Interactions and Interdependence Ecology The scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, or surroundings Reveals relationships between living and nonliving parts of the world Biosphere The portion of Earth that supports life. High atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean.
Levels of Organization Species A group of organisms so similar to one another that they can breed and produce fertile offspring Populations A group of organisms of one species that interbreed, living in the same place at the same time (Example: white-tailed deer)
Communities A collection of interacting populations that live together in a defined area A change in a population can change the community. (Example: deer, foxes, trees, insects, etc.) Ecosystem A collection of all the organisms that live in a particular place, together with their nonliving, or physical environment. (Examples: deer, foxes, trees, insects, soil, rainfall, temperature, etc.)
Biome A group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities All of the biomes together are called the biosphere
Producers Sunlight is the main energy source for life Producers or Autotrophs Organisms that use energy from the sun or energy stored in chemical compounds to manufacture their own nutrients. Examples includes all plants and some unicellular organisms.
Consumers Consumers or Heterotrophs Organisms that cannot make their own food and must feed on other organisms Include organisms that feed on autotrophs (herbivores), only on other heterotrophs (carnivores), or on both autotrophs and heterotrophs (omnivores). Detritivores feed on carrion and refuse. Example: vulture, hagfish
Consumers or Heterotrophs Decomposers break down the complex compounds of dead and decaying plants and animals Examples: Most bacteria and fungi, some Protozoans
Feeding Relationships Energy flows through an ecosystem in one direction From the sun or inorganic compounds to autotrophs (producers) and then to various heterotrophs (consumers).
Food Chains A series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten Autotrophs to heterotrophs to decomposer
Essential Questions What makes up a population? Put the following in order from smallest to largest: ecosystem, biome, species, community, population. What does a heterotroph eat?
Vocabulary Energy Pyramid Biomass Pyramid Number Pyramid
Ecological Pyramids Diagram that represents the amount of energy or matter in an ecosystem within each trophic level in a food chain or food web Three types: Energy pyramid Biomass pyramid Pyramid of numbers
Energy Pyramid Illustrates that energy decreases at each succeeding trophic level.
Biomass Pyramid Biomass Total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level Expressed in terms of grams of organic matter per unit area Represents the amount of potential food available for each trophic level
Pyramid of Numbers Is a visual representation of how many organism are eaten up along a food chain.
Recycling in the Biosphere matter is recycled within and between ecosystems. Biogeochemical cycles The cycling of elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to another
Water Cycle Shows how water is constantly moving between the Earth and the atmosphere. Evaporation – process by which water changes from liquid form to an atmospheric gas Transpiration – process of evaporation from the leaves of plants
Nutrient Cycles Nutrients All the chemical substances needed by an organism to sustain life Used to build tissues and carry out essential life functions
Carbon Cycle Biological processes (photosynthesis, respiration, and decomposition) take up and release carbon and oxygen Human activities (mining; cutting and burning forests; burning fossil fuels) release CO 2 to atmosphere
Nitrogen Cycle Nitrogen is converted from a gas to compounds important for life and back into a gas. Nitrogen fixation The process of converting nitrogen gas into ammonia Denitrification The conversion of nitrates into nitrogen gas so that it can be released into the atmosphere once again