ADAPTATION TO HABITATS
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
4. Discuss the advantages of biological monitoring and the
specific indications of poor water quality.
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,
Before we begin the lecture, please read the text chapter on aquatic
insects, pages 240-251,
260 and the chapter on soil insects pages 216-230
Terms and Concepts
The study of the interactions between organisms and their environment.
The environment is the physical world that affects the life of an
individual, population or community. It is composed of two parts, the
includes all living organisms such as plants, animals and microbes, and the
or non-living factors such as temperature, light, water, and nutrients.
: 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.
: 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.
: A population is a group of individual organisms that belong to the same
species and live in a particular geographic location.
: A community is all the organisms living in a particular area and
includes populations of different species of plants and animals.
: An ecosystem is the combination of the community of organisms in an
area and the abiotic factors such as the air, water and soil.
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