Unit 2 The Biosphere Ecological Organization in the
Unit 2 The Biosphere Ecological Organization in the Biosphere Intro to Ecological Organization The Biosphere the layer of life on earth from the deepest ocean vent to the upper reaches of the atmosphere, the zone where life can survive. Ecology - combines the Greek words oikos,
meaning house or the place where one lives with logos meaning the study of The study of interactions among organisms and their environment Levels of Ecological Organization Levels of Organization Individual Organism - a single individual of a
specific species Population - all the members of the same species living in the same habitat Community - a collection of all the populations of many different species in a certain area at a certain point in time Levels of Organization Ecosystem - The relationship between living
and non-living components of a biological community Biome - many ecosystems in the same region that share the same climate and dominant ecosystems Biosphere the earth's crust, waters, and atmosphere that supports life Levels of Ecological Organization
Ecological Methods Observing Experimenting Modeling Observing Observing the first step to asking ecological
questions From basic observations of what species live in an area, to more complex observations of behaviour and interactions between individuals and between species Helps to inspire and design experiments and models. Experimenting
Experimenting required to test hypotheses Lab studies: set up artificial environments in the laboratory, allows more control of conditions Field studies: experiments conducted in the natural ecosystem, harder to control but more valid Modeling Modeling models can help us to understand
ecological phenomena Particularly useful for process that happen over long time periods or large spatial scales Models are used to study complex issues such as the impact of climate change on ecosystems Consist of mathematical formulas based on data collected through observation and experimentation Predictions made by models are then tested by additional observation and experimentation
Quick History of Life on Earth Take your own brief notes during this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjE-Pkjp3 u4&index=1&list=PL8dPuuaLjXtNdTKZkV_GiIY XpV9w4WxbX (13:30) Energy Flow in the Biosphere
Autotrophs organisms that can make their own food from basic nutrients and sunlight or some other non-living source. Also called Producers. Auto means self, and troph comes from Greek word meaning feeder. Therefore autotroph means self-feeder Two Types of Autotrophs
Energy from the Sun most producers harness solar energy through the process of photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria use light energy to power chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into energy-rich carbohydrates such as starches and sugars, plus oxygen as a by-product.
Two Types of Autotrophs Life without Light some autotrophs can produce food in the absence of light, using chemical energy instead, through a process called chemosynthesis. They break down chemicals such as hydrogen sulphide to produce carbohydrates. Several types of bacteria can perform chemosynthesis, and many of them live in remote places such as thermal vents on the bottom of the ocean, and in extreme
environments such as the hot springs at Yellowstone National Park. Energy Flows in the Biosphere Heterotrophs consumers at any level that cannot make their own food, and therefore must obtain their food and energy by consuming autotrophs or other heterotrophs. Also called consumers
(Hetero means different or other so heterotroph = feeds on others) Primary Consumer Primary Consumer (herbivore): an organism that eats primary producers. Example: grasshopper Secondary Consumer
Secondary consumer : an organism that eats primary consumers. Example: a warbler, which eats grasshoppers Tertiary Consumer Tertiary consumer: an organism that eats secondary consumers. Example: peregrine falcon, which eats smaller birds like warblers
Herbivore A herbivore is an organism that only eats producers. Examples: deer, mice, some small birds, squirrels Carnivores and Omnivores
A carnivore is an organism that eats other animals. Examples: wolves, coyotes, lions, tuna, sharks A omnivore is an organism that eats both
plants and animals. Bears are good examples of omnivores Eat fish and other small animals, as well as berries Can you think of another familiar omnivore?
HUMANS! Carnivores and Omnivores Scavengers and Decomposer A scavenger is an animal that feeds off dead or decaying animals but does not kill them
Scavengers are also sometimes called detritivores because they feed on detritus, or dead plant and animals matter. Examples: Vultures, hyenas, earthworms, snails, and crabs A decomposer is an organism that breaks down complex organic molecules into simpler molecules. This returns nutrients to the soil.
Examples: fungi and bacteria Scavengers Decomposers Trophic Level Trophic Level a category of living things defined by how it gains energy.
-The trophic levels are numbered based on the number of steps they are away from the energy source First Trophic Level: Producers (autotrophs) Second Trophic Level: Primary Consumers (eat producers) Third Trophic Level: Secondary Consumers (eat primary consumers) Fourth Trophic Level: Tertiary Consumers (eat secondary consumers)
Example Food Chain: Sun Role in Food Chain
grass mouse snake Producer Primary Consumer 1 2
falcon Tertiary Consumer Trophic Level Steps from the Sun
3 4 Example Food Chain: Sun
Role in Food Chain Trophic Level Steps from the Sun
Food Chains food chains are a way of showing a one way, step-by-step, sequence of who eats whom in an ecosystem. we use arrows to show energy flow thats why the arrow always points to the higher trophic level Sun producer primary consumer secondary consumer tertiary consumer
Food Webs food chains are unlikely to include all the organisms in a natural ecosystem each individual organism in an ecosystem is involved in many food chains the chains all interlock to form a feeding relationship called a food web
Interactive food web creator: http://www.vtaide.com/png/foodwebS.htm The Role of Producers Food webs always begin with autotrophs photosynthetic or chemosynthetic organisms at the first trophic level (ie. plants) These processes ultimately provide the energy required by the entire ecosystem.
