Ecology Unit -

Ecology Unit -

Ecolo gy WATCH The Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale TO DO Now look at Section A of your

worksheet. Answer the two questions.. WHAT IS ECOLOGY? Ecology- the scientific study of interactions between organisms with one another and with their environments. Ecology is a science of

relationships. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ENVIRONMENT? The environment is composed of two factors:

Biotic factors - are the living and once living parts of an environment (plants, animals, dead organisms). Abiotic factors- are the nonliving parts of the environment (i.e. air, water, rocks, sand, light,

and temperature). ABIOTIC OR BIOTIC? Biotic 6


Abiotic 8 ABIOTIC OR BIOTIC? Biotic

9 Biosphere Biom e Ecosystem Communit

y Populatio n Organism ORGANISM an individual living thing. A species is a group of

organisms that can mate to produce fertile offspring. Each organism is a member of a species. The lowest level of organization. POPULATION All members of the same species that

LIVE in the same place at the same time. Produce fertile offspring Compete with each other for resources (food, mates, shelter,

COMMUNITY - A group of various species that live in the same place and interact with each other. - Several interacting populations that inhabit a common environment and

are interdependent. - It is only made of biotic components. ECOSYSTEM all the organisms living in an area together with their physical environment.

BIOME Are large climatic regions that contain a number of smaller ecosystems. Biomes may exist in more than one location and are distinguished by plants and animals.

BIOSPHERE The thin layer of Earth and the atmosphere that supports life. The highest level of organization WATCH Ecological Niches

HABITAT VS. NICHE Habitat- the place in which an organism lives out its life Niche - the role a species plays in a community; its total way of life

HABITAT All organisms live in particular place called habitats. Every habitat has specific biotic and abiotic factors that the organism living there needs to survive. Organisms tend to be very well

suited to their natural habitats due to adaptations, inherited traits, which increase their chance of HABITAT Adaptations: camouflage (blending in with surroundings)

mimicry (looking or sounding like another organism) chemical defenses (venom, ink, sprays), body parts (claws, beaks, armor plates) unique methods of obtaining food,

ECOLOGICAL NICHE Ecological niche refers to the unique role a species has in its environment how it meets its needs for food and shelter, how it survives, and how it reproduces. A niche includes the species habitat, the environmental factors necessary

for the species survival and all the species interactions with other HABITAT VS. NICHE A niche is determined by the tolerance limitations of an organism, or a limiting factor. Limiting factor- any biotic or

abiotic factor that restricts the existence of organisms in a specific environment. HABITAT VS. NICHE Examples of limiting factors Amount of water Amount of food Temperature

Amount of space Availability of mates ECOLOGICAL NICHE Example: A tree frog in a Brazilian rainforest can only survive if temperatures and humidity stay within a certain

range. It also needs access to a certain amount and type of food. It must avoid becoming food for predators. The sum of these conditions is the

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