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What is Ecology?.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Ecology?."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Ecology?

2 Abiotic Factors- Non-living parts of the environment.
Ecology: Study of interactions between organisms and their environment Abiotic Factors- Non-living parts of the environment. Scavenger-eats dead organisms Producer- Uses the sun to make food “autotroph” Biotic Factors- All the living parts of the environment Decomposer- break down dead organisms and cause decay Consumer-organisms eat others for energy “heterotrophs”

3 Biotic vs. Abiotic See if you know the difference between the two!

4 Abiotic or Biotic? Biotic

5 Abiotic or Biotic? Abiotic

6 Abiotic or Biotic? Abiotic

7 Abiotic or Biotic? Biotic

8 Biotic Factors Review

9 Biotic Factors Producers Organisms that make their own food.
Ex- Plants & some bacteria Consumers: Organisms that eat (consume) other organisms for energy (animals)

10 Biotic Factors Decomposers: Consumers that eat waste products for energy. Waste products are feces, urine, fallen leaves, dead animals. (Fungi, some bacteria)

11 Levels of Organization

12 Review: What are the Simplest Levels?
Atom Molecule Organelle Cell Tissue Organ System

13 Levels of Organization
2. Populations- groups of organisms of the same species. 1. Organism- individual possessing all 8 characteristics of life 3. Community- group of populations living together. The 5 Levels of Ecological Organization 4. Ecosystem- living & nonliving parts interact together. 5. Biosphere- part of the earth that supports life

14 Which Level of Ecological Organization
Which Level of Ecological Organization? Take this quiz to see if you can tell the difference between the two!

15 Which Level? Organism

16 Which Level of Organization?

17 Which Level of Organization?
Biological Community:

18 Which Level of Organization?

19 Which Level of Organization?

20 What level of organization?

21 What level of Organization?

22 What level of Organization?

23 Habitat & Niche Habitat is where something lives
Niche is an organism’s total way of life (how it eats, competes with others)

24 Feeding Relationships
Autotrophs: Organisms that make their own food (plants and some bacteria)….PRODUCERS!! Heterotrophs: Organisms that eat other organisms (they cannot make their own food)….CONSUMERS!!!

25 Feeding Relationships
Herbivores: eat plants (cows) Carnivores: eat meat (wolves) Detrivore: eat decaying (dead) materials Omnivores: eat plants and meat (humans)

26 FYI- Niche Includes all its interactions with the biotic and abiotic parts of the environment Each type of organism occupies its own niche to avoid competition with other types of organisms Two species can share the same habitat but not the same niche Example: Ants and bacteria both live in the dirt (habitat) but have different niches. Ants eat dead insects and bacteria eat dead leaves, dead logs, and animal waste. So ants and bacteria don’t compete for resources.

27 Survival Relationships
Predator-prey: predators are consumers that hunt and eat other organisms called prey.

28 Survival Relationships
Symbiosis: relationship in which one species lives on, in, or near another species and affects its survival. 3 Types: Mutualism Commensalisms Parasitism

29 Mutualism type of symbiosis in which both species benefit.
Ex. Clownfish living in the sea anemones. It provides protection for the fish, and attracts potential food for the anemones.


31 Commensalism type of symbiosis in which one species benefits and the other species is neither harmed nor benefited Example: Spanish moss grows on the branches of trees. The moss gets a habitat and the tree gets nothing.

32 Parasitism one species benefits and the other species is harmed.
Parasite: organism that harms but does not usually kill another organism Host: organism that is harmed by a parasite Ex. Ticks feed on dogs, people, etc. The ticks get food (blood) and the hosts lose blood and can be infected with disease.

33 Trophic levels and food chains
Trophic level: A feeding level in an ecosystem. Food chain: lineup of organisms that shows who eats who. Shows how matter and energy move through an ecosystem. Directions: On your paper, draw a picture that goes with each trophic level.

34 Trophic Levels Eaten by Eaten by
1st trophic level: producers (make their own food) Eaten by Eaten by 2nd trophic level: primary consumer (eats plants) Bacteria 3rd trophic level: secondary consumer (small carnivore) Eaten by 4th trophic level: tertiary consumer (large carnivore) Last trophic level: decomposer (eats dead animals)


36 Energy Pyramid Every time an organism eats, it obtains energy from its food. Energy is transferred from the 1st 2nd 3rd trophic level and so on. of this energy is lost along the way during an organism’s metabolism and as heat. This energy can be measured in kilocalories (kcal). 90%

37 Energy Pyramid Picture that shows how much energy is transferred among the different trophic levels in a food chain; energy is lost as you move up the pyramid.

38 Trophic Level Energy Available 4th Tertiary consumers 10 kcal/m2/year 3rd Secondary consumers 100 kcal/m2/year 2nd Primary consumers 1000 kcal/m2/year 1st Producers 10,000 kcal/m2/year



41 Some energy is lost as heat and the rest is consumed or excreted as waste.

42 Food Webs A food web is a network of connected food chains. More realistic than a food chain because most organisms feed on more than one species for food.


