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Ashton Wells

on 25 January 2016

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Transcript of Ecology

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
How living systems interact
with one another

Ecology Vocab
Levels of
How do we get so many different species?
Ecology: the study of interactions among organisms with each other and with their environment
BIOSPHERE - portion of planet where life exists
Ecologist: one who
studies the relationships of the environment

- all of the individuals in an area that can breed with one another


of the organisms of the same species in an area
-always composed of same-species organisms

- all the populations that live together in an area
-made up of different species
-the community plus the physical factors in an area (rain, light, soil..)

-large area that has a particular climate, and particular species of plants and animals that live there (tundra, polar, desert, marine etc…)
In the context of evolution, certain traits or alleles of a species may be subject to selection. Under selection, individuals with advantageous or "adaptive" traits tend to be more successful than their peers reproductively--meaning they contribute more offspring to the succeeding generation than others do
Different types of selection lead to

-The number and variety of organisms within one region (biome)
-Lots of species usually
- genetic diversity
as the population stabilizes on one particular trait
- simultaneously favors individuals at both
of the distribution.
-individuals at the
contribute more offspring than those in the center, producing
peaks in the distribution of a particular trait
- favors a
allele and therefore allele frequency continuously
in one direction.
The process in which breeders choose the variants to be used to produce succeeding generations
Farming and dog breeds
1.  A group of animals that live in the same area and can interbreed is called a (n) _____________________
2.  The study of organisms and their interactions with the environment is known as ___________________________
3.  A large area that has a particular climate and distinct plants and animals is called a ____________________________
4.  All of the different populations living in an area (plants, rabbits, coyotes...) is called the _________________________
5.  An ecosystem includes all the living and ___________ factors in an area. 
6.  The portion of the planet that can sustain life is the  ________
7.  Animals that can interbreed are called a(n) _______________
Trophic Level: each step in a food chain or web
Autotrophs (producers) - capture energy from environment and convert it into "food"
Heterotrophs (consumers) - must eat things
-Detritivores / Decomposers
*Every level loses 90% of energy
Energy Flow
Types of Selection

- uses light energy to make "food“
-All other trophic levels essentially get their energy from here.
-They feed on animals that feed on plants etc…
: the original source of energy
Some bacteria live in deep ocean vents, and make their food from chemicals in those vents (extremophiles)
makes food from chemicals
(some bacteria synthesize food in this way)
some live in your small intestines like E. coli
I help you
digest cellulose!
Each step in a chain or web is called a TROPHIC LEVEL
- illustrate the flow of energy in an ecosystem

*Note the direction of the arrows, they indicate where the energy is going when one organism consumes another.
Food Chains and
Food Webs
This is an organism’s role in its environment
Producer is at the bottom of the food chain, but provides the biggest amount of energy
10% of energy is passed from one level to the next
Think how much energy is lost by the time it gets to the apex predator
Consumer and apex predator
Keystone species
An organism that if taken out of the ecosystem, it would crumble
-close and often long-term interactions between different biological species
-Both organisms are benefitted by the relationship
-One organism is benefitted and the other one isn’t harmed or helped
-One organism takes advantage of another organism
Predators and their Prey

Describes a biological interaction where a predator (an organism that is hunting) feeds on its prey (the organism that is attacked).
-may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them, but the act of predation always results in the death of its prey and the eventual absorption of the prey's tissue through consumption
Form of parasitism
-One definitely benefits at the cost of the other organism
-As one organism adapts (mutations), so does the other, and vice versa
Primary Consumers

Secondary Consumers

Tertiary Consumers

Find the Omnivore.

