Intro to ecology part 1


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Intro to ecology part 1

  1. 1. The environment is made up of two factors: Biotic factors- all living organisms inhabiting the Earth ex. How organisms interact/effect each other Abiotic factors- nonliving parts of the environment  temperature  Soil  Sunlight  water/moisture  air currents/wind  Severe disturbances
  2. 2.  Temperature 0-50oC is the narrow range of temperatures that can support life  Too hot: above 50…important enzymes DENATURE  Too cold: metabolism slows down…what is metabolism? (review notes from beginning of year!)  Set of chemical reactions the help break down and build up molecules to get energy for life  Organisms have made adaptations to extreme environments  Prokaryotes in deep sea vents (extreme heat)  Prokaryotes in frigid arctic waters (extreme cold)
  3. 3. Ecology- the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environments, focusing on energy transfer  It is a science of relationships.
  4. 4.  Product of abiotic forces (ice, rain, and wind) and biotic forces (microorganisms, plants, and earthworms) on rocks and minerals of Earth’s crust  Effects plants that grow in areas  Dry, nutrient poor soil dominated by blue stem grasses with long roots to obtain scarce moisture in soil and narrow leaves that prevent excessive water loss  Soil/sand in aquatic environments also impacts ecosystem  Soil can be acidic or basic, nutrient rich or nutrient poor  This influences plants that grow in area, which influence organisms that live there
  5. 5.  Energy source for ALL organisms (except chemosynthetic organisms)  Terrestrial and aquatic  Penetrates top 200 m of the surface…affects algae  Forests trees prevent sunlight from reaching the bottom…varying amounts of sunlight creates microhabitats…what does that mean? Habitat with conditions different from the larger surrounding environment  PHOTOSYNTHESIS
  6. 6.  Dissolves gasses  Universal solvent  Organisms make adaptations to prevent water loss (needles instead of leaves on trees and a waxy cuticle)
  7. 7.  Affects distribution  Moves clouds which carry precipitation  Stirs up water which mixes up the nutrients in lakes and streams  Spreads pollen and seeds of plants
  8. 8.  Fires, hurricanes, droughts. Floods and volcanic eruptions  Some occur frequently and organisms have made evolutionary adaptations (prairie grasses)  Some are infrequent (volcanic eruptions) and organisms have no voluntary adaptations
  9. 9. Organism Population Community Biosphere Ecosystem
  10. 10. Organism- any unicellular or multicellular form exhibiting all of the characteristics of life, an individual. •The lowest level of organization
  11. 11. Population-a group of organisms of one species living in the same place at the same time that interbreed and compete with each other for resources (ex. food, mates, shelter)
  12. 12. Community- several interacting populations that inhabit a common environment and are interdependent.
  13. 13. Ecosystem- populations in a community and the abiotic factors with which they interact (ex. marine, terrestrial)
  14. 14. Biosphere- life supporting portions of Earth composed of air, land, fresh water, and salt water. •The highest level of organization
  15. 15. “The ecological niche of an organism depends not only on where it lives but also on what it does. By analogy, it may be said that the habitat is the organism's ‘address’, and the niche is its ‘profession’, biologically speaking.” Odum - Fundamentals of Ecology
  16. 16. Habitat vs. Niche Niche - the role a species plays in a community (job) Habitat- the place in which an organism lives out its life (address)
  17. 17. Habitat vs. Niche A niche is determined by the tolerance limitations of an organism, or a limiting factor. Limiting factor- any biotic or abiotic factor that restricts the existence of organisms in a specific environment.
  18. 18. Examples of limiting factors- •Amount of water •Amount of food •Temperature Habitat vs. Niche
  19. 19.  Earth rotates on an axis (23.5’)  So sunlight hits Earth at different angles  Creates Climate Zones  Tropics  Region between Tropic of Cancer (23.5’N) and Tropic of Capricorn (23.5’S)  Most direct sunlight  Polar Zones  Region north of the Arctic Circle (66.5’N) and South of the Antarctic Circle (66.5’S)  Least amount of direct sunlight  Temperate Zones  Latitudes between the Tropics and the Polar Zones  Seasonal changes; no extreme heat or cold  These climate zones are important and create BIOMES
  20. 20.  Our planet's rotation produces a force on all bodies moving relative to the Earth  Due to Earth's approximately spherical shape, this force is greatest at the poles and least at the Equator.  "Coriolis effect” the force that causes the direction of winds and ocean currents to be deflected  Northern Hemisphere wind and currents deflected toward the right  Southern Hemisphere  wind and currents deflected to the left.
  21. 21.  Weather  Day-to-day conditions of Earth's atmosphere  precipitation, humidity, temperature, etc.  Changes every day  Climate  The average, year-after-year, conditions (temperature and precipitation) that prevail in a specific region  Microclimate  Climate in a specific area that varies from the surrounding climate region  Ex. The burrow of a Kangaroo rat in the New Mexico desert (dark and cool)