Published on March 11, 2014
Biosphere to Ecosystems Trischa Pretorius
Ecology The scientific study of interactions among organisms and their environment.
Terminology •Biosphere: The portion of the planet which in all life exists. •Biome: A group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities.
Terminology •Ecosystem: Collection of all the organisms that live in a particular place, together with their non-living environment. • Community: Assemblages of different populations that live in a particular place together with their non- living physical environment.
Terminology •Species: A group of organisms similar to one another that can breed together. •Populations: Groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area.
Biosphere • Biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships. • Usually defined as the thin outer layer of the earth capable of supporting life.
Subdivisions of the Biosphere • Lithosphere • Hydrosphere • Atmosphere
Lithosphere The rocky material of the earth’s outer shell and is the ultimate source of all mineral elements required by living organisms.
Hydrosphere •The hydrosphere includes all water on Earth. •The abundance of water on Earth is a unique feature that clearly distinguishes our "Blue Planet" from others in the solar system.
Hydrosphere • Not a drop of liquid water can be found anywhere else in the solar system. It is because the Earth has just the right mass, the right chemical composition, the right atmosphere, and is the right distance from the Sun that permits water to exist mainly as a liquid. •Most of the water is contained in the oceans.
Atmosphere • The gaseous component of the biosphere. • Extends up to some 3500 km above the earth’s surface, but all life is confined to the lowest 8 to 15 km (TROPOSPHERE). • The screening layer in the atmosphere of oxygen-zone is concentrated mostly between 20 – 25 km.
What is a biome?
Biomes • Scientists have developed the term Biome to describe areas on the earth with similar climate, plants, and animals. • The plants and animals that live in a specific biome are physically well adapted for that area. • Plants and animals that live in a specific biome share similar characteristics with other plants and animals in that biome throughout the world.
Biomes There are 8 officially classified terrestrial biomes (plus marine and freshwater): 1. Temperate forest 2. Tropical forest 3. Conifer (taiga/boreal) 4. Tropical savannah 5. Temperate grassland 6. Chaparral 7. Tundra 8. Desert
Forest • Earth's most complex land. • Forests occupy approximately one-third of Earth's land area, account for over two- thirds of the leaf area of land plants, and contain about 70% of carbon present in living things. • There are three major types of forests, classed according to latitude: Tropical Temperate Boreal forests (taiga)
Temperate forest • Temperate forests occur in eastern North America, northeastern Asia, and western and central Europe. • Well-defined seasons with a distinct winter characterize this forest biome. • Moderate climate and a growing season of 140-200 days during 4-6 frost-free months distinguish temperate forests.
Tropical forest • Average annual rainfall: 400 cm (158 in) • Average temperature: 34°C (93°F) • Climate: Very humid, it rains everyday and is warm throughout the year. • Landforms: The terrain consists of both mountains and flat plains.
Boreal forest (taiga) • Average annual rainfall: 30-84 cm (12-33 in) • Average temperatures: Summer: 14°C (57°F), Winter: -10°C (14°F) • Climate: It is cold with winds blowing from the arctic, most rainfall occurs during the hot summer. Winters are freezing cold. • Landforms: Mountaintops, valleys and forests
Savanna • Average annual rainfall: 150 cm (59 in) • Average temperatures: Dry season: 34°C (93°F) Wet season: 16°C (61°F) • Climate: There are two seasons, wet in the summer, dry in the winter. • Landforms: Flat plain with small hills.
Grassland • Average annual rainfall: 25-75 cm (10-30 in) • Average temperatures: Summer: 30°C (86°F) Winter: 0°C (32°F) • Climate: Hot summers and cool winters. • Landforms: Gently rolling hills and flat plains.
Chaparral • Chaparral is found on most continents, from the west coast of the US to the western tip of Australia and the coastal areas of the Mediterranean. • The main climatic influence is heat and lack of moisture. Winters are mild with summer so hot and dry that fires and droughts are common.
Tundra • Average annual rainfall: 30-50 cm (12-20 in) • Average temperatures: Summer:12°C (54°F) Winter: -26°C(-14°F) • Climate: Long, cold winters and short, cool summers • Landform: Flat plain
Characteristics of tundra include: • Extremely cold climate • Low biotic diversity • Simple vegetation structure • Limitation of drainage • Short season of growth and reproduction • Energy and nutrients in the form of dead organic material • Large population oscillations
Desert • Average annual rainfall: 25 cm (10 in) • Average temperatures: Summer: 38°C (100°F), Winter: 7°C (45°F) • Climate: Very dry and hot. It is hot during the day and cold at night. • Landforms: Flat sandy plains.
The marine biome • Marine regions cover about three- fourths of the Earth's surface and include: Oceans Coral reefs Estuaries • Marine algae supply much of the world's oxygen supply and take in a huge amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. • The evaporation of the seawater provides rainwater for the land.
Ocean Pelagic & Coral Reefs Yikes a shark! Coral Reefs Ocean Pelagic
The freshwater biome • Freshwater is defined as having a low salt concentration — usually less than 1%. • Plants and animals in freshwater regions are adjusted to the low salt content and would not be able to survive in areas of high salt concentration (i.e., ocean). • There are different types of freshwater regions: Ponds and lakes Streams and rivers Wetlands
Environment • Environment: set of natural, cultural and social values. • Made up: biocenosis (flora + fauna), Biotope (air, water, soil) and human being. The relationship between them can cause environmental impacts.
