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Information about Ecology

Published on February 28, 2014

Author: vannessangel24



ECOLOGY - Derived from the Greek word oikos meaning “house” or “place to live” introduced by Ernst Heinrich Haeckel - Science of interrelations between living organisms and their environment

ECOLOGY - Study of the relation of organisms or groups of organisms to their PHYSICAL and BIOLOGIGAL environment - “environmental biology”

ECOLOGY PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT - includes light and heat or solar radiation, moisture, wind, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients in soil, water, and atmosphere BIOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT - Organisms of the same kind and other plants and animals

IDENTIFY: A group of any one kind of organism? Answer: POPULATION

IDENTIFY: Includes all of the populations occupying a given area? Answer: COMMUNITY

IDENTIFY: Includes all of the earth’s living organisms interacting together with the physical environment as a whole? Answer: ECOSPHERE / BIOSPHERE

IDENTIFY: It is the capacity to do work or bring about change? Answer: ENERGY

IDENTIFY: A community consisting of plants, animals, and microorganisms that interact with one another and with their environment? Answer: ECOSYSTEM

COMPONENTS + BIOTIC or LIVING COMPONENTS: > Producers – can make their own food > Consumers – eat other organisms for food > Decomposers – obtain nourishment from dead matter

COMPONENTS + ABIOTIC or NON-LIVING COMPONENTS – provide nutrients for the ecosystem to function Also remember: > Ecosystems are systems in which there is a regulated transfer of ENERGY and a controlled cycling of nutrients.


TYPES OF CONSUMERS PRIMARY CONSUMERS -Herbivores -Feed directly on green plants SECONDARY CONSUMERS -Carnivores -Feed on the herbivores + detritus = waste material of an ecosystem

TROPHIC LEVELS = from Greek word trophos meaning “feeder” + Autotroph – “self-feeder” + Heterotroph – “other-feeder” o Herbivores – consumers of green plants o Carnivores – consumers of herbivores o Omnivores – consumers of both plants and animals

TROPHIC LEVELS o FIRST TROPHIC LEVEL – green plants o SECOND TROPHIC LEVEL – herbivores, omnivores o THIRD TROPHIC LEVEL – carnivores, onmivores o FOURTH TROPHIC LEVEL – secondary carnivores

FOOD CHAIN A series of organisms made up of the different trophic levels that creates a continuous transfer of energy

FOOD WEB A set of interconnected food chains by which energy and materials circulate within an ecosystem

POPULATIONS AND COMMUNITIES + DOMINANCE - results when one or several species control the environmental conditions that influence associated species + DIVERSITY - Involves the number of species in a community and how these numbers are apportioned

POPULATIONS AND COMMUNITIES + STRATIFICATION -“layering” than occurs in a community - Ex. Grassland: ground layer and herbaceous layer - Ex. Forest: ground, herbaceous, low shrub, low tree and high shrub, lower canopy, and upper canopy

POPULATIONS AND COMMUNITIES + HABITAT - the place where particular plants or animals live + NICHE - the functional role of a species in a community

POPULATIONS AND COMMUNITIES + BIRTH RATE - the number of young produced per unit of population per unit of time + DEATH RATE - the number of deaths per unit of time

POPULATIONS AND COMMUNITIES + GROWTH RATE - Influenced by births and deaths o When births exceeds deaths = POPULATION INCREASES = (+) POPULATION GROWTH RATE o When deaths exceeds births = POPULATION DECREASES = (-) POPULATION GROWTH RATE

POPULATIONS AND COMMUNITIES o When births equals deaths = POPULATION REMAINS THE SAME = ZERO POPULATION GROWTH RATE + EXPONENTIAL GROWTH - Occurs when a small population is introduced into a favorable environment with abundant resources (OPPORTUNISTIC SPECIES)

COMMUNITY INTERACTIONS = various population interactions that tie the community together = have major influence in population growth = SYMBIOSIS 1. COMPETITION - When a shared resource is in short supply, organisms compete, and those that are more successful survive

COMMUNITY INTERACTIONS 2. PREDATION - the consumption of one living organism, plant or animal, by another 3. PARASITISM - two organisms live together, one drawing its nourishment at the expense of the other

COMMUNITY INTERACTIONS 4. COEVOLUTION - the joint evolution of two unrelated species that have a close ecological relationship - the evolution of one species depends in part on the evolution of the other - a.k.a. Adaptation or Mimicry

COMMUNITY INTERACTIONS 5. MUTUALISM - Coexistence that results in mutual benefits to the interdependent organisms 6. COMMENSALISM - an association between two different kinds of nonparasitic animals that is harmless to both and in which one of the organism benefits


question: Capacity to do work? Answer:

question: What is the Greek word meaning “house” or “place to live”? Answer:

question: What are the two components of the ecosystem? Enumerate. Answer:

question: What are consumers of both plants and animals? Answer:

question: What are the 6 types of community interactions? Answer:

question: What is the functional role of a species in a community? Answer:

question: A series of organisms made up of the different trophic levels that creates a continuous transfer of energy? Answer:

question: Give an example of a food chain with four trophic levels. (5pts.)

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