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BIOL 150 ECOLOGY CHAPTERS 1&2 Introduction to Ecology Ecology – science that studies organisms interacting with their environment Environmentalism – activism focused on protecting the natural environment, particularly from the impacts of human activities Environment – consists of all the external factors that influence an organism’s survival, growth and or reproduction Ecosystem – the biotic community and its abiotic environment All environmental factors fall into these categories: Resources – consumed by an organism Conditions – only influence an organism but not consumed Hazards – includes factors that can only affect an organism negatively if they are present Organisms can compete for resources but not conditions. Conditions can indirectly affect competition by altering availability of a resource Ecological Hierarchy: Individual Population – group of individuals of the same species occupying a given area at a given time Community – all populations of all species living and interacting within an eco-system Levels above the community include abiotic components Ecosystem Landscape – area of land composed of a patchwork of ecosystem Biome – broad-scale regions in which the landscape is dominated by similar ecosystems Biosphere – the narrow interface at Earth’s surface that contains and supports life - Atmosphere – layers of air surrounding the earth (Co2, O2, N2) - Hydrosphere – water at or near Earth’s surface, including the soil solution (H20, dissolved nutrients, light, habitat space) - Lithosphere – solid earth and soil (minerals, nutrients) Scale – the level of resolution in time and or space over which a pattern or process is investigated Autecology – both structural and physiological ecology Behavioural Ecology – explore factors affecting species distribution Population Ecology – focuses to population size and how it changes over time Evolutionary Ecology- the study of changes in population genetics in response to evolutionary processes, particularly natural selection Community Ecology – studies community patterns and the processes that contribute to them
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Ecosystem Ecology – studies ecosystem structure and function, stressing the flow of energy and
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