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Modified by Beth Roland Jacobs Fork Middle School

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1 Modified by Beth Roland Jacobs Fork Middle School
Ecology Unit Modified by Beth Roland Jacobs Fork Middle School

2 What is Ecology? the study of interactions between
organisms and other organisms, organisms and their environment

3 Where do we fit in? (What is our environment?) The Biosphere!

4 Factors that effect us:
Abiotic Factors A- stands for non Bio- stands for living Abiotic Factors=nonliving factors Wind/Air currents Moisture Light Temperature Soil

5 2. Biotic Factors: Biotic- Living factors

6 What is the organization of Ecological Study?
Organism Population Community Ecosystem Biosphere

7 Levels of Organization
Individual- one organism (living) Ex a moose

8 Levels of Organization
Population- groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area. (living-living same species) Ex many moose

9 Levels of Organization
Community- groups of different populations (more than one population or different groups of species) Ex many groups of moose beavers, trees, grass (all living)

10 Levels of Organization
Ecosystem- all organisms in a particular area along with the nonliving. (living and nonliving) Ex many groups of moose beavers, trees, grass, rocks, water, mountains

11 Levels of Organization
Biome- group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities Biomes: tropical rain forest, tropical dry forest, tropical savannah, temperate grassland, desert, temperate woodland and shrubland, temperate forest, northwestern coniferous forest, boreal forest (taiga), tundra, mountains and ice caps

12 Levels of Organization
Biosphere- all of the planet where life exists, includes land, water, and, air Life extends 8 km up and 11 km below the surface

13 IN AN ECOSYSTEM: Organisms live in a Habitat Organisms fit into a Niche of the environment

14 Habitat vs. Niche Habitat- an area where an organism lives
Niche- an organisms role in its environment The Long Version  full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions. Includes where in the food chain it is, where an organism feeds Habitat is like an address in an ecosystem and a niche is like an occupation in an ecosystem.

15 Community Interactions
when organisms live together in an ecological community they interact constantly. Three types of interactions Competition Predation Symbiosis

16 Competition- competing for resources
occurs due to a limited number of resources Resource- any necessity of life. water, nutrients, light, food. Competitive exclusion principle- no two species can occupy the same niche in the same habitat at the same time

17 Predation Predation- when an organism captures and feeds on another organism. Predator- hunter Prey- hunted

18 Symbiosis Symbiosis- any relationship where two species live closely together. (3 types) Mutualism Commensalism Parasitism

19 Symbiosis Mutualism- both species benefit from a relationship.
Lichens (fungus and Algae) One example is the lichens, little non-descript patches of stuff you see growing on rocks and tree bark. This is a symbiosis, consisting of a fungus and an alga. The fungus provides a protective home for the algae, and gathers mineral nutrients from rainwater and from dissolving the rock underneath. The alga gathers energy from the sun. There are thousands of species of lichen in the world; actually thousands of species of fungi with just a few species of algae which can form a partnership with almost any of them.

20 Symbiosis Commensalism – One member of a symbiotic relationship benefits and the other is neither helped or harmed Ex. Holes used by bluebirds in a tree were chiseled out by woodpeckers after it has been abandoned .

21 Symbiosis Parasitism- One creature benefits and one creature is harmed
Ex tapeworm. Feeds in a humans intestines absorbing his/her nutrients.

22 Relationships: Symbiosis = Living Together a) commensalism b) mutualism c) parasitism

23 Identify these relationships

24 Energy Flow (Trophic Levels)
Producers- make their own food Consumers- get energy from consuming producers

25 Producers Producers- capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use the energy to produce food. Producers are autotrophs- they make food from their environment

26 2 main types of autotrophs
Another type gets energy without light- by chemosynthesis One type gets energy from the sun-by photosynthesis

27 Consumers Consumers are heterotrophs- get energy from other organisms

28 Types of Consumers Herbivores- eat only plants Carnivores- eat animals
Omnivores- eat both plants and animals Detritivores- eat dead matter (plants and animals)

29 Feeding Relationships
Energy flows through an ecosystem in one direction from: 1. the sun or inorganic compounds 2. To autotrophs (producers) 3. To heterotrophs (consumers) Decomposers get energy from decomposing dead organisms

30 Food Chain- a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating or being eaten.
Food Web- A network of feeding relationships. (More realistic that a food chain)

31 Food Web


33 They can become very complex!

34 Trophic levels Each step in a food chain or a food web is called a trophic level. Producers are the first trophic level Consumers are the second, third, or higher trophic level Each trophic level depends on the one below for energy

35 Energy Pyramid Only part of the energy stored in one level can be passed to the next- most energy is consumed for life processes (respiration, movement, etc., and heat is given off) Only 10% of the energy available within one trophic level is transferred to organisms in the next trophic level


37 Biomass Pyramid Biomass- the total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level. A biomass pyramid represents the amount of potential food available for each trophic level in an ecosystem.


39 Energy Losses Energy transfers are never 100 percent efficient
Some energy is lost at each step Limits the number of trophic levels in an ecosystem Energy flow is a one way path! (not a cycle)

40 All Heat in the End At each trophic level, the bulk of the energy received from the previous level is used in metabolism This energy is released as heat energy and lost to the ecosystem Eventually, all energy is released as heat

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