Ecology

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ECOLOGY - interactions among organisms:

ECOLOGY - interactions among organisms

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BIOSPHERE : Life supporting zone where the 3 zones meet, interact & make life possible Lithosphere, hydrosphere & atmosphere are non-living components of the environment and are called ABIOTIC .

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BIOTIC or living components include plants, fungi, animals and microbes living on earth . 10120 Constant interaction between the abiotic & biotic components of the biosphere results in the transfer of food and energy, making it a stable and dynamic SYSTEM .

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Ecosystems is a complex interaction of living and nonliving processes e.g. as small as a puddle or as huge as the Earth. A habitat is the physical place where a plant or animal (population) lives. It must supply the needs of organisms, such as food, water, temperature, oxygen, and minerals. A population is a group of living organisms of the same kind living in the same place at the same time. All of the populations in the same habitat interact and form a community . The community of living things interacts with the non-living world around it to form the ecosystem . A niche is the role and position of an organism (species) in the community. No two species can occupy exactly the same niche. Habitats that have similar climate and plants are called biomes .

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Living things cannot exist alone, there must be a relationship between them. Living things are adapted to the environment where they live. Ecology is the study of how living things interact with each other and with their environment.

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The environment consists of non-living ( abiotic ) part and living ( biotic ) part. Ecosystem consists of a community of living organisms interacting with each other and their environment to form a self-sustaining unit.

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Light Affects many living organisms, not just plants Temperature Affects physiological activities of all living organisms Water Essential for life Organisms may have specially adapted features for survival in places with a lot of or very little water.

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Oxygen Most organisms are aerobes Salinity Important factor for aquatic organisms Also a factor for other organisms pH May be influenced by photosynthetic activity of aquatic plants (freshwater)

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Biotic Factors Mutualism Each population benefits. The interaction is necessary for the survival and growth of each species +/+ 1. Symbiosis a long-term relationship between two different species “ living together ” . The relationship varies in population, can be mutualism , commensalism & parasitism

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Commensalism One population benefits; the other is unaffected +/0 Parasitism One population benefits (parasite) while the other is harmed (host). The interaction is necessary for the survival of the parasite. +/- Biotic Factors

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2. Competition Both population compete with each other for limited resources in the same ecosystem; both species are adversely affected by the relationship. Interspecific (between two species) or intraspecific (same species) competition -/- 3. Predation One population feeds on the other. The interaction is necessary for the survival of the predator +/- Biotic Factors

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Food Chain a series of organisms through which energy is transferred in material form. carbon compounds move through the food chains Producers Primary consumers Secondary consumers Tertiary consumers Each feeding level in the chain is called a trophic level

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All the energy in an ecosystem comes from the SUN

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Role in Food Chain

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The study of food chain helps in understanding of food relationships and interactions among various organisms in an ecosystem. By studying food chain, we can follow the basic mechanism of transfer of food energy and nutrients through various components of nature. Food chain help us understand the movement of toxic substances in an ecosystem and the problems of their biological transfer of food along with toxins substances.

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energy flows in one-direction (non-cyclical) and it is either utilised or lost into the surroundings but cannot be recycled. Non-cyclical Nature of Energy Flow in Biological Systems

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What happens to the light that falls onto a leaf?

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Producer Pasture area (1m 2 ) 1% of energy incorporated in photosynthesis 20 000kJ Primary consumer 10% of energy incorporated in new tissues of herbivore 2 000kJ Secondary consumer 10% of energy incorporated in new tissues of carnivore 200kJ Incident ray 100% Heat energy Urine and faeces Heat energy Urine and faeces 90% lost 90% lost 90% lost Autotrophs Heterotrophs

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Unidirectional flow of energy The amount of available energy in a food web decreases with each successive level. Food consumed = growth + respiration + heat + egesta+ excreta Only about 10% of the energy is stored as new tissues and is available for transfer to next feeding level. 90% of the energy is lost because some food may not be eaten , or passes through the body without being digested and a lot of the energy is used in respiration .

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The total mass of living organisms that can be supported at each higher level also decreases. The shorter the food chain, the greater is the available food energy.

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Herbivores, eat plants Carnivores, eat herbivores Top carnivores, eat carnivores Detrivores , feed on dead & decaying material

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Decomposers are detrivores that recycle organic matter back to inorganic nutrients (carbon, nitrates) in ecosystems. E.g. fungi, bacteria Detritus feeder acquire nutrients from dead animals/ plants or animal waste products. E.g. certain beetles, earthworm, termites, bacteria, fungi Detrivores

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Cycling of Nutrients in an Ecosystem

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Ecological Pyramids

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Ecological Pyramids Pyramids of numbers - indicate the relative numbers of individuals at each level Eg. Producers 1 0 consumers 2 0 consumers Grass Rabbits Foxes Ladybirds Aphids Oak

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Pyramids of biomass -the dry mass of all the organisms at each trophic level may be estimated. Eg. Producer Oak Tree 1 0 consumers Aphids 2 0 consumers Ladybirds

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Pyramids of energy -the total energy utilized at each trophic level. 87 110 gross production producers to herbivores herbivores to carnivores carnivores to top carnivores 14 098 1 603 88 energy flow in kJm -2 yr -1

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CARBON CYCLE CO2 in air Protoplasm of plants photosynthesis AIR SOIL eaten Protoplasm of animals death death Dead organisms Feaces Humus fossilization Organic fuel (coal, petroleum, natural gas) respiration putrefying bacteria putrefying bacteria combustion

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atmospheric CO 2 is 0.03% (main source) important component of all living organisms only plants can take in CO 2 & convert it to organic compounds carbon compounds move through the food chains CO 2 is returned to the atmosphere through respiration decay activities also release CO 2 carbon may be trapped in limestone and fossil fuels CARBON CYCLE

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Enrichment NITROGEN CYCLE

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Water Bodies Soil Animals Plants Clouds ABIOTIC CYCLE BIOTIC CYCLE transpiration, decay, respiration excretion, decay, respiration Vapour rises evaporation condensation, precipitation WATER CYCLE