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What is Ecology?.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Ecology?."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Ecology?

2 The study of the interactions between organisms and the living and nonliving components of their environment--- INTERDEPENDENCE (interconnectedness)!!

3 Ecological Models Physical, conceptual, or mathematical representations of the components of an ecological system Used to help plan and evaluate solutions to environmental problems

4 Levels of Organization
Ecologists have organized the interactions in which an organism takes part into different levels according to complexity.

5 1st Level of Organization
Organism: An individual living thing that is made of cells, uses energy, reproduces, responds, grows, and develops

6 2nd Level of Organization
Population: A group of organisms, all of the same species, which interbreed and live in the same place at the same time.

7 3rd Level of Organization
Biological Community: All the populations of different species that live in the same place at the same time and interact (solely biotic in terms of composition).

8 4th Level of Organization
Ecosystem: Populations of plants and animals that interact with each other in a given area, along with the abiotic components (physical and chemical) of that area. [terrestrial or aquatic]

9 5th Level of Organization
Earth:apple::biosphere:skin of apple Biosphere: Broadest, most inclusive level, i.e., the thin volume of Earth and its atmosphere that supports life (5 to 6 miles above surface to deepest part of the oceans)

10 The Nonliving Environment
Abiotic factors- the nonliving parts of an organism’s environment. Examples: temperature, humidity, pH, salinity, oxygen concentration, nitrogen availability, soil, and precipitation.

11 The Living Environment
Biotic factors- all the living organisms that inhabit an environment. All organisms depend on others directly or indirectly for food, shelter, reproduction, or protection.

12 Abiotic or Biotic? Biotic

13 Abiotic or Biotic? Abiotic

14 Abiotic or Biotic? Abiotic

15 Abiotic or Biotic? Biotic

16 Organisms in a Changing Environment
Acclimation: Adjusting tolerance to abiotic factors over the course of a lifetime Adaptation: genetic change in a species or population that occurs from generation to generation over time

17 Control of Internal Conditions
Conformers (Cold-Blooded): organisms that change their internal conditions as their external environment changes Regulators (Warm-Blooded): Organisms that use energy to control some of their internal conditions Dormancy: strategy for surviving unfavorable conditions through reduced activity Migration: strategy for surviving unfavorable conditions through moving to a more favorable habitat

18 Habitat & Niche Habitat is the place a plant or animal lives
Niche is an organism’s total way of life, to include the range of conditions that it can tolerate, the resources it uses, the methods by which it obtains resources, the number of offspring it has, the time of reproduction, and all other interactions with the environment Generalist (e.g. opossum) Specialist (e.g. koala bear)

19 6CO2 + 6H2O + sunlight & chlorophyll C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6O2
Energy Transfer Begins with the SUN Photosynthesis 6CO2 + 6H2O + sunlight & chlorophyll C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6O2

20 Energy Transfer Producers: autotrophs that capture energy and use it to make organic molecules *Photosynthesis *Chemosynthesis Biomass: organic material that has been produced in an ecosystem

21 Energy Transfer Consumers: heterotrophs that obtain energy by consuming organic molecules made by other organisms *Herbivores: eat producers *Carnivores: eat other consumers *Omnivores: eat both producers and consumers *Detritivores: feed on the “garbage” of an ecosystem -Decomposer: a detritivore that releases complex molecules that cause decay

22 Energy Flow Trophic Level: indicates organism’s position in a sequence of energy transfers *1st trophic level = producers *2nd trophic level = herbivores *3rd+trophic level = consumers -Higher trophic levels contain less energy, so they support fewer individuals

23 Food Chains and Food Webs
Food Chain: single pathway of feeding relationships among organisms in an ecosystem that results in energy transfer Food Web: Interrelated food chains in an ecosystem On average, only 10% of the total energy consumed in one trophic level is incorporated into organisms in the next

24 Energy Pyramids Show : Amount of available energy decreases for higher consumers Amount of available energy decreases down the food chain It takes a large number of producers to support a small number of primary consumers It takes a large number of primary consumers to support a small number of secondary consumers

25 Food Web

26 Ecosystem Recycling As energy and matter flow through an ecosystem, matter must be recycled and reused. Substances such as water, carbon, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus each pass between the living and nonliving worlds through biogeochemical cycles


28 Carbon Cycle Carbon Cycle


30 Phosphorus Cycle

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