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Unformatted text preview: Ecology What is Ecology? Ecology is the study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment. Biosphere contains the combined portions of the planet in which life exists, including land, water, and air or atmosphere. Introduction to Ecology Levels of Organization Species is a group of organisms so similar to one another that they can breed. Population are groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area. Communities are assemblages of the different populations that live together ina defined area. Ecosystem is a collection of all the organisms that live together in a particular place as well as their nonliving or physical environment. Biome is a group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities. Energy Flow Sunlight is the main source of energy for life on Earth. Some types of organisms rely on the energy stored in inorganic chemical compounds. Autotrophs (producers) use energy from the environment to fuel assembly of simple compounds into complex organic molecules. Energy Flow Autotrophs The best know autotrophs are those that harness the power of the sun through photosynthesis. They use this energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and glucose. The second type of autotrophs use chemical energy to make carbohydrates. This is performed by several types of bacteria. Energy Flow Consumers Heterotrophs (consumers) rely on other organisms for their energy and food. Herbivores obtain energy by eating plants. Carnivores eat animals. Omnivores eat both plants and animals. Detritivores feed on the remains of plants, animals and other dead matter. Decomposers breaks down organic matter. Introduction to Energy Flow Feeding Relationships Energy flow through an ecosystem in one direction, from the sun or inorganic compounds to autotrophs (producers) and then to various heterotrophs (consumers). Food Chains are a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating or being eaten. Food webs show the complex interactions within an ecosystem. Each step in a food chain or web is called a trophic level. Producers make up the first step, consumers make up the higher levels. Food Webs & Food Chains Ecological Pyramids An ecological pyramid is a diagram that shows the relationship amounts of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a food web or food chain. Energy Pyramid only 10% of the energy available within one trophic level is transferred to organisms at the next trophic level. Pyramids Continued Biomass pyramids show the total amount of living tissue available at each trophic level. This shows the amount of tissue available for the next trophic level. Numbers pyramid shows the number of species at each trophic level. Because each trophic level harvests only about one tenth of the energy from the level below, it can support only about one 10th the amount of living tissue. Pyramids Cycles of Matter Unlike the oneway flow of energy, matter is recycled within and between ecosystems. These cycles are the water cycle, Nutrient Cycle, Carbon Cycle, nitrogen cycle and phosphorus cycle. Carbon Cycle Water Cycle Nitrogen Cycle Oxygen Carbon Cycle ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2012 for the course BIO 126 N/A taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at University of Phoenix.
- Spring '10