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Chapter 50: An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere

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1 Chapter 50: An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere

2 Define ecology. Identify the two features of organisms studied by ecologists.
Ecology is the study of interactions between organisms and the environment Distribution and abundance

3 Describe the relationship between ecology and evolutionary biology.
Environmental factors interacting with variation within populations could cause evolutionary change

4 Distinguish between abiotic and biotic components of the environment.
The environment of any organism includes abiotic, or nonliving, components—chemical and physical factors such as temperature, light, water, and nutrients—and biotic, or living, components

5 Distinguish among organismal ecology, population ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, and landscape ecology. Organismal ecology concerns how an organism′s structure, physiology, and (for animals) behavior meet the challenges posed by the environment. Population ecology concentrates mainly on factors that affect how many individuals of a particular species live in an area Community ecology deals with the whole array of interacting species in a community Ecosystem ecology, the emphasis is on energy flow and chemical cycling among the various biotic and abiotic components Landscape ecology deals with arrays of ecosystems

6 Interactions Between Organisms and the Environment Affect the Distribution of Species

7 Define biogeography. the study of the past and present distribution of individual species, in the context of evolutionary theory

8 Describe the problems caused by introduced species and illustrate with a specific example.
Species introduced to new geographic locations often disrupt the communities and ecosystems to which they have been introduced and spread far beyond the area of intended introduction Example: kudzu introduced for erosion control

9 Explain how habitat selection may limit distribution of a species within its range of suitable habitats. even when the habitats are suitable, their distribution may be limited by habitat selection behavior Example: Female insects often oviposit (deposit eggs) only in response to a very narrow set of stimuli, which may restrict distribution of the insects to certain host plants.

10 Describe, with examples, how biotic and abiotic factors may affect the distribution of organisms.
In many cases, a species cannot complete its full life cycle if transplanted to a new area. This inability to survive and reproduce may be due to negative interactions with other organisms in the form of predation, parasitism, disease, or competition. Or survival and reproduction may be limited by the absence of other species on which the transplanted species depends

11 Presence or absence of food resources, parasites, diseases, and competing organisms can act as biotic limitations on species distribution

12 List the four abiotic factors that are the most important components of climate.
Temperature Water Sunlight Wind

13 Explain, with examples, how a body of water and a mountain range might affect regional climatic conditions. Ocean currents influence climate along the coasts of continents by heating or cooling overlying air masses, which may then pass across the land Mountains have a significant effect on the amount of sunlight reaching an area, as well as on local temperature and rainfall

14 Angle of incidence/intensity

15 Planetary Tilt/Seasonality

16 Convection Currents/Banding


18 Aquatic and Terrestrial Biomes

19 Describe the characteristics of the major aquatic biomes: lakes, wetlands, streams, rivers, estuaries, intertidal biomes, oceanic pelagic biomes, coral reefs, and marine benthic biomes.


21 Explain why the following statement is false: “All communities on Earth are based on primary producers that capture light energy by photosynthesis.”

22 Describe the characteristics of the major terrestrial biomes: tropical forest, desert, savanna, chaparral, temperate grassland, coniferous forest, temperate broadleaf forest, and tundra.


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