44 Practice with Food Chains & Food Webs

45 Identify the food chains inside the food web.

46 Do it yourself! 1. AS AN INDIVIDUAL….sketch a foodchain including 4-5 animals on extra paper. 2. AS A GROUP….On the paper provided, make your own food web using organisms from everyone’s food chains! 3. Remember to include every trophic level 4. Label all 15 organisms with their name and their trophic level (ex. Grass = producer)

47 Cycles in Nature There is only a limited amount of resources (water, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon) on the earth. In order to keep these resources available to organisms, they must be recycled after they are used. Cycle: a process that recycles a resource so that you end up with what you started with.

48 Nitrogen Cycle 1. Nitrogen fixation: Bacteria in the ground change nitrogen from the atmosphere (N2) to different nitrogen compounds 5. Denitrification: Bacteria change the nitrogen compounds back to N2 and release it to the atmosphere 2. These bacteria live in plants and transfer the nitrogen compounds to the plants 4. Bacteria eat the dead animals and animal waste and take in the nitrogen compounds 3. Animals eat the plants and take in the nitrogen compounds

49 Nitrogen Cycle

50 Water Cycle 2. Seepage: Water seeps into the ground and plants use it
3. Transpiration: Plants give off water to the atmosphere 1. Precipitation: Rain and snow fall from the atmosphere to the earth 2. Runoff: Extra water runs off the land to lower-lying bodies of water 3. Evaporation of water from the bodies of water back into the atmosphere

51 Water Cycle

52 Carbon Cycle 1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) are found in the atmosphere 2. Plants use CO2 to make their own food (photosynthesis) 2. Animals and plants use the O2 to make energy (respiration) 3. During photosynthesis, plants release O2 back into the atomosphere 3. During respiration, animals and plants release CO2 back into the atomosphere

53 Carbon Cycle

54 Population Size

55 Populations What is a population?
What are some factors that can contribute to the size of a population?

56 Organism Interactions Limit Population Size
Organisms depend on each other for: So what happens when these factors change? Protection Food Reproduction Shelter

57 Organism Interactions Limit Population Size
Predation: What could happen if a predator is introduced to a population and there are no organisms to eat it? Unchecked for many years, the snakes caused the extinction of nearly every native bird species on the Pacific island of Guam

58 Organism Interactions Limit Population Size
2. Competition - What can happen if resources become limited?

59 Organism Interactions Limit Population Size
3. Crowding & Stress As pop. Increase in size and start straining their resources, they may become stressed. What are some examples of stress symptoms? Aggression Decrease in parental care Decreased fertility Decreased resistance to disease

60 How do you determine human population size?
Growth rate—amount that a population’s size changes over time Birth rate—number of births occurring during a period of time (ADD) -- Death rate (or mortality rate)—number of deaths in a period of time (SUBTRACTS)

61 How do you determine human population size?
Birth rate – death rate = growth rate - Positive number means the pop. is growing - Negative number means the pop. is shrinking

62 Human population size Other things that affect a population’s numbers:
Life expectancy—how long on average an individual is expected to live US men: 72 yrs, US women: 79 yrs Immigration—individuals moving into a population (ADDS) Emigration—individuals moving out of a population (SUBTRACTS)

63 What can affect population size?
When you figure out the number of individuals living in a certain area, this is called the population density. There are two limiting factors (biotic and abiotic) that can affect the pop. density Limiting factor—any biotic or abiotic factor that restrains the growth of a population

64 What are limiting factors?
Density-independent factors—factors that affect the population regardless of the population’s size Ex: fires, climate Density-dependent factors—factors whose effects on the population depend on the population’s size Ex. food shortages, disease

65 Density- dependent or Density- independent
Density- dependent or Density- independent? Take the following quiz to find out!

66 Predation Volcanic eruption Chemical pesticides Parasitism Forest fire
Density-dependent Volcanic eruption Density-independent Chemical pesticides Parasitism Density-dependent Forest fire Density-independent Migration

67 Communities

68 FYI: How are communities formed?
Communities are made of several populations living together Think back to population size. What are some limiting factors that can affect a community?

69 FYI: Forming Communities
What would happen if people stopped cutting the grass in their yards? 1. The grass would get taller & weeds would grow 2. Later, bushes would grow; trees would appear, and different animals would enter the area 3. After 30 years, it would eventually become a forest…BUT WHY?

