APES notes Chapter 3

APES notes Chapter 3 - APES notes Chapter 3 Core Case...

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APES notes Chapter 3 Core Case Study: Tropical Rain Forests are disappearing o Why do tropical rainforests make an excellent natural laboratory for the study of ecosystems? Tropical rain forests are found near the earth’s equator and contain an incredible variety of life These lush forests are warm year round and have high humidity and heavy rainfall almost daily Although they cover only about 2% of the earth’s land surface, studies indicate that they contain up to half of the world’s known terrestrial plant and animal species o At least half of these forests have been destroyed or disturbed by humans cutting down trees, growing crops, grazing cattle and building settlements and the degradation of these centers of life (biodiversity) is increasing o Without strong conservation measures most forests will probably be gone or severely degraded within your lifetime o Three major harmful effects of disrupting tropical rainforest ecosystems It will reduce the earth’s vital biodiversity by destroying or degrading the habitats of many of their unique plant and animal species, thereby causing their premature extinction It will help to accelerate climate change due to global warming by eliminating large areas of trees faster than they can grow back thereby reducing the trees’ overall uptake of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide It will change regional weather patterns in ways that will prevent the return of diverse tropical rain forests in cleared or degraded areas. Once this tipping point is reached, tropical rain forest in such areas will become less diverse tropical grassland o Ecosystems recycle materials and provide humans and other organisms with essential natural services and natural resources such as nutrients All organisms are composed of cells o Cells are the smallest and most fundamental structural and functional units of life o They are minute compartments covered with a thin membrane and within which the processes of life occur Cell theory o The idea that all living things are composed of cells o Most widely accepted scientific theory in biology o Organisms may consist of a single cell Ex) bacteria o Organisms may consist of many cells as is the case for plants and animals
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On the basis of their cell structure, organisms can be classified as either eukaryotic or prokaryotic o Eukaryotic cell Surrounded by a membrane and has a distinct nucleus (a membrane-bounded structure containing genetic material in the form of DNA) and several other internal parts called organelles which are also surrounded by membranes Most organisms consist of eukaryotic cells o Prokaryotic cell Surrounded by membrane but it has no distinct nucleus and no other internal parts surrounded by membranes Species o Set of individuals that can mate and produce fertile offspring o Every organism is a member of a certain species with certain traits o Ex) Humans are all members of one species known as Homo Sapiens. o
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APES notes Chapter 3 - APES notes Chapter 3 Core Case...

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