Ecology. Ecology. Study of the interactions between organisms and their environments. Environmental levels of organization:. 1. Biosphere. Broadest level of ecological organization. The thin volume of Earth and atmosphere where life is found. 2. Ecosystem.
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Ecology • Study of the interactions between organisms and their environments. • Environmental levels of organization:
1. Biosphere • Broadest level of ecological organization. • The thin volume of Earth and atmosphere where life is found.
2. Ecosystem • Smaller unit of the biosphere. • Includes the organisms and non-living environment in a particular place. • Ex: A pond ecosystem- fish, frogs, algae, pH, temperature
3. Community • All the interacting organisms in an area. • Ex: Pond community- fish, turtles, algae and bacteria
4. Population • The members of a single species. • Ex: Population of frogs in a pond.
5. Organism • Simplest level of organization. • Ex: A frog
Where does an organism live? • Habitat: Environmental area where a species lives.
Niche • The role or interactions an organism has in its environment. • Includes: range of conditions that the species can tolerate, the resources it uses, the methods it uses to obtain resources, the number of offspring.
Generalists • Species with broad niches; they can tolerate a wide range of conditions and use a variety of resources.
Specialists • Species that have narrow niches; they are very limited in the conditions and resources they can use.
Why does it live there? • Generally depends on several environmental factors: • Abiotic • Biotic
Abiotic Factors • The physical and chemical characteristics of an environment. • Includes: soil, temperature, pH, salinity, oxygen concentration, sunlight, and precipitation, etc. • Varies by place and over time.
What is soil? • Soil: is a complex mixture of inorganic minerals, decaying organic matter, water, air, and living organisms
How is soil produced? • Produced by a process called weathering, which breaks down rocks via erosion and decomposition
Layers of Soil • Topsoil: uppermost layer that consists of twigs, leaves, insects, etc • Subsoil: consists of rock particles and minerals • Weather Rock: made of bits of rock broken (bedrock)
How Does Soil Differ? • Differs according to mineral content, pH, organic content, etc. • Differs according to location or biome that it is found in.
Biotic Factors • The living factors that affect an organism. • Includes the presence of organisms, and their interactions • Ex. Parasitism, disease, predation
Competition When two or more species use the same limited resource. Results in reduction of species population or elimination of one species Example of resources: food, light, soil
Predation Important interaction that controls population size. Results in adaptations of both predator and prey. Think of examples:
Camouflage Body pattern or coloration, allows species to blend in with surroundings
Mimicry: one species resembles another • Harmless resembles a harmful
Top: Harmless species Bottom: Poisonous species
Mimicry: one species resembles another • Harmless resembles a harmful • Several harmful species resemble each other.
Symbiosis • A close, long-term relationship between organisms of two species. • 3 types: • Parasitism • Mutualism • commensalism
Parasitism The host is harmed and the parasite is benefitted. Parasites tend to be highly adapted for the host they feed on. Ectoparasites feed outside the body. Endoparasite live inside the body.
Examples of parasitism Leeches, mosquitoes, tapeworms
Mutualism Both species benefit. Think of some examples:
Commensalism One species benefits and the other species is unaffected.