What is an ecosystem? Ecosystem Definition: All the living and nonliving things in an area. Characteristics: meets the needs of living things Examples: Tundra Coral reef Tropical rainforest Wetlands Non-examples: Community Population Habitat
Relationship of vocabulary words: general to specific ECOSYSTEM COMMUNITY POPULATION HABITAT NICHE
ECOSYSTEM An ecosystem includes all the living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) things in a given area.
The community is all of the living things in the ecosystem.
The population is the members of a species within the community.
An organisms habitat is the place where it lives, which is a small part of the ecosystem.
A habitat is made up of the soil, air and water, as well as the plants of the area.
A niche is an organisms role within the ecosystem. An owls role is that of a hunter. A butterflys role is that of a pollinator. A plants role is that of a producer.
Energy Pyramids An energy pyramid is a graphical model of energy flow in a community. The different levels represent different groups of organisms that might compose a food chain. From the bottom- up, they are as follows: Producers bring energy from nonliving sources into the community Primary consumers eat the producers, which makes them herbivores in most communities Secondary consumers eat the primary consumers, which makes them carnivores Tertiary consumers eat the secondary consumers
In some food chains, there is a fourth consumer level, and rarely, a fifth. Have you ever wondered why there are limits to the lengths of food chains? Each feeding (trophic) level passes @10% of its stored energy to the next level. Therefore, if the producers had 10,000 units (calories) of available energy, the herbivores would receive 1000 units, the primary carnivores 100 units and the secondary carnivores 10 units.
The mouse receives energy from the food it eats. The mouses cells extract the foods energy so it can be used for the mouses survival needs (e.g., growth, acquiring good, escaping enemies). The process is not 100% efficient and a lot of energy is lost as heat. The mouse can use this heat to help keep its body temperature at a normal level during cold weather. Some of the energy that is in the food is lost in the mouses waste (feces). The remaining energy is stored in the mouses body and is available to the organism that preys on it. About 90% of the energy acquired in the mouses food is used or lost by the mouse and only 10% is available to predators.
What is a biome? Biologists have divided the world into regions called biomes. A biome is a large ecosystem with generally the same climate and organisms.
Are you ready for lift off? We will now travel through several biomes.
Freshwater Ecosystems Only 3% of the world's water is fresh. And 99% of this is either frozen in glaciers and pack ice or is buried in aquifers. The remainder is found in lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.
Marine Ecosystems Marine ecosystems are a part of the largest aquatic system on the planet, covering over 70% of the Earth's surface. The habitats that make up this vast system range from the productive near shore regions to the barren ocean floor.