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Ecology Notes - 2015. What is Ecology? Ecology – study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their physical environment. Greek.

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Presentation on theme: "Ecology Notes - 2015. What is Ecology? Ecology – study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their physical environment. Greek."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecology Notes - 2015

2 What is Ecology? Ecology – study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their physical environment. Greek “eco” comes from “oikos” which means house and “logy” means “study of”

3 Ecology includes all aspects of the world around us.

4 The biosphere is the portion of Earth that support life. air water land Organisms are adapted to survive in the conditions of their living & non-living environments.


6 The biosphere includes water environments.

7 The tropical rainforest is the most diverse ecosystem. Students draw a circle around the equator

8 An organism is a single member of a species.


10 Ecosystem Terms Biotic Factors – the living factors in an organism’s environment Examples: a) animals b) plants c) fungi d) protists e) bacteria

11 Ecosystem Terms Abiotic Factors – all of the physical (non-living) aspects that belong to an organism’s environment. Examples: a) soil (mineral), water, wind (air) b) energy such as light or sound c) climate, weather, temperature

12 Levels of Organization 1.Organism (individual) 2.Population 3.Biological community 4.Ecosystem 5.Biome 6.Biosphere from simplest to most complex


14 Population- individual organisms of the same species living in the same geographic location. Example- A school of fish How do available resources affect a population? Individual organisms must compete for food, water, mates and other resources to survive. If resources are limited the population size will decrease.

15 Biological Community- a group of populations that interact in the same geographic area at the same time. Example: Plants & animals that live in a park Ecosystem- a biological commuinity and all the abiotic factors that affect. Biome- a large group of ecosystems that share the same climate and biological communities. All biomes form the Biosphere.

16 Ecology Terms Habitat – a place where an organism lives. Niche – the role an organism has in its environment or job the organism performs in the community

17 Ecological Relationships Competition – a biological interaction that occurs when two species attempt to use the same resource. All organisms compete for resources in different ways. Example: Organisms compete for water in the desert. Plants typically have small, but very deep root systems.

18 Ecological Relationships Predation – the act of one organism consuming another organism for food. Example: cat (predator) mouse (prey)

19 Ecological Relationships Predator – the animal being the aggressor (the animal doing the hunting). Prey – the animal being the defender (the animal that is being hunted). Predator: Crocodile Prey: Turtle

20 Ecological Relationships Symbiosis – a relationship in which two organisms live together in close association. 3 Kinds 1. Mutualism 2. Commensalism 3. Parasitism

21 Ecological Relationships 1) Mutualism - a symbiotic relationship in which both participating species benefit. Example: aphids and ant colonies

22 Ecological Relationships 2) Commensalism - a symbiotic relationship in which one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped. Ex. Moss growing on a tree

23 Ecological Relationships 3) Parasitism – a relationship in which one organism benefits and another organism is harmed Parasite benefits; host is hurt. Ex. Tick on a dog Tapeworm

24 Principles of Ecology Section 2- Flow of Energy in an Ecosystem

25 Energy Flow in Ecosystems Autotrophs ( primary producers)- is an organism that captures energy from sunlight or inorganic substance to produce food in an ecosystem. Heterotrophs (consumer) – is an organism that obtains energy by consuming other organisms.

26 Consumer Types: 1) Herbivore – feed directly on green plants. Examples: deer, cattle, turtles 2) Carnivore – feed on other animals. Examples: lions, hawks, wolves 3) Omnivore – feed on plants and animals. Examples: bears, raccoons, crayfish, humans 4) Detritivores – feed on dead and decaying matter  Examples: vultures, bacteria

27 How do detritivores help an ecosystem? They decompose organic materials in an ecosystem and return the nutrients to the soil, air, and water. Ex. hyenas, vultures, fungi, bacteria What would happen to our biosphere if we didn’t have them?

28 Flow of Energy- A) The primary source of energy is the sun. B) Producers are organisms that capture light energy and convert it into chemical energy. This is how the energy is passed on to consumers. C) Consumers are organisms that consume producers or other consumers for energy. D) Decomposers are organisms that consume producers, consumers, and other decomposers for energy once they have died. Decomposers return nutrients to the cycle of life.

29 Energy Flow in Ecosystems Every living organism requires energy. Trophic Level - shows how energy gets transferred from organism to organism. Sun  Producer  Consumer  Decomposer

30 Energy Flow in Ecosystems Food Chain – a simple model that show how energy flows through an ecosystem.

31 Food Chains: 1 st Level – Producers – make their own food 2 nd Level – Herbivores (Primary consumers) – eat primary producers 3 rd Level and 4 th Level – Carnivores (Secondary Consumers) – eat herbivores OR Omnivores – (Secondary Consumers) – eat both herbivores and carnivores If at 4 th Level will be called tertiary consumer If at 5 th level will be called quaternary consumer *** Decomposers – eat all dead organisms and can be found at every level


33 Energy Flow in Ecosystems Food Web – a model that shows all the possible feeding relationships in an ecosystem A scientist will use a food web to study the feeding habits of an organism

34 The arrows show the flow of energy

35 Ecosystem Energy The energy that is stored at each trophic level is about 1/10 that of the level below it. By showing the declining amounts of energy in each of the trophic levels an ecological pyramid can be formed.

36 90% of the available energy is used by the organism at each level, only 10% is available to the next level The number decreases at each level because less energy is available to support organisms.


38 Biomass-total mass of living matter at each trophic level. The number decreases at each level because less energy is available to support organisms.

