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Ecology: Ecosystems 1

Describes the three types of symbiosis: mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism.

Casie Brown

on 31 December 2015

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Transcript of Ecology: Ecosystems 1

A relationship between members of two different species that live together in a close relationship

Reporting Topic: Ecosystem (1)
Learning Goals:
TSW describe the biotic and abiotic factors that make up an ecosystem and explain how the type and number of these factors affect how much an ecosystem can support
TSW explain beneficial or detrimental impact that some organisms may have on other organisms

Different Similar Different
Draw a Venn Diagram as illustrated below. Read pages 55-57 in your Ecology text. Write down similarities and differences for each
type of interaction.
Quick read
hunting a pack or pod
share different jobs within a
colony of same
species live in
family groups
to share
obstruction of light
marking an area with urine
songs or sounds to attract a mate
Limited resources:

Different Similar Different
I. Organism Interactions

a. Competition
the struggle between organisms or different populations for a limited resource.
Ex: Creosote bushes compete for space

b. Cooperation
an interaction in which organisms work in a way that benefits them all.
Ex: Killer whales (Orcas) hunt together in a pod
Take a few minutes to read pg. 58-61.

Afterward, you will answer questions about this information so please read carefully.
e. Exploitation
Predation (predator & prey)
one organism (predator) eats another organism (prey)
Ex: Coyote eating a rabbit
one species (parasite) benefits while the other is harmed (host)
Ex: ticks on dogs, tapeworms
living inside humans, or
athlete’s foot fungus
growing on humans
a. Mutualism
both species benefit
Ex: bees get food from flowers and spread pollen to other flowers
b. Commensalism
one species benefits while the other is not harmed

Ex: a remora fish suctions itself to a shark. When the shark eats, the remora fish eats some of the leftover food. The shark is not harmed.

c. Parasitism
one species (parasite) benefits while the other is harmed (host)

Ex: ticks on dogs, tapeworms living inside humans, or athlete’s foot fungus growing on humans
III.Other types of relationships

a.Predation (predator & prey)
one organism (predator) eats
another organism (prey)

Ex: Coyote eating a rabbit

1. Choose one of the three types of symbiosis.

2. Research an example of this type of symbiosis (must be one we did not discuss in class)

3. Describe the relationship between the two organisms. Be sure to discuss how either organism benefits, is harmed, or is not bothered by the relationship.

4. With a partner, write a script that depicts the relationship between these two organisms. Your mini-play will be performed for the class. Your goal is to get us to guess the type of symbiosis in your relationship by the way the two organisms talk to one another.

Living things depend on the environment (p.9)

Ecology is the study of how living things interact with their environment and all of the other living things around them

Ecosystem (p. 9)

Describes a particular environment
Includes living and nonliving things
Can be small like a pond, or large like a desert

Biotic Factors (p. 10-13): the
living things in an ecosystem

Ex: bacteria, archaea, protists, fungi, plants, and animals (organisms in all 6 kingdoms!)
We mostly talk about plants and animals

Abiotic Factors (p. 10-13): the nonliving physical and chemical parts of an ecosystem.

Ex: temperature, sun, soil, and water

Biotic factors interact with an ecosystem

Living things depend upon an ecosystem for food, air, and water, and other things needed for survival

How BIOTIC factors affect other biotic and abiotic factors in an environment:

Ex: can be food for other organisms, release oxygen, and keeps soil in place

Ex: can erode or alter the landscape through everyday life processes

Many abiotic factors affect ecosystems

How ABIOTIC factors affect other biotic and abiotic factors in an environment:


Use the words in the word box to the right to write a summary about biotic and abiotic factors.

biotic factor

abiotic factor


The environment can be organized into five levels (p. 48)

Large area characterized by a certain climate and specific types of plants

Smaller than a biome but contains biotic and abiotic factors living together (includes organisms and their local environment)

Living components of an ecosystem. Different plants, animals, and other organisms interact.

Group of organisms of the same species living in the same area.

A single individual living thing (one organism of a species)
Patterns exist in populations (p.50)
Populations of animals may be crowded together, be spread far apart, or live in small groups.

Patterns in living space

The distribution of animals in a habitat is influenced by how they meet their needs. Animals must be able to reach food and have a place to raise their young.

