Where is Lake Victoria; what is the issue that your book/PP examined relating to Lake Victoria; why is there
‘ecological imbalance’ there? (as in many, many places)
Africa, second largest lake in the world. More than half of the cichlids and other native fish are extinct, cichlids ate the algae, so
now there is an explosive increase in algae.
When algae dies it takes up oxygen, so now the bottom of the lake cannot support
Diversity is gone.
What is ‘ecology’?
What does it mean?
What are the goals of an ecologist?
“the study of one’s house”; study of the interactions among organisms and between organisms and their abiotic environment;
including physical factors like soil, wind, rain, etc.; broadest field and is linked to every other field of study
Goals – to understand how ecosystems function and to make connections among ecosystems
What are the levels of ‘ecological organization’?
Which is largest, smallest, the rest, and how is each described?
– group of organisms of the same species that live together in the same area at the same time
– a natural association that consists of all the populations of different species that live and interact together within an area
at the same time
– a community and its physical environment; abiotic and biotic
– a region that includes several interacting ecosystems
– the layer of earth containing all living organisms
What are the levels in ecosystem composition (producers, consumers, decomposers), and what are their roles in the
– make their own food through photosynthesis
plants, algae, and certain bacteria
manufacture large organic molecules from simple inorganic substances, usually CO2 and water
– animals, spiders and lizards
feed on other things
they are herbivores (primary consumers), carnivores (secondary and tertiary), and omnivores
some are called detritus feeders and consumer detritus, organic matter like animal carcasses
– bacteria and fungi
breakdown dead organisms and waste products
release simple inorganic molecules like CO2 and mineral salts which producers can reuse
How do the ‘food chain’ and the ‘food web’ differ?
Which is more realistic?
– straight path of energy flow
complex of interconnected food chains in an ecosystem
more realistic model of the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems
one way path
– each level is a trophic level
producers, primary consumers, etc.
not realistic because few organisms only eat one type of organism
Ecological niches – how do explain them?
What is ‘resource partitioning’, ‘overlap’, and ‘competition’?
provide examples from your text?