Ecology

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Earth Science
Ecology
Group 11
Objectives:
* To define Ecology
* To differentiate abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystem. * To identify the different types of ecosystem.
* To know the different elemental cycles
* To understand the importance of the natural habitat and the effects of migration. * To know have an overview of what is food chain and food web * To differentiate renewable from non-renewable resources * To know what is population, migration and their components * To have knowledge on the endemic species and endemism

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house"; -λογία, "study of"[A]) is the scientific study of the relationships that living organisms have with each other and with their natural environment. Topics of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount (biomass), number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems. Ecosystems are composed of dynamically interacting parts including organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. These processes are sustained by the biodiversity within them. Biodiversity refers to the varieties of species in ecosystems, the genetic variations they contain, and the processes that are functionally enriched by the diversity of ecological interactions. Components

* Biotic - meaning of or related to life, are living factors. Plants, animals, fungi, protist and bacteria are all biotic or living factors. * Abiotic - meaning not alive, are nonliving factors that affect living organisms. Environmental factors such habitat (pond, lake, ocean, desert, mountain) or weather such as temperature, cloud cover, rain, snow, hurricanes, etc. are abiotic factors. Different Types of Ecosystems

* Natural Ecosystem - may be terrestrial (means Desert, Forest, Meadow etc.) and Aquatic like pond, river, lake etc. A natural ecosystem is a biological environment that is found in nature (e.g. a forest) rather than created or altered by man (a farm). * Artificial Ecosystem - Humans have modified some ecosystems for their own benefits and these are Artificial Ecosystem. They can be terrestrial (crop field, garden etc.) or aquatic (aquarium, dam, manmade pond etc.). * Aquatic ecosystem- is an ecosystem in a body of water. Communities of organisms that are dependent on each other and on their environment live in aquatic ecosystems. The two main types of aquatic ecosystems are marine ecosystems and freshwater ecosystems. * Marine ecosystems are among the largest of Earth's aquatic ecosystems. They include oceans salt marsh and intertidal ecology, estuaries and lagoons, mangroves and coral reefs, the deep sea and the sea floor. They can be contrasted with freshwater ecosystems, which have a lower salt content. Marine waters cover two-thirds of the surface of the Earth. Such places are considered ecosystems because the plant life supports the animal life and vice-versa. * Freshwater ecosystems include lakes and ponds, rivers, streams and springs, and wetlands. They can be contrasted with marine ecosystems, which have a larger salt content. Freshwater habitats can be classified by different factors, including temperature, light penetration, and vegetation. * Lentic - slow-moving water, including pools, ponds, and lakes. * Lotic - rapidly moving water, for example streams and rivers. * Wetlands - areas where the soil is saturated or inundated for at least part of the time. * Terrestrial Ecosystem - is an ecosystem found only on a landform. Four primary terrestrial ecosystems exist: tundra, taiga, temperate deciduous forest, and grassland. * A community of organisms and their environment that occurs on the land masses of continents and islands. Terrestrial ecosystems are distinguished from aquatic ecosystems by the lower availability of water and the consequent importance of water as a limiting factor. Terrestrial...
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