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Ecology. WHAT IS ECOLOGY?. Ecology- the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environments, focusing on energy transfer Ecology is a science of relationships. Biosphere. Ecosystem. Community. Population. Organism.

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what is ecology
WHAT IS ECOLOGY?

Ecology-the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environments, focusing on energy transfer

Ecology is a science of relationships

slide3

Biosphere

Ecosystem

Community

Population

Organism

slide4

Organism -any unicellular or multicellular form exhibiting all of the characteristics of life, an individual.

  • The lowest level of organization
slide5

POPULATION

  • a group of organisms of one species living in the same place at the same time that interbreed
  • Produce fertile offspring
  • Compete with each other for resources (food, mates, shelter, etc.)
slide6

Community -several interacting populations that inhabit a common environment and are interdependent.

slide7

Ecosystem -populations in a community and the abiotic factors with which they interact (ex. marine, terrestrial)

slide8

Biosphere - life supporting portions of Earth composed of air, land, fresh water, and salt water.

  • The highest level of organization
  • All organisms found here
ii biomes and aquatic life systems
II. Biomes and Aquatic Life Systems

A. Biomes:

  • Land portion of the biosphere
  • Distinct climate and specific life-forms adapted for life within that climate.

Climate - long-term patterns of weather is the primary factor determining the type of life

B. Aquatic life zones:

  • Marine and Freshwater
ecosystem concepts and components

Desert

Coastal chaparral

and scrub

Coniferous

forest

Coniferous

forest

Prairie

grassland

Deciduous

forest

Appalachian

Mountains

Mississippi

River Valley

Great

Plains

Rocky

Mountains

Great

American

Desert

Sierra

Nevada

Mountain

Coastal

mountain

ranges

15,000 ft

10,000 ft

Average annual precipitaion

5,000 ft

100-125 cm (40-50 in.)

75-100 cm (30-40 in.)

50-75 cm (20-30 in.)

25-50 cm (10-20 in.)

below 25 cm (0-10 in.)

Ecosystem Concepts and Components

Fig. 4.9, p. 76

c ecotone
C. Ecotone
  • Transitional zone between two ecosystems
  • A mixture of species found in both ecosystems as well as organisms that are unique to the ecotones.
ecosystem boundaries ecotones

Land zone

Transition zone

Aquatic zone

Number

of species

Species in land zone

Species in aquatic zone

Species in transition

zone only

Ecosystem Boundaries: Ecotones

Fig. 4.10, p. 77

what do you mean by environment
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)
abiotic factors
Abiotic Factors
  • The non living factors, called abiotic , are the physical and chemical characteristics of the environment
  • Examples: Temperature, humidity, pH, salinity, oxygen concentration, amount of sunlight, available nitrogen, and precipitation
slide23

Niche -the role a species plays in a community; its total way of life

Habitat- the place in which an organism lives out its life

Habitat vs. Niche

slide24

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.

Habitat vs. Niche

slide25

A. Major Non-Living Components

  • Each population has a “Range of Tolerance” to abiotic factors.
  • These are the minimum and maximum levels that can be tolerated by an organism.

*Limiting Factors of Water;

D.O. Salinity

Light Penetration Nutrients

*Limiting Factors of Land;

Precipitation Temp.

Latitude Sunlight

slide26

Habitat vs. Niche

  • Examples of limiting factors -
      • Amount of water
      • Amount of food
      • Temperature
      • Amount of space
      • Availability of mates
slide27

Lower limit

of tolerance

Upper limit

of tolerance

No

organisms

Few

organisms

Few

organisms

No

organisms

Abundance of organisms

Population size

Optimum range

Zone of

intolerance

Zone of

physiological stress

Zone of

physiological stress

Zone of

intolerance

Low

High

Temperature

feeding relationships
Feeding Relationships
  • There are 3 main types of feeding relationships

