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Goal 5: Ecology. Why Study Ecology. Ecology is the study of interactions between organisms and their environments Ecologist ask questions such as: “What does a coyote eat” “How does temperature affect the growth of plants” “How does day length affect bird migration”. Bio= life

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Goal 5: Ecology

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Goal 5: Ecology

Why Study Ecology

  • Ecology is the study of interactions between organisms and their environments

  • Ecologist ask questions such as:

  • “What does a coyote eat”

  • “How does temperature affect the growth of plants”

  • “How does day length affect bird migration”

  • Bio= life

  • The sphere of life consists of living and nonliving factors. It supports all life.

  • Biotic= living

  • Abiotic=non-living

Make a Column of Biotic and Abiotic Factors


  • -bacteria

  • -grass

  • -fungus

  • -fish

  • -mushrooms


  • -air

  • -water

  • -nitrogen

  • -dirt

  • -sun

Name the Abiotic and Biotic Factors

Levels of Organization

Organizing Living Things in Ecology

  • First level (most specific)- Organism

    • Individual living thing

  • 2nd Level - Population

    • Group of organisms all of one species

Organization continued

  • 3rd Level - Biological Community

    • All the living (biotic) populations of species that live in the same place at the same time

Organization cont.

  • 4th level - Ecosystem

    • Both biotic and abiotic things that interact with each other in given area at the same time

Finally…… The last level

  • Fifth and biggest level - Biosphere

  • Portion of Earth that supports living things

Organisms in EcosystemsHabitat vs. Niche

  • Habitat = the place where an organism lives out it’s life

    • Where you live

    • One habitat can have many niches

  • Niche = strategies and adaptations a species uses in its environment

    • Organism’s role in the habitat

    • More than one species can not occupy the same niche in a location.


  • Relate each one of the characteristics of life to the human body.

  • Example: Genetic Code: My genetic information is contained in DNA and RNA

5.01a Identify and describe symbiotic relationships

  • Symbiosis = "intimate living together" between different species.

  • Refers to the different relationships that can exist between organisms

    1. Mutualism (+,+)

    2. Commensalism (+, 0)

    3. Parasitism (+, -)

    4. Predator-Prey cycle


Mutualism – clownfish and anemone

The clownfish gets protection from the anemone and in return protects the anemone from fish that would eat it (angelfish); the clownfish also keeps the anemone free of dirt and debris


Mutualism – Lichens and Algae

Lichens consist of a

fungus with an algae

or photosynthetic

bacterium living

inside the fungus.

The alga provides

food for both of them

and the fungus

provides a habitat for

the alga.


Mutualism – Ant and Aphid

  • Aphids provides honeydew sugar for ants. Ants protect the aphids from predators and parasites.


Mutualism – sea slug with algae

The algae

lives in the

sea slug

and makes

food for

both of

them – in

return it

gets a place

to live.


Nitrogen fixing nodules

Bacteria in the

nodules can take

nitrogen gas from

the atmosphere

and turn it into a

form that can be

used by the plant;

in return, the plant

protects the

bacteria from

harmful oxygen and

the bacteria get

food from the plant.


Mutualism - pollination

Many plants depend on

pollinators for their

reproduction. They

provide nectar to attract

these pollinators. So

the pollinator gets fed

and the plant gets



Protozoans in cow’s stomach

These protozoans along with

bacteria help the cow by

digesting cellulose; cows

don’t have the enzymes to

do this.

The protozoans and bacteria get a place to live and a continual food source. This is a valuable mutualistic relationship.


Ants and Acacia Trees

  • Acacia provides ants with a protein rich secretion. Ants protect tree from herbivores.



Cattle Egret - Commensalism

The cattle stir



and other

insects that the

egret likes to

eat. There is

no apparent

benefit to the


Commensalism – shark and remora

The remora

benefits by

getting food

from the

shark’s meal.

But there is no


benefit to the



Commensalism – whale and barnacle

Barnacle larvae attach to the whale. The barnacle has a habitat. Whale is not harmed.

  • http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/wildlife/whales/humptail.jpg



Tick feeds on the blood of the host. The host loses blood or is subject to infection/death.

Mistletoe – a plant parasite

Mistletoe lives off the branches and stems of Other trees. The tree can be very harmed.



In a predator-prey relationship one organism benefits and the other is killed.

Predator-Prey Cycle

Prey Population = Predator Population

More predators = more prey eaten

Less predators = less prey they eat

Prey Population Goes = Predator Population Goes

Predator: hunts: wolf

Prey: hunted: rabbit

Bubble Map

  • Symbiotic Relationships

  • Benefit

  • Harmed

  • No effect

  • Mutualistic

  • Commensalism

  • Parasitism

  • ** Examples of Each

  • We will be planting Great Northern Beans to grow plants. In your group, you must decide on an experiment that you want to perform.

  • Brainstorm Ideas. Choose one.

  • What do you want to find out? Can you develop an experiment to answer your question? Does your question make sense? Is it confusing?

  • Step 2: Hypothesis

  • What do you think will happen? BE SPECIFIC! Use complete sentences.

  • Step 3: Start developing a procedure

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