Study Guide - Chapter 3
Study Guide – Chapter 3
is the science of relationships between living organisms and their
We can classify living organisms by
(similar by genetic make-up, could breed
(groups within a species that actually do breed together,
although they are not exactly alike genetically, which we call the population’s
(many populations living together in a
At higher classifications, we have many communities living in an
ecosystem, with all ecosystems contained in the biosphere – Figure 3.2.
are mostly overlooked during our routine daily activities, but they
perform critical functions that keep ecosystems functioning, e.g., as integral parts of
(e.g., nitrogen), as fermentation catalysts, and as
decomposers of dead organic material.
The field of biotechnology is putting a
tremendous amount of effort into microorganismal research to attack disease,
energy, and pollution problems.
All of the activities that support life on the planet are dependent on the
(particularly the ozone layer in the lower portion), the
, particularly the
lower portion called the
, for air (78% nitrogen!), the
(water, ice, permafrost, and water vapor) for water and the
water moves through Earth’s ecosystems, e.g., from rain, to streams, to rivers, to the
oceans, to water vapor and clouds, and then back to rain) and the
upper mantle and crust) for minerals, nutrients, and fossil fuels.
Life evolved on the planet based on two central processes, the
one-way flow of
from the sun, all of which is eventually degraded to heat, and the
in biogeochemical cycles.
The electromagnetic energy from the sun
warms the planet and supports photosynthesis by plants and some bacteria.
Interesting that only about 1% of the energy reaching the Earth’s surface generates
wind patterns, and only about 0.1% fuels photosynthesis.
Most of the energy
reaching the planet is converted to longer-wave infrared energy that is radiated back
from the planet’s surface, interacts with greenhouse gasses, and warms the
Eventually all of the energy as heat goes back into space, but you can
see that even a small percentage increase in the greenhouse effect will cause global