Chapter 50 - An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere

Chapter 50 - An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere -...

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Max Sauberman AP Biology – Mr. Schilp Chapter 50 An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere Ecology: Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and the environment. These interactions determine distribution and abundance of organisms. Ecology reveals the richness of the biosphere. The biosphere is the global ecosystem, the sum of all Earth’s ecosystems. Ecology and Environmental Issues: Ecology provides the scientific understanding underlying environmental issues. People didn’t pay attention to the environment until Rachel Carson, who is credited with starting the modern environmental movement. Most ecologists follow the precautionary principle regarding environmental issues, stating that humans need to be concerned with how their actions affect the environment. Distribution of Species: Interactions between organisms and the environment limit the distribution of species. Ecologists have long recognized global and regional patterns of distribution of organisms within the biosphere. Many naturalists began to identify broad patterns of distribution by naming biogeographic realms. Biogeography is a good starting point for understanding what limits geographic distribution of species. Factors limiting distribution: The species may be absent because dispersal limits distribution. Behavior, biotic, and abiotic factors may limit distribution. Dispersal and Distribution: Dispersal is movement of individuals away from centers of high population density or from their area of origin. Humans dispersed out of a single point in Africa. Dispersal contributes to global distribution of organisms. Natural Range Expansions:
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This note was uploaded on 03/17/2011 for the course BIO 101 taught by Professor Sullivan during the Spring '08 term at Harvard.

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Chapter 50 - An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere -...

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