Climate change Acid rain Hole in the ozone layer Endangered species Deforestation Etc. Environmental impacts:
Climate change • Natural + anthropic • Human activities are warming up the planet (Industry, transport) • Consequences: CO2 in atmosphere (Greenhouse effect) Temperature increasing (Global warming) Ice cap melting Sea level raising
Acid rain Nitric and Sulphuric oxides in the air mix with atmospheric water destroying vegetation when it rains.
Hole in the ozone layer • CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon)from the sprays destroys the ozone particles in the atmosphere. • The hole in the ozone allows the ultraviolet and other harmful rays to go through. • Consequences: Health problems like skin cancer. Although CFC was forbidden it persists for decades.
Endangered species • Human beings destroy the natural habitat of animals and vegetation, also the natural resources exploitation cause a high risk situation with biodiversity extinction. • Deforestation, urbanization of natural ecosystems, non native species, lakes and rivers pollution, are the main things responsible.
WHAT CAN WE DO? • Think green daily. • Save resources. • Reduce, reuse, recycle • Don’t waste energy!
Ecosystems • An ecosystem is an interaction between plants, animals, microorganisms, and their environment. • All things in an ecosystem, living and nonliving, work together to be one functional unit.
Ecosystems • All living organisms in an ecosystem depend on each other for survival. • This means these organisms are interdependent. • Think of what would happen to the birds that live in the trees in your yard if all the worms in your yard disappeared?
Where are ecosystems? • Ecosystems are everywhere! • They can be as BIG as the Savanna in Africa! Lions, gazelles, bonsai trees, and shrubs all play a part in the savanna ecosystem.
Where are ecosystems? • Ecosystems can even be as small as a garden in your back yard! Write down what kinds of living and nonliving things you think make up an ecosystem in a garden. Grab a pen and paper!
Parts of an ecosystem that are non- living are called abiotic. Abiotic
Biotic Parts of an ecosystem that are living or were once living are called biotic.
Producers • Organisms that use the energy from the sun to produce their own food. • Ex: Plants, algae and some bacteria.
Consumers • Organisms that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms. • 3-Types 1. Herbivores 2. Carnivores 3. Scavengers and decomposers
Herbivores • Heterotrophs that consume plants only. • Ex: cows, deer, rabbits… • (First order consumers)
Carnivores • Heterotrophs that consume other animals. • Ex: Humans, cats… • (Second order consumers.)
Scavengers • Feed on dead organisms. • Ex: vultures
Decomposers • Break down wastes and dead organisms and return the raw materials to the ecosystem. • Ex: Bacteria and fungus
Are the decomposer nature´s recyclers? While obtaining energy for their own needs, decomposer return simple molecules to the environment. These molecules can be used again by other organisms.
How does energy flow through the ecosystem? • In ONE direction only. • The movement of the energy through the ecosystem can be show in diagram called food chain.
Organisms and Energy • All the energy on Earth comes from the sun!!
Sun-Producers-Consumers- Decomposers- Released as heat Autotrophs First-order heterotrophs Third-order heterotrophs Second-order heterotrophs Decomposers
Food chain and Food web • The energy enter as sunlight and converted to food molecules by producer. • After this, energy is transfer to each organism that eat a producer • And to another organism that feed on these consumers.
Food Chain • DEFINITION: It is a series of events in which one organism eats another to get energy • The figure represent a simplest exchange of energy.
Food Web: Many interconnected and overlapping food chains
Ecological Pyramids • Shows how energy flows through the ecosystem
Energy Pyramid • Shows the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web • Only 10% of the energy is passed onto the next level.
Energy Pyramid • The most energy is available at the producer level of the pyramid • As you move up the pyramid, each level has less energy available than the level below.
Cycles of the matter What is a cycle? • Is a series of things that repeat over and over again. What are some example of cycles? • Water cycle • Oxygen cycle • Carbon dioxide cycle
Nutrients • Nutrients cycle through the ecosystem, never disappearing. nutrients nutrients nutrients
Water Cycle • 3 parts… 1.Evaporation 2.Condensation 3.Precipitation
Evaporation • The process by which molecules of liquid water absorb energy and change to a gas. • From oceans, lakes, river. • From living things: Leaves of trees, liquid wastes and when you exhale.
Condensation • The process by which a gas changes to a liquid. • When the gas rises in the atmosphere, it cools down and little droplets are formed. • The water droplets collect around particles of dust, eventually forming clouds.
Precipitation • More water condenses and the drops grow larger and heavy then fall back to earth as precipitation. • Over oceans and lakes. • When it falls on land it may soak into ground and become groundwater.
Oxygen and carbon cycle These two elements are essential to the life on the earth. In ecosystems the process of carbon and oxygen cycles are linked • Producers, consumers, and decomposers play important roles in recycling carbon and oxygen.
Carbon cycle • The cycle can start when producers take in carbon dioxide gas from the air and release oxygen during photosynthesis. • They take the carbon and make food molecules such as sugar and starches to get energy.
Carbon cycle • When consumers eat producers, they take in the carbon-containing food molecules to obtain energy. • The consumer break down the carbon compounds in a process called respiration. • Then carbon dioxide is cycled back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
Oxygen cycle • The oxygen is found through the ecosystems • Producers release oxygen in the photosynthesis process. • The organisms take the oxygen from air or water and use it to carry out their life process.
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