WHAT IS ECOLOGY Ecology is the study of

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WHAT IS ECOLOGY? • Ecology is the study of the environment. • An environment

WHAT IS ECOLOGY? • Ecology is the study of the environment. • An environment is the surroundings in which an organism lives. It includes living and nonliving things. • Ecology involves studying how living things interact with each other. It also involves studying how living things interact with nonliving things. Ecology 1 © Stephanie Elkowitz

WHAT IS ECOLOGY? • Ecologists are scientists who study ecology. They study: – the

WHAT IS ECOLOGY? • Ecologists are scientists who study ecology. They study: – the diversity of organisms in an environment – how nutrients, energy and materials cycle through the environment – how environments develop – how weather and climate influence environments Ecology 2 © Stephanie Elkowitz

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • There are different ways to study the environment. • Scientists divide

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • There are different ways to study the environment. • Scientists divide the environment into parts. These parts are then arranged into levels of organizations. Each level is more complex that the previous because it incorporates more environmental factors. • Studying the environment in levels helps scientists better understand how living things interact with other organisms and with the physical environment (the nonliving parts of the environment). It helps them study ecology in an organized and logical way. Ecology 3 © Stephanie Elkowitz

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • There are six levels of ecological organization: 1. Individual 2. Population

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • There are six levels of ecological organization: 1. Individual 2. Population 3. Community 4. Ecosystem 5. Biome 6. Biosphere Ecology 4 © Stephanie Elkowitz

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • An individual is a single organism. An individual organism interacts with

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • An individual is a single organism. An individual organism interacts with other living things and its surroundings. • The surroundings in which an individual organism lives is called its habitat. Ecology 5 © Stephanie Elkowitz

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • A population is a group of individuals of the same species

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • A population is a group of individuals of the same species that live in the same area. • Scientists study populations to learn how members of the same species interact each other. Ecology 6 © Stephanie Elkowitz

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • A community is the assemblage of two or more different populations

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • A community is the assemblage of two or more different populations living in the same area. The populations usually interact with each other. • Scientists study communities to learn how different species interact with each other. Ecology 7 © Stephanie Elkowitz

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • An ecosystem is a community of living things interacting with the

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • An ecosystem is a community of living things interacting with the nonliving parts of their environment. In other words, it includes living organisms together with the nonliving parts of the environment. The nonliving parts make up the physical parts of the environment. Ecology 8 © Stephanie Elkowitz

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • A biome is a collection of ecosystems with the same climate

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • A biome is a collection of ecosystems with the same climate and similar communities. In other words, many similar ecosystems make up a biome. Ecology 9 © Stephanie Elkowitz

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • The biosphere includes all life, land, water and air on Earth.

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION • The biosphere includes all life, land, water and air on Earth. • Interactions within our biosphere produce a complex web of dependencies. Living organisms depend on each other and on the physical environment in which they live. Ecology 10 © Stephanie Elkowitz

LIVING VS. NONLIVING • Living things interact with other living things as well as

LIVING VS. NONLIVING • Living things interact with other living things as well as nonliving things in an environment. These interactions are important to determining what an environment is like. • Living things are organisms that grow, develop, reproduce and perform different functions that make it alive. • Nonliving things are not alive. They do not grow, develop or reproduce. Ecology 11 © Stephanie Elkowitz

LIVING THINGS • Animals, plants, insects, bacteria and fungi are living things found in

LIVING THINGS • Animals, plants, insects, bacteria and fungi are living things found in the environment. • Parts of organisms, such as the branches of a tree are considered to be living if those parts are made of living tissue. Some parts of organisms, such as the shell of a clam, are not living because it is not made of living tissue. • Diseases can be considered to be living thing if they are caused by organisms such as bacteria or fungi. Ecology 12 © Stephanie Elkowitz

NONLIVING THINGS • Nonliving things are make up the physical and chemical parts of

NONLIVING THINGS • Nonliving things are make up the physical and chemical parts of the environment • Soil, rocks, water and air are nonliving. • Factors in the environment such as temperature and sunlight are nonliving as well. • Some substances made by living things are nonliving. Milk, sweat and tears are made by living things but they are nonliving because they are not made of living tissue. Ecology 13 © Stephanie Elkowitz

BIOTIC FACTORS • We often refer to the living parts of the environment as

BIOTIC FACTORS • We often refer to the living parts of the environment as biotic factors. • In addition to living things, the interactions between living things are classified as biotic factors. This includes predation, parasitism and disease. Ecology 14 © Stephanie Elkowitz

ABIOTIC FACTORS • We often refer to the nonliving parts of the environment as

ABIOTIC FACTORS • We often refer to the nonliving parts of the environment as abiotic factors. • In addition to nonliving things, natural disasters, such as forest fires, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes are considered to be abiotic factors. • Space and pollutants are also abiotic factors. Ecology 15 © Stephanie Elkowitz

THE SUN • The sun is one of the most important nonliving factors in

THE SUN • The sun is one of the most important nonliving factors in an environment. Life on Earth could not exist without the sun. • The sun is a star at the center of our solar system. It emits light. Light carries light (or radiant) energy to Earth. • Radiant energy from the sun is the major source of energy on Earth. Nearly all energy on Earth can be traced back to the sun. Ecology 16 © Stephanie Elkowitz

