Ecosystem Ecology Examines Interactions Between the Living and NonLiving World
Ecosystem- A particular location on Earth distinguished by its particular
mix of interacting biotic and abiotic components.
What are some of these components?
Core- the innermost zone of the planet made of nickel and iron.
Mantle- above the core containing magma
Crust- the outermost layer of the planet.
Asthenosphere- the outer part of the mantle, composed of semi-molten rock.
Lithosphere- the brittle outermost
Nature exists at several levels of complexity
Factors that Regulate Population Abundance and Distribution
Population size- the total number of individuals within a defined area at a
Population density- the number of individuals per unit area
Earth is a single interconnected system
All environmental systems consist of matter
Matter- anything that occupies space and has mass.
Mass- a measure of the amount of matter an object contains.
Weight- the force that results from the action of gravity on
Why would we need to study the Earth?
Neuse River Fish Killer
A few days in1991
1 x 109 fish died
Researchers developed skin sores, nausea, vomiting, memory
impairment and confusion
Toxin emitted by Pfiesteria killed the fish
Aquifers- small spaces found within permeable layers of rock and sediment where
water is found.
Unconfined aquifers- an aquifer that is simply porous rock covered by soil.
Confined aquifers- an aquifer surrounded by a layer of impermeable rock or clay.
Scientists Disagree on Earths Carrying Capacity
Factors that Drive Human Population Growth
Demography- the study of human populations and population trends.
Changes in Population Size
Changes in Population
Earth is home to a tremendous diversity of species
Ecosystem diversity- the variety of ecosystems within a given region.
Species diversity- the variety of species in a given ecosystem.
Genetic diversity- the variety of genes within a given species.
Global Processes Determine Weather and Climate
1. Weather- the short term conditions of the atmosphere in a local area.
These include temperature, humidity, clouds, precipitation, wind speed
and atmospheric pressure.
2. Climate- The average weather that
Variations in Climate Determine the Dominant Plant Growth Forms of
1. Climate affects the distribution of species around the globe.
2. Organisms possess distinct growth forms due to adaptations to local
temperature and precipitin patte