am now calling out to the scientific community to officially recognize the term phytosphere as the layer of the atmosphere directly affected by plants, and in which, plants abide. I would appreciate if they recognized the term and that the term was coined by me.

The differentiating characteristics or the phytosphere are many including reduced airflow/wind speed, moisture content, gas exchange, light penetration ect.
 
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I learned my lesson from Wikipedia snobs long ago. It may ask for free submissions, but then the info Nazi's show up and
call question to your copyright, your sources, your very existence. Pardon me but fuck wikipedia, I wouldn't let those douche bags lick the sweat from my scrotum.

P.S. How long ago did you coin the term? A quick google mentions it from 2002

 
gardener
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That's a great post/reply Mike. I burst into laughter. There's no emoticom to justly express my mirth. That in itself was worth all the time I've spent in front of a computer in weeks!


I would be interested to read your attempted Wikipedia submission, Jeff.

Could you explain to me what you believe to be the separation between what you call the phytosphere, and the rest of the atmosphere. Is it that the rest of the atmosphere contains other/zones/layers/elements that do not interact with plants? I'm not sure I understand this.

The way I see it, animals breath in O2 and breath out CO2 and plants breath in CO2 and give the O2, and they are the corresponding lungs in a dynamic cycle that exchanges these two gasses into a more complicated mix of gasses that are the rest of the atmosphere. The movement of H20 through it's many phases, interact with CO2, O2, Methane, Nitrogen, hydrogen and a few other elements and gasses to make up the gaseous part of the Biosphere, but I don't see how the animals can be separate from what might be the phyto (plant) sphere.

Help me out here.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I acknowledge that you have some differentiating characteristics listed, but most of these can also be attributed to animals (although usually to a lesser degree by volume). Herbivores are directly connected to the plants, and Omnivores partially connected, and Full Carnivores one step removed, does that make them part of the phytosphere?
 
Jeff Hodgins
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The term was formerly used to describe what are more accurately called "ecoregions or plant habitats" its also the name of a company but they don't really use the word to describe the air masses.

Answering Roberto. Yes the volume of air largely affected by animals is much obviously much smaller and could not be considered a layer. The phytosphere on the other hand has potential to extend beyond 400 feet above the surface. To me it seems that if we can say that there is an ozone layer because of ozone levels from 2 to 8 ppm. Than to say there is a phytosphere is much less of a stretch. In fact the upper layers of the atmosphere are of so little mass that the mass of the phytosphere may actually be of a comparable mass to other recognized layers. The one argument that is valid I'm my opinion is the obvious mixing of the phytosphere with the troposphere gases none the less at low wind speeds the gas entering the phytosphere can quickly change temperature and moisture content.

Human phytosphere destruction (removal of old growth forest) expanded greatly after Europeans discovered the Americas. Perhaps if that had not happened than it would be easier to acknowledge the phytosphere.

Furthermore perhaps through future evolution of plants or even human intervention the phytosphere could reach greater heights maybe even up to 1500 feet.

Sorry the article was erased
 
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This is the area of higher oxygen and co2 fluctuations. Higher oxygen during sunny days and localized co2 depletion, particularly when there is no wind or there is a temperature inversion. That might be used to describe the borders of such a zone.
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Anyone ever herd of F.A.C.E. free air co2 enrichment. On my farm I'm using Napier grass (up to 7 m tall) to put up a fast growing wind break for trees. I'm hoping to get about 200 Chayote squash planted this winter under the tall grass. Banana passion fruit will be planted in there to I don't really no how well they will do with no water in the winter, I've been watering the ones that I have now 1 year old plants. I had to cut down the mother plant it was huge try to kill like 5 trees even with pruning. They seem to handle drought but not frost same goes for pomagranit and natal plum .Napier is useful for frost protection, dense rows channel cold air down hill so I guess the downhill side of the grass row is the warmed micro climate. That's where I should put rocks to protect my tropicals.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Yes the volume of air largely affected by animals is much obviously much smaller and could not be considered a layer. The phytosphere on the other hand has potential to extend beyond 400 feet above the surface.



I can understand what you are saying but my understanding of the layers of the atmosphere is somewhat limited. I was under the impression that bovines and other ungulates were major contributing factors to atmospheric methane and that this greenhouse gas is accumulating higher up than that. I can not say that this is a distinct layer unto itself but since these animals and the methane they release clearly has a relationship with plants, I'm not sure how it can be separated from this phytosphere.

It seems as though there is a lower atmospheric exchange of gasses which do directly associate with plants, and it does make sense to have it named if that is definitively the case.

The destruction of the world's forests, particularly in the colonial era and onward, is certainly a contributing factor to how diminished this sphere might be, but it may be difficult to calculate where it might be had this destruction not happened. It would be similar to trying to calculate the phytosphere's height before the Sahara, the Gobi, or other major desert systems were developed through poor land use. No doubt, these precolonial degradations to our grassland, savanna land, and forests, as well as the loss of their wetlands, contributed to massive losses to the phytosphere.

It's difficult to say what the loss of oceanic ecosystems has had on the depletion of oxygen in our atmosphere. My understanding is that oceanic phytoplankton contribute more oxygen to the atmosphere than all the forests and other land plants combined.

 
Jeff Hodgins
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The Phytosphere is so important to climate because it slows the wind speed and the high surface area of plants act as radiators therefore moderating surface temps by a few degrees or less.
 
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Probably the article:

Phytosphere

The phytosphere is the layer of the earth's atmosphere closest to the crust and directly affected by the presence of plants. A sub layer of the troposphere, it is the thinnest layer of the earth's atmosphere, varying in thickness from around 300 feet above the ground down to a few centimeters, in some areas disappearing altogether. The phytosphere is differentiated from the troposphere by its unique properties. The word phytosphere is also used to describe zones where specific plants or plant types occur.

Properties

The composition of the air in the phytosphere can be slightly different from the surrounding troposphere as gases and water vapor are released and absorbed by plants. The phytosphere is often more humid than the adjacent lower troposphere. The gas temperature can be slightly more stable than the lower troposphere as well. The flow of air is reduced by the bodies of plants and the sunlight is reduced by shading from plant bodies. In climates where the temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius for long periods, the phytosphere may only have seasonal significance.

Etymology
"Phyto" or plant and "sphere" where first used to describe a layer of the earth's atmosphere by Dr. Jeffrey Hodgins when he discovered that the properties of the layer were far different from those of the troposphere especially when the surface wind speed was relatively slow and during the growing season in a given area. He determined that the word phytosphere should be used to describe the airmasses most affected by plants.



My own thoughts about wikipedia: Its nice for simple things, but anything complicated or recent is seldom present and correct.
 
pollinator
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I don't see why you'd need to differentiate between the phytosphere and where animals live.

That doesn't make sense to me, as animal food webs are based upon plants, and the plants themselves naturally require something to provide them with carbon dioxide.

There's also the whole interconnectivity issue, exemplified by the keystone nature of certain specific species in certain specific bioregions or biospheres.

Salmon runs are responsible for fertilizing the forests through which they run.

Beavers manipulate the phytosphere to engineer massive dams, which act as sediment traps and also to increase infiltration of surface water, along with the building of aquatic ecosystems that feed fish, moose, and everything that feeds off of those systems, spreading fertility onto the land.

I agree with the idea of the phytosphere, but it might have to be discussed in conjunction with or as a subset of the biosphere. It doesn't do what it's most remarkable for all on its own, or in isolation, after all.

-CK
 
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