Ecology Interactions of Living Things. Sea otters wrap themselves in a blade of kelp to keep from...
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EcologyInteractions of Living Things
Sea otters wrap themselves in a blade of kelp to keep from drifting while they sleep.
Blades of kelp can grow as tall as the Statue of Liberty and they can be useful to sea otters.Fact or Fib
Fact or FibMany animals prefer to live in areas with acidic soil.
Acidic soil limits the number of plants that will grow and therefore limits the food source for many animals.
Fact or FibThe Australian mallee fowl relies on bacteria and fungus to regulate the temperature of its nest.
As they decompose leaves on the nest, they give off heat. When its just the right temperature, the birds lay their eggs.
Fact or FibAlligators make homes for fish and other aquatic life.
They dig a hole for themselves and when they leave that hole is inhabited by other animals.
What is common in each of these?Australian mallee rely on bacteria and fungus.Sea otters rely on kelp.Some aquatic animals rely on alligators.Many animals rely on fertile soil.
All living things are connected.
What do we call the study of relationships among organisms?
Lesson 1- Matter, Energy, & the EnvironmentEcology is the study of the interactions between organisms and the environment
An organisms environment is anything that affects the organism including living & non-living factors
Living vs. Not Living FactorsBiotic- living thingsExamples:AnimalsPlantsBacteria & Fungi
Abiotic- non-living thingsExamples:The sunClimate- average weather conditions in an area over timeTemperatureWater Atmosphere- layer of gases that surround EarthSoil
If either a biotic or abiotic factor is disturbed, other parts of the ecosystem are affected.
bioticfrom Greek biotikos, means fit for life
Living Things Need Energy Organisms in an ecosystem can be divided into 3 groups based on how they obtain energy.
ProducersUse sunlight to make food using photosynthesisPlantsSome AlgaeSome Bacteria
ConsumersEat producers or other organismsThey cannot directly use sunlightHerbivores- plant eatersCarnivores- meat eatersOmnivores- eat both meat & plantsScavengers- feed on bodies of dead animals
DecomposersBreak down the remains of dead organisms. Natures recyclers because they produce simpler material such as water and carbon dioxide.Examples: bacteria and fungi
How does energy move through ecosystems?In most cases, energy flow begins with the Sun and moves from one organism to another.
Food ChainA model that shows how energy flows in an ecosystem through feeding relationships.
In a food chain, arrows show the transfer of energy.The amount of available energy decreases every time it is transferred from one organism to another.
Food WebFood webs illustrate all the complex feeding relationships in a real ecosystem.Some organisms in a food web might be part of more than one food chain in that web.Few organisms eat just one kind of foodThere are many possible connections
Food chains & Food webs video clip
Energy Pyramidshows the amount of energy available in each step of a food chain.
The steps of an energy pyramid are called trophic levels.Producers, such as plants, make up the trophic level at the bottom of the pyramidConsumers that eat producers make up the next trophic level.Consumers that eat other consumers make up the highest trophic level.Less energy is available for consumers at each higher trophic level.
Energy Pyramid video clip
What would happen to the food web if a specific organism were removed?Gray wolves were almost wiped out when the US wilderness was settled
This caused the elk population to increase.
How do you think the fox population was effected by this?
Their population decreasedwhy?
Heres why.Wolves eat elkElk graze Overpopulation of elk causes overgrazingThis means, there is not enough food for hares which also means not enough food for foxes.
How do wolves help the community?Wolves kill old, injured, or diseased elk and regulate the populations in the community.
How would the introduction of an exotic (invasive) species affect the food web?Mute swans were brought to the Hudson River Valley during the 19th century to ornament the estates of the wealthy.They consume enormous quantities of submerged aquatic vegatation (SAV) and edge other waterfowl out of their habitats.
A thought to take with you.When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."Muir, John Naturalist, Preservationist and Founder of the Sierra Club (1838-1914)
Lesson 2- Populations & Communities
5 Levels of the environmentIndividual organism
5 Levels of the environmentA group of individuals of the same species that live together in the same area at the same time make up a population.
5 Levels of the environmentAll populations of different species that live in the same area make up the community
5 Levels of the environmentCommunity plus abiotic factors make up the ecosystem
Anywhere that life exists is the biosphereFrom the deepest parts of the ocean to very high up in the atmosphere
5 Levels of the environment
Population SizesChanges in environmental factors can result in population size changes.Populations cannot grow indefinitelyEnvironments only contains so much food, water, living space, and other resourcesWhen one of these becomes scarce, it is said to be limitingA limiting factor is anything that restricts the size of a population. Available sunlight is a limiting factor for most organisms.Without sunlight, green plants cannot make food, which effects animals that eat plants.
Population SizesTemperature is a limiting factor for some organisms.When the temperature drops below freezing, many organisms die because it is too cold to carry out their life functions. Disease, predators, and natural disasters such as fires or floods are also limiting factors.
Population SizesThe largest number of individuals of one species that an environment can support is the carrying capacityA population grows until it reaches the carrying capacity of an environment.
Carrying capacity is determined in part by limiting factors
The carrying capacity of an environment is not constant because it increases and decreases as the amount of available resources increases and decreases.When the size of a population becomes larger than the carrying capacity of its ecosystem, overpopulation occurs.
Communities, Habitats & NichesA community is made up of all the species that live in the same ecosystem at the same time.
HabitatThe place within an ecosystem where an organism lives is its habitat
A habitat provides all the resources an organism needs, including food and shelter.
NicheAn organisms way of life within an ecosystem Different species have different niches in the same environmentHow an organism obtains energy is an important part of its niche.
Relationships in CommunitiesCompetition- 2 or more individuals or populations try to use the same limited resource such as food, water, shelter, or sunlightCan occur within or between populations
Relationships in CommunitiesPredators and Prey- interaction when one organism eats anotherPrey-organism that is eatenAdaptations to survive- run, stay in groups, camouflage, poisonousPredators- organism that eats the preyAdaptations to catch prey- fast, camouflage
Relationships in CommunitiesA close relationship between two or more organisms of different species that live in direct contact is called symbiosis
Individuals can benefit from, be unaffected by, or be harmed
Kinds of SymbiosisMutualism-both organisms benefit from the relationshipEx. Algae produce food for coral, which provides shelter for algae
Kinds of SymbiosisCommensalism- one organism benefits and the other is unaffectedEx. Sharks and RemorasRemoras hitch a ride and feed on scraps of food left by sharks; shark is unaffected
Kinds of SymbiosisParasitism-one benefits and the other is harmedEx. Fleas & ticks on your petParasite benefits (ex: ticks, tapeworms)Host is harmed
How do humans rely on other organisms?"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our children."Proverb-Ancient Native American -More quotes about [Ecology] [Interdependence] [Stewardship] [Native-American]-More quotes about [Common Good] [Core Democratic Values] [Ecology] [Interdependence] [Stewardship]