70 Forming Communities Succession—orderly, natural changes and species replacements that take place in the communities of an ecosystem

71 Communitites Primary succession—development of a community in an area that did not previously exist Ex: new volcanic island, bare rock, sand dune Happens slowly


73 Communities Pioneer species—usually small, fast growing, and fast reproducing organisms that are first to colonize land after a disturbance Example of primary succession: lichens

74 Communities Secondary succession—sequential replacement of species that follows a disruption of an existing community Example of secondary succession: fire, tornado


76 Communities Climax community—stable end point of a community after succession takes place

77 Biomes

78 Biomes Biomes—very large ecosystems that are distinguished by characteristic plants and animals. Terrestrial—land based Aquatic—water based

79 Tundra extreme northern latitudes cold, largely treeless
permafrost—permanently frozen layer of soil

80 Tundra long, cold winters and very short summers
short growing season limits the producers in food webs very little precipitation thin, poor soil that can only support shallow-root plants

81 Tundra plants: grass, moss, small shrubs
animals: caribou, snowy owl, artic fox, mosquitoes in summer, hares, reindeer. (Most migrate here in summer)

82 Taiga forested biome with evergreen conifers South of tundra
Long winters, but overall warmer and wetter than tundra Abundance of trees provides more food/shelter than tundra

83 Taiga Plants: pines, firs, some grasses
Animals: moose, bears, wolves, lynx

84 Temperate deciduous forests
characterized by trees that lose all their leaves in fall (Alabaster, AL) Receive constant rainfall ( cm annually) Longer summers Rich topsoil with layer of clay underneath

85 Temperate deciduous forests
Plants: hickory, maples, oaks Animals: deer, hawk, squirrel, rabbits, bears

86 Grasslands Usually in interiors of continents (Prairies & Savannas)
Rainfall is not enough to support large trees

87 Grasslands Plants: dominated by grasses
Animals: jackrabbits, bison, deer, prairie dogs

88 Savannahs tropical or subtropical grasslands with scattered trees or shrubs

89 Savannahs Africa, South America, Australia Alternating wet/dry seasons
Plants—short trees, shrubs, grasses Animals– lions, giraffes, antelopes, kangaroo (in Australia)

90 receive less than 10 inches (25 cm) of rain each year
Deserts receive less than 10 inches (25 cm) of rain each year Can be hot or cold! Most plants and animals adapted to storing/saving water Rainfall is a limiting factor

91 Deserts Plants: cacti and other succulents (plants with thick/waxy leaves that can store water)

92 Deserts

93 Deserts Animals: tortoises, desert fox, kangaroo rat, coyotes, scorpions, camels Most animals stay hidden during day

94 Tropical rain forests tall trees Stable, year round growing seasons
Warm weather year round Most biologically diverse biome Average temp 25 degrees C

95 Tropical rain forests Many niches b/c of “vertical layering” in forest
Canopy (sunny tree tops), understory (dark/moist where smaller trees, ferns, shrubs grow), ground level

96 Tropical rain forests Plants—trees of all sizes, herbs, grasses
Animals—monkeys, birds, jaguars,( and lots more…)

97 Aquatic Biomes: Marine biomes—saltwater areas
Contains different zones based on light availability

98 Aquatic Biomes: Estuaries—coastal body of water, partially surrounded by land in which freshwater and salt water mix

99 Aquatic Biomes: Freshwater biome—lakes, ponds, rivers, streams
Tadpoles, fish, insects, turtles, beavers, algae, water plants Water temperature and light are limiting factors

100 Aquatic Biomes: Wetlands—where land and water meet

101 Swamps—have trees and running water
Aquatic Biomes: Swamps—have trees and running water

102 Marshes—no trees, but has running water
Aquatic Biomes: Marshes—no trees, but has running water

103 Bogs—get water supply from rain
Aquatic Biomes: Bogs—get water supply from rain

104 Environmental Concerns

105 Pollution Pollution—of air, water, soil.
Acid rain kills aquatic life and plant life—disrupts food web Too much nitrogen/phosphates from runoff damages lakes by disrupting plant/algae growth and food webs Toxins (heavy metals, organic chemicals) cause illnesses, cancers in humans

106 Ozone Ozone—naturally occurring gas (O3) that screens most of UV light from sun Humans are releasing Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) from refrigerator chemicals and aerosol cans. Chemicals destroy ozone. Is causing a hole in the ozone layer. Could lead to more cancers Ground level ozone contributes to smog and breathing problems. Shelby and Jefferson Co. frequently exceed the legal limit (Ozone Alert Days/Air Quality Index)

107 Human Impact Human overpopulation—resources are limited while waste increases Loss of biodiversity—deforestation, urban sprawl, endangered species (habitat loss and illegal animal trade), invasive species, overfishing

108 Global Warming/Climate Change
Greenhouse effect—The natural warming of the Earth due to gasses present in the atmosphere (CO2 and methane) .These gasses trap in heat from the sun. Concern: humans ARE releasing more pollutants and gasses, such as carbon dioxide, into the air. Average temperature HAS increased. Strange weather patterns noted How we’re releasing gasses/pollutants: burning fossil fuels for energy, burning rainforest, chemical industry wastes

109 Global Warming/Climate Change
The debate: Are these gasses allowing more heat to be trapped, leading to a rise in global temperatures? Is the recorded temperature rise and changing weather patterns a normal response to many factors, all of which we may not understand? Predictions: Earth warms up, polar ice caps and glaciers melt all over world, sea levels rise, massive flooding and global climate changes occurs. Increase in water born diseases. Global warming will be a mild problem

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