Environment & Ecology
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Environment & Ecology. 001 Introduction. Environment – the natural world that we live in and interact with. Environment. Ecology – the study of the interaction of organisms with their environments. Ecology.

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001 introduction

Environment & Ecology

001 Introduction

001 introduction

The word " their environments.ecology" coined from Greek word "oikos", which means "house" or "place to live”.


001 introduction

Ecology their environments.

It involves understanding biotic and abiotic factors influencing the distribution and abundance of living things.

Biotic factors
Biotic Factors their environments.

Biotic factorsare all the living things or their materials that directly or indirectly affect an organism in its environment.

Some Biotic Factors

  • Parasitism

  • Disease

  • Predation

  • Food availability

  • Habitat availability

  • Competitors

  • Symbiotic Relationships

001 introduction

Abiotic Factors their environments.

Abiotic factorsare the nonliving things in an environment.

Some Abiotic Factors

  • pH

  • Temp

  • Nitrates

  • Rainfall

  • Climate Conditions

  • Natural disasters

  • Salinity

  • O2 levels

Fig 52 2

Organism their environments.






Studies in Environment & Ecology

Fig. 52-2

001 introduction

Population their environments.

  • A population is all the members of a given species in a given area.

    Example - All the green turtles in Kaneohe Bay

Community their environments.

  • Community - all the species in a given area. Example - all the living things in Kaneohe Bay

Environment their environments.

  • Environment – encompasses the interaction between the living and nonliving world in a particular geographic area.

Niche their environments.

  • A plant's or animal's niche is a way of life that is unique to that species.

  • Niche and habitat are not the same. While many species may share a habitat, this is not true of a niche. Each plant and animal species is a member of a community.

  • The niche describes the species' role or function within this community.

Niche their environments.

  • Moray eel’shabitat might include coral reefs, coral rubble, and caves, is shared with many animals .

  • The niche is that of a predator.

  • Only the moray occupies this niche in the coral reef community. However, a different species of animal may occupy a similar niche to that of the moray.

001 introduction

Niche their environments.

What niche does the Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse fill?

001 introduction

Niche their environments.

What niche does the Ewa blenny fill?

001 introduction

Niche their environments.

No two animals can occupy the same niche at the same time.

Result = competition

001 introduction

Environmental Science their environments.

An interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, (including physics, chemistry, biology, soil science, geology, and geography) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems.


A social movement dedicated to protecting the natural world from undesirable changes brought about by human actions.

001 introduction

Environmental Ethics their environments.

A process of applying a set of ethical standards to the relationships between human and nonhuman entities.

001 introduction

Sustainable Ethics their environments.

  • The earth has a limited supply of resources.

  • Humans must conserve resources.

  • Humans share the earth's resources with other living things.

  • Growth is not sustainable.

  • Humans are a part of nature.

  • Humans are affected by natural laws.

  • Humans succeed best when they maintain the integrity of natural processes sand cooperate with nature.

001 introduction

Environmental Ethics their environments.


Cost-benefit analysis

  • Loggers

  • Nuclear Power

  • Oil Companies

  • Hydroelectric plants

001 introduction

Environmental Ethics their environments.


001 introduction

Environmental Ethics their environments.


Nature has moral consideration

because it has intrinsic value, value aside from its usefulness to humans.


001 introduction

Environmental Ethics their environments.


Voluntary Human Extinction Movement


001 introduction

Environmentalists their environments.

Alfred Leopold- wildlife ecology

John Muir

Rachel Carson

Chico Mendes- Brazil

Wangari Maathai- green belt S. Africa

001 introduction

Environmental Justice their environments.

Fair and equitable treatment of all people with respect to environmental policy and practice, regardless of their income, race or ethnicity.

001 introduction

Ecological Footprint their environments.


001 introduction

Sustainable Solutions their environments.

How would you address the following concerns?

  • Energy demands

  • Water use

  • Population

  • Land management

  • Waste management

001 introduction

Mass Extinction Events their environments.

001 introduction

Recent Extinctions their environments.

001 introduction

Recent Extinctions their environments.

Yangtze river dolphin


Tasmanian Tiger 1936

Golden toad 2007

West African Black Rhino


Steller’s sea cow


Who’s next?

001 introduction

Pre-European contact their environments.

001 introduction

Amazon Rainforest their environments.

001 introduction

Deforestation their environments.

Indigenous cultures

001 introduction

Dustbowl their environments.

001 introduction

Potato Famine their environments.

001 introduction

BP Deepwater Horizon 2010 their environments.

001 introduction

Fukushima Power Plant 2011 their environments.

001 introduction

Natural Disasters their environments.

Hurricane Katrina (2005)

001 introduction

Natural Disasters their environments.




Haiti 2010

Chile 2010

Japan 2011

001 introduction

Polynesian Migration their environments.

001 introduction

Rapa Nui their environments.

