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ECOLOGY - ECOLOGY Interactions between organisms and their...

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ECOLOGY Interactions between organisms and their environment…
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we can study from s m a l l t o B I G Organismal: the individual level ex. behavior, physiological, morphological Population: group of individuals, same species ex. Pop size, composition, intraspecific compet. Community: a bunch of species ex. Predator/prey, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism,etc Ecosystem: community + abiotic ex. energy flow, nutrient cycling • Biosphere ex. Global climate patterns, pollution
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Experimental Ecology scientific method applied to ecosystems
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What makes up an Ecosystem?
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2 Pieces of the Environment Puzzle
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ABIOTIC (non-living) FACTORS Non-living chemical and physical factors in an ecosystem Determine which organisms (biotic) can inhabit the ecosystem Like what?
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Temperature Water Sunlight Wind Rocks/soil Periodic Disturbances ABIOTIC (non-living) FACTORS
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How does Temperature limit organisms distribution? • Enzymes (catalysts) are slowed by cold temperatures and destroyed (denatured) by high temperatures. <0°C and cells may burst -adaptations -Endotherms/ectotherms -50% decrease in metabolic rate for every 10° C drop in temperature
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Otzi the Iceman!
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How does Water limit organism distribution? Water is essential to every living thing on the planet. Period. Not bad for two H’s and an O. Availability of water determines the type of organisms that can survive
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How does sunlight limit organism distribution? Sunlight is the ultimate energy source for every* living thing Plankton only as deep as light goes in the water In shady forests, competition for light under canopy *except for those pesky Chemoautotrophs
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What effect does Wind have????? Increases heat loss, evaporation (wind chill), and transpiration Affect plant growth
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What about rocks and soil? -pH and mineral content limit organism distribution -Substrate affects water chemistry
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Q: What do you get if you combine temperature, water, light, and wind? A: CLIMATE PATTERNS!
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Intensity of light varies with latitude…..most intense at equator, less intense as you increase latitude
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