Presentation on theme: "Ecology. Introduction to Ecology Ecology is the study of organisms and their interactions with their environment. The environment includes 2 types of."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction to Ecology Ecology is the study of organisms and their interactions with their environment. The environment includes 2 types of factors: – Biotic factors – the living parts of the environment Plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, protists – Abiotic factors – the nonliving parts of the environment Water, oxygen, light, temperature, etc.
Levels of Organization organism population community ecosystem biome biosphere
The Importance of Abiotic Factors Not every organism can live everywhere on Earth Abiotic factors determine which organisms can survive where: – Temperature – effect on body temperature – Water – too much/not enough water – Light – availability for photosynthetic organisms – Wind – amplifies effects of temperature – Rocks/Soil – which organisms can live with/on them, based on pH and mineral composition – Periodic Disturbances – catastrophes, such as tornadoes, fires, tsunamis, etc.
Biomes A group of ecosystems that have similar climates and communities Aquatic (dominant) Terrestrial – Tundra, Taiga, Tropical Forest, Savanna, Chaparral, Desert, Temperate Grassland, Temperate Deciduous Forest
Interactions between organisms and their environment limit the distribution of species
Niche – my place in the World 1. What do I eat? How do I collect my food? Where do I collect my food? When do I collect my food? 2. Where do I live? - Habitat 3. Where and how do I raise my young? 4. Do I sleep, how long, when, where? 5. Do I like it cold or warm; humid or dry, land or water?
Niche – My place in the Ecosystem How I live, not simply where I live How I contribute to the energy flow in my ecosystem
Competitive Exclusion Elimination of a competing species: Species using resources more efficiently will eliminate the other
How can we peacefully co-exist My Niche and Your Niche do not overlap too much No two species can occupy The SAME Niche!
Dividing Resources Among Species: Warbler species - all five species feed on insects in the same trees at the same times as each other – Fundamental Niche is the same. They do not have overlapping Niches - they occupy different parts of the tree!
Realized Niche Cape May Warblers can feed on insects all over a Spruce Tree, but they stay mainly at the top. Remaining portions of the Spruce are divided among its potential competitors – Realized Niche is different for the 5 species of Warbler!
How can we peacefully co-exist My more resourceful competitor will not eliminate me - I have a predator on my side. Predation can keep the number of a species low so that competition is reduced. Result: Increased Biodiversity
Why is an Ecosystem with greater Biodiversity more stable than one with fewer species?
How do we interact with our Environment? Grade earned: F
The variety of organisms in a given area One of Earth’s greatest natural resources! The more biodiversity, the more healthy, complex and stable an ecosystem is. Biodiversity
The ability of a community to respond to changes in its environment (its “resilience”) is directly related to its genetic diversity. Populations and Communities with the least genetic diversity are most at risk for extinction in an ecosystem.the least genetic diversity Why? Can’t adapt to changes in the environment.
Succession- the gradual, sequential growth of a species in an area Nature increases diversity through
Occurs in an area where there was no previous life Examples: Bare rock, island, sand dune Pioneer Species-first to colonize 1. Primary Succession
Diversity Index = # of Species # of organisms The closer to 1 the diversity index is, the more diverse and healthy the habitat How do we measure biodiversity?
The total area of functioning land and water ecosystems needed both to provide the resources an individual or population uses and to absorb and make harmless the wastes that individual or population generates Ecological Footprints
Human Impact has contributed to the extinction of many species. Human activity impacts ecosystems locally, regionally, and globally. Habitat Destruction is a major human impact.
Homework Assignment: Go to http://www.earthday.org/footprint- calculator and determine your personal ecological footprint. http://www.earthday.org/footprint- calculator Print out the last page showing results. Ecological Footprint