  • Polynesians arrived 700 AD, sailing from the west.

  • They lived an isolated existence for the next thousand years

001 introduction

Ecological Disaster their environments.

  • Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

    • Isolated Pacific island with poor soil and little water

    • Originally covered by Chilean Wine Palms

    • No native edible plants

    • Rich in seafood and nesting animals

001 introduction

Ecological Disaster their environments.

  • Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

    • Settled by 25-50 Polynesians in 5th century

  • Survived easily on seafood, chickens, bananas, taro and yams, plenty of free time

  • Developed elaborate competition between clans with moai (statues)

  • Civilization peaked at 1550, with population of ~12000

  • 001 introduction

    Carrying Capacity their environments.

    • Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

      • Reached by a Dutch ship in 1722

        • Found about 2,000 people living in caves

        • Primitive society, constant warfare

      • Rapa Nui’s carrying capacity had been drastically lowered by society’s actions:

        • Transportation of moai had required cutting down trees

        • Erosion of soil made yams scarce

        • Lack of canoes made fishing difficult and escape impossible

    001 introduction
    Moai their environments.

    • Ancestor worship

    • With their backs to the sea they could inspire and protect the Islanders.

    • Moai carving and transport were in full swing from 1400 to 1600, just 122 years before first contact with European visitors to the island.

    The cost of the moai
    The Cost of the Moai their environments.

    • The Moai took a tremendous amount of natural resources and human energy

    • Movement required human energy, ropes, wooden sledges, lifting logs and/or rollers.

    • There are nearly 900 moai in various stages of completion, some stones weighed 80t, and were transported 16km from the quarry.

    001 introduction

    Catastrophe their environments.

    • Archaeological evidence includes:

      • disappearance of trees

      • disappearance the island's bird life

      • disappearance of evidence of people eating porpoise and tuna.

      • wooden carvings of emaciated people

      • the appearance of a new implement - spear tips.

    Stone tools
    Stone Tools their environments.


    Fish hooks


    001 introduction

    Civil Warfare their environments.

    Rapa nui s lesson
    Rapa Nui’s Lesson their environments.

    The islanders carried out for us the experiment of permitting unrestricted population growth, profligate use of resources, destruction of the environment and boundless confidence in their religion to take care of the future. The result was an ecological disaster leading to a population crash … Do we have to repeat the experiment on a grand scale? … Is the human personality always the same as that of the person who felled the last tree?

    Paul Bahn and John Flenley,

    Easter Island, Easter Island 1992

    Question review
    QUESTION: Review their environments.

    The term “environment” includes:

    Living things, such as animals and plants

    Non-living things, such as rivers and soil

    Buildings and cities

    All of the above are included in this term

    Question review1
    QUESTION: Review their environments.

    A Neo-Malthusian would say that predicted massive human starvation has not yet occurred because:

    Diseases have been eradicated

    Enough people are dying from war and conflict

    Agriculture has postponed massive starvation

    People are too dumb to limit their population growth

    Question review2
    QUESTION: Review their environments.

    Which of the following is correct about the term “environmentalism”?

    It involves pursuing knowledge to understand the natural world.

    It is a social movement to protect the environment.

    It usually does not include advocacy for the environment.

    It requires trying to remain objective.

    Question review3
    QUESTION: Review their environments.

    An anthropocentric worldview would consider the impact of an action on:

    a) Plants only

    b) Animals only

    c) Humans only

    d) All living things

    e) All non-living things

    Question review4
    QUESTION: Review their environments.

    Which ethic holds that resources should be wisely used?

    a) Preservation ethic

    b) Land ethic

    c) Conservation ethic

    d) Deep ecology

    e) Biocentrism

    Question review5
    QUESTION: Review their environments.

    What is the definition of “sustainable development”?

    Using resources to benefit future generations, even if it means lower availability now

    Letting future generations figure out their own problems

    Letting each country decide what is its best interest

    Using resources to satisfy current needs without compromising future availability

    Question weighing the issues
    QUESTION: Weighing the Issues their environments.

    Which do you think is the best way to protect commonly owned resources (i.e., air, water, fisheries)?

    Sell the resource to a private entity

    Let organizations themselves decide if they want to participate in protecting the resource

    Enact governmental regulations

    Do nothing and see what happens

    Question weighing the issues1
    QUESTION: Weighing the Issues their environments.

    Do you think the rest of the world can have an ecological footprint as large as the footprint of the United States?

    Yes, because we will find new technologies and resources to overcome environmental problems.

    Yes, because the footprint of the United States is not really that large compared to other countries.

    Definitely not. The world does not have that many resources.

    It does not matter. It’s not that important.

    Question interpreting graphs and data
    QUESTION: Interpreting Graphs and Data their environments.

    According to this graph, what has happened to the population over the last 500 years?

    a) It has grown enormously.

    b) It has grown slower than food production.

    c) It has decreased.

    d) It has slowed down recently.