Ecology introduction
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Ecology Introduction. Chapter 18. Ecology. the study of the interdependence of living organisms the interdisciplinary scientific study of the distributions, abundance and relations of organisms and their interactions with the environment. Biological levels of organization.

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Ecology Introduction

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Ecology Introduction

Chapter 18


Ecology

  • the study of the interdependence of living organisms

  • the interdisciplinary scientific study of the distributions, abundance and relations of organisms and their interactions with the environment


Biological levels of organization


Sponge Bob Ecology?

Ecosystem

Organism

Population

Community


"It is an obvious truth, which has been taken notice of by many writers,  that population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence; but no writer that the Author recollects has  inquired particularly into the means by which this level is effected..."  -- Thomas Malthus, 1798


Interdependence

  • All living organisms interact with other living organisms


Parts of an Ecosystem

  • Biotic factors

    • Living things that affect the organisms

  • Abiotic factors

    • Non-living things that affect the organisms

  • Biotic and abiotic factors are interdependent


The Niche

  • A niche is a way of life

  • Includes all aspects of lifestyle

    • Range of tolerable conditions

    • Means of acquiring resources

    • Number of offspring

    • Interactions with environment

    • Time of day of activity

    • And on and on and on and …..


Changing Environments

  • Tolerance curve

    • Set of boundaries that organisms require for survival


Acclimation

  • Tolerance curves can be affected

    • Acclimation

    • Homeostasis


Surviving Outside the Tolerance Zone

  • Escape

    • Migration

    • Hibernation


Niche differences

  • Specialists

    • Have very narrow niches and tend to specialize on utilizing a resource other organisms are unable to use.


Niche differences

  • Generalists

    • Have broad niches and can tolerate a wide range of conditions


Energy Transfer


Producers

  • Photosynthesis

  • Chemosynthesis


Measuring productivity

  • Biomass

    • Mass of organic material produced in an ecosystem

  • Gross primary productivity (GPP)

    • Rate at which producers capture solar energy and produce organic material

  • Net primary productivity (NPP)

    • Rate at which biomass accumulates

    • Kcal/m2/yr

      = GPP– rate of respiration in producers


Net Primary Productivity


Consumers

  • Herbivores- eat producers

  • Carnivores- eat consumers

  • Omnivores- eat producers and consumers

  • Detritivores- eat dead stuff or excrement

    • Decomposers- break down complex organic material


Energy Flow

  • Trophic levels

    • Indicates the number of energy transfers

  • Only 10% of the energy in one level is available to the next


Food Webs

  • Interweaving diagram of food chains


owl

stoat

fox

rat

rabbit

beetle


Energy and Nutrient Flow Patterns


Energy and Nutrient Flow

Producers

Consumers

Energy

Nutrients

Inorganic Nutrients

Decomposers


Energy and Nutrient Flow

Producers

Consumers

Energy

Nutrients

Inorganic Nutrients

Decomposers


Energy does not cycle

90%

90%

95%


Energy Flow: Food Chains


Energy Flow: Food webs


Matter Does Cycle

  • Most important

    • Water

    • Carbon

    • Nitrogen

    • Phosphorous

    • Sulfur


Water Cycle


Biogeochemical Cycles: Nitrogen


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