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Ecology: Ecosystems and Communities. Honors Biology – Chapter 4. The Role of Climate. Climate vs. Weather Weather Day to day conditions at a particular time/place Climate Average, year-after-year conditions in a region Temperature Precipitation

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ecology ecosystems and communities

Ecology: Ecosystems and Communities

Honors Biology – Chapter 4

the role of climate
The Role of Climate
  • Climate vs. Weather
    • Weather
      • Day to day conditions at a particular time/place
    • Climate
      • Average, year-after-year conditions in a region
        • Temperature
        • Precipitation
  • Climate determines what kind of biome/ecosystem can develop in an area.
what shapes an ecosystem
What Shapes an Ecosystem?
  • Biotic and Abiotic Factors
    • Biotic Factors
      • Living things
    • Abiotic Factors
      • Non-living things
  • Together these things determine the productivity of an ecosystem
  • The area where an organism lives
  • Includes both biotic and abiotic factors
  • An organism’s “occupation” in its ecosystem
  • Includes
    • Place in the food web
    • Range of temperatures the organism requires
    • Type of food an organism eats; how it gets its food
who can share a niche
Who can share a niche?
  • No two species can share EXACTLY the same niche within the same habitat.
  • Some different species can, however, share very similar niches.
community interactions
Community Interactions
  • Different species within an environment do interact with each other = community
  • These interactions affect the ecosystem in which they live.
  • Three main categories of interaction
    • Competition
    • Predation
    • Symbiosis
  • when organisms of the same or different species attempt to use an ecological resource in the same place at the same time
  • Competitive Exclusion Principle
    • No two species can occupy exactly the same niche in the same habitat at the same time
    • There will be a winner and a loser
      • The loser does NOT survive.
  • One organism captures and feeds on another organism.
    • Predator
      • Does the eating
    • Prey
      • Gets eaten
  • Any relationship in which two species live closely together.
  • 3 types
    • Mutualism
    • Commensalism
    • Parasitism
  • A symbiotic relationship in which both members benefit.
  • Examples
    • Flowers and their pollinators
    • Acacia tree and ants
  • A symbiotic relationship in which one member benefits while the other is unaffected.
  • Examples:
    • Barnacles on shellfish, whales, etc.
    • Cattle egrets – eat insects stirred up by cattle
  • A symbiotic relationship in which one member benefits and one member is harmed
  • Examples
    • Ticks
    • Tapeworms
how do we get an ecosystem
How do we get an ecosystem?
  • Ecological Succession
    • the series of predictable changes that occurs in a community over time
    • Existing community of organisms is replaced by a different community over time
primary succession
Primary Succession
  • Succession that occurs in an area that has NEVER had life on it before
    • Example: Newly formed volcanic island
primary succession18
Primary Succession
  • Pioneer species – species that are the FIRST to colonize barren rock
    • Example
      • Lichen
        • symbiotic relationship between a fungus and algae
        • Breaks down rock so that soil can start to form
        • Prepares the environment so that other living things can populate
primary succession22
Primary Succession
  • Rock > Lichen on Rock > Soil > small plants > small animals > larger plants > larger animals
secondary succession
Secondary Succession
  • Succession in an area that has had life in the past, but from which the life was removed
    • Example: Plowed field left to return to woods
secondary succession24
Secondary Succession
  • Usually much quicker than primary succession. Why?
    • Seeds already present in soil
    • Roots and stumps left in the soil can sometimes regenerate
    • Soil is usually relatively fertile due to previous presence of living things
climax community
Climax Community
  • The most stable environment that a given environment (climate) can support
  • The end result of succession
  • Some environments (due to climate) can support large amounts of life and have elaborate climax communities; many are more limited in the climax communities they can support.
  • Example: In our area, the climax community is a Temperate Deciduous Forest.
revisions to succession
Revisions to Succession
  • Ecosystems usually recover from natural disturbances
  • However, long termhuman-caused disturbances may be too much for an ecosystem to recover from.
  • It is not necessarily guaranteed that a disturbed ecosystem will recover to its same climax community.
  • Biome –
