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Ecology defined

The study of interactions between organisms and their environments

Ex: population dynamics; food webs; trophic levels; nutrient cycling

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BIOME: All the ecosystems that are identified by particular vegetation and climate:
Grasslands Desert Temperate deciduous forest Tropical rainforest Marine Freshwater Estuaries Tundra Taiga (boreal forest/ coniferous forest)

Biomes: climate

Biome in different locations can have varying species: Ex: grassland differences American Prairie African Savannah See summary chart in notes

Aquatic Zones: Planktonic vs. nekton vs benthic

Planktonic: floaters
*Phytoplankton:diatoms(90% O2 produced in world) *Zooplankton

Nekton: free swimmers

Ex. whales, jellyfish etc.

Benthic: bottom dwellers

Ex: flounder, clams,coral

Aquatic Zones: Photic vs Aphotic

Light penetrates Photosynthesis and Respiration *Make O2 and food(producers) *Use CO2 and raw nutrients (from the aphotic zone/all the heterotrophs)

No light Respiration and decomposition only *Use O2 and food (from producers) *Make CO2 and raw nutrients (through respiration-give to photic)

Intertidal= ecotone

Zones of great diversity

* Often called nursery of the sea

Estuaries and Marshes= Ecotones Why are wetlands important ?

All of the interactions among the populations in a community and the communitys physical surroundings Includes all the BIOTIC (living) factors and the ABIOTIC (non-living) factors Ex of ecosystems: tide pool; stream; field: drop of pond water; a tree; woods

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What are some connections within Ecosystems?

Connections in Ecosystems
Ecosystems endlessly recycle materials and energy
common to all ecosystems.

Linked within ecosystems:

chemically (nutrients) biologically (food web) physically (shared abiotic factors)

Pyramid of Energy:
its a one-way street: WHY?

Pyramid of Energy

Photosynthesis (energy + H2O + nutrients (CO2)


Pyramid of Energy


Pyramid of Energy



Pyramid of Energy

Omnivores Carnivores


Pyramid of Energy

Omnivores Carnivores


Pyramid of Energy

Omnivores Carnivores


Trophic Levels
Third order consumers Second order consumers First order consumers
Photosynthetic autotrophs

Pyramid of Size:

Generally amount of matter stored in organism is inversely proportional to the size of the animals

Large Medium Small Microscopic


Tertiary carnivore or Quaternary or 4th order consumer Tertiary or 3rd order Trout consumer or secondary carnivore



Primary Carnivore or secondary or 2nd order consumer


Herbivore or Primary or 1st order consumer



Energy and Biomass

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Why is there only 1 hawk at the top?

Food Chains and Food Webs

Food Chain: single line of feeding Every food chain must begin with a producer and end with a decomposer Food Webs Many food chains with multiple choices at different trophic levels

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Application Question
Turn to your neighbor and each of you give an example to the other of how an abiotic factor can effect a biotic factor Now, can you reverse that?? give an example of how a biotic factor can effect abiotic factors

An organisms role in its ecosystem What it eats Who eats it Where it lives How it affects its environment Interrelationships

**No two species can occupy the same niche at the same time in the same place.

Niche, cont
Ex: Antelope and African deer: same niche: different place =okay Hares and kangaroos: Same niche, same place & same time = in competition for food & space Galapagos finches: same place & time, diff niches - feeding, nesting sites, habitat all varied based on feet and beak adaptations Fisher and eagle page5.jpg,..arri%20gate.jpg

Interrelationships - Symbiosis
Predation: (+/-) Only one benefits; one harmed. (can be +/+ to populationhow?)
Mutualism: (+/+) Both benefitexamples?

Commensalism & Parasitism

Commensalism: (+/0) One benefits; one neutral

Parasitism: (+/-) or (-/-)why?