Biology Unit 2: Ecology

Jae Chastain
Note by Jae Chastain, updated more than 1 year ago
Jae Chastain
Created by Jae Chastain almost 8 years ago


Biology A Note on Biology Unit 2: Ecology, created by Jae Chastain on 08/26/2013.

Resource summary

Page 1

Vocab:abiotic features: nonliving things in an ecosystembiome: a large geographical region with similar plants, animals, and climatebiosphere: all the living organisms found on earthbiota: all the living organisms found in an ecosystemecology: the study of living things and their environmentecosystem: interaction and interrelations that exist between all living and nonliving things in an areaniche: an organism's place, function, or role in the ecosystempopulation: all the organisms in an area of the same speciesspecies: a group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring

Ecology: root word oikos Greek for "house". 

Nearly all autotrophs are photosynthetic.

Because hydrothermal vents are at depths of 2,000 and 4,000 meters, photosynthesis is impossible. To solve this problem, chemosynthetic microbes and bacteria use the hydrogen sulfide coming from the vent. They provide a base for a food web by feeding all sorts of fish, snails, and tubeworms.

VOCAB:autotroph: an organism capable of synthesizing it's own organic compounds from inorganic compounds and uses carbon dioxide as a carbon sourcecarnivore: consumer that only eats meatchemosynthesis: Process some autotrophs use to synthesize energy from compounds such as hydrogen sulfideconsumer: obtains energy from organic material made by producersdecomposer: fungi and bacteria that chemically decomposes dead and waste material into detritusdetritivore: eats dead or decaying matter; consumes detritusherbivore: consumer that only eats plantsheterotroph: an organism that receives energy from consuming carbohydrates and other organic materialomnivore: consumer that eats both meat and plantsphotosynthesis: process some autotrophs use to synthesize energy from lightproducer: receives energy either from the sun or inorganic moleculesscavenger: consumes dead material, like fallen leaves and dead animals

Vocabbiomass: the mass of all living matter in an ecosystemecological pyramid: illustration of the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a given food chain or food webfood chain: a line path showing the transfer on energy from one organism to anotherfood web: multiple food chains together to show the reality of producers and low level consumers being consumed directly by many different high level consumersphytoplankton: photosynthetic algae found near the surface of the oceantrophic level: food level within a food chainzooplankton: small free-floating animals that form part of plankton

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 1

Individual organism -> species -> population -> community -> ecosystem -> biome -> biosphere

Methods of Ecology:observationexperimentationmodeling article provides an example of the observation method of ecology.The team counts the stonefly nymphs in the water because it helps to determine how polluted the water is. Stonefly nymphs do not tolerate many types of pollution, and therefore will be absent in polluted water.This provide a good example of cause and effect because they are studying the effect-reduced population of water nymphs-to better understand the cause-water pollution. features such as temperature, precipitation, nutrients, and sunlight determine the characteristics of a biome.Latitude, elevation, and proximity to bodies of water or mountains influence the physical environment of a biome. 

Lesson 3

Each trophic level has a different biomass. Producers are a VERY large group, hence being at the bottom of the ecological pyramid. Each level is reduced in biomass compared to the last, and this is necessary due to the flow of energy. Energy is reduced by 90% every time it is transferred to one level to the next.

energy is never created, used up, or destroyed.

energy movement is described as flow because it "flows" to the next level as in it gets used and transferred in a one-way movement away from the sun.

Lesson 4

Vocab:biogeochemical cycle: process in which elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to anotherdenitrification: process by which soil bacteria convert nitrates into nitrogen gasnitrogen fixation: process of converting nitrogen gas into nitrogen compounds that plants can absorb and usenutrient: chemical substances that living organisms must obtain from their environment in order to carry out life functions

Carbon, phosphorus, and nitrogen are always cycling around and through us. If nutrients did not get recycled constantly, we would never have any necessary nutrients. The nutrients on the earth today are all we get, the supply does not go up, nor does it go down, but all the nutrients must be recycled or we'd all be dead.

Unlike energy, we do not receive a steady stream of matter. All matter must be used and reused, cycling in a closed circle without losing or gaining mass.

elements constantly cycle between the living and non-living world

Matter flows through an ecosystem like energy, only it is not decreased as it goes. Energy has a constant one-way flow, and matter is continually looped around and flows in cycles.

Vocab:commensalism: a relationship in which one party benefits and the other is unaffected habitat: area where an organism lives, including the biotic and abiotic factors that affect it herbivory: hunting and eating plant materialkeystone species: single species that is not usually abundant in a community yet exerts strong control on the structure of a communitymutualism: a relationship in which both parties benefitniche: functional role of an organism in an ecosystemparasitism: a relationship in which only one party benefits and the other is harmed predation: the capturing and eating of other organisms resource: any necessity of life, such as water, nutrients, light, food, or spacesymbiosis: relationship in which two species live close together

Lesson 5

Only one species can have any one niche because this one species will have to be the best at using the resources available, therefore if there was more than one species trying to use the same resources, either the original will run them off because they cannot use the resources as efficiently and/or effectively, or they will get rid of the original by using the resources better.This is called competition.

If the prey of a species of predator is diminished, than the predators numbers will decrease. Conversely, if the number of predators is diminished, there will be a sudden boom in the population of the prey until it crashes and BURNS because of the extraneous pull on the resources.

Vocab:population cycles: The rise and fall of the population of many correlated species in unison

Lesson 6

In the example of the population cycles in the relationship of rodents and rattlesnakes:If the population of rodents fell, then the rattlesnake population would go down. If the rodents suddenly boomed, then the rattlesnake population would go up, causing the rodent population to go down and therefore forcing the rattlesnake population to go back down, and then letting the rodents rise again. Hence the cycle of populations.

Population cycles help to stabilize the two species over time without causing extinction.

Lesson 7

After Mt St Helens the most noticeable growth after the first year was the plant life, and more specifically, the fungi. Scientists believe that the warmth of the blast may have affected the spores, and made it easier for the fungi to thrive. The lakes also showed many signs of life, mostly in the form of bacteria, but there was also a few fish in many of the affected lakes.

Vocab:pioneer species: species that colonized where no other species are present. They are needed for primary succession.primary succession: no organisms are present following the event that triggers the succession processsecondary succession: some organisms present after the event that disturbs the ecosystemclimax community: a stable community that has gone through all stages of succession


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