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What Shapes an Ecosystem?. Biotic Factors – living/biological influences on organisms within an ecosystem. –Examples? Abiotic Factors – physical/non-living.

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Presentation on theme: "What Shapes an Ecosystem?. Biotic Factors – living/biological influences on organisms within an ecosystem. –Examples? Abiotic Factors – physical/non-living."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Shapes an Ecosystem?

2 Biotic Factors – living/biological influences on organisms within an ecosystem. –Examples? Abiotic Factors – physical/non-living influences on organisms within an ecosystem. –Examples? *Together, biotic and abiotic factors determine the survival and growth of an organism and the productivity of the ecosystem in which the organism lives = habitat (= home of organism; its address)

3 Abiotic and Biotic Factors Biotic Factors ECOSYSTEM Abiotic Factors

4 Abiotic and Biotic Factors Biotic Factors ECOSYSTEM Abiotic Factors

5 Abiotic Factors of the Biosphere: Energy Source Not all areas on Earth receive the same amount of light energy In aquatic enviroments, light cannot reach far down, so photosynthesis tends to occur near the surface of the water

6 Abiotic Factors of the Biosphere: Temperature –Temperature affects metabolism. Few organisms can maintain a sufficiently active metabolism at temperatures close to 0ºC. Temperatures above 45ºC destroy the enzymes of most organisms. –Most organisms function best within a specific range of environmental temperatures.

7 Abiotic Factors of the Biosphere: Water –Water is essential to all life. –For terrestrial organisms, the main water problem is drying out. –Aquatic organisms are surrounded by water and face problems of water balance if their own solute concentration does not match that of their surroundings.

8 Abiotic Factors of the Biosphere: Inorganic Nutrients –The distribution and abundance of plants are often determined by the availability of inorganic nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus and the structure, pH, and nutrient content of the soil. –In many aquatic ecosystems, the growth of algae and photosynthetic bacteria is often limited by levels of nitrogen and phosphorus.

9 Abiotic Factors of the Biosphere: Other Factors –Aquatic but not terrestrial ecosystems are more limited by the levels of dissolved oxygen, salinity, currents, and tides. –Terrestrial but not aquatic ecosystems are more limited by wind, storms, or fire.

10 Biotic vs. Abiotic




14 Adjusting to Environmental Variability –The abiotic factors in a habitat may vary from year to year, seasonally, or over the course of a day. –For example: Birds may adjust to cold by migrating to warmer regions (a behavioral response), growing heavier feathers (an anatomical response), or fluffing up their feathers to trap more heat (a physiological response).

15 Adjusting to Environmental Variability: Physiological –Acclimation is gradual, reversible, and a physiological adjustment to an environmental change. –The ability to acclimate is generally related to the range of environmental conditions a species naturally experiences. –Among vertebrates, birds and mammals can tolerate the greatest temperature extremes because they are endotherms, while ectothermic reptiles can only tolerate a more limited range of temperatures.

16 Adjusting to Environmental Variability: Anatomical –Many organisms respond to environmental challenges with some type of change in body shape and structure. –Anatomical responses are not reversible – growth and development is limited – trees grow smaller in very windy enviroments

17 Adjusting to Environmental Variability: Behavioral –In contrast to plants, most animals can respond to an unfavorable change in the environment by moving to a new location. Ectotherms may shuttle between sun and shade. Migratory birds travel great distances in response to changing seasons. Humans have an especially rich range of behavioral responses.

18 The Niche Niche = the ROLE of an organism in its habitat –What is the organisms job? –What does the organism do for its environment? –The niche is the full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions – use of biotic and abiotic resources place in food web, range of temperatures needed to survive, food, physical conditions necessary for survival, reproduction, etc.

19 Warblers and Their Niches Bay-Breasted Warbler Feeds in the middle part of the tree Yellow-Rumped Warbler Feeds in the lower part of the tree and at the bases of the middle branches Cape May Warbler Feeds at the tips of branches near the top of the tree Spruce tree

20 Competitive Exclusion Principle Competitive Exclusion Principle - no two species can share the exact niche in the same habitat at the same time…Why? One will become extinct.

21 Relative population density Separate cultures Combined cultures P. caudatum P. aurelia

22 Community Interactions - Interspecific Interspecific interactions are interactions between species. Powerfully affect an ecosystem Four important types of interactions –Competition –Predation –Herbivory –Symbiosis

23 Competition Competition – organisms compete for resources (food, water, shelter, etc)

24 Predation Predation – one organism (predator) captures and feeds on another (prey)

25 Predation Numerous adaptations for predator avoidance have evolved in prey populations through natural selection. –Cryptic coloration is camouflage and a way for prey to hide from predators. –A warning coloration is a brightly colored pattern and a way to warn predators that an animal has an effective chemical defense.

26 Predation Non-venomous scarlett king snake Venomous eastern coral snake

27 Herbivory –Herbivory is the consumption of plant parts or algae by an animal. –Plants have evolved numerous defenses against herbivory, including spines, thorns, and chemical toxins.

28 Symbiosis Symbiosis – two species live closely together –Three major types of symbiosis Mutualism Commensalism Parasitism

29 Symbiosis - Mutualism HostSymbiont Example: flower & bee – both organisms benefit from each other Other examples?

30 Mutualism Examples

31 Symbiosis - Commensalism HostSymbiont Example: barnacle and whale – one organism benefits, the other is not hurt nor harmed Other examples?

32 Commensalism Examples

33 Symbiosis - Parasitism HostSymbiont Example: tapeworm and human – one organism benefits while the other is harmed Other examples?

34 Parasitism Examples

35 Ecological Succession Ecological Succession – series of predictable changes that occurs in a community over time *Ecosystems are constantly changing in response to natural and human disturbances. As an ecosystem changes, older inhabitants gradually die out and new organisms move in, causing further changes in the community.

36 Primary Succession Bare rock to plant community – like on a volcanic island First species to populate are called pioneer species (usually lichens) No soil – have to make it by breaking down rocks first

37 Primary Succession

38 Secondary Succession Soil to climax community (stable, mature community) Wildfires, farms, marine environments Soil already there

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