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Ecology

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Shannon Burleson

on 8 January 2018

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Transcript of Ecology

Ecology
What is Ecology?
Ecology: the study of how
living
things interact with one another their
environment
(ecosystems)

Habitat
: the
physical
environment in which a species
lives
in and is
adapted
to
Niche
: the
role
of a species in its
ecosystem
.
Includes how it obtains
energy
, how it
passes

on
that energy, and how it
recycles
nutrients.
Ecosystems have biotic and abiotic factors
Abiotic
All
non-living
parts of an ecosystem
Abiotic factors affect organisms in the ecosystem
Examples:
air currents, temperature, moisture, sunlight, soil

Biotic
All
living
parts of an ecosystem
Biotic factors affect each other directly or indirectly in the ecosystem
Examples:
Animals, plants, bacteria, parasites, etc.

Remember
: Levels of Organization
ORGANISM
POPULATION
COMMUNITY
ECOSYSTEM
BIOSPHERE
Living Thing
Group of organisms of the same species living in an area
Groups of different populations (plants and animals) interacting in an area
All of the living (biotic) and non living (abiotic) factors in an area
Aquatic and Terrestrial
Land, air, water - anywhere life is found
Biomes
Biome: Area of similar
climatic conditions
(interchangeable with ecosystem)
Dependent on
climate
- temperature and amount of
rainfall
Characterized by different
vegetation
and
animals
2 Types:

Terrestrial
Land Biomes

Tundra
Taiga
Desert
Temperate Deciduous Forest
Tropical Rainforest
Savanna
Grassland

Aquatic
Water Biomes

Marine
Freshwater
Wetlands
Trophic Levels & Ecological Pyramids
4 Levels
1. Producer: plants and algae.
2. Primary Consumer (C1): eats producers
3. Secondary Consumer (C2): eats primary consumers
4. Tertiary Consumer (C3): eats secondary consumers
*Decomposers: decompose dead and decaying matter at all levels & recycle nutrients
Autotrophs: make chemical energy from the sun
Producers
Heterotrophs: consume other organisms for energy
Herbivores:
plants

Carnivores:
meat
Omnivores:
both

Decomposers: dead matter
Trophic Levels: the different
positions
organisms occupy in a food
chain

Ecological Pyramids: Characteristics of ecosystems are often represented through pyramids
Examples:
1. Trophic Levels
2. Biomass: total mass of organisms at a trophic level.
3. Number of Organisms
4. Available Energy
Energy Transfer
The main input of
energy
in an ecosystem is from
the sun
which is turned into
usable
energy by
producers
Only
10%
of energy is passed on to the next
trophic
level
90% is either
used
or lost as
heat

Food Chains & Food Webs
Food Chain
: Single
pathway
through which
energy
and
matter
flow through an ecosystem
more simple than what exists in nature
Food Web
: multiple
pathways
through which
energy
and
matter
flow through an ecosystem
more complex (better reflection of what actually exists in nature)
Shows that most organisms eat and are eaten by more than one
organism
(exist in multiple food chains)
*For both, arrow is draw from
food
to
consumer
. Shows flow of
energy
Interactions Between Organisms & the Environment
Population Dynamics
Nutrient Cycles
Symbiosis
Symbiosis: Long term
relationship
between two or more
biological
species
3 Types:
1.
Commensalism
1 species
benefits
while the other is unaffected
+ , 0
Ex. Clownfish living in coral. The coral provides protection or the clownfish but remains unaffected
2.
Mutualism

Both species
benefit

+ , +
Ex. Oxpecker bird and rhinos/zebras. The bird eats ticks and other parasites off the rhino or zebra.
3.
Parasitism

One species
benefits
while the other is
harmed
or negatively affected
+ , -
Ex. Fleas and ticks on other animals
Competition
The
fitness
of one organism or species is
lower
due to the presence of another
Interspecific
: Organisms of
different
species competing for the same resource
Intraspecific
: Organisms of the
same
species competing for the same resource
Competition is the result of limited resources
Predation
One organism (
predator
) eats another organism (
prey
) as food
Predator/prey exist in a cyclic relationship
As one increases, the other decreases.
Why?
NC
Definitions:

1. Population: group of organisms of the same
species
in the same
area
2. Population Size: Number of individuals in a population
3. Population Density: average number of
individuals
in a population per unit of
area
4. Population Growth: change in the
size
of a population over time
5. Growth Rate: birth (b) and death(d) rate
Actual Equation:
(birth+immigration)-(death+emigration)
r = (b+i) - (d+e)
Population Growth
J Curves: under
ideal
conditions, a
population would grow
exponentially

S Curves: under
normal
, restricted conditions, populations show
logistic
growth.
Grows until it reaches a
carrying capacity
(k)

