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Hewitt/Lyons/Suchocki/Yeh

Conceptual Integrated Science


Chapter 21 ECOSYSTEMS AND ENVIRONMENT

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This lecture will help you understand:


Organisms and Their Environment Species Interactions Science and Society: Species Interactions Science and Society: Invasive Species Energy Flow in Ecosystems Integrated Science: Materials Cycling Kinds of Ecosystems Change in an Ecosystem Population Studies Human Population Growth

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Organisms and Their Environment


Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with their environments. The environment includes abiotic (nonliving) and biotic (living) components. We study ecology at many levels, including the individual, population, community, and ecosystem.
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Organisms and Their Environment CHECK YOUR NEIGHBOR

Prairie dogs living in Nebraska represent: A. A species B. A population C. A community

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Organisms and Their Environment CHECK YOUR ANSWER

Prairie dogs living in Nebraska represent:


A. A species B. A population C. A community

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Species Interactions
Food chains and food webs describe which species eat which other species. These feeding levelscalled trophic levelsinclude producers and consumers.

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Species Interactions
Other types of species interactions include: Competitionspecies compete when their niches overlap. Symbiosisspecies may live in close association with one another. A symbiotic relationship may involve parasitism, commensalism, or mutualism.

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Science and Society: Species Interactions


Studies show that diverse communities are more stable and more productive. More species means greater redundancy in a community. Diverse communities might be more productive because different species use resources in different ways. It is harder for new species to successfully invade a diverse habitat.
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Science and Society: Invasive Species


Invasive species are species that are introduced from their native habitat into a new habitat and that proceed to thrive there. This results in harm to native species. Invasive species: Usually are unintentionally introduced (at least these days) May out-compete or devour native species

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Energy Flow in Ecosystems


All organisms need energy in order to grow, reproduce, and perform the activities necessary for survival. The amount of organic matter in an ecosystem is its biomass. The rate at which an ecosystems producers build biomass is the ecosystems primary productivity.

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Energy Flow in Ecosystems


On average, only about 10 percent of the energy at one trophic level becomes available to the next level. The other 90 percent is: Uneaten organisms Heat lost to the environment Feces Maintenance

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Integrated Science: Energy Leaks Where Trophic Levels Meet


Moving energy from one trophic level to another involves a long series of chemical reactions. Because every chemical reaction involves some energy loss to the environment, we see why so much energy leaks from one trophic level to the next.

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Kinds of Ecosystems
There are terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Terrestrial ecosystems are called biomes.

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Kinds of Ecosystems
There are eight biomes on Earth: Tropical forests Temperate forests Coniferous forests Tundra Savannas Temperate grasslands Chaparral Deserts

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Kinds of Ecosystems CHECK YOUR NEIGHBOR

True or false? Deserts are not always located in a band around 30 degrees north latitude and 30 degrees south latitude. Explain your answer to your neighbor.

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Kinds of Ecosystems CHECK YOUR ANSWER

True. Deserts are defined by the low level of precipitation they receive. Some deserts, including the continent of Antarctica, are located far from the equator. Like all deserts, Antarctica receives very little precipitation. When it falls, it is in the form of snow.

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Kinds of Ecosystems
Aquatic ecosystems include freshwater and saltwater environments as well as estuaries where freshwater and saltwater meet.

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Kinds of Ecosystems
All lakes and ponds can be divided into three zones: The littoral zoneclose to the water surface and to shore, relatively warm because of its exposure to sunlight. The limnetic zoneclose to the water surface but far from shore, occupied largely by plankton, organisms that float in the water rather than swim actively. The profundal zonedeep water habitats in ponds and lakes. Most organisms in the profundal zone consume organic debris that drifts down from above.

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Kinds of Ecosystems
Species that live in the flowing waters of rivers and streams usually have adaptations that allow them to keep from being washed away: hooks, suckers, strong swimming ability. Algae often occupy the base of the food chain in river and stream habitats.
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Kinds of Ecosystems
Estuaries are habitats where freshwater rivers join oceans. Estuarine plants, such as certain seaweeds, marsh grasses, and mangroves, have adaptations that allow them to deal with changing salinity conditions.

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Kinds of Ecosystems
Ocean habitats are divided by either the depth in the water column or proximity to shore. Many species are found in the pelagic zoneeither in the photic zone close to the water surface or the deeper aphotic zone, which receives little sunlight and is much more limited in food availability and biodiversity. The vast majority of marine species are found not in the pelagic zone but in the benthic zone on the ocean bottom.

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Kinds of Ecosystems
The intertidal zone: closest to shore, periodically underwater and exposed to air as the tide moves in and out. Many species, including certain barnacles, sea anemones, starfish, and other species, are specialized for life in the intertidal zone. The neritic zone: underwater marine habitats near the coasts, such as coral reefs. The neritic zone contains high levels of nutrients that have washed into the water from land. Farther out is the deeper oceanic zone.
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Integrated Science: Materials Cycling


Many substances on Earth travel through a continuous cycle from living organisms to the abiotic environment and backthese are biogeochemical cycles. Three of these cycles involve water, carbon, and nitrogen.

