Chapter 3 • Prentice Hall • P.60-85
Chapter 3 What is Ecology ? SOL 9 • The branch of biology that developed from natural history is called ecology. • Ecology is the study of interactions that take place between organisms and their environment. What is ecology? What is ecology?
The Biosphere • The biosphere is the portion of Earth that supports living things. • It extends from high in the atmosphere to the bottom of the oceans.
The nonliving environment: Abiotic factors • The nonliving parts of an organism’s environment are the abiotic factors. • Examples: air currents, temperature, moisture, light, and soil.
The living environment: Biotic factors • A key consideration of ecology is that living organisms affect other living organisms • All the living organisms that inhabit an environment are called biotic factors. • All organisms depend on others directly or indirectly for food, shelter, reproduction or protection.
Levels of Organization • Ecologists study individual organisms, interactions among organisms of the same species, interactions among organisms of different species, as well as the effects of abiotic factors on interacting species. • Ecologists have organized the living world into levels – the Organism by itself (species), – Population - all members of one species in an area – Community - all populations in a given area – Ecosystem - community + the nonliving factors (ABIOTIC) – Biome –ecosystems with similar climate and similar dominant communities – Biosphere – biotic + abiotic factors of the entire Earth
Levels of Organization
Ecological Methods • Observing – use of one or more of the senses to gather information • Experimenting –testing hypotheses either in the lab or in the field • Modeling – involves constructing a representation of an object, a system or a process that helps show relationships among data = an explanation supported by data
Ecological Methods Chemical Testing Sites Computer/ Calculators Written Record Magnifying Tools Measuring Tools Observation Experiment Model Building Field site Experimental plots, field sites, laboratory Many sites for data collecting Tapes, compass, Global Positioning System, thermometer, sensors Tapes, compass, Global Positioning System, thermometer, sensors Aerial views, Global Positioning System, weather balloons Binoculars, microscope, telescope Binoculars, microscope, telescope Satellite images Notes, automated data storage Notes, automated data storage Automated data storage Test kits Test kits Large database, multiple sensors Mathematical analysis and graphics, statistics Mathematical analysis and graphics, statistics Mathematical analysis and graphics, statistics, simulations
Ecological research • Ecologists obtain quantitative data by making measurements and carrying out controlled experiments in the field and in the laboratory.
Question 1 The study of interactions that take place between organisms and their environment is __________.