Ecology Notes Ecology: The study of the interactions among organisms and their environment

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  • Ecology Notes

  • Ecology:The study of the interactions among organisms and their environment.

  • Environment:Abiotic Factors: non-living factors (rocks, air, sun, water)

    Biotic Factors: Living factors (plants, animals)

  • Ecological Organization:Species: one type of living thingPopulation: a group of a speciesCommunity: all the populations in an areaEcosystem: the community and the physical environmentBiosphere: the earth

  • AutotrophsOrganisms that make their own food (plants)

  • Heterotrophs: Organisms that must eat to get energy (animals)

    Herbivores: eat plantsCarnivores: eat animalsOmnivores: eat both plants and animalsScavengers: eat dead animalsDecomposers: eat dead material/ recycles nutrients

  • Predator/ Prey RelationshipPredator: does the eatingPrey: gets eaten

  • Environmental Limits on Population SizeHabitat: Where an organism lives

  • Niche: Role or job of a species. (reduces competition)

  • Competition: competing for limited resources (food, water, space)

  • Growth curve for unlimited or exponential growth.

  • Finite resources: Limited resources.

    Limiting factors: any factor that limits population growth. (lack of food, water, space)

  • Carrying capacity: The maximum number of species a habitat can support.

  • Organism relationshipsSymbiosis: organisms that live and depend on another organism to live. Commensalism: One benefits, one is neutral

    Mutualism: Both benefit

    Parasitism: One benefits, one is harmed.

  • Energy FlowEnergy flow: All energy comes from the sun. Plants turn it into food, animals eat plants, animals eat animals

    Only about 10% of energy gets passed on to the next organism. 90% gets used up by movement, growth, heat, etc.

  • Food Chain: a series of organisms through which food energy is transferred.

  • Food Web: Several interacting food chains.Producers: = autotrophs = plantsConsumers: = heterotrophs = eat the foodDecomposers: break down food

  • Energy Pyramid: a diagram showing the amount of energy at the different trophic levels

  • Biomass Pyramid: diagram showing the amount of mass at each trophic level

  • Material CyclesCarbon Cycle (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen)

  • Photosynthesis: light + CO2 + H2O glucose + O2Respiration: glucose + O2 energy + CO2 + H2O

  • Water cycle

  • Nitrogen Cycle:Nitrogen is in proteinsN2 = not useableNO3, NH3 = useable by plants and animals

  • Ecological Succesion:The process by which an existing community is slowly replaced by another community.

    Primary Succession: starts with rocksSecondary Succession: after a disaster, starts with dirt.

  • Human ImpactRenewable resources:Trees, food

    Non-renewable resources:Coal, oil, natural gas, metals

  • Air PollutionFrom: factories, cars

    Problems: health problems, acid rain

  • Water PollutionFrom: garbage, waste from factories, increase water temperatureProblems: chemicals are toxic to animals, heat decreases the amount of oxygen in the water.Nitrates: from sewage too much algae growth reduces oxygen levels

  • BiodiversityCreates a more stable ecosystem. More food options for organismsMore potential cures for diseases

  • Loss of HabitatsNatural disastersRoads, buildings, pollution

  • Biological MagnificationPoison becomes more concentrated in animals as you go higher in the food chain.

  • Exotic SpeciesForeign plants and animalsTake food, nests, and other resources from native plants and animals.Have no predators so population levels are uncontrolled.

  • Acid RainCaused by Air PollutionAcidic water kills vulnerable organisms such as fish eggs.

  • Greenhouse Effect vs. Global WarmingGreenhouse effect = goodOur atmosphere traps heat so we dont freeze at night

    Global warming = badIncreased amounts of greenhouse gasses (CO2, H2O, CH4) trap more heat and increase the global temp.

  • Ozone LayerOzone = O3Located in upper atmosphereBlocks ultraviolet rays which cause cancerCFCs break down ozone.

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