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Ecology1 - Ecosystem The relationships of a smaller groups...

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Ecology In previous chapters/units we have concentrated on the biology of the individual cell, tissue, and organism. There are levels of organization above the individual organism that will be the subject of this unit. Individual organisms are grouped into populations, which in turn form communities, which form ecosystems. Ecosystems make up the biosphere, which includes all life on Earth. If there is life on other planets, will we need another level of organization? Biosphere : The sum of all living things taken in conjunction with their environment. In essence, where life occurs, from the upper reaches of the atmosphere to the top few meters of soil, to the bottoms of the oceans. We divide the earth into atmosphere (air), lithosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), and biosphere (life).
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Unformatted text preview: Ecosystem : The relationships of a smaller groups of organisms with each other and their environment. Scientists often speak of the interrelatedness of living things. Since, according to Darwin's theory, organisms adapt to their environment, they must also adapt to other organisms in that environment. We can discuss the flow of energy through an ecosystem from photosynthetic autotrophs to herbivores to carnivores. Community : The relationships between groups of different species. For example, the desert communities consist of rabbits, coyotes, snakes, birds, mice and such plants as sahuaro cactus ( Carnegia gigantea ), Ocotillo, creosote bush, etc. Community structure can be disturbed by such things as fire, human activity, and over-population....
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