Chapter 4 - Chapter 4: Principles of Ecology: How...

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Chapter 4: Principles of Ecology: How Ecosystems Work 4.1 Humans and Nature: The Vital Connections Humans are a part of nature, dependent on natural systems for a variety of economically important resources and ecological services essential to our survival and long-term prosperity. 4.2 Ecology: The Study of Natural Systems Ecology is a field of science that seeks to describe relationships between organisms and their chemical and physical environment. 4.3 The Structure of Natural Systems The Biosphere The biosphere is an enormous biological system, spanning the entire planet. The materials within this closed system are recycled over and over in order for life to be sustained. The only outside contribution to the biosphere is sunlight, which provides energy for all living things. Biomes and Aquatic Life Zones The biosphere consists of distinct regions called biomes and aquatic life zones, each with its own chemical and physical conditions and unique assemblage of organisms. Humans inhabit all biomes, but are most prevalent in those with the mildest climates. What is an Ecosystem?
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This note was uploaded on 11/03/2009 for the course GEOS 105 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Texas A&M.

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Chapter 4 - Chapter 4: Principles of Ecology: How...

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