Ecology Study of the interactions that take place between organisms and organisms and their environment.
Biotic Living parts of the environment: plants, animals & microorganisms
Abiotic Non-living parts of the environment: water, air, light, rocks, temperature, soil
Levels of Organization in Ecology A species includes only one type of organism. – Example: pigeon A population includes all members of one species that live in the same area. – Example: all the pigeons in Houston A community includes all of the different species that live in the same area. – Example: all the pigeons, ants, oak trees, dogs, etc. that live in Houston
Levels, continued… An ecosystem includes both the community and the abiotic factors. – Example: the Houston community plus the cars, buildings, rocks, air… A biome is a large area of land or water that has the same climate, land characteristics, flora and fauna. -- Example: desert, tundra, taiga, savannah The biosphere is all the parts of the Earth that can support life: the air, the water and the land.
Produce or Consume 1. Producer (autotroph) – can make its own food – forms the base of the food web
Mmmmm…delicious 2. Consumer (heterotroph) – cannot make its own food There are several words that describe consumers… – Prey: the hunted – Predator: the hunter – Herbivore: eats plants – Carnivore: eats animals – Omnivore: eats both plants and animals
Adaptations of consumers: Carnivore - meat-eating animal with sharp canine teeth specialized to rip and tear flesh Herbivore - plant-eating animal with incisors specialized to cut vegetation and large, flat molars to grind it Omnivore - plant- and meat- eating animal with incisors specialized to cut vegetables, premolars to chew meat, and molars to grind food
Ewwww, gross 3. Decomposer – Breaks down dead organisms – Examples: bacteria, fungi, worms – Complete the circle of life by returning nutrients to the soil
Food chain - chain of organisms along which energy, in the form of food, passes. An organism feeds on the link before it and is in turn prey for the link after it. Arrows show the direction of energy flow. Food web - Complex network of many interconnected food chains and feeding relationships
Energy Pyramids show that there is more energy available in the producers of an ecosystem than the consumers. The least amount of energy is available in the bodies of the animals at the top of the food chain. Most of the energy is used by the organisms and lost as heat.
In Central America there is a tree called bullhorn acacia (Acacia cornigera) that provides both food and shelter to a certain species of ant (pseudomyrmex ferruginea). The ants live within the tree without causing harm. In fact the ants protect the tree by vigorously attacking and stinging other animals that try to eat it. This relationship is an example of--- A.Predation B.Parasitism C.Mutualism D.commensalism
Termites have protozoa living inside their digestive system. The protozoa digest the wood that the termites consume. How would you characterize the relationship between the termite and the protozoa? A.Parasitic B.Commensal C.Mutual D.protocooperative