Ecology Essential Questions

9 September 2016

Once the population of finch got to a point where food was scarce and competition was causing many finches to die off, the need to evolve presented itself and one group of finches developed a broader beak for cracking seeds, and the niche of that particular finch changed from eating insects to eating seeds, so it allowed the two finches to coexist in the same ecosystem. 4. The levels of ecological organization are: 1) Organism 2) species 3) population 4) community 5) ecosystem 6) biomes 7) biosphere 5. 1. Competition-Organisms struggle, fight or search for the same basic needs and becomes more intense when basic needs become limited.

Normally, they will compete for shelter, nesting sites, food, sunlight, minerals, and breeding partners. Organisms that are stronger, fitter, and better adapted to environmental changes will be successful and survive. For example: The maize plants competing with weeds for water and minerals. / The owl and the snake competing with each other for food (the rat). 2. Symbiosis-The close relationship between two organisms of different species which live closely together and interact with each other. At least one of the two living organisms benefits from this relationship.

Ecology Essential Questions Essay Example

There are three types of symbiosis: a) Commensalism- A relationship between two organisms in which one partner benefits in which one partner benefits (the commensal) while the other does not receive any benefits or harm (the host). For example: A remora fish is often found attached under a shark, gets free transportation, and feeds on food scraps left by the shark without harming it. b) Mutualism- An interaction between two different species of organisms which benefits both organisms. This relationship helps the organisms to survive in harsh conditions. Neither organism will be able to survive on its own.

For example: An alga and fungus form lichen, The algo produce food and the fungus provides shelter. c) Parasitism- In this relationship, there is a parasite and a host. The parasite benefits from living outside or in the host. The host is harmed or may even be killed by the parasite. For example: Round worms, tapeworms, hook worms and thread worms (parasites) lives inside the intestines of humans (host). 3. Prey-predator relationship- In this relationship, the predator which is normally bigger in size, hunts, kills and feeds on the smaller, hunted animals called prey.

Generally, the predator population is smaller than the prey population. For example: Lions (predators) hunting deer (prey) for food. 6. Level 1: Plants and algae make their own food and are called primary producers. Level 2: Herbivores eat plants and are called primary consumers. Level 3: Carnivores which eat herbivores are called secondary consumers. Level 4: Carnivores which eat other carnivores are called tertiary consumers. Level 5: Apex predators which have no predators are at the top of the food chain. 7. 8.

Water cycle is also called as hydrological cycle: The sun, which drives the water cycle, heats water in oceans and seas. Water evaporates as water vapor into the air. Ice and snow can sublimate directly into water vapor. Evapotranspiration is water transpired from plants and evaporated from the soil. Rising air currents take the vapor up into the atmosphere where cooler temperatures cause it to condense into clouds. Air currents move water vapor around the globe; cloud particles collide, grow, and fall out of the sky as precipitation.

Some precipitation falls as snow or hail, and can accumulate as ice caps and glaciers, which can store frozen water for thousands of years. Snowpack’s can thaw and melt, and the melted water flows over land as snowmelt. Most water falls back into the oceans or onto land as rain, where the water flows over the ground as surface runoff. A portion of runoff enters rivers in valleys in the landscape, with stream flow moving water towards the oceans. Runoff and groundwater are stored as freshwater in lakes. Not all runoff flows into rivers, much of it soaks into the ground as infiltration.

Some water infiltrates deep into the ground and replenishes aquifers, which store freshwater for long periods of time. Some infiltration stays close to the land surface and can seep back into surface-water bodies (and the ocean) as groundwater discharge. Some groundwater finds openings in the land surface and comes out as freshwater springs. Over time, the water returns to the ocean, where our water cycle started. The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, exosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth.

It is one of the most important cycles of the earth and allows for the most abundant element to be recycled and reused throughout the biosphere and all of its organisms Carbon exists in the Earth’s atmosphere primarily as the gas carbon dioxide (CO2). Although it is a small percentage of the atmosphere (approximately 0. 04% on a molar basis), it plays a vital role in supporting life. Other gases containing carbon in the atmosphere are methane and chlorofluorocarbons (the latter is entirely anthropogenic).

Trees convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates during photosynthesis, releasing oxygen in the process. This process is most prolific in relatively new forests where tree growth is still rapid. The effect is strongest in deciduous forests during spring leafing out. This is visible as an annual signal in the Keeling curve of measured CO2 concentration. Northern hemisphere spring predominates, as there is far more land in temperate latitudes in that hemisphere than in the southern. The Nitrogen cycle: The nitrogen cycle is the process by which nitrogen is converted between its various chemical forms.

This transformation can be carried out via both biological and non-biological processes. Important processes in the nitrogen cycle include fixation, mineralization, nitrification, and DE nitrification. Nitrogen (N) is an essential component of DNA, RNA, and proteins, the building blocks of life. All organisms require nitrogen to live and grow. Although the majority of the air we breathe is N2, most of the nitrogen in the atmosphere is unavailable for use by organisms. This is because the strong triple bond between the N atoms in N2 molecules makes it relatively inert.

In fact, in order for plants and animals to be able to use nitrogen, N2 gas must first be converted to more a chemically available form such as ammonium (NH4+), nitrate (NO3-), or organic nitrogen (e. g. urea – (NH3)2CO). The inert nature of N2 means that biologically available nitrogen is often in short supply in natural ecosystems, limiting plant growth and biomass accumulation. Phosphorous cycle: Phosphorus enters the environment from rocks or deposits laid down on the earth many years ago. The phosphate rock is commercially available form is called apatite.

Other deposits may be from fossilized bone or bird droppings called guano. Weathering and erosion of rocks gradually releases phosphorus as phosphate ions which are soluble in water. Land plants need phosphate as a fertilizer or nutrient. 9. Food — the population can only grow to the point that the quantity of food that is available can sustain it. Space — the population can only grow within the constraints that it has. Predation — the population can only grow to the degree that predation will allow it, in fact, it could be wiped out. 10.

Primary succession occurs on land that is new and has never had a flora and fauna example: glacier retreats, lava flows. Secondary succession occurs on land that has been cleared example: by fire, of flora and fauna, but which still has viable seeds and spores in the soil. 11. Terrestrial biomes is related with land ecosystem like forests, deserts, tundra etc. while aquatic biomes is related with water which can be freshwater or marine ecosystems. 12. At least 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are derived from biological resources.

In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change. 14. Biological evolution is change in the characteristics of living organisms over generations. Evolutionary theory argues that all the organisms alive on earth today share a common ancestor. As unlikely as it sounds, life forms from spiders to spider monkeys belong to the same family tree. Even fungus merits an invitation to the family reunion.

A simple way to think of evolution is “descent with modification” — over many generations, organisms change into something different. 15. Natural selection is the gradual, non-random process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution. The term “natural selection” was popularized by Charles Darwin who intended it to be compared with artificial selection, which is now called selective breeding. 19. There are 6 Kingdoms today: Plantae, Animal, Protista, Fungi, Archie, bacteria, Eubacteria.

The Kingdom that the organism is assigned to is based on: Its cell type (complex or simple) its ability to make food or not. The number of cells in the body 20. Date| Time Started to Time Finished| EQ Researched| What Did You Learn| Source Used| 5-10-13| 6:00pm| Ecology| Abiotic and biotic components influence each other. For instance, temperature (abiotic factor) can make plants (biotic factor) reproduce more or reproduce less. Also water, an abiotic factor, has an effect on how animals, a biotic factor, survive in certain areas of the world. | Google. com|

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