    • an environment that has a certain characteristic climax community
    • covers a large area and is characterized by its:
      • Soil and climate conditions
      • Plant and animal groups
climate and biomes
Climate and Biomes
  • Two main factors determine climate, which in turn determines what type of biome an area can support:
    • Temperature
    • Precipitation
  • Note that climates are not always uniform throughout a biome
    • Microclimate – small area that differs from the climate around it
major biomes
Major Biomes
  • Tropical rain forest
  • Tropical dry forest
  • Tropical savanna
  • Desert
  • Temperate grassland
  • Temperate woodland and shrubland
  • Temperate forest
  • Northwestern coniferous forest
  • Boreal Forest
  • Tundra
tropical rain forest
Tropical Rain Forest
  • Biome covers large areas of South America, Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America (in red below). Click HERE for an interactive map.
tropical rain forest33
Tropical Rain Forest
  • Hot and wet year round
  • Poor soils
    • Any organic matter that hits the soil is immediately decomposed and recycled.
  • Diverse plant and animal life
  • Terms
    • Canopy
    • Understory
  • Found in
    • Central and South America
    • Southeast Asia
    • Parts of Africa, India and Australia
tropical rain forest climate
Tropical Rain Forest –Climate
  • 25 degree Celcius temps throughout the year.
  • 200-400 cm of rain each year.
tropical rain forest characteristics
Tropical Rain Forest - Characteristics
  • Home to more species than in all other land biomes combined
  • Soil is surprisingly poor because plants consume nutrients so quickly
  • Canopy and understory
    • Thick canopy (tree tops) blocks sun from understory
    • Competition for available light is fierce.
tropical rain forest plant life
Tropical Rain Forest – Plant Life
  • Many diverse species of plants
  • Highly specialized and adapted to specific environments in the rain forest
tropical rain forest animal life
Tropical Rain Forest – Animal Life
  • Rich and varied
  • Colorful insects and birds abundant
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians
  • Small mammals
  • Many tree dwellers
tropical rainforest destruction
Tropical Rainforest Destruction
  • Destruction of rain forest occurring at rapid pace due to rapid growth of human population
  • Many animals and plants in the rain forest biome produce chemicals that are useful in fighting disease
    • If these rainforests are lost, these organisms and the medicines they might provide will be lost, too.
tropical savanna grassland
Tropical Savanna (Grassland)
  • Abiotic factors
    • Wet and Dry seasons
    • Warm Temperatures
    • Frequent fires (keep it from going to forest)
  • Plants
    • Grasses
    • A few drought-resistant trees / shrubs
  • Animals
    • Large herbivores; large carnivores
  • Where found
    • Large parts of East Africa
    • Southern Brazil; northern Australia
grassland animal life
Grassland – Animal Life
  • Tropical Grassland (savanna)
    • Impala; gazelles; wildebeests; elephants; zebra; giraffes
  • Shown in pale blue below. Click HERE for an interactive map.
  • Abiotic
    • Dry
    • Temperatures vary depending on location
  • Plants
    • Cactus and other drought resistant plants
  • Animals
    • Predators and some larger herbivores
    • Insects; reptiles
  • Where found:
    • Africa, Asia, Middle East, U.S., Mexico, S. America, Australia
desert climate
Desert - Climate
  • Less than 25 cm of rain per year
  • Typically associated with hot temperatures, but there are “cold” deserts, too.
    • Temperatures are often highly variable.
desert types
Desert Types
  • Sahara Desert in Africa
    • NO rainfall
    • Hot, dry wind
    • Almost nothing grows here
desert types45
Desert Types
  • Seasonal Deserts
    • At least some rainfall during the year
    • Plants take advantage of any rain that falls quickly and then go dormant until next rain
    • Southwest U.S. deserts have more even rainfall, but very sparse –
      • Cactus; sagebrush, etc.
desert types46
Desert Types
  • Cold Desert
    • Found on mountains and plateaus
    • Brief rainy season that allows for grasses and shrubs to grow
  • Found in the plains and prairies of North America, the steppes of Russia, veld of South Africa, and pampas of Argentina (yellow/brown below) Click HERE for an interactive map.
temperate grassland
Temperate Grassland
  • Abiotic
    • Hot summers and cold winters; 4 distinct seasons
    • Moderate precipitation
    • Fertile soils
    • Occasional fires
  • Plants
    • Grasses – resistant to fire, drought and cold
  • Animals
    • Smaller predators (coyotes, badgers); herbivores (mule deer, rabbits, etc.)
  • Where found:
    • Central asia, North America, Australia, Central Europe, S. America
temperate grassland description
Temperate Grassland - Description
