How_Ecosystems_Work BIO 350

How_Ecosystems_Work BIO 350 - Ecological Concepts I...

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Ecological Concepts I Ecology: The study of the relationships between organisms and their environment. A Goal is to determine factors that affect the abundance and distribution of species II Ecosystems - the community and its physical environment. A This is the functioning unit of nature - It is the array of organisms (biotic) and their physical environment (abiotic), all interacting through the flow of energy and the cycling of materials (nutrients). 1. Biotic - the living component of the ecosystem. a) Species = All organisms of the same kind that are genetically similar enough to breed in nature and produce live, fertile offspring. b) Population = All of the individuals of the same species in a particular geographical area. c) Community = All the populations of organisms (plants, animals, decomposers) that exist together in a given area. 2. Abiotic - the nonliving component of the ecosystem. The elements Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, & Phosphorus are the dominant materials cycled through the ecosystem and are the components of nutrients. a) Abiotic factors have a direct impact on the presence, absence, and abundance of organisms in the environment. b) These factors include temperatures, moisture levels, nutrient supplies, soil chemistry, water chemistry, living space, etc. B The final composition of an ecosystem develops mostly in response to the availability of resources (both energy and material) needed by the organisms 1. Resources that are only available in limited amounts are called limiting factors . Different ecosystems have different limiting factors a) Limiting factors in terrestrial ecosystems i) Soil nutrients ii) Water iii) Temperature b) Limiting factors in aquatic ecosystems i) Sunlight ii) Dissolved nutrients iii) Dissolved gasses 2. Resources can be limited because the environment doesn’t provide a large quantity to begin with, resulting in less diverse communities. (Arctic tundra) 3. Resources can also become limited when there is a lot of competition for them, resulting in communities with a great deal of diversity. (Brazilian rainforest)
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A Energy is the ability to do work. Work, in this sense, means changing the speed or direction matter is traveling. 1. Kinetic energy – energy found in moving bodies (e.g. an arrow in flight, heat) 2. Potential energy – energy that is stored and can be released. (e.g. energy in a drawn bow, energy in food molecules) B Laws governing energy 1. 1 st Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation of Energy) a) In a closed system energy cannot be created nor destroyed, but it can be converted from one form to another. The total amount of energy in the system remains constant. 2.
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This note was uploaded on 06/23/2008 for the course BIO 350 taught by Professor Gillespie during the Spring '08 term at Los Rios Colleges.

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How_Ecosystems_Work BIO 350 - Ecological Concepts I...

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