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Living Things and the Environment

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1 Living Things and the Environment
Practical Science II Chapter 11

2 What is Ecology? Environment – everything that surrounds an organism and acts upon it Interact – process of organisms acting upon one another or on the nonliving parts of their environment Ecology – the study of the relationships and interactions between organisms and all the living/nonliving parts of their environment

3 Why is ecology important?
Earth’s resources limited Medicines, e.g., tropical rainforests Understanding nutrient cycling—slash & burn, agriculture Rise in greenhouse gases—climate change (CO2, CFCs, CH4) Tropical Rainforests and greenhouse gases To sum: basic ecology for maintaining ecosystem functioning Sustainability—e.g., fisheries. END OF LECTURE.

4 Biosphere Zone of the earth which supports life, including parts of the: Lithosphere (solid earth) Hydrosphere (water bodies) Atmosphere (envelope of air)


6 What is a Population? All of the same kind of organism (species) living in the same place All the deer in the Olympic National Park; all the tadpoles in Kilpisjarvi; all the hawks on the Rathdrum Prairie

7 What is a Community? All the different populations living in the same place All the trees in Post Falls; a mangrove forest community; the grasses on the Rathdrum Prairie

8 What is an Ecosystem? A group of communities interacting with each other and the non-living parts

9 Habitat Where an organism lives A physical place or type of place

10 Niche An organism’s role in the environment
Producer, consumer (herbivore/carnivore), saprovore (scavenger/ decomposer)

11 Learn to share! Organisms can share the same habitat How?
Timing their activities Birds eat daytime insects in forest Bats eat nighttime insects in same forest By occupying different niches They don’t compete with each other They complete each other

12 Are there limits? Limiting factors – conditions in an environment that place controls on how large a population can be Rainfall, sunlight, and soil limit numbers and kinds of plants in an area Temperature, water, food supply (# & kind of plants?), and shelter (plants again?) limit the animal populations

13 Obviously there are limits!
The largest population that can be supported by an area is its carrying capacity

14 In real life…….

15 What is a Biome? A large region with a characteristic climate and plant/animal communities Marine/Aquatic Tundra/Polar coniferous Deciduous/chapparal Plain/prairie/savanna



18 What is a climatogram? Summarizes temperature and precipitation averages for a biome/location

19 Abiotic vs Biotic

20 Air Rock Water Trees Prairie Dog Log cabin Snow Grass Dirt

21 Hierarchy of Life

22 Succession A slow change in organism populations
Change in dominant organisms

23 Pond Succession

24 Pond Succession

25 What are natural resources?
Materials from nature which man uses to survive and better his condition Renewable – can be reused or replaced Nonrenewable – finite amount and cannot be replaced Conservation – wise use of resources to extend their availability

NON-RENEWABLE RENEWABLE Recyclable Non- recyclable UNCONDITIONALLY RENEWABLE CONDITIONALLY RENEWABLE Abiotic cycling resources Complex resources Simple biotic resources Abiotic flow resources

27 Renewable

28 Non-renewable

29 The End

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