  • Vast areas covered with grasses and small leafy plants
  • Found in interior portions of many continents
temperate grassland animal life
Temperate Grassland – Animal Life
  • U.S. grassland (prairie)
    • Bison; prairie dog; mice; pronghorn; badger; prairie chicken; fox
use of grassland
Use of Grassland
  • Wheat, corn and other grains are heavily farmed in midwest US and Ukraine
  • When properly treated, grasslands make excellent farmland and last a long time
  • In 1930s, midwest US did NOT use good farming practices
    • Land was stripped of vegetation
    • Topsoil blown away
    • Dust Bowl
temperate deciduous forest
Temperate Deciduous Forest
  • Found in Eastern U.S., Southern Canada, most of Europe, parts of Japan, China, and Australia (dark green). Click HERE for an interactive map
temperate forest
Temperate Forest
  • Abiotic
    • Cold winters and warm summers
    • Year-round precipitation
    • Fertile soils
  • Plants
    • Deciduous and coniferous trees; shrubs, ferns
  • Animals
    • Deer, bear, bobcat, squirrels, raccoons, songbirds
  • Where found
    • East U.S., southeast Canada, Europe, Japan, China, Australia
temperate deciduous forest55
Temperate Deciduous Forest
  • Climate
    • Moderate rainfall and temperatures
    • Sufficient water year round
    • Cold winters halt plant growth for several months
    • Dramatic season changes due to deciduous trees
temperate deciduous forest plant life
Temperate Deciduous Forest – Plant Life
  • Types of Trees
    • Deciduous trees – shed leaves in autumn
    • Oak, maple, Beech, Birch
    • Because the trees are deciduous, this biome undergoes striking seasonal changes
temperate deciduous forest animal life
Temperate Deciduous Forest – Animal Life
  • Many animals that once inhabited these forests have been hunted (or lost habitat) to the point that they are near extinction
  • Deer, moose, gray fox, many different birds, chipmunks, raccoons, opossums, squirrels
temperate deciduous forest other characteristics
Temperate Deciduous Forest – Other characteristics
  • Humus
    • Layer of decaying leaves, twigs, etc.
    • Lots of organic matter and nutrients
    • Enriches the soil
      • Makes these forests good for use as farmland
boreal forest
Boreal Forest
  • Found in Eastern U.S., Southern Canada, most of Europe, parts of Japan, China, and Australia (dark green). Click HERE for an interactive map
boreal forest taiga
Boreal Forest/Taiga
  • Abiotic
    • Long, cold winters; short, mild summers
    • Moderate precipitation
    • Poor soils
  • Plants
    • Conifers (needle, evergreen, cone bearing trees)
  • Animals
    • Wolf, lynx, moose, beaver, migratory birds
  • Where found:
    • North America, Asia, N. Europe
taiga characteristics
Taiga Characteristics
  • Winters are cold
  • Summers are mild and long enough for plants and animals to reproduce
  • Ground DOES thaw, though not for long
  • Lots of rivers, ponds, lakes, bogs
taiga plant life
Taiga - Plant Life
  • Coniferous Forests
    • Cone-bearing trees
      • Fir
      • Pine
      • Spruce
      • In California, Giant Redwoods
taiga animal life
Taiga – Animal Life
  • Many small birds and mammals and some larger ones, too.
  • Animals either hibernate or move to warmer climates in winter
  • Animals include
    • Black bear
    • Grizzly bear
    • Wolves
    • Moose
    • Elk
    • Voles
    • Wolverines
    • grouse
tundra location
Tundra - Location
  • Northern North America, Asia and Europe (in purple below) Click HERE for an interactive map.
  • Northernmost land Biome
  • Abiotic
    • Long, cold, dark winters
    • Short summers
    • Poor soils
    • Permafrost
  • Plants
    • Small plants; mosses, lichens
  • Animals
    • Migratory birds, musk ox, fox, caribou, small rodents
  • Where found:
    • Northern North America, Asia and Europe
tundra plant life
Tundra – Plant Life
  • Tundra is virtually treeless
  • Covered with mosses, lichens and grasses
tundra animal life
Tundra – Animal Life
  • Many animals migrate in during summer to feed on vegetation
    • Reindeer
    • Caribou
tundra animal life68
Tundra – Animal Life
  • Following the large herbivores into the Tundra are:
    • Predators such as:
      • Wolves
      • foxes
    • And the more parasitic types of animals like:
      • LOTS of mosquitoes
tundra animal life69
Tundra – Animal Life
  • Many thousands of birds spend summer in the tundra while they raise their young.
  • They then migrate south as autumn comes
  • The tundra is a very important nesting location for many bird species.
other tundra characteristics
Other Tundra Characteristics
  • Permafrost
    • Layer of permanently frozen subsoil
  • During summer, the topsoil thaws to a depth of a few cm., but freezes again in winter.
    • This keeps the plants of the tundra small and stunted by ripping and crushing roots.
areas that do not fit into biome categories
Areas that do not fit into biome categories
