Study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Ecology
What you will learn in Ecology What is Ecology? Habitats Feeding relationships in a habitat. Food chains Energy flow in a food chain
What you will learn in Ecology Food Webs Adaptations Competition Interdependence.
Examples of how organisms interact Animals need plants for food and shelter. (can you think of two examples) Plants need animals for transfer of pollen and to scatter seeds. When plants and animal die what happens them? They are decomposed by fungi and bacteria.
Habitats The place where an organism lives is called a habitat. Examples of habitats are: Hedgerow Woodland Meadow Pond Rocky sea shore.
More on Habitats With the habitat and its community of plants and animals an ecosystem is formed. Populations in the Habitat Each habitat is made up of different populations of plants and animals. The numbers of a population of animal or plant varies. (why?) enough light or food, being killed to eat, weather conditions etc. Video clip on Ecology
Feeding Relationships Producers (how do they make food?) Consumers Carnivores Omnivores Herbivores Decomposers
Food Chains The way in which energy is passed from one living thing to another is a food chain. A food chain always begins with a plant The arrow means 'eaten by' Examples grassrabbitfox nettlescaterpillarthrushsparrowhawk
Energy Flow in a food chain Only a fraction of energy is transferred from one part of food chain to the next. (why?) (Where does the original energy come from?) Example: It takes 100 kgs of plant materials (producers) to support 10 kgs of herbivores It takes 10 kgs of herbivores to support 1 kg of carnivores.
Food Webs It is rare that the feeding relationships are as simple as the food chains we have looked at. Two or more food chains inter-connected are called a food web.
Adaptation Adaptation is when an organism has characteristics making it easier to survive in the environment. Examples Caterpilars are green – camoflage Dandelion has seeds that can float easily in the wind. Nettles have stinging hairs to stop them being eaten by animals.
Competition Competition is when organisms 'fight' over things they need. Plants compete for light, water, space and minerals. e.g. Dandelions compete with grass on the lawn for light and space. Animals compete for food, territory, mates and shelter. e.g. Blackbirds compete with thrushes for earthworms.
Interdependence Interdependence is when two different types of organism need each other. How do animals depend on plants? Shelter and food, grey squirrels nest in beech trees, rabbits eat grass. How do plants depend on animals? Plants need animals for pollination (bees) and seed dispersal (blackbirds). Video clip Interdependence