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Ecology Unit

Ecology Unit

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Ecology Unit

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  1. Ecology Unit

  2. REVIEW – What we’ve covered so far… • What is the organization of ecological study? Organism →Population→Community→Ecosystem→BiomeBiosphere • Abiotic vs. biotic factors • What are they? What’s the difference? • What is the difference between “habitat” and “niche”? • What is symbiosis? • What are the different types?

  3. REVIEW – What we’ve covered so far… • What is succession? • a series of ecological changes in an ecosystem over time • What are the 2 types of succession? • Primary & Secondary • From Pioneer Stage  Climax Community

  4. Primary Succession No previous ecosystem (uninhabited) Soil must be created Pioneer species are the 1st to colonize areas – bacteria, algae, moss, lichen

  5. Secondary Succession An existing ecosystem is disturbed Soil and some organisms may remain Remaining species such as small grasses repopulate first

  6. Climax Community Ecological succession will occur until a climax community is reached. A climax community is when the plant life has reached a stable state

  7. What would this be? • A volcano erupts in the ocean. When the lava cools, a barren rock is made. The rock becomes inhabited by mosses and lichen which over time will produce soil. This is an example of ______________ succession. • PRIMARY • WHY?

  8. Atmosphere: the air blanketing Earth’s solid and liquid surfaces Hydrosphere: all Earth’s water, ice, and water vapor Geosphere: Earth’s surface (continents, rocks, and sea floor) and everything below Earth’s surface Biota: collection of LIVING things in the biosphere (biotic factors) Biosphere: includes biotic and abiotic factors on Earth Biota Geosphere

  9. Biomes • Large regions of ecosystems characterized by similar abiotic conditions and climax communities • Distinctive biomes prevail at certain latitudes and elevations

  10. Plants grow in layers (canopy receives most light) • Soil is so thin and poor in nutrients • high biodiversity and biomass • Found near equator…little variation in temperatures. No distinct seasonal changes. http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/rnfrst_animal_page.htm

  11. Much of the human population lives in this biome • Characterized by an abundance of leaf bearing trees • Distinctive seasons • Trees adapt to varied climate by becoming dormant in winter • Deep soil layers, rich in nutrients

  12. Winters are long and cold • Soil poor in nutrients and very acidic • Growing season is very short • Animals burrow, hibernate, warm coat, insulation, etc

  13. Contain the greatest number of grazing animals on Earth. • Found in the tropics…near equator

  14. High winds • Because of the dry climate, trees are found only near water sources such as streams

  15. Little to no topsoil due to high winds. • Minerals not deep in soil. • Too dry for decay • Plants have spines

  16. Located North of the Arctic Circle • Coldest biome • Permafrost • Plants grow close to the ground • Few predators • Little Competition http://www.runet.edu/~swoodwar/CLASSES/GEOG235/biomes/tundra/tundra.html

  17. Marine or Freshwater?? • Salinity <0.5 ppt. • Sun can reach bottom • Fed by rainfall • Plants are floating algae and plants along shoreline • Animals live in or near water

  18. Fresh and salt water meet…

  19. Let’s take a closer look at climate • There is a difference between climate and weather. • Weather consist of conditions of the atmosphere from the day-to-day • Climate consist of the weather patterns in a region, averaged over a long period of time (Typically 30 years or more)

  20. Climate is affected by… • Amount of incoming solar radiation • Prevailing winds • Ocean currents/circulation • Proximity to oceans and mountains • Elevation

  21. What causes the seasons to change? • Northern end of Earth’s axis tilts toward sun in June and away in December • Difference in tilt causes differences in sunlight intensity and day length • The greater the distance from the equator, the more pronounced the seasonal changes

  22. Human Population Growth and Natural Resources • Approximately how big is the Earth’s population?? • Over 6 BILLION… • Technology has helped to increase Earth’s carrying capacity. • gas-powered farm equipment • medical advancements

  23. Human Population Growth and Natural Resources • The growing human population exerts pressure on Earth’s natural resources. • Nonrenewable resources are used faster than they form. • coal • oil • Renewable resources cannot be used up or can replenish themselves over time. • wind • water • sunlight

  24. Apply the Concept… • Out of the following list of resources, label them as renewable or nonrenewable: • Soil • Coal • Trees • Sun • Water • Natural gas • Wind

  25. Human Population Growth and Natural Resources • An ecological footprint is the amount of land needed to support a person. • The land must produce and maintain enough • food and water • shelter • energy • waste

  26. Human Impact How are humans affecting ecosystems all over the Earth?

  27. Threats to Biodiversity • Introduced Species • is one that is brought to an ecosystem by humans whether accidentally or purposefully. • Habitat Destruction • Habitat Fragmentation • prevents an organism from accessing its entire home range • Habitat Degradation • Air, Water, and Soil Pollution

  28. Invasive Species • Non-native organisms that “move-in” to a particular area • There can be a lack of competitors which leads to exponential growth • Out-compete natives for resources

  29. Loss of Diversity • Threatened Species • Endangered Species • Extinction of Species • Believe it or not….99.9% of all once living species are now extinct! • How big is the problem?

  30. Chemical Pollution Cycle • Pollution added to the environment will cycle & ultimately reach humans: • EX: Chemicals are: • Dumped – land/water  river/lake/ocean • Enter the food chain • Harm the aquatic & terrestrial life • Threaten humans

  31. BIOMAGNIFICATION • A concentration INCREASE in a chemical as it moves up the trophic levels

  32. Let’s talk about 3 other HUGE human impact global problems… • Ozone Layer Depletion • Acid Rain • Global Warming

  33. Humans & The Environment • Ozone (O3) Depletion • O3 forms a “good layer” around the Earth • CFC release is breaking down the protective ozone layer • CFC’s are used in refrigeration equipment • UV rays increase skin cancers & other cell mutations to plants & animals! ●

  34. Humans & The Environment • Acid Precipitation • rain, snow, dew or fog • Created when gases such as nitrogen oxide (NO2) and sulfur oxide (SO2), come from the burning of fossil fuels (coal and oil) • They react in the atmosphere with sunlight to produce acids… • These acids dissolve in water to become acid precipitation

  35. How is Acidity Measured? • Acidity is measured in units called pH. • The pH scale = 0 to 14 • pH 7 indicates neutral • higher pH numbers = base • smaller numbers = acid

  36. carbon dioxide(CO2) methane (CH4) water (H2O) Global Warming = Climate Change • Global warming refers to the trend of increasing global temperatures. • “The Greenhouse Effect” • Greenhouse gases slows the escape of heat from Earth’s surface • Fossil fuels give off lots of CO2 • This builds a blanket around the earth

  37. Conservation • Conservation methods can help protect and restore ecosystems • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops policies and regulations to protect the environment. • Clean Air Act • Clean Water Act • US Endangered Species Act • Made it illegal to harm any species on the endangered OR threatened list • Including changing an ecosystem where the species lived

  38. Conservation • Nature preserves • Protects entire communities/ecosystems