What is ecology? Ecology: study of interactions that take place between organisms and their environment
Biosphere the portion of the Earth that supports living things Ex: ocean, forest, atmosphere.
Abiotic vs. Biotic factors Abiotic = nonliving parts of the environment Ex: light, air, temperature, soil Biotic = living parts of the environment Ex: bacteria, protist, fungus, plant, animal
Levels of organization from smallest to largest Individual Population Community Ecosystem
Individual made of cells, uses energy, reproduces, responds, grows, and develops
Population group of organisms all of the same species, which interbreed and live in the same area at the same time
Community interacting populations in a certain area at a certain time
Ecosystem interacting communities and abiotic factors
Habitat vs. Niche Habitat: place where organism lives Niche: role or position a species has in its environment
Habitats are capable of changing. What can lead to changes in habitats?
Symbiosis: interactions between two species Mutualism: both benefits Commensalism: one benefits, the other unaffected Parasitism: one benefits, one is harmed
Mutualism Clownfish is protected, while providing a lure for the anemone. Some say that this relationship can be commensalistic.
Commensalism Volcano sponge using the crinoid sponge as a “lift” for increased filtration but the crinoid sponge is unaffected.
How organisms obtain energy Autotroph (producer): photosynthetic or chemosynthetic, makes own food Heterotroph (consumer): “eat” other organisms, cannot make own food Decomposer: breaks down dead or decaying organisms, recycles matter
Heterotrophs - carnivores obtain energy from eating other consumers Secondary and tertiary consumers
Decomposers Typical examples: fungus and bacteria
Food chain shows how matter and energy move through an ecosystem (one route) berries → mice → black bear
Food web shows interactions between organisms (all possible routes)
Energy pyramid Shows how much energy is available at each trophic (energy) level Pyramid of Energy Heat 0.1% Consumers 1% Consumers 10% Consumers Parasites, scavengers, and decomposers feed at each level.