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Ecology Introduction

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  1. Ecology Introduction Chapter 18

  2. Ecology • the study of the interdependence of living organisms • the interdisciplinary scientific study of the distributions, abundance and relations of organisms and their interactions with the environment

  3. Biological levels of organization

  4. Sponge Bob Ecology? Ecosystem Organism Population Community

  5. "It is an obvious truth, which has been taken notice of by many writers,  that population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence; but no writer that the Author recollects has  inquired particularly into the means by which this level is effected..."  -- Thomas Malthus, 1798

  6. Interdependence • All living organisms interact with other living organisms

  7. Parts of an Ecosystem • Biotic factors • Living things that affect the organisms • Abiotic factors • Non-living things that affect the organisms • Biotic and abiotic factors are interdependent

  8. The Niche • A niche is a way of life • Includes all aspects of lifestyle • Range of tolerable conditions • Means of acquiring resources • Number of offspring • Interactions with environment • Time of day of activity • And on and on and on and …..

  9. Changing Environments • Tolerance curve • Set of boundaries that organisms require for survival

  10. Acclimation • Tolerance curves can be affected • Acclimation • Homeostasis

  11. Surviving Outside the Tolerance Zone • Escape • Migration • Hibernation

  12. Niche differences • Specialists • Have very narrow niches and tend to specialize on utilizing a resource other organisms are unable to use.

  13. Niche differences • Generalists • Have broad niches and can tolerate a wide range of conditions

  14. Energy Transfer

  15. Producers • Photosynthesis • Chemosynthesis

  16. Measuring productivity • Biomass • Mass of organic material produced in an ecosystem • Gross primary productivity (GPP) • Rate at which producers capture solar energy and produce organic material • Net primary productivity (NPP) • Rate at which biomass accumulates • Kcal/m2/yr = GPP– rate of respiration in producers

  17. Net Primary Productivity

  18. Consumers • Herbivores- eat producers • Carnivores- eat consumers • Omnivores- eat producers and consumers • Detritivores- eat dead stuff or excrement • Decomposers- break down complex organic material

  19. Energy Flow • Trophic levels • Indicates the number of energy transfers • Only 10% of the energy in one level is available to the next

  20. Food Webs • Interweaving diagram of food chains

  21. owl stoat fox rat rabbit beetle

  22. Energy and Nutrient Flow Patterns

  23. Energy and Nutrient Flow Producers Consumers Energy Nutrients Inorganic Nutrients Decomposers

  24. Energy and Nutrient Flow Producers Consumers Energy Nutrients Inorganic Nutrients Decomposers

  25. Energy does not cycle 90% 90% 95%

  26. Energy Flow: Food Chains

  27. Energy Flow: Food webs

  28. Matter Does Cycle • Most important • Water • Carbon • Nitrogen • Phosphorous • Sulfur

  29. Water Cycle

  30. Biogeochemical Cycles: Nitrogen