  • Mountain Ranges
    • Elevation causes several different types of ecosystems to be present as you go up a mountain – even though the mountain is in the middle of a larger biome.
  • Polar Ice Caps
aquatic ecosystems
Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Your text isolates the term biome only to land (terrestrial) areas
  • Aquatic Ecosystems is the term used to discuss areas of water that contain life.
aquatic ecosystems73
Aquatic Ecosystems
  • ¾ of Earth is covered with water
  • Aquatic ecosystems support more life than all land biomes combined.
  • 3 types of aquatic ecosystems
    • Freshwater
    • Estuaries
    • Marine
what determines the nature of a particular aquatic ecosystem
What Determines the Nature of a Particular Aquatic Ecosystem?
  • Water Depth / distance from shore
    • Determines amount of light
  • Water Flow
  • Water Temperature
  • Water Chemistry
    • Amount of dissolved chemicals such as salts,nutrients and oxygen
    • This is also affected by nearness to shoreline
      • More nutrients near shore
freshwater ecosystems
Freshwater Ecosystems
  • Two Major Types
    • Flowing-water ecosystems
    • Standing-water ecosystems
flowing water ecosystems
Flowing Water Ecosystems
  • Rivers
  • Streams
  • Creeks
  • Brooks
flowing water ecosystems77
Flowing-water Ecosystems
  • Organisms are well adapted to moving water
  • Adaptations allow them to cling to rocks, plants etc., so that they are not washed downstream
  • Streamlined bodies (trout) help them swim against current
standing water ecosystems
Standing-water Ecosystems
  • Lakes
  • Ponds
  • Still water provides homes to organisms that would get washed out of flowing water ecosystems
    • Plankton – the tiny organisms that float in fresh and salt water
      • Phytoplankton
        • Photosynthetic; algae; base of food chain
      • Zooplankton
        • Planktonic animals – feed on photoplankton
importance of freshwater ecosystems
Importance of Freshwater Ecosystems
  • Provide drinking water and food
  • Home to many species of organisms
  • Unfortunately…People also use rivers, streams and lakes as dumping grounds for wastes
freshwater wetlands
Freshwater Wetlands
  • Wetland
    • Ecosystem in which water either covers the soil or is present near the soil for at least part of the year.
    • Water may be salty, fresh or brackish
      • Brackish = fresh + salt waters
    • Wetlands are often VERY PRODUCTIVE ecosystems
      • Breeding grounds
        • Insects
        • Fishes
        • Amphibians
        • Migratory birds
estuary ecosystem
Estuary Ecosystem
  • Bodies of water formed where RIVERS meet OCEAN
    • contain mix of fresh and salt waters.
    • Affected by tides
    • Often shallow
      • Means lots of light can penetrate to bottom
      • Thus, lots of primary producers
importance of estuaries
Importance of Estuaries
  • Huge amounts of biomass
  • Spawning and nursery grounds for many species of fish and shellfish
  • Waterfowl use estuaries for nesting, feeding and resting during migration
types of estuaries
Types of Estuaries
  • Salt Marsh
    • Temperate-zone estuaries dominated by
      • salt tolerant grasses above low tide line
      • Seagrasses underwater
    • Chesapeake Bay
      • One of the largest systems of connected salt marshes in America.
marine ecosystems
Marine Ecosystems
  • Ocean
  • Salt water
  • Covers most of the Earth’s surface
importance of light to marine biome
Importance of Light to Marine Biome
  • Light can only penetrate water a short distance
  • Photosynthesis can only occur in upper parts of the ocean
    • Phytoplankton and algae grow here
    • Base of ocean food web
zones of the ocean
Zones of the Ocean
  • Based on depth and distance from shore

Intertidal zone


Costal Zone

zones of ocean intertidal
Zones of Ocean: Intertidal
  • Intertidal zone
    • Most difficult for life
      • Constantly changing as tide goes in and out – wet to dry
      • Pounding of waves
zones of the ocean coastal
Zones of the Ocean - Coastal
  • Coastal Ocean
    • Extends from low tide line to edge of open sea
    • Large algae (seaweed) are abundant
      • Kelp forests
    • Coral Reefs
zones of the ocean92
Zones of the Ocean
  • Open Ocean Zone
    • Largest Marine Zone
    • Phytoplankton responsible fore 80-90 percent of Earth’s photosynthetic activity
      • Base of food web
    • Fishes, dolphins, whales
    • Nutrients are more scarce here than near shore
      • Limits the number of organisms that it can support
zones of the ocean benthic zone
Zones of the Ocean – Benthic Zone
  • Extends from coastal ocean through the open ocean
  • Ocean Floor organisms
    • Sea stars, anemones, worms
  • Deepest parts – at trenches
    • HIGH pressure
    • COLD temperature
    • TOTAL darkness
  • Once thought to be devoid of life, but not so.
    • Many strange creatures