- Slides: 28
What is ecology and ecosystems? Ecology is the study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment. An ecosystem is the interaction of living things of an area and their non -living surroundings.
Biotic & Abiotic factors Biotic factors are all of the LIVING things of an ecosystem (ex. animals, plants, fungi, bacteria)
Biotic & Abiotic factors are all of the NON-LIVING things of an ecosystem (ex. air, soil, sun, water, wind)
Pick out the biotic & abiotic factors of this ecosystem
Levels of Organization There are many ways living things interact with other living things in their environment. We describe these living and non-living things in five levels of organization. A single living species is an organism. A group of the same species living together is a population. A group of different species living together is a community.
Levels of Organization ecosystems- all the living and nonliving things of an area biome- larger regions with similar abiotic and biotic factors biosphere- all life on Earth
Energy Flow What do all living things need to survive? sun, air, water, food/energy, & shelter Where does this energy begin? the sun
Energy Flow All living need similar things to survive. We classify these living things by how they get their energy: Producers- make their own energy Consumers- get their energy from another source Decomposers- break down dead/decaying material for energy
Producers make their own food through a process called photosynthesis. Input (what is needed by the plant): sunlight, water, carbon dioxide Output (what is produced by the plant) glucose (food) and oxygen
Consumers can eat producers or other consumers. There are four types: 1) Herbivores: Eat plants (ex. cows, deer, horses) 2) Carnivores: Eat other animals (ex. wolves, coyotes) 3) Omnivores: Eat plants and animals (ex. bears, humans) 4) Scavengers: Eat dead plants/animals (ex. vulture)
Consumers The hunter versus the hunted: Predator- the hunter Prey- the hunted
Decomposers include fungi and bacteria. They play an important role in nature. They break down the unused dead material and turn them into nutrients for the soil, which plants use to grow.
Food Chains We can put these living things into a food chain to show the flow of energy. decomposers
Food Chains Although all food chains may not show this, they always begin with the sun and end with decomposer s.
Food Chains We divide food chains into different levels: 1) Producers- plants provide the basis for energy 2) Primary consumers- herbivores that eat the plants 3) Secondary consumers- animals that eat the primary consumers
Food Chains 4) Tertiary consumers- animals that eat the secondary consumers 5) Quaternary consumers- animals that eat the tertiary consumers
Food Chains Label each level.
Food Webs Food webs show the energy flow among the living things in an ecosystem. They also show that animals can act as different levels of consumers depending on what they eat.
Food Webs For example, what are three things the fox eats? Mice, squirrels, rabbits Now make several food chains from these animals. plant -> mouse -> fox plant -> rabbit -> fox plant -> squirrel -> fox plant -> insect -> mouse -> fox
Food Webs plant -> mouse -> fox plant -> rabbit -> fox plant -> squirrel -> fox In these food chains, the fox is acting a the secondary consumer. plant -> insect -> frog -> fox In this food chain, the fox is acting as a tertiary consumer.
Food Webs Now let’s look at the snake. Create a food chain where the snake is a secondary consumer. Then create one where it is a tertiary consumer.
Energy Pyramid Imagine that we were to take a nature walk in the woods outside. What kinds of living things would we see? Producers: Primary consumers: Higher-level consumers: Which level would we see the most of and the least of?
Energy Pyramid So why do we have lots of producers and few higherlevel consumers? By the time you get to the end of any food chain, most of the energy that was available at the beginning is no longer available. Scientists came up with the energy pyramid to explain this. Tertiary consumer. Tropic Level 4 Secondary consumer. Tropic Level 3 Primary consumers. Tropic Level 2 Producers. Tropic Level 1
Energy Pyramid Producers provide the basis for energy. Our primary consumers are the moose and rabbit. They spend much of their time grazing on grass. They will then most of this energy to do everything that is required to live like… Breathe, grow, move, etc. Tertiary consumer. Tropic Level 4 Secondary consumer. Tropic Level 3 Primary consumers. Tropic Level 2 Producers. Tropic Level 1
Energy Pyramid The moose and rabbit will use 90% of the energy they have eaten. This means only about 10% of the original energy is left to feed the wolf. This 10% is stored in the tissues (muscles, organs, fat, etc. ) inside the organism. Tertiary consumer. Tropic Level 4 Secondary consumer. Tropic Level 3 Primary consumers. Tropic Level 2 Producers. Tropic Level 1
Energy Pyramid The same is true for the wolf. It will use 90% of the energy it got from the moose or rabbit, and 10% will be passed on to the mountain lion. Tertiary consumer. Tropic Level 4 Secondary consumer. Tropic Level 3 Primary consumers. Tropic Level 2 Producers. Tropic Level 1
Energy Pyramid It takes the energy millions of producers just to support one higherlevel consumer. This is why we have so much plant life at the bottom of each food chain yet so few consumers at the top of each food chain. Tertiary consumer. Tropic Level 4 Secondary consumer. Tropic Level 3 Primary consumers. Tropic Level 2 Producers. Tropic Level 1