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Integrated Science: Materials Cycling


The water cycle: Water evaporates from the oceans into the atmosphere. Water is moved around the atmosphere by winds. Water precipitates as rain or snow over ocean or land. Water moves into the biotic world when it is absorbed or swallowed by organisms. Some of this water then passes up the food chain. The rest is returned to the abiotic environment in a variety of ways, including through animal respiration, perspiration, excretion, and elimination, and evaporation from plant tissue.
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Integrated Science: Materials Cycling


The carbon cycle: Most of the inorganic carbon on earth exists as carbon dioxide and is found either in the atmosphere or dissolved in ocean waters. Plants and other producers convert carbon dioxide to glucose during photosynthesis. Carbon is returned to the environment by living organisms as carbon dioxide, a product of cellular respiration. Because atmospheric carbon dioxide traps heat on the planet, this has resulted in global warming.

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Integrated Science: Materials Cycling


The nitrogen cycle: Nitrogen is found primarily as nitrogen gas, the dominant component of the Earths atmosphere. In order for living organisms to make use of nitrogen, it has to be converted into usable form. Living organisms rely on bacteria to accomplish this transformation. Nitrogen is converted to ammonium by nitrogen-fixing bacteria in soil, and then to nitrates by nitrifying bacteria. Nitrogen returns to the abiotic environment when it is converted back to nitrogen gas by denitrifying bacteria.
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Change in an Ecosystem
Ecological succession describes how the species composition of an ecosystem changes after a disturbance. Ecological succession is sometimes divided into two types, primary succession and secondary succession.

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Change in an Ecosystem
Primary succession: the colonization of bare land devoid of soil; may occur when new land is formed by volcanic activity or when a glaciers retreat reveals bare rock. Early colonizers of new habitat, known as pioneer species, must survive with few nutrients and little existing organic matter, cope with direct sunlight, and survive the variable temperatures that result from lack of cover.

Pioneer species are often succeeded by grasses, shrubs, and finally, trees.
Ecological succession culminates in a climax community. During the process of succession, the total biomass of the ecosystem typically increases, as does the number of species.

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Change in an Ecosystem

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Change in an Ecosystem
Secondary succession occurs when a disturbance destroys existing life in a habitat, but leaves soil intact. Examples: fires, abandonment of old farmland Because soil is already present, secondary succession proceeds more quickly than does primary succession.

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Change in an Ecosystem
Intermediate disturbance hypothesis Regular disturbances, if not too extreme, actually contribute to biodiversity because different species make use of different habitats, and periodic disturbances guarantee that there will always be habitat at varying stages of recovery.

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Population Studies

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Population Studies CHECK YOUR NEIGHBOR

A population is a group of individuals belonging to a single species that occupies a certain area. What are some populations in your area? Discuss with your neighbor.

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Population Studies
Population size over time depends on four variablesbirth rate, death rate, the rate of immigration into the population, and the rate of emigration out of the population.

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Population Studies
Exponential growth occurs when a population grows at a rate that is proportional to its size.

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Population Studies
Logistic growth occurs when population growth slows as it reaches the habitats carrying capacity, the maximum number of individuals or maximum population density the habitat can support.

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Population Studies
Organisms have different life history strategies. r-selected organisms produce a lot of offspring and invest little in each offspring. For example, they provide little parental care. Few of the offspring reach adulthood. K-selected organisms produce a few offspring and provide a great deal of investment in each. For example, they provide a lot of parental care. Most of their offspring reach adulthood. Of course, these are two extremes along a continuum.

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Population Studies

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Human Population Growth

Human population is currently about 6.5 billion.


Although world population continues to grow rapidly, the rate of growth has slowed, so that growth is no longer exponential. Scientists now believe that if present trends continue, the global human population will peak at around 10 billion soon after 2050.
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Human Population Growth


Some human populations have undergone a demographic transition, a shift from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates. Usually, death rate decreases first, due to medical and public health advances. Later, birth rate also declines. During the period between the fall in death rate and the fall in birth rate, the combination of low death rate and high birth rate causes the population to grow very rapidly.

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Human Population Growth


A pyramid-shaped age structure diagram, such as that of Kenya, is a sign of a rapidly growing population. Most of the population is young and therefore at or approaching reproductive age.

The United States has an age structure that is much more evenits population is growing slowly.
In Italy, much of the population is older, and there are relatively few children. Italys population is stable or even declining.

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Human Population Growth

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Human Population Growth


AIDS has affected world population more than any other disease since the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages. AIDS strikes primarily adults of reproductive age. Some of the countries struck hardest by AIDS, including Botswana and South Africa, are expected to experience population declines as a result of the disease.
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