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Basic ecology notes


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Basic ecology notes

  1. 1. Ecology Unit
  2. 2. The student will investigate and understand dynamic equilibria within populations, communities,and ecosystems. Key concepts include: • interactions within and among populations • nutrient cycling with energy flow through ecosystems; • the effects of natural events and human activities on ecosystems
  3. 3. IMPORTANT Vocabulary 1. Biome 2. Species 3. Population 4. Community 5. Ecosystem 6. Niche 7. Food Chain 8. Trophic Level 9. Food Web 10. Biosphere
  4. 4. What is ecology? Ecology- the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environments, focusing on energy transfer • It is a science of relationships.
  5. 5. What Factors Make up the Environment?
  6. 6. What do you mean by environment? The environment is made up of two factors: Biotic factors- all living organisms inhabiting the Earth Abiotic factors- nonliving parts of the environment (i.e. temperature, soil, light, moisture, air currents)
  7. 7. Organism- any unicellular or multicellular form exhibiting all of the characteristics of life, an individual. •The lowest level of organization
  8. 8. 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) Bait Ball Video
  9. 9. Community- several interacting populations that inhabit a common environment and are interdependent.
  10. 10. Ecosystem- populations in a community and the abiotic factors with which they interact (ex. marine, terrestrial)
  11. 11. Biosphere- life supporting portions of Earth composed of air, land, fresh water, and salt water. •The highest level of organization
  12. 12. Organism Population Community Biosphere Ecosystem
  13. 13. “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
  14. 14. 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)
  15. 15. 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.
  16. 16. Examples of limiting factors- •Amount of water •Amount of food •Temperature Habitat vs. Niche
  17. 17. Feeding Relationships • There are 3 main types of feeding relationships 1. Producer- Consumer 2. Predator- Prey 3. Parasite- Host
  18. 18. Feeding Relationships Producer- all autotrophs (plants), they trap energy from the sun • Bottom of the food chain
  19. 19. Feeding Relationships Consumer- all heterotrophs: they ingest food containing the sun’s energy • Herbivores • Carnivores • Omnivores • Decomposers
  20. 20. Feeding Relationships Consumer- Herbivores – Eat plants • Primary consumers • Prey animals
  21. 21. Feeding Relationships Consumer-Carnivores-eat meat • Predators – Hunt prey animals for food.
  22. 22. Feeding Relationships Consumer- • Scavengers – Feed on carrion, dead animals
  23. 23. Feeding Relationships Consumer- Omnivores -eat both plants and animals
  24. 24. Feeding Relationships Consumer- Decomposers • Breakdown the complex compounds of dead and decaying plants and animals into simpler molecules that can be absorbed
  25. 25. Symbiotic Relationships Symbiosis- two species living together 3 Types of symbiosis: 1. Commensalism 2. Parasitism 3. Mutualism
  26. 26. Symbiotic Relationships Commensalism- one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped Ex. orchids on a tree Epiphytes: A plant, such as a tropical orchid or a bromeliad, that grows on another plant upon which it depends for mechanical support but not for nutrients. Also called aerophyte, air plant.
  27. 27. Symbiotic Relationships Commensalism- one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped Ex. polar bears and cyanobacteria
  28. 28. Symbiotic Relationships Parasitism- one species benefits (parasite) and the other is harmed (host) • Parasite-Host relationship
  29. 29. Symbiotic Relationships Parasitism- parasite-host Ex. lampreys, leeches, fleas, ticks,tapeworm
  30. 30. Symbiotic Relationships Mutualism- beneficial to both species Ex. cleaning birds and cleaner shrimp
  31. 31. Symbiotic Relationships Mutualism- beneficial to both species Ex. lichen
  32. 32. Type of relationship Species harmed Species benefits Species neutral Commensalism Parasitism Mutualism = 1 species
  33. 33. Trophic Levels • Each link in a food chain is known as a trophic level. • Trophic levels represent a feeding step in the transfer of energy and matter in an ecosystem.
  34. 34. Trophic Levels Biomass- the amount of organic matter comprising a group of organisms in a habitat. • As you move up a food chain, both available energy and biomass decrease. • Energy is transferred upwards but is diminished with each transfer.
  35. 35. Trophic Levels Producers- Autotrophs Primary consumers- Herbivores Secondary consumers- small carnivores Tertiary consumers- top carnivores E N E R G Y
  36. 36. LE 54-11 1,000,000 J of sunlight 10,000 J 1,000 J 100 J 10 JTertiary consumers Secondary consumers Primary consumers Primary producers
  37. 37. Trophic level 4 3 2 1 Feeding strategy Secondary carnivore Carnivore Herbivore Autotroph Grazing food chain Decomposer food chain Cricket Maple tree leaves Owl Shrew Earthworm Dead maple leaves Cooper’s hawk Robin Figure 51.6a Trophic levels
  38. 38. Ecological PyramidsPyramid of Numbers: Shows the relative number of individual organisms at each trophic level.
  39. 39. Ecological Pyramids 0.1% Third-level consumers 1% Second-level consumers 10% First-level consumers 100% Producers Energy Pyramid: Shows the relative amount of energy available at each trophic level. Only part of the energy that is stored in one trophic level is passed on to the next level.
  40. 40. Where does the other 90% go? • Remember the law of conservation of energy: energy cannot be created OR destroyed. • 90% of the energy stored in food is lost to the consumer, but it hasn’t been destroyed. • Some leaves the body as chemical energy in bodily wastes, but most is radiated out into the space around our bodies as heat
  41. 41. 80.7% respiration 17.7% excretion1.6% growth and reproduction Energy derived from plants Figure 51.4
  42. 42. Trophic Levels Food chain- simple model that shows how matter and energy move through an ecosystem
  43. 43. Trophic Levels Food web- shows all possible feeding relationships in a community at each trophic level • Represents a network of interconnected food chains
  44. 44. Food chain Food web (just 1 path of energy) (all possible energy paths)
  45. 45. Nutrient Cycles Cycling maintains homeostasis (balance) in the environment. •3 cycles to investigate: 1. Water cycle 2. Carbon cycle 3. Nitrogen cycle
  46. 46. Water cycle- •Evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation
  47. 47. Water cycle-
  48. 48. Carbon cycle- •Photosynthesis and respiration cycle carbon and oxygen through the environment.
  49. 49. Carbon cycle-
  50. 50. Nitrogen cycle- Atmospheric nitrogen (N2) makes up nearly 78%-80% of air. Organisms can not use it in that form. Lightning and bacteria convert nitrogen into usable forms.
  51. 51. Nitrogen cycle- Only in certain bacteria and industrial technologies can fix nitrogen. Nitrogen fixation-convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2) into ammonium (NH4 + ) which can be used to make organic compounds like amino acids. N2 NH4 +
  52. 52. Nitrogen cycle- Nitrogen-fixing bacteria: Some live in a symbiotic relationship with plants of the legume family (e.g., soybeans, clover, peanuts).
  53. 53. Nitrogen cycle- •Some nitrogen-fixing bacteria live free in the soil. •Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are essential to maintaining the fertility of semi-aquatic environments like rice paddies.
  54. 54. Atmospheric nitrogenLightning Nitrogen fixing bacteria Ammonium Nitrification by bacteria Nitrites Nitrates Denitrification by bacteria Plants Animals Decomposers Nitrogen Cycle
  55. 55. Toxins in food chains- While energy decreases as it moves up the food chain, toxins increase in potency. •This is called biological magnification Ex: DDT & Bald Eagles