Ex: creosote bushes- spaced evenly in the desert because each bush releases a toxin to keep other plants from growing too close to it. Each bush competes with other organisms.

Ex: Herring fish swim in schools that are spaced a certain way, and wildebeests roam the African grasslands in closely packed herds. These are examples of patterns of living space.

Patterns in time

Animal populations increase at different times of the year
Ex: yellow jacket wasp populations are high in the summer and fall but low in the winter and spring

Ex: birds that nest in North America in summer fly south to Central and South America in winter

Use the words in the word box to the right to write a summary about the organization of ecosystems.
Word Box





Symbiosis Wrap-up:
Describe what happened on St. Paul Island:

Limiting Factor, Carrying Capacity, & Succession
Story of St. Paul Island
*Pribilof Islands off the coast of Alaska.

*Native caribou had lived on the island until they were
hunted to extinction.

*In 1911, 25 reindeer were introduced to St. Paul Island to
replace the caribou.

*The island had an area of about 41 square miles.

*There were no predators like wolves and bears or
there were no major competitors for food.

The reindeer population
grew from 25 to 2,046 individuals by 1938 (27 years) — that translates to an average annual growth rate of 16 percent. In other words, for every original introduced reindeer, there were about 80 more reindeer 27 years later.

The large population quickly overgrazed and trampled the island’s food supply of lichens (multicolored, flaky growths found on trees and rocks). Lichens grow slowly in the cold climate of the Pribilofs, so the reindeer’s food supply could not recover from overconsumption.
Starving animals try to tear every last edible leaf from the trees and every blade of grass from the soil.

Ecosystem’s carrying capacity is reduced, and the population usually shrinks substantially through emigration or starvation. The ecosystem and its carrying capacity may recover, but it may take hundreds of years.

Despite vast amounts of open space, food shortage caused 99% to die of starvation. By 1950, only eight reindeer were left on St. Paul Island.

The reindeer population did not die out, however. It began to again grow after 1950 and is now about 800.

1. What does the graph above show about the reindeer population? Based on the given information, explain with possible causes

2. Suppose predators had also been introduced to St. Paul Island. How might their presence have changed the outcome of the reindeer introduction? Explain your reasoning.

Reindeer Population on St. Paul Island
Reindeer Population on St. Paul Island

1. Rapid population growth that was followed by rapid die off of the population. There were no predators like wolves and bears, no competitors for natural resources and lots of space causing an increase in population. The population die off was a result of food (lichens), not about crowding.

2. Predators would have kept the reindeer population lower which would have reduced the demand on reindeer food (lichen).

Do ALL situations end like St. Paul Island?

No. Some ecosystems can reach a carrying capacity for a group of organism and the population can stay at that maximum level. In other ecosystem, a carrying capacity for an organism can be reached and a few members of the population die out.

St. Paul is an extreme example of upsetting the balance within an ecosystem.

Now you will learn how to tell when an ecosystem reaches its carrying capacity and how a limiting factors helps determine the carrying capacity.
Population growth and decline (p. 64)

Limiting factor- any factor or condition that limits the growth of a population in an ecosystem

An imbalance of any biotic or abiotic factor in an ecosystem can bring about changes in population size

Ex: water, food supply, space, light, predators, nutrients in the soil, etc.

St. Paul Island Example: the limiting factor for the reindeer population on St. Paul Island was the food source (lichen)

Maintaining a Balance (p. 65)

Carrying capacity- when a population reaches a state where a population can no longer grow, the population has reached its carrying capacity

Carrying capacity is also the maximum number of individuals an ecosystem can support. An ecosystem’s carrying capacity is different for each population

Ex: If the population of raccoons in Missouri reaches a point where it can no longer grow, it has reached its carrying capacity

St. Paul Island example: the reindeer population reached a point where it could no longer grow, so it reached its carrying capacity

Ecosystems change over time (p. 66)

Succession- The gradual change in an ecosystem in which one biological community is replaced by another

Primary Succession: the first species move into a barren (empty) environment.

These first species are called pioneer species.

