13.1 Ecologists Study Relationships
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13.1 Ecologists Study Relationships. 2.1 Atoms, Ions, and Molecules. Set up Cornell Notes on pg. 85 Topic: 13.1 Ecologists Study Relationships Essential Question(s) : What is the importance of studying the Levels of Organization?. Key Concept

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Set up Cornell Notes on pg. 85 Topic: 13.1 Ecologists Study Relationships Essential Question(s) :

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13.1 Ecologists Study Relationships

2.1 Atoms, Ions, and Molecules

Set up Cornell Notes on pg. 85

  • Topic: 13.1 Ecologists Study Relationships

  • Essential Question(s):

  • What is the importance of studying the Levels of Organization?

  • Key Concept

  • Ecology is the study of the relationships among organisms and their environment.

Please turn in “Label that pig”

Pg. 84

What does the word relationship mean to you?

  • examples

Introduction to Ecology (3m20s)

Key Concept

Ecologyis the study of the relationships among organisms and their environment.

Ecology is the study of the interactions among living things, and between living things and their surroundings.

Pg. 84:

If you were an ecologist, what types of questions would you want answered about this Grizzly Bear?

  • A bear’s interactions with other living things

  • Social interactions with other bears?

  • What animals and plants does it interact with?

  • In its surrounding

  • Where it lives

  • What does it eat?

Ecologistsstudy environments at different levels of organization.

Levels of Organization

  • Ecologists study nature on different levels, from a local to global scale

  • These levels, reveal the complex relationships found in nature

Name those Levels of Organization!






















What type of ecosystem is portrayed in this picture?



1. An organism is an individual living thing

Ex: alligator



2. A population is a group of the same species that lives in one area

Ex: alligators



3. A community is a group of different species that live together in one area.

Ex: alligators, turtles, grass, and birds.



4. An ecosystem includes all of the living organisms as well as the non-living things Ex: All animals, plants, soil, water, rocks and other nonliving things


5. A biome is a major regional or global community of organisms characterized by the climate conditions and plant communities that thrive there.

  • Ex: Tropical rainforest, grassland, desert, deciduous forest, rain forest, taiga, tundra

With a partner: Create your own Levels of Organization Diagram

Must include: each L.O.O, labels, color, circles, one

paragraph description of your diagram describing what is in each level

(may NOT use the example provided in class)

*Might be easier to start with an animal you know something about

Organism: 1 animal (Alligator)

Population: animals (Alligators)

Community: animals and plants (Alligators, turtles, birds, moss,)

Ecosystem: living and non-living

Biome: desert, ocean, chaparral, rainforest, forest, mountains, fresh water, grassland, savanna, etc…. (463)

  • Pg. 397

Levels of Organizations

  • Ecologists study relationships within each level of organization and alsobetween levels

    • For example, researchers may study the relationships within a population of alligators, as well as relationships between alligators and turtles in a community

Ecological Research Methods

  • Scientists rely on a variety of methods and tools to conduct research

  • Tools can range form a simple tape measure used to find an organism’s size to a sophisticated computer model of an entire ecosystem

Ecological research methods:

1. Observation is the act of carefully watching something over time.

  • Direct surveysused for species that are easy to follow. Ex: You count how many deer are in the field

  • Indirect surveysare used for species that are difficult to track and include looking for other signs of their presence. Ex: Looking for feces or a recent kill

2. Experiments:

  • Lab experiments

    • Give researchers control

      Ex: You want to test how a fungus reacts to heat.

      In your lab experiment you turn up the temperature.

    • Done inside

Negative: not reflective of the complex interactions in nature.

Field experiments

  • give a more accurate picture of how organisms interact in a natural setting

  • performed where the organisms live

Negative: may not help determine actual cause and effect.

Ex: You want to know the effect deer have on a type of grass in the forest, so you block off a part of the forest to keep out the deer. By monitoring the fenced and unfenced area, you can determine the deer’s effect on the grass.

Ecologists use data transmitted by GPS receivers worn by elephants to develop computer models of the animal’s movements.

If observation and experimentation don’t work…turn to modeling

3. Modelingallows scientists to learn about organisms or ecosystems in ways that would not be possible in a natural or lab setting.

  • Computer and mathematical models can be used to describe and model nature. Ex: GPS transmitter

GPS transmitter

GPS and Elephant Conservation

  • GPS and Anti-poaching Effort(1m44s)


Estimating Population Size Activity

  • Objective: Estimate the size of a sample population using the mark-recapture technique. Be able to apply the technique to new population problems and compare the mark and recapture technique to other methods of population estimation.

Classwork pg. 84 (398-400 in book)

  • Summarize the three general methods used by ecologists to study organisms

  • Come up with NEW examplesof each

  • Apply: What ecological research methods would you use to study bird migration? Explain.

  • Apply: How might an ecologist use modeling to study fire in a forest ecosystem? What might be some key variable used to create the model?

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