1. Producer - Consumer

2. Predator - Prey

3. Parasite - Host

feeding relationships1
Feeding Relationships

Producer- all autotrophs (plants),they trap energy from the sun

  • Bottom of the food chain
feeding relationships2
Feeding Relationships

Consumer- all heterotrophs: they ingest food containing the sun’s energy

  • Herbivores
  • Carnivores
  • Omnivores
  • Decomposers
feeding relationships3
Feeding Relationships

CONSUMERS

  • Primary consumers
      • Eat plants
      • Herbivores
  • Secondary, tertiary … consumers
      • Prey animals
      • Carnivores
feeding relationships4
Feeding Relationships

Consumer-Carnivores-eat meat

  • Predators
    • Hunt prey

animals for food.

feeding relationships5
Feeding Relationships

Consumer- Carnivores- eat meat

  • Scavengers
    • Feed on carrion,

dead animals

feeding relationships6
Feeding Relationships

Consumer- Omnivores -eat both plants

and animals

feeding relationships7
Feeding Relationships

Consumer- Decomposers

  • Breakdown the complex compounds of dead and decaying plants and animals into simpler molecules that can be absorbed
symbiotic relationships
Symbiotic Relationships

3 Types of symbiosis:

1. Commensalism

2. Parasitism

3. Mutualism

Symbiosis- two speciesliving together

symbiotic relationships1
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 xerophyte, air plant.

symbiotic relationships2
Symbiotic Relationships

Commensalism-

one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped

Ex. polar bears and cyanobacteria

symbiotic relationships3
Symbiotic Relationships

Parasitism-

one species benefits (parasite) and the other is harmed (host)

  • Parasite-Host relationship
symbiotic relationships4
Symbiotic Relationships

Parasitism- parasite-host

Ex. lampreys,

leeches, fleas,

ticks, tapeworm

symbiotic relationships5
Symbiotic Relationships

Mutualism-

beneficial to both species

Ex. cleaning birds and cleaner shrimp

symbiotic relationships6
Symbiotic Relationships

Mutualism-

beneficial to both species

Ex. lichen

slide44

This relationship enables each to tolerate harsh conditions where neither could survive alone. In this partnership, the fungus furnishes the alga with water, prevents overexposure to sunlight, and provides simple mineral nutrients, while the photosynthesizing alga supplies food to the fungus even if no other organic material is available.

trophic levels
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.
trophic levels1
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.
trophic levels2
Trophic Levels

E

N

E

R

G

Y

Tertiary consumers- top carnivores

Secondary consumers-small carnivores

Primary consumers- Herbivores

Producers- Autotrophs

pyramid of energy diagram used to show the flow of energy from one trophic level to another
Pyramid of Energy – Diagram used to show the flow of energy from one trophic level to another.
ecological efficiency
Ecological Efficiency:
  • % of usable energy transferred from level to level
  • Typically 5-20%
  • Measured as Biomass – the dry weight of tissue and other organic matter

The shape of the Pyramid of Energy Flow Explains why:

1.) So few top carnivores

2.) Why these species are the first to suffer when there is disruption

3.) Why they are vulnerable to extinction

trophic levels3
Trophic Levels

Food chain- simple model that shows how matter and energy move through an ecosystem

trophic levels4
Trophic Levels

Food web- shows all possible feeding relationships in a community at each trophic level

  • Represents a network of interconnected food chains
slide56
Food chain Food web

(just 1 path of energy) (all possible energy paths)

slide61

Nutrient Cycles

  • Cycling maintains homeostasis (balance) in the environment.
  • 5cycles to investigate:
          • 1. Water cycle
          • 2. Carbon cycle
          • 3. Nitrogen cycle
          • 4. Phosphorus
          • 5. Oxygen
slide62

Water cycle-

  • Evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation
slide64

Carbon cycle-

  • Photosynthesis and respiration cycle carbon and oxygen through the environment.
slide66

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.

slide67

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+

slide68

Nitrogen cycle-

Nitrogen-fixing bacteria:

