Figure 3.3 Natural capital: breakdown of the earth ’ s 1.4 million known species. Scientists estimate that there are 4 million to 100 million species.
Figure 3.2 Natural capital: levels of organization of matter in nature. Ecology focuses on five of these levels.
01 Levels of Ecological Organisation
ECOLOGYLevels of Ecological Organisation ALBIO9700/2006JK
Other animalsKnown species 281,0001,412,000Insects Fungi751,000 69,000 Prokaryotes 4,800 Plants Protists 248,400 57,700 ALBIO9700/2006JK
Universe Galaxies Solar systems Biosphere Planets Earth Biosphere Ecosystems Ecosystems Communities Populations Organisms Realm of ecology Communities Organ systems Organs Tissues Cells Protoplasm Populations Molecules Atoms OrganismsSubatomic Particles ALBIO9700/2006JK
• Ecology – study of how whole communities of living organisms interact with each other and with their environment• Habitat – place where organisms live (e.g. leaf-mining caterpillar inside a leaf on the oak tree)• Population – a group of organisms of the same species, which live in the same place at the same time, and can interbreed with each other (e.g. population of ants/beetles)• Community – all the organisms, of all the different species, living in a habitat (e.g. forest community/reef community)• Ecosystem – relatively self-contained, interacting community of organisms, and the environment in which they live and with which they interact – no ecosystem is entirely self-contained• Niche – the role of an organism in the ecosystem ALBIO9700/2006JK