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Ecosystems What effects do biotic and abiotic factors have on an ecosystem?. Diane Gioia Bell’s Crossing Elementary. What makes up an ecosystem?. Ecosystem – all the living and nonliving parts of an environment Biotic factors – the living parts of an ecosystem
Bell’s Crossing Elementary
An ecosystem can
also be a whole forest or the planet.
1. On the outside write each word and draw a picture of the word.
2. On the inside bottom flap write the definition.
3. On the top flap create a sentence with your new vocabulary word and draw a picture illustrating the word.
All members of one kind of organism
that live in a
Populations of organisms
A place where an organism lives
There are many types of ecosystems, each with its own characteristics.
Differences in abiotic factors in ecosystems lead to differences in the living things there. Factors such as sunlight and precipitation affect how organisms adapt to these ecosystems.
Terrestrial ecosystems – these are land based such as forests and grasslands
Aquatic ecosystems – these are water ecosystems
3 min : marine
Coniferous forests are made up of mostly conifers, trees that have cones. These forests are found mostly in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere.
Trees include spruces, hemlocks, pines, and firs.
Animals include moose, deer, caribou, wolves, bears, and elk.
The northernmost coniferous forests are called taiga.
Rain forests get large amounts of rain. Tropical rain forests are warm all year. These conditions enable large populations of many kinds of organisms to live there. Hawaii is the only state with tropical rain forests.
Grasslands are ecosystems in which grasses are the main plant life. Grasslands have fertile soil and have few trees. These ecosystems do not receive much rain during the year, so trees do not grow well. These are found in the midwestern United States. Much of the grassland in the U.S. has been turned into farms causing some animals like bison to lose their habitat.
Estuaries are places where rivers flow into the ocean. Estuaries have water that is saltier than a river, but not as salty as the ocean.
Salt marshes are grassy wetlands at the edges of estuaries. South Carolina has many estuaries and salt marshes and is home to many living things such as fish, blue crabs, shrimp, and oysters.
The ocean has many kinds of ecosystems. The oceans are so large that the conditions in one part of the ocean are very different from the conditions in another part of the ocean.
Some ocean ecosystems are close to land and receive more sunlight. In the deep sea, sunlight cannot reach the ocean floor and the ecosystems are quite different.
The deep-sea anglerfish has a body that glows in the dark. It has a rod that glows and dangles in front of its mouth which attracts prey.
Most lakes and ponds are freshwater ecosystems. The water in each of these ecosystems does not move much. Ponds are smaller than lakes. Ponds sometimes dry up during hot, dry summer weather. Because lakes are larger, they are usually permanent.
Lakes, ponds, pools – 10 min.
A food chain shows how organisms get their food. The first organism in a food chain is a producer; consumers or decomposers follow
Producer consumer decomposer
Animals, fungi, and some kinds of microorganisms do not make their own food. Living things that cannot make their own food are consumers. Consumers get energy by eating other living things.
Decomposers are bacteria, microorganisms, fungi or other animals (termites and worms) that feed on decaying matter. These decomposers speed up the decaying process that releases nutrients back into the food chain for absorption by plants. They are Earth’s natural recyclers.
What would happen if a forest had no decomposers?
Plants would use up all the nutrients in the soil, and the ground would be covered in animal wastes and dead organisms.
Predators are animals that eat other animals. The animals they hunt and eat are called the prey.
Predators often have eyes that are in front of the head. This placement helps the animals judge how far away their prey is.
The eyes of prey are often on the side of its head. This placement allows the prey to avoid predators by seeing a wide area.
A parasite is an organism that feeds off another organism, called a host. Fleas, leeches, and ticks are parasites. Ticks bite their hosts. Then they take blood from their host for food. Unlike a predator, a parasite does not usually kill the animal it feeds on. If the host dies, the parasite loses its source of food.
A food chain shows a single path that energy and nutrients take through an ecosystem. Arrows in a food chain show how energy and nutrients move.
sun plants hare owl bacteria
A food web is a system of overlapping food chains. In a food web, energy and nutrients can flow through many branches and gives a better picture of the complex way that energy and nutrients move in an ecosystem.
The number of living things that can live in any ecosystem is limited. A limiting factor is an environmental factor that determines how large a population can be.
The most common limiting factors are:
If there are more plants than usual in an area, populations of animals that eat that plant may increase. If one animal’s population increases, the population of animals that eat that animal might also increase.
Increases in population are not always good. Sometimes a population will grow too large for the environment to support.
Other changes in limiting factors will cause a population to decrease. If the water supply in an area decreases, the population that needs water may decrease.
Then the population of animals that eat that animal could decrease too.