Presentation on theme: "Topic 5 - Ecology. Introduction In our first unit, we will look at making sense of the millions of organisms that live on this Earth, and their interactions."— Presentation transcript:
Topic 5 - Ecology
Introduction In our first unit, we will look at making sense of the millions of organisms that live on this Earth, and their interactions. There are approximately 1.5 million different species that have been identified by scientists, of which over half are insects. Estimates are that there are over 10 million or more, that have not been identified.
Introduction continued We need to understand organisms, not just identify them. We need to determine what it eats, how it reproduces, its habitat, interaction with other organisms and its environment. We also need to know our impact on these organisms as well.
Definitions Ecology Ecosystem The study of the relationships between living things and their environment A settled unit of nature consisting of a community of organisms, interacting with each other and the abiotic (non-biological) environment
Definitions (continued) Community Population Habitat All the living organisms in a habitat or ecosystem, which is the total of all the populations All the living organisms of the same species in a habitat, at any one time The locality of physical area in which individuals of a certain species can be found. If the area is extremely small, we call it a microhabitat
Definitions (continued) Species Biomass Biodiversity A group of individuals of common ancestry that closely resemble each other and are capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring The total mass or organic matter The variety of life in an ecosystem
Energy and Ecosystems
Definitions Autotrophs (self feeding) Organisms that synthesize its organic molecules from simple organic substances Also called producers Green plants are an example, as they produce their food (glucose) through photosynthesis
Definitions continued Heterotrophs Organisms that obtain organic molecules from other organisms Most of the organisms use only existing nutrients, which they obtain by digestion and then absorb into their cells and tissues for use Also called consumers
Definitions continued Decomposers Detrivore Saprotroph Organisms that ingest dead organic matter, like scavengers and earthworms (putrid feeding) Organisms that live in or on, non-living organic matter, secreting digestive enzymes into it, and absorbing the products of digestion
Four Factors that influence a Population Natality - Birth Rate Mortality – Death Rate Immigration – Moving in Emigration – Moving out
Carrying Capacity Populations cannot grow forever, and there comes a time when the growth of a population stabilizes in terms of its numbers The number, or the maximum number of individuals that a particular habitat can support is call the Carrying Capacity (K) Limiting factors, which define the carrying capacity of a habitat include: Availability of resources, such as water, food, sunlight, shelter, space, or gases, such as oxygen in aquatic habitats
Carrying Capacity (cont) Build up of waste, such as excrement or excess carbon dioxide Predation Disease
Population Growth Lag Phase Exponential Growth Phase Organisms are adapting to the new conditions, and very little reproduction occurring (low natality) Organisms numbers increase rapidly, as there is an abundance of nutrients / resources, with little competition High natality and low mortality Little accumulation of waste products
Population Growth (cont) Linear Growth Phase Growth slows due to decrease in natality, but still high, and an increasing mortality rate Checks on growth are due to more competition, less nutrients and more waste Starting to approach carrying capacity Start to see environmental resistance
Population Growth (cont) Plateau Phase There is no new growth, due to the environmental resistance and the population reaching carrying capacity. Natality and mortality are equal as there is a limit to the amount of resources supplied by the environment, maximizing how many individuals can be supported.
Population Growth (S) Curve
Causes of Population Growth Causes of the Exponential Phase Plentiful resource such as food, space or light Little or no competition from other inhabitants Favourable abiotic factors, such as temperature or dissolved oxygen levels Little or no predation or disease
Causes of Population Growth (cont) Causes of the Transitional or Linear Growth Phase With an increase in individuals in the population, there is increasing competition for resources Predators, attracted by a growing food supply, start to move in to the area Large numbers of individuals living together in a limited space, opportunities for diseases to spread within the population increase.
Causes of Population Growth (cont) Causes of the Plateau Phase Space available for growth, such as plants, or shelter is occupied to the maximum Limited food supply, means less available nutrients and organisms tend to have smaller numbers of offspring Increases in predators and disease increase mortality Therefore, birth rate plus immigration is balanced with the number of deaths and number of emigrations Carrying Capacity has been reached Environmental Resistance is observed
Limiting Factors on Population Growth Density-Independent A sudden, rapid change in one or more of the physical or chemical components of the environment may occur. This affects the population regardless of size, and affect the overall size of the population or reducing the birth and death rates. Examples are death due to weather, earthquakes, drought.
Limiting Factors on Population Growth (cont) Density Dependent Effect of other members of the population, and of members of other populations, as the density (numbers of organisms in a given area) increases. Examples are predation, disease or intra-species competition. The effects of these factors increase with increasing population numbers.
Limiting Factors on Population Growth (cont) There are several mechanisms that work with the limiting factors Extrinsic Regulatory Mechanisms – originate outside the population and include biotic as well as physical factors. For example food supplies, natural enemies, disease, weather. Intrinsic Regulatory Mechanisms – originate in the anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Competition is the main regulating mechanism for large groups.
Populations as Units of Structure and Function - Statistics
Random Sample A method to ensure that every individual in a population has an equal chance of being selected
Group Measuring Techniques Capture – Mark – Release – Recapture (Lincoln Index) Allows for random sample Approximate count of organisms in an area Assumes there is no natality, mortality, immigration and emmigration Banding of birds Tagging of larger organisms
Group Measuring Techniques (cont) Quadrat Sampling Method Allows for a simple way to measure population size Allows for a random sample In areas of differing slope or variation (ie. From terrestrial to aquatic), a line transect can be used
Using Statistics to Measure Populations Statistics Mean The mathematics of collection, organization, and interpretation of numerical data, especially the analysis of population characteristics by inference from sampling The average value obtained by dividing the total of a set of values by the number of values
Using Statistics to Measure Populations Median Mode The middle value that separates the higher half of a data set from the lower half of the data The most frequently occurring data observation
Using Statistics to Measure Populations Standard Deviation Mathematical concept used to summarize the spread of variables around a mean. 68% of the values of a normal distribution fall within one standard deviation of the mean (+/-1)
Using Standard Deviation Formula
Using Standard Deviation Steps Find the mean Subtract the mean from all values, and square each difference Add up all answers from the above step Put answer from above into the equation and calculate the SD State the variance by calculating SD +/- mean
Community Interactions Interactions within ecosystems can be: Neutral – neither organism is affected One organism is affected Both organisms are affected Examples are: Symbiosis / Mutualism Parasitism Predation Competition
Cycling of Nutrients
Human Impact on Ecosystems
Greenhouse Effect What is the greenhouse effect? Do we need the greenhouse effect? What is the difference between the greenhouse effect and the enhanced greenhouse effect?
Greenhouse Gases Carbon dioxide (CO2) Cellular respiration Combustion Decalcification Carbon monoxide (CO) Incomplete combustion Water vapour (H2O) Occurs naturally, through the water cycle, but product of cellular respiration and combustion
Greenhouse Gases Nitrogen oxides (NOx) Combustion of fossil fuels, refining process of ores Methane (CH3) Naturally occurring, breakdown of organic waste Incomplete combustion Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) Refrigeration / cooling products Breaks down ozone
Is the enhanced greenhouse effect leading to Global Warming or Climate Change?
Precautionary Principle When an activity raises threats of harm, measures should be taken, even if a cause and effect relationship has not been established scientifically. Examples Smoking in Bars Seatbelts
Pros and Cons of implementation in response to Climate Change
What impacts will climate change have on Arctic Ecosystems?