What is Ecology?• Study of the interactions between living things & the environment Everything is connected to everything else
What is Ecology?• Abiotic factors – Any non-living part of the environment• Biotic factors – Any living part of the environment
How would the following abiotic factors affect the living things in their environment?• Light• Temperature• Water• Soil & Minerals
How would the following biotic factors affect the living things in their environment?• Organisms that eat the same food• Size of species• Number of plants• Type of predators
Levels of Organization1. Organism – An individual2. Population – A group of organism’s living in the same area
Levels of Organization3. Community – All the populations living in the same area
Levels of Organization4. Ecosystem – All the interactions between populations and communites – Both biotic & abiotic factors5. Bioshpere – All parts of the Earth that support life
Organisms & Ecosystems• Habitat – The part of the environment where an organism lives. – May change or even disappear
Organisms & Ecosystems• Niche – The role or “job” of an organism – Describes how they live & reproduce – Each organism has their own niche
Organisms & Ecosystems• Competition – When organisms fight over limited resources – Often occurs if two species try to occupy the same niche – E.g.
Organisms & Ecosystems• Competition – The more similar the needs of populations, the more intense the competition – Competition for the same niche may result in one population being eliminated
Types of Relationships• Symbiosis – A close relationship between organisms for different species. – May be good or bad MUTUALISM PARASITISM COMMENSALISM
Types of Relationships• Mutualism – Both organisms benefit – E.g.
Types of Relationships• Commensalism – One organism benefits & the other is neutral – E.g.
Types of Relationships• Parasitism – One organism benefits & the other is harmed – E.g.
Energy Flow• Energy is needed for survival.• What is the ultimate source of energy?• How a species obtains energy is animportant part of its niche.
Energy Flow• Producer = Autotroph – Make their own food• Consumer = Heterotroph – Must get food from other organisms
Energy Flow• Herbivore – Plant eater• Carnivore – Meat eater• Omnivore – Both plant & meat eater
Energy Flow• Scavenger – Feed on dead organisms• Decomposer – Breaks down the bodies of dead organisms, a recycler
Energy Flow• Food Chain – Shows how energy moves through an ecosystem – Trophic level • Each “feeding” step
Food Chain Level 4 Tertiary consumer Sun Top• Begin with energy carnivore from sun Level 3 Secondary consumer• Plant are always Carnivore the first level Level 2 Primary consumer• Usually 4-5 levels Herbivore• All levels connect to Level 1 Producer decomposers Fungi Decomposers Bacteria
Energy Flow • Pyramid of Energy – Tracks the amount of energy found at each trophic level of a food web
Energy flows through… secondary loss of consumers energysun (carnivores) loss of energy primary consumers (herbivores) loss of energy producers (plants)
Loss of energy • Loss of energy between levels of food chain – To where is the energy lost? The cost of living! 17% growth energy lost toonly this energy daily livingmoves on to the 33% next level in cellularthe food chain respiration 50% waste (feces)
Energy Flow • Each trophic level uses about 10% of its energy to build new tissue • This new tissue is used as food for the next trophic level – What does this mean for the remaining levels? • The remaining 90% is lost.
Energy Flow• Food Web – Shows all possible feeding relationships – Links many food chains
Energy Flow• Pyramid of Biomass – Biomass = amount of organic matter – Since energy decreases, total mass of living things at each trophic level also decreases
But what about nutrients?•Nutrients cycle around through decomposers consumers decomposers producers phosphoruspotassium iron carbon nitrogen calcium soil magnesium
Nutrients cycle… n• Nutrients must be recycled u t r to be available for the next i generation e n• decomposers return t s nutrients to the soil after creatures die • fungi • bacteria decomposers
Energy flows Nutrients cycle loss of secondary energy consumers sun (carnivores) decomposers loss of primary consumers energy (herbivores)loss ofenergy producers (plants) soil
Nutrient Cycles – Carbon Cycle• Found naturally in atmosphere as CO2• Photosynthesis• Respiration• Decay & Fossil fuels
Nutrient Cycles – Water Cycle • Life depends on water, cycled through atmosphere & Earth • Evaporation • Precipitation • Transpiration • Run off
Nutrient Cycles – Nitrogen Cycle • Found naturally in atmosphere, but unusable • Nitrogen fixation
Self-sustaining ecosystemsmust have… constant input constant input of energy of energy nutrients cycle Matter cannot Don’t forget be laws of thecreated or destroyed Physics! inputs Cycling of energy nutrients biosphere nutrients
Maintenance & Change in Ecosystems• Limiting Factors – Any factor that limits the make up of an ecological community – May be biotic or abiotic – E.g. temperature, wind, lack of rain, food sources, shelter, mates, etc.
Maintenance & Change in Ecosystems• Carrying Capacity – The maximum number of organisms the environment can support
Maintenance & Change in Ecosystems • Ecological Succession – The orderly, natural changes & species replacement that occur over time. – E.g.
Maintenance & Change in Ecosystems• Primary Succession – Succession that results in new soil & land formations – Takes thousands of years – E.g. what occurs after a lava flow or glacier retreat
• Pioneer species – The first species to inhabit a new area• Climax community – The stable mature community that persists and undergoes very little change
Maintenance & Change in Ecosystems• Secondary Succession – Succession that occurs after a community is disrupted by natural or human disasters – Takes hundreds of years – after a forest fire or hurricane
Maintenance & Change in EcosystemsPond Succession– Gradual accumulation of sediment– Plant growth begins
Maintenance & Change in Ecosystems• Animal Succession – Plant succession is a limiting factor for animal succession.