-Energy Pyramid
-Biomass Pyramid
-Pyramid of Numbers
What about these guys?
Ecological Pyramids
Water Cycle
-ground water
-transpiration (from plants)
-evaporation (from bodies of water)
-precipitation (from clouds)
Biogeochemical Cycles
(biology + geology + chemical)
Matter is not used up, it is transformed, the same molecules are passed around (see images in your book)
  Water Cycle
  Nitrogen Cycle
Carbon Cycle
Pyramids and food Webs
A BIOME is the largest geographic biotic unit, a major community of plants and animals with similar life forms and environmental conditions.
What is a biome?
Biomes usually found at cold latitudes far from the equator are sometimes also found on high mountains at low latitudes. Typically, a climb of 100 feet in elevation is equivalent to traveling 600 miles northward.
One factor affecting climate is latitude. Typically, the farther you move north or south of the equator, the colder the temperature gets. Another factor affecting climate is elevation. The higher you go in elevation, the colder the temperature gets.
Biomes are distributed across the Earth based
primarily on climate. Therefore, in areas that are far apart, you will sometimes find similar plants and animals because the climate is similar.
How are biomes
Although there is some disagreement among scientists on how to divide up the Earth’s biomes, most can agree on the following eight:
Tropical Rainforest
Tropical Savanna
Temperate Deciduous Forest
Temperate Boreal Forest
How many biomes are there?
Typically found near the equator
Receives more than 200 cm of rain annually
Temperatures typically fall between 20oC and 25oC for the entire year
As many as 50% of all the world’s animal species may be found here
Tropical Rainforest
Grasslands with a few scattered trees
Experience a wet and dry season
Hot temperatures
Annual rainfall is between 50 and 127 cm
More species of grazing mammals than any other biome
Tropical Savanna
Typically found between 25o and 40o latitude
Receives less than 25 cm of rain each year
Temperatures can be extremely HOT or extremely cold
Found between 32o and 40o latitude on the west coast of continents
Receives between 35 and 70 cm of rain, usually in the winter
Extremely resistant to drought and weather events
Because of the dry climate, trees are found only near water sources such as streams
Usually receives between 50 and 90 cm of rainfall each year
Summer temperatures can reach up to 120F, and winter temperatures can fall to –40F
Moderate climate
Most trees will lose their leaves in the winter
Temperatures range between –30oC and 30oC
Averages from 75 to 150 cm of precipitation
Well developed understory
Temperate Deciduous Forest
Also known as Taiga
Typically found between 45o and 60o North latitude
Cold climate with summer rains
Very few reptiles
Limited understory
Snow is primary form of precipitation (40 – 100 cm annually)
Temperate Boreal
Means treeless or marshy plain
Characterized by permafrost – permanently frozen soil starting as high as a few centimeters below the surface – which severely limits plant growth
Winter temperatures average –34oC while summer temperatures usually average below 10 deg. Celcius
Low precipitation (15–25 cm per year) but ground is usually wet because of low evaporation
What is the population density of these sharks??
1 m2
Population Density – the number of individuals in an area
Geographic distribution
– the area a population lives(range)
How Populations Grow
Population Growth
Number of births
Number of deaths
Emigration (out) & Immigration (in)
Exponential Growth –reproduce at a constant rate. Occurs under ideal conditions (no limits)
J-shape curve
-reproduce like rabbits? Bacteria?
Logistic Growth
– resources become less available, growth slows or stops
S-shape curve
Carrying Capacity
– the number of individuals

an environment can support
-what could affect this number??
Limits to Growth
Limiting Factor:
-causes population growth to decrease

Density-Dependent Factors:
-population size
-parasitism and disease
Unusual weather
Natural disasters
Some human activities
Density-Independent Factors:
does not depend on population size
Freshwater: flowing and standing water
Lakes (phytoplankton) and streams
Where rivers meet the sea
Detritus-organic material that is the base of the food web
Salt marshes and mangrove swamps
Coastal Ocean
Coral Reefs
Open Ocean-sharks, whales,
Benthic Zone
Aquatic Ecosystems
Predictable changes in a community over time
On surfaces with no soil
Pioneer species-the first species to inhabit a new area
A disturbance that doesn’t remove the soil but brings in a new ecosystem
After land is cleared and abandoned
Can happen in marine environments too
Population Ecology
Food Chains
Full transcript