Ecosystem Vocabulary Ecosystem = a part of the environment with its organisms, their interactions, and the physical and chemical factors that affect them Community = populations of different species that interact in an ecosystem Population = all the individuals of the same species living in a community
Members of an Ecosystem Producers = organisms that can make their own food; autotrophs; examples: bacteria, protists, plants Consumers = organisms that eat other organisms to get energy; heterotrophs; examples: fungi and animals
Consumer Classification Herbivore = primary consumer who only eats plants; example: cow Carnivore = secondary consumer who only eats other animals; examples: shark and tiger Omnivore = consumer that eats both plants and animals; example: most humans Scavengers = animals that find dead plants or animals and eat them; examples: flies, wasps, cockroaches, earthworms Decomposers = break down dead organisms to receive energy; examples: fungi and bacteria
Predator versus Prey All animals must eat to survive. Animals can be either predators or prey. Predators hunt prey. With predators always on the lookout for a meal, prey must constantly avoid being eaten. Any adaptation the prey uses adds to the chances of survival for the species. Some adaptations are defense mechanisms which can give the prey an advantage against enemies.
Survival Defense Mechanisms speed You can’t eat what you can’t catch! physical or chemical features physical examples: quills on a porcupine or hard shell of a turtle chemical examples: stink of a skunk; poisons of a dart frog camouflage allows the animal to blend in with its environment to avoid being detected used by both predators and prey
Parasite versus Host A parasite is an animal or plant that lives in or on a host (another animal or plant) Parasites obtain nourishment from the host without benefiting or killing the host Examples: canine heartworms, malaria, hookworms, pinworms, tapeworm
Food Chain a diagram that shows the way energy is transferred from one organism to another each step in a food chain is called a trophic level begins with producers and ends with decomposers
Food Web complex, interconnect ing food chains in a community more accurate than food chain
Sample Question Read and complete the sample question on page 10. We will discuss the answers as a class.
Discussion An ecosystem is like the community that you live in. What are important factors in your community? How is waste handled? Who are the consumers and producers in your community? Are there any parasites within your community?
Lesson Summarized WWWWrite a sentence that explains the flow of energy in an ecosystem. DDDDraw a graphic organizer that shows the relationships between the various groups in a ecosystem.
Short Quiz Answers 1.See table summarizing characteristics. table 2.The answer is b. Because there are few macroinvertebrates in the stream and macroinvertebrates die in the presence of heavy pollution, one can conclude that there is a great deal of pollution in the observed stream. 3.The answer is a. The sun is the original source of energy because producers receive energy from the sun.