2 All living things are connected in a web of life Ecology is the study of the interactions of organisms with one another and with their environmentThe environment can be arranged into different levels – organism – population – communities – ecosystems - biosphereThere are two parts of the environment:the biotic part is all the organisms that live together and interactThe abiotic part consists of the nonliving factors such as water , soil, light and temperature
4 Populations – each organism is part of a group of individuals of the same species that live together – individuals compete for food, living space and mates Ex. Perch in Muzzy MeadowCommunity – all the populations of species that live and interact in an area – populations depend on each other for food, shelter, etc.Ecosystems – made up of a community of organisms and the abiotic environment of that communityBiosphere – part of the Earth where life exists
6 Organisms are divided into three groups based on how they get energy Producers – organisms that use sunlight directly to make food – process is called photosynthesis - plants, algae and some bacteriasConsumers – organisms that eat other organismsHerbivore – consumers that eat only plants – ex. cowsCarnivore – consumers that eats animals – ex. coyotesOmnivore - consumers that eat both plants and animals – ex. Grasshopper mouseDecomposers – organisms that get their energy by breaking down dead organisms – ex. bacteria
8 A food chain is a diagram that shows how energy in food flows from one organism to another - few organisms eat just one kind of food so food chains are rareA food web is a diagram that shows the feeding relationships between organisms in an ecosystemAn arrow goes from the organism that is the food to the organism that will eat itEnergy moves from one organism to the next in a one – way directionAny energy stored in an organism’s tissues can be used by the next consumer
10 An energy pyramid is a diagram that shows an ecosystem’s loss of energy Less energy is available at higher levels because only energy stored in tissues of an organism can be transferred to the next levelGray wolves are consumers that control the population of many other animalsBecause gray wolves are predators that prey on large animals, they are at the top of the pyramidWhen gray wolves were almost wiped out, it created an overpopulation of elk – this led to overgrazing – almost all populations were affected
11 Name one biotic factor in an ecosystem Name one biotic factor in an ecosystem. Name one abiotic factor in an ecosystem.What is the difference between a population and a community?What type of organism makes its own food?What type of organism consumes other animals?What type of organism gets energy by breaking down dead organisms?What is the difference between a food chain and a food web?
13 Variations in sizes of populations within a community happen because everything in the environment affects every other thingPopulations can’t grow without stopping because the environment contains a limited amount of food, water, living space and other resourcesA limiting factor is a resource that is so scarce that it limits the size of the populationCarrying capacity – the largest population that an environment can supportWhen a population grows larger that its carrying capacity, limiting factors in the environment cause individuals to die off or leave
15 Four main ways that species and individuals affect each other: competition, predators and prey, symbiotic relationships and coevolutionCompetition – when two or more individuals or populations try to use the same resources, such as food, living space, water or sunlightCompetition happens between individuals within one population and happens between populations within a community
16 Interactions Between Organisms Predator and Prey
17 Predator and prey – one organism eating the other – prey is the organism being eaten – predator is the organism that eats the preyPredator adaptations – must be able to catch their prey ex. cheetah’s speedPrey adaptations – methods and abilities that organisms have to keep from being eaten ex. buffalo herdCamouflage – one way animals avoid being eaten is to blend in with the backgroundDefensive chemicals – spraying predators with irritating chemicalsWarning coloration – predators avoid colors or patterns they associate with pain
19 Symbiosis is a close, long-term association between two or more species Individuals in a symbiotic relationship can benefit from, be unaffected by, or be harmed by the relationshipSymbiotic relationships classified in three groups: mutualism, commensalism and parasitismMutualism – both organisms benefit from the relationship ex. bacteria that lives in our intestineCommensalism – one organism benefits and the other is unaffected ex. sharks and remorasParasitism – one organism benefits while the other is harmed – parasite is the organism benefitting and host is the organism being harmed ex. tapeworm
21 Coevolution is the evolution of two species that is due to their mutual influence on each other, often in a way that is helpful to both speciesThe ant and acacia tree have a mutualistic relationship – the ants protect the tree by attacking other organisms that come near it – the tree has special structures that make food for ants – may have coevolved into this current situationFlowers have changed over millions of years to attract pollinators (ex. bees)For example, flowers pollinated by hummingbirds make nectar with just the right amount of sugar for the bird
22 Give an example of a limiting factor in an ecosystem. What is carrying capacity?Name one type of prey adaptation.What is symbiosis?What type of relationship benefits both organisms?What type of relationship benefits one organism and doesn’t affect the other?What type of relationship benefits one organism and harms the other?
26 There are three levels of consumers The first group of organisms are the primary consumers - they are also called herbivoresSecondary consumers eat the primary consumers – they are also called carnivoresThere is a third level of consumer called the tertiary consumer - they eat the secondary and primary consumers