Carrying Capacity: maximum # of
organisms
of a species the
environment
can sustain indefinitely with available resources
Survivorship Curves: Shows the number of
individuals
surviving at each age
Type 1:
high juvenile survival
Type 2:
death is at equal rates
Type 3:
low juvenile survival
Life Patterns: R and K Selected Species
Shows traits including parental
investment
, number of
offspring
, and
development
of offspring
R-Selected
Live in
unpredictable
or
unstable
environments
Short gestation
Little parental investment
Small body size
Large
number of offspring
Short maturation time
Short life expectancy
Shows types III survivorship
K-Selected
Stable
environments
Longer gestation
High parental investment
Larger body size
Small
number of offspring
Long maturation time
Long life expectancy
Shows types I and II survivorship
Density-Dependent Factors:
Affect depends on the size of the population
Ex. Disease, competition, predation (mostly biotic)
Density-Independent Factors:
Affect does not depend on the size of the population
Ex. Temperature, storms (mostly abiotic)
Human Population
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/global-population-growth.html
Human population is growing at an exponential rate
Current World Population: Over 7.6 Billion
-Growing by more than 200,000 people a day
Current US Population: Over 3.1 Million
http://www.census.gov/popclock/
Fertility Rate by Country
-Reached 7 Billion in October of 2011
-Took only 12 years to add 1 billion people
-Expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050
http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/17/opinion/sachs-global-population/index.html
Population Pyramids:
Bar graph that shows the percent of the population by sex and age
*When an organism is an omnivore, it can be a C1 and C2
Succession
Ecological Succession: Change in the
number
and
type
of species in an area over time
2 Types: Primary and Secondary
The first species to colonize are called

pioneer species
Primary

Succession

Occurs in an area that has
never
been colonized before.
Generally happens on exposed bare rock
Main events that can lead to primary succession:
Lava flow hardens into bare rock
A glacier retreats/melts and exposes bare rock
A landslide uncovers bare rock
Pioneer Species:
Ex. Lichen, Bacteria
Environmental Event
Occurs in a once
inhabited
area that was disturbed/destroyed
Happens much faster than primary because soil is already in place
Events that can lead to secondary succession:
Fire
Tornadoes/hurricanes
Clear cutting
Pioneer Species:
Ex. Grasses, birch trees
Secondary Succession
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/asset/ess05_vid_newland/?utm_source=teachersdomain_redirect/asset/ess05_vid_newland/utm_medium=teachersdomain/asset/ess05_vid_newland/utm_campaign=td_redirects
Developing
Country
Developed
Country
Problems:
3% of global water is freshwater
Disease outbreaks
Waste management
Climate Change
Natural Resources
Human Environmental Impact
Natural Resources
Renewable
: resources that can be
naturally
replenished as quickly as humans use them
Examples: Wind, Sunlight, Hydropower
Non-Renewable
: resources that
cannot
be naturally replenished in our lifetime, or ever
Examples: Fossil Fuels (petroleum, coal, natural gas) and Nuclear Power
Loss of Biodiversity
Scientists estimate that their are close to 5 million species on earth
Humans and Ecosystems rely on the diversity of species
Genetic Variation ensures species survival through economic changes
Production of a number of different products such as fibers, dyes, and rubber.
Prescription drugs and vaccines
Nutrient Cycles
Atmospheric maintenance
Air Pollution
Land Pollution
Climate Change
The atmosphere is a vital part of the water cycle and gas exchange for organisms
Air pollution occurs when chemicals are released into the atmosphere
The major source of air pollution is the burning of fossil fuels
Leads to
Ozone Depletion
Acid Rain
Climate Change
CFC's were banned in the 1990s because they destroyed the ozone
Soil and water are technically renewable resources; however if humans are careless with their use of them, they cannot be replenished fast enough
Sources of land and water pollution:
Herbicides and Pesticides
Runoff --> algal blooms
Soil Erosion
Deforestation
Waste disposal
The Greenhouse Effect: Natural effect where
gases
in the
atmosphere
radiate heat back to the earth's
surface
Necessary to keep the earth's
climate
at a temperature that can sustain
life
However,
increase in emissions
is increasing the greenhouse effect
Temperature Increase:
Global temperature has increased 1 degree over the past 100 years
Carbon Emissions:
Atmospheric carbon is increasing at exponential rates.
This is attributed to increasing greenhouse effect and increasing global temperatures
Consequences
: Decline in cold-adapted species, glacier melting, rise in sea levels, coastal flooding and shoreline erosion, loss of crops, increase severity of storms
Climate change affecting NC
Carbon Cycle

What drives the carbon cycle??
Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis
Carbon in the atmosphere as CO2
Carbon released into the atmosphere by burning of fossil fuels (combustion), cellular respiration, and decomposers
Carbon in dead matter and sediments at the bottom of the ocean (eventually form fossil fuels)
Autotrophs take carbon from the atmosphere to make organic molecules (photosynthesis)
Water Cycle
How water is continually cycled from the atmosphere to earth and back
Atmosphere: Water vapor cools and forms clouds through
condensation
Precipitation
: Clouds release water in form of rain, sleet, snow
Surface: Water in oceans, lakes, rivers, etc. Runoff or seeps into ground (groundwater)
Evaporation
: surface water changes to water vapor
Transpiration
: water released from plants
Nitrogen Cycle
All living things need nitrogen to build essential structures and chemicals.
78% of the atmosphere is Nitrogen gas
Nitrogen-Fixing bacteria take nitrogen directly from the atmosphere and turn it into ammonium (NH4+) through n
itrogen fixation
Nitrifying bacteria convert the ammonium into nitrites (NO2-) then nitrates (NO3-) through
nitrification

Denitrifying bacteria turn these complex nitrogen compounds back into Nitrogen gas
through
denitrification
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/population-campaign.html
Competitive Exclusion Principle:
if two
competitors
try to occupy the same niche and compete for the same
resources
, one species will
eliminate
the other
Mouse
Cat
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