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Unit 5

David Barrett

on 13 November 2014

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Transcript of Ecology

Environmental problems affect everyone, they are global problems.
activities of one area may affect other areas
Biodiversity refers to the number and variety of species on Earth.
13 million species
Includes genetic variation within populations
Includes variation of populations with ecosystems that make up the biosphere
terrain is rough
sparse vegetation
winters are long and
cold, but plants have
longer sunlight hours
Plants adapt by having
needle-shaped leaves which retain water when the ground is frozen.
Animals adapt by migrating, hibernating
Biomes are regions that have distinctive
climates and organisms that contain many
separate but similar ecosystems.
Organization of Living Things
Organism is an individual living being.
Population is a group of individuals of the same species living in a particular place
Community is a group of interacting populations of different species
Ecosystem is all living organisms (biotic) in a certain area as well as their physical environment (abiotic).
Biosphere is the layer around the Earth in which life occurs naturally, extending from about 8 km above the Earth to the deepest part of the ocean.
North Carolina’s population has changed from primarily rural and centered in small towns to primarily urban and suburban
The state’s population grew 21% between 1990 and 2000!
The balance of nature has been affected
New homes, roads, and shopping centers have replaced farmland, forests, meadow, and marshes
North Carolina Profile
The ultimate source of energy is the sun
Producers harness the sun’s energy directly by photosynthesis
which is biological synthesis of chemical compounds in the presence of light.
this produces organic substances and sugar
Consumers use the energy indirectly by eating other organisms
Occurs at north of the arctic circle. It is frozen at the surface, and has permafrost.
Plant life is mainly mosses and lichens, which can grown without soil and have shallow roots.
Tiny ground hugging plants live hear and many small perennials.
Many year round animals have white fur.
Birds migrate
any area that receives less than 25 cm of rainfall each year.
Plants have adapted for obtaining and conserving water.
Animals developed thick, scaly skin that prevents water loss, and are active mainly at night
occurs in mid-latitudes, about 30 degrees north and south of the equator.
Plants are mostly low-lying evergreen shrubs and small trees.
Animals camouflage and have adapted to seasonal changes in food sources.
less rainfall than forest
contain the greatest collection
of grazing animals on Earth
Plants have adapted by using large underground root systems
Animals have adapted by becoming migratory, eating vegetation at different heights, and developing specialized back teeth
Temperate Forest
occurs in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand
moist, cool and humid
trees are deciduous
receive 75 – 250 cm of rain each year
Plants adapt by growing in layers and by becoming dormant in winter as sunlight decreases
Animals adapt by migrating and hibernating
Species of animals and
plants that are not native
to a particular area.
They can threaten
native (non-invasive)
species, which
have no natural
defenses against them
including competition for
the same food.
Invasive Species
Types of Ecosystems
Tropical Rainforest
the air is hot and humid
occurs at the equator
rain 250 cm a year
sunlight year round
soil quality is nutrient poor
most plants live in canopies
animal adaptations include feeding from specific layers of the forest, specific animals that pollinate specific plants, camouflage
How Species Interact
one organism (predator) kills and eats the other organism (prey)
Ex. Of predator and prey??

• Competition

o Two species (either same species or not) attempt to use the same resource

 Usually occurs when resource is limited.

o Ex. of competition -
• Parasitism

o One organism lives in or on another organism, feeding on it without initially killing it

o Host – organism that provides the nourishment

o Parasite – one that feeds off the host

o Has a negative impact on the host

o Ex. of parasitism -
• Mutualism

o Partnership between two organisms where both benefit

o Ex of mutualism -
• Commensalism

o One organism is not affected where the other is benefited

o Most odd relationship in nature

o Ex. of commensalism -
Adapting to the Environment
• Natural Selection

o If the organism’s traits allow it to live in that environment, it will live

o If it lives, it passes on those traits to the next generation

o If it dies, it will not reproduce and not pass on the unsuitable traits

o Darwin’s explanation of Evolution
• Coevolution

o Two or more species evolve in response to one another

o Predators evolve to become more efficient at catching prey

o Prey becomes more efficient at fleeing from predators

o Also occurs between plants and herbivores

 Plants stationary so they adapted creative ways to fend off herbivores.

 Herbivores have adapted to eat certain plants

o Ex. of coevolution -
• Extinction

o When the last organism of a species dies out
Energy Flow in Ecosystems
• Sun

o Provides energy for the producers

o Turn inorganic compounds into organic compounds through photosynthesis
• Deep ocean

o Exception to producers needing sun

o Chemosynthetic producers rather than photosynthetic producers

 What provides the energy for this system?
• What Eats What

o Herbivore – feeds on vegetation (producers)

o Carnivore – feeds on other consumers

o Omnivore – feeds on producers and consumers

o Decomposer – breaks down dead organisms and returns that energy and matter to soil and water

1. What is the difference between a food web and food chain?
2. What is productivity?
2.5. What are the two types of productivity? where do each occur?
3. What are the producers in a food web or chain?
4. How much energy gets passed on between each trophic level?
5. What is a trophic level?

•Respiration: Burning the Fuel
oCellular Respiration – opposite of photosynthesis
oTakes in glucose and oxygen and produces carbon dioxide and water and energy
oUsed to provide energy for tasks of animals
•Energy Transfer
oTrophic level – feeding level, nourishment level
oTransfer of energy between trophic levels is inefficient.
oOnly 10% of energy gets passed on between levels.
oSun gives out 500,000 units of energy at any given time
oTop predators receive only 1 unit of that energy (___________%)
oWhere did the rest of that energy go?
oHow can humans impact this energy transfer? (think about use of resources)
Cycling of Materials
•Water Cycle – Continuous replenishment of water between geosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere
oWhat are the processes that occur in each sphere?
•Carbon Cycle – carbon going through chemical changes through photosynthetic processes and cell respiration processes
oCO2 + H20 + nutrients (sunlight) = C6H12O6 + H20 +O2 - Photosynthesis
oH2O + O2 + C6H12O6 = CO2 + H2O + energy - Cellular Respiration
oHuman Impact – we are interfering with the carbon cycle and have been for the past 200 years.
Burning of fossil fuels increases amount of carbon in atmosphere. At the same time, we are clear cutting forests and removing other vegetation which filters excess carbon in the atmosphere.
Thus increases the amount of greenhouse gasses in the air, which traps in heat. Accelerating global climate change.
•Nitrogen Cycle – movement of nitrogen from the atmosphere to the biosphere
oNitrogen is the most abundant gas in the atmosphere, but gets into soil through bacteria.
How Ecosystems Change
•Succession – patterns of changes in species of communities over a long time in an ecosystem.
oPrimary – communities built on surfaces that did not previously inhabit and ecosystem. (volcanism)
Lichens, mosses on solid rock
oSecondary – change in a community that previously inhabited an ecosystem (fire-maintained community)
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