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What is Ecology?

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What is Ecology? Ecology is the scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, or surroundings. The largest component ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What is Ecology?


1
What is Ecology?
2
  • Ecology is the scientific study of interactions
    among organisms and between organisms and their
    environment, or surroundings.

3
  • The largest component of the living world is the
    biosphere. The biosphere contains the combined
    portions of the planet in which all of life
    exists, including land, water, and air or
    atmosphere. It extends about 8 kilometers above
    Earths atmosphere to as far as 11 kilometers
    below the surface of the ocean.

4
Levels of Organization
  • The study of ecology ranges from the study of an
    individual organism to populations, communities,
    ecosystems, biomes and the biosphere.

5
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6
Levels of Organization
  • Organism individual living thing
  • Population group of organisms of one type that
    live in the same area
  • Community populations that live together in a
    defined area
  • Ecosystem community and its nonliving
    surroundings
  • Biosphere part of Earth that contains all
    ecosystems

7
The Flow of Energy
8
  • Organic compounds compounds that have both
    carbon and hydrogen atoms together
  • eg. CH4, C6H12O6
  • Inorganic compounds do not contain carbon
    hydrogen together
  • eg. CO2, H2O, O2, NaCl

9
Producers
  • The main source of energy for life on Earth is
    sunlight.
  • Some types of organisms rely on the energy stored
    in inorganic chemical compounds.
  • These organisms are called autotrophs because
    they use energy from the environment to assemble
    simple inorganic compounds into complex organic
    molecules. They can also be called producers.

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11
  • Photosynthesis light energy is used to power
    chemical reactions that convert CO2 and H2O into
    O2 and energy rich carbohydrates
  • Chemosynthesis use energy stored in chemical
    bonds to produce energy-rich carbohydrates

12
Consumers
  • Organisms that rely on other organisms for their
    energy and food supply are called heterotrophs.
  • Heterotrophs are also called consumers.

13
Different Consumers
  • Herbivores eat only plants (cows, caterpillars,
    deer)
  • Carnivores eat animals (snakes, dogs, owls)
  • Omnivores eat both plants and animals (humans,
    bears, monkeys)
  • Detritivores feed on plant and animal remains
    and other dead matter, called detritus (mites,
    earthworms, snails, crabs)
  • Decomposers break down organic matter to be
    recycled (bacteria, fungi)

14
Feeding Relationships
  • Energy flows through an ecosystem in one
    direction, from the sun or inorganic compounds to
    autotrophs (producers) and then to various
    heterotrophs (consumers)

15
  • Food Chain - series of steps in which organisms
    transfer energy by eating and being eaten

16
Feeding Relationships
  • Food Web - a network of complex interaction.
    Links all food chains in an ecosystem together
  • Trophic Level each step in food chain or food
    web. Autotrophs are 1st trophic level, consumers
    are 2nd, 3rd, or higher trophic levels

17
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18
Ecological Pyramids
  • A diagram that shows the relative amounts of
    energy or matter contained within each trophic
    level in a food chain or food web.
  • Three kinds of ecological pyramids
  • Energy pyramid
  • Biomass pyramid
  • Pyramid of numbers

19
Energy Pyramid
  • Only 10 percent of energy available at each
    trophic level is transferred to organisms at next
    trophic level

20
Biomass Pyramid
  • Total amount of living tissue within a given
    trophic level

21
Pyramid of Numbers
  • Numbers of individual organisms at each trophic
    level. (Forest ecosystems may have one tree for
    many insects)

22
  • Ecological pyramids show the decreasing amounts
    of energy, living tissue, or number of organisms
    at successive feeding levels. The pyramid is
    divided into sections that represent each trophic
    level. The area of each level symbolizes the
    amount of energy or matter remaining at that
    level.