39 Biomagnification is the sequence of processes in an ecosystem by which higher concentrations of a particular chemical, such as the pesticide DDT, are reached in organisms higher up the food chain, generally through a series of prey-predator relationships. The concentration will be greatest at the top of the food chain.

40 Principles of Ecology Section 3-Cycling of Matter Matter Facts: Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass Neither created or destroyed Cycles within any ecosystem and is reused Provides the nutrients needed for organism to function – ex. carbon, nitrogen

41 MATTER CYCLES WITHIN ECOSYSTEMS In any ecosystem, organisms obtain the matter that they need to build their organic substance from other organisms and from their surroundings. Ex. Nutrients in the green grass pass to the cow that eats the grass. The cycle continues until the last consumer dies. Detritivores return the nutrients to the cycle, and the process begins again.

42 Key Concepts  Biogeochemical cycles: the combination of processes that exchange matter through the biosphere. Water Cycle, Carbon Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle

43 Lesson Objectives How do nutrients move through biotic and abiotic parts of an ecosystem? Why are nutrients important to living organisms? What are the biogeochemical cycles of nutrients and how are they alike

44 water returns to the surface in the form of rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. = ____________________ 90% of water vapor evaporates from oceans, lakes, & rivers. The evaporation of water from the surface of plant leaves (10%) = ___________________ TRANSPIRATION PRECIPITATION Students draw a circle around these terms in your notes.

45 What are the carbon and oxygen cycles? Do you remember what happens during photosynthesis? Producers change ___ into glucose and release ___. CO 2 O2O2 Students write the formula for photosynthesis in your notes.

46 During photosynthesis, producers change carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and release O2. Carbs are a source of energy for all organisms. Autotrophs and Heterotrophs release CO2 during cellular respiration. Long Term - Carbon is converted into fossil fuels, (gas, peat or coal) Co2 released from burning.

47 4 main CARBON reservoirs in BIOSPHERE CO 2 in atmosphere CO 2 in Ocean BIOLOGY; Miller and Levine; Prentice Hall; 2006 1.In ____________ as CO 2 gas 2.In _______ as dissolved CO 2 gas 3.On _______ in organisms, rocks, soil 4.______________as coal & petroleum (fossil fuels) and calcium carbonate in rocks atmosphere ocean land Underground

48 Where does CO 2 in atmosphere come from? CO 2 in atmosphere CO 2 in Ocean BIOLOGY; Miller and Levine; Prentice Hall; 2006 1.________________ 2.______________ 3._________________ 4.____________ of dead organisms Volcanic activity Human activity (burning fossil fuels) Cellular respiration Decomposition

49 WHY IS CARBON IMPORTANT? Found in all the _____________________ of cells: carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, lipids Image by Riedell BUILDING BLOCKS

50 WHY IS CARBON IMPORTANT? Carbon in CO 2 provides the atoms for __________ production during __________________... the fuel that all living things depend on. GLUCOSEPHOTOSYNTHESIS

51 N 2 in Atmosphere NH 3 NO 3 - and NO 2 - Section 3-3 NITROGEN CYCLE BIOLOGY; Miller and Levine; Prentice Hall; 2006

52 WHY IS NITROGEN IMPORTANT? Image by Riedell __________________make DNA and RNA. Nitrogen is needed to make proteins. Image by Riedell NITROGEN BASES

53 78% of the atmosphere is made up of NITROGEN Image by Riedell BUT we _____ use the nitrogen directly from the air. N 2 gas is captured from the air by bacteria that live in water, the soil, or grow on the roots of some plants. _________________ CAN’T

54 The process of capturing and changing (“fixing”) nitrogen into a form that plants can use is called __________________. Consumers get nitrogen by eating producers or other animals that contain nitrogen. Nitrogen Fixation

55 Image from: and modified by Riedell When animals die and decay or urinate the nitrogen returns to the soil as ammonia. Other bacteria in the soil convert ammonia into _____________ & _________________which plants can also use. The nitrogen we need for proteins, ATP, and nucleic acids comes from the ___________ ___________ we breathe! NITRATES (NO 3 - ) FOOD WE EAT NOT THE AIR NITRITES (NO 2 - )

56 Some bacteria change nitrogen compounds into nitrogen gas that’s released into the atmosphere. THIS PROCESS IS CALLED _________________ DENITRIFICATION

57 Community Ecology




61 Primary Succession Begins in a place without any soil Sides of volcanoes Landslides Flooding Starts with the arrival of living things such as lichens that do not need soil to survive Called PIONEER SPECIES


63 http://botit.botany.wisc.e du http://www.saguaro-


65 Secondary Succession Begins in a place that already has soil and was once the home of living organisms Occurs faster and has different pioneer species than primary succession Example: after forest fires



68 Climax Community A stable group of plants and animals that is the end result of the succession process Does not always mean big trees Grasses in prairies Cacti in deserts

69 Population Dynamics A population is a group of organisms of the same species that live in a specific area.


71 Population Distribution- can have an effect on how population is sampled, which can affect density measurement. Clumped most common because resources are usually clumped.

72 A density-independent factor is any factor in the environment that does not depend on population density like natural disasters. ex. hurricanes, oil spills What limiting factors are density independent? Recall that population density is the number of members of a population per unit.

73 A density – dependent factor is any factor in the environment that depends on population density. Ex. disease, competition, parasites, and predators.

74 What factors affect a population’s growth rate? Emigration – the number of individuals moving away from a population. Immigration – the number of individuals moving into a population.


76 Logistic Growth Populations cannot grow exponentially forever. At some point, the rapidly increasing population will strain available resources. Logistic growth occurs when the population’s growth slows or stops at the population’s carrying capacity.


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