Some live in a symbiotic relationship with plants of the legume family (e.g., soybeans, clover, peanuts).

slide69

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.
slide71

Nitrogen Cycle

Atmospheric nitrogen

Lightning

Denitrification by bacteria

Animals

Nitrogen fixing bacteria

Plants

Decomposers

Nitrification by bacteria

Nitrites

Nitrates

Ammonium

phosphorus cycle
Phosphorus Cycle

Phosphorus moves from phosphate deposited in rock, to the soil, to living organisms, and finally to the ocean.

oxygen cycle
Oxygen Cycle
  • A plant does photosynthesis to let off Oxygen for organisms to use
  • The humans use up the oxygen through respiration and let off CO2.
  • The CO2 is then passed from the humans to the plants again.
slide76

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

population dynamics
Population Dynamics
  • The study of short‐ and long‐term changes in the number of individuals for a given population, as affected by birth, death, immigration, and emigration
  • birth, death, immigration, and emigration.
battle at kruger
Battle at Kruger
  • Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,485 square kilometres (7,523 sq mi)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM
i population dynamics
I. Population Dynamics

A. Characteristics of a population

1. Size - number of individuals

2. Density - number of individuals per space

3. Age Distribution – portions of individuals of each age

b factors that govern population size
B. Factors that govern population size

Births

Immigration

Deaths

Emigration

models for population growth rates a exponential growth model
Models for Population Growth RatesA. Exponential Growth Model:

Observed in populations with few or no resource limitations.

Starts slow and then increases

 “J-shaped curve”

choice b
CHOICE B
  • $18,446,74 4,073,709,551,615 dollars!!
exponential growth j shape curve often described in terms of
Exponential Growth (J-shape Curve)Often described in terms of…

1. Biotic Potential:

How large a population could grow to if there were unlimited resources

Populations typically can’t grow exponentially forever.

2. Environmental Resistance:

All of the living and non-living

factors working to hold a

population size down.

carrying capacity k

2.0

1.5

Number of sheep (millions)

1.0

.5

1800

1825

1850

1875

1900

1925

Carrying Capacity “K”

Number of individuals of a given species that can be sustained in a given space indefinitely

Determined by biotic potential and environmental resistance working against each other

populations can crash
Populations can Crash
  • Limiting factors restrain the growth of a population
  • As the population grows, competition for resources increases. Thus, reproduction shrinks over time.
  • This may lead to species extinction
reindeer in alaska
Reindeer in Alaska

2,000

1,500

Number of reindeer

1,000

500

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

Fig. 9.6, p. 201

Year

slide92

SHOW VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hO-vCPuuQQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfbQA-Krx9Q

what is ecological succession
What is Ecological Succession?
  • Natural, gradual changes in the types of species that live in an area
  • Can be primary or secondary
  • The gradual replacement of one plant community by another through natural processes over time
primary succession
Primary Succession
  • Begins in a place without any soil:
          • Sides of volcanoes
          • Landslides
          • Flooding
  • First, lichens that do not need soil to survive grow on rocks
  • Next, mosses grow to hold newly made soil
  • Known as PIONEER SPECIES
pioneer species
Pioneer Species

Low, growing moss plants trap moisture and prevent soil erosion

Lichens break down rock to form soil.

primary succession1
Primary Succession
  • Simple plants like mosses and ferns can grow in the new soil
primary succession2
Primary Succession
  • The simple plants die, adding more organic material (nutrients to the soil)
  • The soil layer thickens, and grasses, wildflowers, and other plants begin to take over
primary succession3
Primary Succession
  • These plants die, and they add more nutrients to the soil
  • Shrubs and trees can survive now
secondary succession
Secondary Succession
  • Begins in a place that already has soil and was once the home of living organisms
  • Occurs faster and has different pioneer species than primary succession
  • Example: after forest fires
climax community
Climax Community
  • A stable group of plants and animals that is the end result of the successionprocess
  • Does not always mean big trees
    • Grasses in prairies
    • Cacti in deserts
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