Ex: small moss and lichen start to grow in an area where a glacier has retreated that has little or no topsoil. These small organisms are the first things to grow in this empty environment. Over a long period of time, more and more organisms will be supported in this once barren place.

Secondary Succession: When the species move into an ecosystem after a major disturbance to the biological community in a stable ecosystem.

A community can be disturbed by a natural
event, like fire or flood, or it can be disturbed by human activity.

Ex: A forest cleared or farmland abandoned can lead to secondary succession

Use the words in the word box to the right to write a summary about limiting factor, carrying capacity, & succession.

Word Box
carry capacity

limiting factor




Biotic & Abiotic Factors

affects the types of plants that grow in land ecosystems
affects animals that can survive in certain temperatures

energy from sunlight supports all life on Earth
producers use light to make their own food

a mixture of small rock and mineral particles
affects land ecosystems because it is the site of decomposition
soil minerals affect plant growth

all living things need water to carry out life processes
affects how much life can be supported in an ecosystem

Organisms occupy specific living areas (p.45)

Species: a group of organisms so similar that they can produce offspring that can also produce offspring.
Ex: rabbit

Population: a group of organisms of the same species that live in a particular area.
Ex: all the rabbits in Kansas City

Habitat: the physical location where plants and animals live. A habitat has characteristics like precipitation, temperature, and soil quality (abiotic factors)
Ex: rabbits live in woods or meadows

Niche: the special role an organism plays within its habitat (like its specific needs)
Ex: rabbits eat grass, flowering plants,, weeds, and the bark of small trees. They graze (eat) for long periods of time and live in burrows that they dig.

Community: a group of populations that live in a particular area and interact with one another
Ex: rabbits, squirrels, deer, skunks, raccoons, and mice all live in the woods

An example of a red wolf's niche
most complex

Organization of Ecosystems
Close Interactions Among Organisms
Land biomes include:
- Grasslands
- Temperate forests
- Deserts
- Taigas
- Tundras
- Temperate forests
- Tropical Forests

Which term in green best describes the items in this picture that are NOT crossed out? How do you know?

biotic factors
abiotic factors
carrying capacities
The term "abiotic factors" best fits the things in this picture that are not crossed out becasue abiotic factors are nonliving parts of an ecosystem like light, temperature, air, water, and soil. Also, I know that "bio" means "life" and "a" before a word means "the opposite of," so ABIOtic means nonliving.
Which term in green best describes the items in this picture that are NOT crossed out? How do you know?

biotic factors
abiotic factors
carrying capacities
The term "biotic factors" best fits the images that are not crossed out becasue biotic factors are living things in an environment like plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi. Also, I know "bio" means "life," so biotic factors are living.
Let's watch these two videos about deciduous trees and coniferous trees.
Deciduous Trees
CONiferous Trees
Now, describe the difference between a deciduous tree and a coniferous tree.
A deciduous tree loses its leaves each fall and regrows leaves in the spring. It must store food for the winter.

A coniferous tree (names after its CONES) has needlelike leaves with a wax coating that it keeps all year long. This allows a coniferous tree to make food through photosynthesis all year long.
Watch the video clip below. Choose the green term or phrase that best fits the situation and describe how you know.
abiotic facotrs
primary succession
secondary succession
This is an example of secondary succession. I know this because secondary succession is a change in an ecosystem after a disturbance to the ecosystem. In this case, a fire partly destroyed the ecosystem and it will grow back over time. I still has soil, plant roots, and animals will move back into the are.
Write down all the numbers below that are examples of competition.
1. Bees working together in a colony.
2. Two deer fighting over territory .
3. Lions and Vultures trying to scare each other away from a dead animal so they can eat it.
4. A creosote bush secreting poison into the soil around it so no other plants can grow close to it.

2. Two deer fighting over territory .
3. Lions and Vultures trying to scare each other away from a dead animal so they can eat it.
4. A creosote bush secreting poison into the soil around it so no other plants can grow close to it

Describe the three types of symbiosis:




Mutualism is a relationship in which both species benefit (or get something good)

Commensalism is a relationship in which one species benefits and the other is NOT harmed and does NOT get anything good. It is just "C"hillin!

Parasatism is a relationship in which one species benefits and the other is harmed. This word comes from the word "parasite."
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