THE SUN • There are three ways the sun is important to life on

THE SUN • There are three ways the sun is important to life on Earth: – The sun provides visible light. The sun emits visible, white light that we see. Visible light energy is important to visualizing the world. Without it, we would not be able to observe the environment. – The sun provides energy. The sun’s radiant energy is used to power food chains. Plants use the sun’s radiant energy to make food. Animals consume plants. Other animals consume the animals that eat plants and so on. Without energy from the sun, plants could not make food. Plants would die and food chains would collapse. • https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=f. Hztd 6 k 5 ZXY Ecology – The sun provides heat. The sun emits infrared. You cannot see infrared but you can feel it. Infrared is important to warming Earth. This creates weather, wind, clouds and precipitation. It is responsible for powering the 17 water cycle and other cycles©on Stephanie Elkowitz

TYPES OF ORGANISMS • There are different kinds of organisms in an environment. •

TYPES OF ORGANISMS • There are different kinds of organisms in an environment. • All organisms require energy in order to survive. Energy is used to fuel the processes in the organisms' body. • Organisms obtain energy from food. • Some organisms make their own food. Other organisms consume plants or animals for food. Ecology 19 © Stephanie Elkowitz

TYPES OF ORGANISMS • We classify types of organisms based on how organisms obtain

TYPES OF ORGANISMS • We classify types of organisms based on how organisms obtain energy. • There are three major types of organisms: 1. Producers (Autotrophs) 2. Consumers (Heterotrophs) 3. Decomposers Ecology 20 © Stephanie Elkowitz

PRODUCERS • Producers use energy from the sun to make their own food through

PRODUCERS • Producers use energy from the sun to make their own food through the process of photosynthesis. • In this process, the organism converts water and carbon dioxide into sugar (specifically glucose) and oxygen using energy from the sun. • Producers are also called autotrophs. • All plants are autotrophs. Algae are autotrophs as well. Algae are organisms that live in or near water. Ecology 21 © Stephanie Elkowitz

CONSUMERS • Consumers cannot make their own food. They feed on other organisms to

CONSUMERS • Consumers cannot make their own food. They feed on other organisms to obtain food. The food provides energy needed to power all the processes in the organism. • Consumers are also called heterotrophs. • Consumers feed on plants, animals and/or the remains of dead or decaying animals. • All animals are consumers. Many bacteria and protists (single-celled organisms) are consumers as well. Ecology 22 © Stephanie Elkowitz

DECOMPOSERS • Decomposers are really a type of consumer. • Decomposers obtain nutrients from

DECOMPOSERS • Decomposers are really a type of consumer. • Decomposers obtain nutrients from dead organisms. • Decomposers are different from consumers because they break down dead organisms. They also break down waste produced by organisms. • Decomposers are very important to ecosystems. They return or recycle nutrients and materials in an ecosystem. They prevent accumulation of dead matter in an ecosystem. • Fungi, bacteria and some worms are decomposers. Ecology 23 © Stephanie Elkowitz

TYPES OF CONSUMERS • There are different types of consumers. • We classify types

TYPES OF CONSUMERS • There are different types of consumers. • We classify types of consumers based on the kind of food an organism eats. • There are 4 types of consumers: – Herbivores – Omnivores – Carnivores – Scavengers Ecology 24 © Stephanie Elkowitz

HERBIVORES • Herbivores feed on plants only. They feed on leaves, stems, seeds, pollen

HERBIVORES • Herbivores feed on plants only. They feed on leaves, stems, seeds, pollen or nectar. • Herbivores are also known as primary consumers. This means they are the first consumer in a food chain. • Examples: butterflies, grasshoppers, ants, deer, rabbits, cows, horses, giraffes and elephants Ecology 25 © Stephanie Elkowitz

OMNIVORES • Omnivores feed on plants and animals. They have a diverse diet consisting

OMNIVORES • Omnivores feed on plants and animals. They have a diverse diet consisting of plant material as well animals. • Many mammals are omnivores, including humans. Most birds are omnivores too. Ecology 26 © Stephanie Elkowitz

CARNIVORES • Carnivores feed only on animals. In fact, carnivore means meat eater. •

CARNIVORES • Carnivores feed only on animals. In fact, carnivore means meat eater. • Carnivores obtain food from other animals by predation. • Examples: lions, tigers, wolves, coyotes, owls, hawks, sharks, snakes Ecology 27 © Stephanie Elkowitz

SCAVENGERS • Scavengers feed on dead or decaying animals or plants. They do not

SCAVENGERS • Scavengers feed on dead or decaying animals or plants. They do not hunt organisms. Instead, they consume leftover dead remains or decaying plant materials. • Some scavengers feed on waste produced by other organisms too. • Scavengers consume food from sources that would otherwise go to waste in an ecosystem. • Examples: vultures, crows, hyenas, raccoons, beetles, crabs, lobsters. Ecology 28 © Stephanie Elkowitz

SCAVENGERS • Decomposers are similar to scavengers. They obtain nutrients from dead organisms. •

SCAVENGERS • Decomposers are similar to scavengers. They obtain nutrients from dead organisms. • However, decomposers break down dead animals and plants rather than just consuming this material for food. They also break down waste produced by organisms. They break down this material in organic matter. • Organic matter is rich in nutrients. Ecology 29 © Stephanie Elkowitz