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What is Ecology?

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What is Ecology? What is Ecology? * Ecology is the study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment. Levels of Organization Biosphere ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What is Ecology?


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

3
Levels of Organization
  • Biosphere contains the combined portions of the
    planet in which all of life exists, including
    land, water, and air/atmosphere. It is our
    planet as a whole and where ecology takes place.
  • Biome a group of ecosystems that have the same
    climate and similar dominant communities.
  • Ecosystem a collection of organisms that live
    in a particular place along with their
    non-living, or abiotic, environment.
  • Communities assemblages of different
    populations living together in a defined area.
  • Populations groups of individuals that belong
    to the same species and live in the same area.
  • Species a group of organisms that can breed and
    produce fertile offspring.

Example Whole Planet ? Temperate
Forest ? Pond, plants, animals, water, O2,
rocks ? Pond, frogs, fish, plants, algae ? All
bullfrogs in pond ? Bullfrog
Biotic Factor living organisms influencing the
environment Abiotic Factor non-living
influences on environment
4
Ecological Levels of Organization
5
How to Study Ecology
  • Three ecological methods
  • Observing
  • Experimenting
  • Modeling

6
How to Study Ecology (continued)
  • Observing first step in asking ecological
    questions and may form the first step in
    designing experiments and models.
  • Experimenting used to test hypotheses, and may
    be artificially set up in a laboratory or
    conducted within natural ecosystems.
  • Modeling models are needed to learn about
    ecological processes and events that happen over
    long periods of time (ex. global warming).

7
Energy Flow
  • Sunlight is the main energy source for life
    on Earth.

8
Energy Flow (continued)
  • Autotrophs Producers produce their own food
    using sun or chemicals
  • Plants and algae - by photosynthesis (suns
    energy)
  • Some bacteria by chemosynthesis (chemical
    energy)
  • Heterotrophs Consumers rely on autotrophs for
    food
  • Herbivore eat autotrophs directly
  • Carnivore eat herbivores
  • Omnivore eat both autotrophs and heterotrophs
  • Detritivores eat dead plant and animal material
  • Decomposers break down organic material and
    release nutrients

9
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).

10
Food Chains
  • Food Chains
  • algae ? zooplankton ? small fish ? squid ? shark
  • (notice direction of the arrowheads!!!)
  • This food chain idea works for simple food chains
    but....

11
Food Webs
  • Food webs are able to show the complexity of
    more complicated ecosystems
  • Food webs link all food chains in an ecosystem
    together

12
A Marsh Food Web
13
Food Webs (continued)
  • Trophic Levels each step in the food chain or
    food web is called a trophic level. Producers
    are the first level and consumers are the second
    or higher level(s).

14
Ecological Pyramids
  • Energy Pyramid only 10 of energy can be
    transferred to next trophic level because
    organisms use energy for respiration (breathing),
    movement, and reproducing. More levels between a
    producer and a top-level consumer means less
    energy remains from original amount limited
    food chain length supported.
  • Biomass Pyramid shows amount of potential food
    for each trophic level (grams per unit area)
  • Pyramid of Numbers shows number of individuals
    at each trophic level.

15
Ecological Pyramids
Pyramid of Numbers Shows the relative number of
individual organisms at each trophic level.
Energy Pyramid Shows the relative amount of
energy available at each trophic level.
Organisms use about 10 percent of this energy
for life processes. The rest is lost as heat.
Biomass Pyramid Represents the amount of living
organic matter at each trophic level.
Typically, the greatest biomass is at the base
of the pyramid.
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