23
Cycles of Matter
24
Cycles of Matter
  • Energy flows in only one direction in an
    ecosystem. Matter is recycled within and between
    ecosystems.
  • This is done through biogeochemical cycles.
  • Cycles of Matter

25
The Water Cycle
26
The Water Cycle
  • Evaporation process by which liquid water
    changes to water vapor
  • Transpiration process by which water evaporates
    from leaves of plants
  • Condensation process by which water vapor
    changes to liquid water
  • Runoff process by which water flows over the
    surface of the ground
  • Precipitation process by which water, in any
    form, falls from the atmosphere to the Earths
    surface
  • Seepage process by which water soaks into the
    ground

27
Nutrient Cycles
  • Every living organism needs nutrients to grow and
    carry out essential life functions. Like water,
    nutrients are also recycled

28
The Carbon Cycle
29
The Nitrogen Cycle
  • Nitrogen Fixation only certain types of
    bacteria can use nitrogen from the air. They
    live in the soil and on the roots of plants
    called legumes. They convert nitrogen gas into
    ammonia in the process of nitrogen fixation.
    Other bacteria convert the ammonia into nitrates
    and nitrites that can be used by producers to
    make proteins.

30
  • Decomposers return nitrogen to soil as ammonia
    producers then take it in
  • Other bacteria convert nitrates into nitrogen gas
    in denitrification. Nitrogen gas then returns to
    atmosphere

31
The Nitrogen Cycle
32
What Shapes an Ecosystem?
33
Biotic and Abiotic Factors
  • Ecosystems are influenced by a combination of
    biological and physical factors
  • Biotic factors include all living things with
    which an organism might interact (birds, trees,
    bacteria, mushrooms)
  • Abiotic factors physical or nonliving factors
    that shape an ecosystem (wind, nutrient
    availability, temperature, precipitation)

34
  • Together, biotic and abiotic factors determine
    the survival and growth of an organism and the
    productivity of the ecosystem in which the
    organism lives.
  • The area where an organism lives is its habitat.

35
Carrying Capacity
  • Carrying Capacity is the greatest number of
    individuals of a particular species that an
    environment can support. Varies depending in the
    species, the time of year and food availability

36
  • Limiting factor unfavorable factor such as
    temperature, disease, predation that prevents
    organisms from achieving their biotic potential

37
Limiting Factors
38
Niche
  • Full range of physical and biological conditions
    in which an organism lives and the way in which
    the organism uses those conditions.
  • No two species can occupy the same niche.

39
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40
Community Interactions
  • Competition when organisms of the same or
    different species attempt to use an ecological
    resource in the same place at the same time.
  • eg. Two trees competing for sunlight, two lizard
    species competing for the same food, two members
    of same species competing for a mate

41
Community Interactions
  • Predation one organism captures and feeds on
    another
  • eg. Cheetah (predator) chases and kills an
    antelope (prey)

42
Community Interactions
  • Symbiosis two species living closely together.
    Three classes mutualism, commensalism,
    parasitism
  • Mutualism both species benefit (bees
    pollinating flowers, birds on rhino, termites
    protozoans)
  • Commensalism one species benefits while other
    is unharmed (orchid in tree, remora on shark,
    barnacles on whale)
  • Parasitism one species benefits while the other
    is harmed (tick on deer, leech on human, tapeworm
    in mammals)

43
Symbiotic Relationships Mutualismboth species
benefit (top left ) The ant cares for the aphids
and protects them from predators. The aphids
produce a sweet liquid that the ant drinks.
Commensalismone species benefits the other is
neither helped nor harmed (top right) The orchid
benefits from its perch in the tree as it absorbs
water and minerals from rainwater and runoff, but
the tree is not affected. Parasitismone species
benefits while the other is harmed (bottom) A
flea feeds on the blood of its host, which can be
harmed by diseases the flea carries.
44
Ecological Succession
  • Ecosystems are constantly changing in response to
    natural and human disturbances. As an ecosystem
    changes, older inhabitants gradually die out and
    new organisms move in, causing further changes in
    the community this is known as ecological
    succession.

45
  • Primary succession succession that occurs on
    surfaces where no soil exists eg. new islands
    built from volcanic eruptions, land covered by
    lava, bare rock exposed by glacier.
  • First species to populate are pioneer species.
    Often lichens

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47
  • Secondary succession changes that occur in an
    existing community without removing the soil.
  • eg. land cleared and plowed but left abandoned,
    wild fires burning woodlands
  • Climax community final community which is
    stable, complex and tends to stay the same unless
    disturbed

48
Ecological Succession
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