Ch. 4 Notes - Hughes Ch. 4 Reading Study Guide Ch. 4...

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Hughes Ch. 4 Reading Study Guide Ch. 4 Ecosystems and Natural Communities This chapter is basically a review of the ecological principles you should already know from your biology or ecology classes. However, this chapter is important in that you need a thorough grounding in these concepts because wildlife science is the application of ecological principles to the wildlife concerns of people. Ecosystems are self-sustaining networks of living (biotic) and non-living (biotic) elements that interact to sustain life. Living parts of an ecosystem are called communities and usually consist of many different species. Each species in the community plays a role in that community. Most ecosystems consist of several different communities that we can identify. Ecosystems can be modified by internal (changes in species composition or species interactions) or external (changing weather, volcanoes etc.) factors. Wildlife management is concerned primarily with anthropogenic (human made) external factors that affect ecosystems. Wildlife managers often manipulate factors affecting ecosystems intentionally to achieve a desired goal. We have learned much since the 1960's about interrelationships within communities and ecosystems but there is still much we do not know. Modern wildlife management operates to maintain the total community in a functional self-sustaining ecosystem. 1. Matter and energy 1. all organisms (plants and animals) are made of materials (matter) that occur in the physical environment of earth. 1. carbon atoms are the basis of life on earth 2. phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sulfur, iron, and all the trace elements that form plant or animal bodies enter in the form of food (nutrients) except oxygen which enters through breathing 2. green plants form the crucial link between the biotic and abiotic world 1. they can remove carbon from carbon dioxide in the air through photosynthesis. They also produce organic compounds (carbohydrates, sugars, etc.) that store the energy of sunlight in chemical compounds. 2. the only exceptions to date are some unique communities that function through chemosynthetic energy and sulfur compounds surrounding volcanic vents in the ocean floor. 3. Trophic levels and food chains or webs 1. trophic levels relate to how organisms obtain energy and nutrients 1. plants are primary producers (changing solar energy and chemical compounds into carbon based compounds useable by animals) this is the 1 st or bottom trophic level. 2.
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Ch. 4 Notes - Hughes Ch. 4 Reading Study Guide Ch. 4...

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