notes9 - ADAPTATION TO HABITATS Lecture Objectives 1 Define...

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1 1 ADAPTATION TO HABITATS 2 Lecture Objectives 1. Define ecology and the related terms discussed. 2. Build a simple food web using only insects for the primary, secondary and tertiary trophic levels. 3. Describe the ways insects have adapted to the soil and aquatic environments. 4. Discuss the advantages of biological monitoring and the specific indications of poor water quality. 3 Introduction Read textbook pages 240-251, and 260, and 216-230 and 233. Are you ready for an adventure? We are now going to take a journey to some specialized habitats where insects have become very successful. In unit 3, you learned of some of the adaptations such as gills for breathing underwater, and in lab you learned of various leg adaptations for digging in soil. Now we are going to explore some of the specific habitats where these adaptations, and others, are useful. Before we begin the lecture, please read the text chapter on aquatic insects, pages 240-251, and 260 and the chapter on soil insects pages 216-230 and 233. 4 Terms and Concepts Ecology - The study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. Environment - The environment is the physical world that affects the life of an individual, population or community. It is composed of two parts, the Biotic which includes all living organisms such as plants, animals and microbes, and the Abiotic or non-living factors such as temperature, light, water, and nutrients. Habitat : A habitat is the locality or site and type of environment that an organism lives on or in. A pond, field or oak tree are all examples of habitats. Niche : A niche is the ecological role a species plays in a community such as an insect that feeds on root of grasses or one that eats aphids on leaves. It is what an organism does for a living within a habitat. Population : A population is a group of individual organisms that belong to the same species and live in a particular geographic location. Community : A community is all the organisms living in a particular area and includes populations of different species of plants and animals. Ecosystem : An ecosystem is the combination of the community of organisms in an area and the abiotic factors such as the air, water and soil. 5 Biological Monitoring One important way insects are being used by humans is to determine the relative health or level of pollution in aquatic habitats. This is done by sampling the insects in a lake or stream and measuring the number of individual insects, and most importantly, the number of species. The results are then compared with those from samples taken in other lakes or different portions of the stream. Some insects are very hardy and will be found in almost any quality of water samples. Others, however, are much more sensitive and are found only in unpolluted water. A healthy lake or stream will have a wide variety of species (including those sensitive to pollution) while a polluted stream will have only a few hardy species though they may be present in large numbers . If you find very few
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