Using the Energy All organisms (including plants) undergo cellular respiration in order to use the energy in their food. Equation for Cellular Respiration: glucose + oxygen carbon dioxide + water + energy Homework Read Pages 62-73 in your text
Answer questions 1-3 on pg 65, and 1-3 on pg 73 Limits on Energy Transfer Every time energy is transferred between the components of an ecosystem, the amount of energy available to the next trophic level is reduced. Not all of the energy captured in photosynthesis is available to the animal that eats the plant because the plant used most of that energy to carry out its life
processes Primary consumers do not digest all of a plant meal, some is lost in the feces. Of the remaining energy, some is lost as thermal energy from the chemical transformations of digestion and through cellular respiration and the animals activity. The 10% Rule Only 10% of the energy plants receive is stored,
and therefore is passed on to the primary consumers Only 10% of the energy that primary consumers receive is stored and passed on to Secondary consumers the farther up the food chain, the less energy that is available this usually limits the number of trophic levels in a food chain to about 5
Thermodynamics Thermodynamics is the study of energy transformations First Law of Thermodynamics: although energy can be changed from one form to another, it cannot be created or destroyed. Second Law of Thermodynamics: during any energy transformation, some of the energy is
converted into an unusable form, (usually thermal energy) that cannot be passed on. Human Use of Energy Humans are dependent on the energy flow through ecosystems just like all other living things. We are part of many food chains at different levels, dependent on what we are eating. Think about it: Are we more efficient when we eat
Herbivores or Omnivores? Why? like We also used the energy for fuel for heat or electricity (example: burning wood) Humans have permanently changed many ecosystems in order to grow and hunt food.
Scientific Models of Energy Scientists often construct models to help them understand how living things work. Models are theoretical descriptions or analogies that help us visualize something that has not been directly observed. They provide a pathway for making predictions.
Ecological Pyramids Ecological pyramids graphs used to represent energy flow in food chains and food webs or the populations of organisms in a food chain. allow ecologists to visualize the relationships in an ecosystem and compare them. NOTE: graphs of natural ecosystems may or may not look like a pyramid!
Pyramid of Numbers A Pyramid of Numbers can be drawn by
counting the number of organisms at each trophic level in an ecosystem. As you move up the trophic levels, the number of organisms decreases. That is why there is a ratio of about 100000 grasshoppers to every 2 falcons. However something strange can happen with the number of producers
Pyramids of Numbers 1 large producer can support many smaller consumers Pyramid of Biomass Biomass is the total dry mass of all the living material in an ecosystem. Since organisms store energy as organic
molecules, biomass is a measure of stored energy, as well as the size of organisms at each level. Biomass Pyramid Numbers and Biomass Pyramid of Energy
A Pyramid of Energy is created by measuring and graphing the amount of energy available at each trophic level. It allows a better understanding of the relationships and energy flow at each trophic level. It is the most realistic of the ecological pyramids. Large mass and the energy demands of hunting limits the number of consumers that can be supported at the top of the pyramid.
Crash Course Video Links in the Chain: https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6ubvEJ3KGM&li st=PL8dPuuaLjXtNdTKZkV_GiIYXpV9w4WxbX (10 min) Ecological Pyramids Worksheet
Read the short summary article, and complete this worksheet for your logbook. Matter Cycling While energy flows through the biosphere in one direction, eventually leaving it as thermal energy, matter is recycled within and between ecosystems. The biogeochemical cycles connect the biological, geological, and chemical aspects of the biosphere as
elements and compounds are passed between organisms and from one part of the biosphere to another. Matter is not used up in biological systems, it is just transferred from one form to another. Example: A single atom of carbon, for example, can start out in a molecule of carbon dioxide, become
incorporated into a plant via photosynthesis, the plant is then eaten by a herbivore, and within a few hours will be expelled as waste. This waste could be eaten by a scavenging insect, which is eaten by a small mammal, which is eaten by a predatory bird, and then exhaled back into the air as carbon dioxide again. Matter Cycling
In the same way, some of the molecules of water that you drink today were almost certainly consumed by a dinosaur millions of years ago, and have cycled through the water cycle countless times since then. Water Cycle Energy, mostly from the sun, causes water to evaporate (changing from liquid to gas), or ice
to sublimate (changing directly from solid to gas) to become water vapour in the air. Transpiration also occurs, which is evaporation of water from the leaves of plants. Water Cycle As the gaseous water rises and the pressure and temperature of the atmosphere decrease,
the water vapour condenses (changes from gas to liquid), into fog, mist and clouds. If the temperature is low enough, water vapour may form ice crystals by deposition (changing directly from gas to solid). Precipitation of some kind (rain, hail or snow) then falls to the ground. Water Cycle
Once water is on the ground it can either run along the surface of the ground as surface runoff to accumulate in streams, rivers, lakes, and the oceans (surface water); or it can seep down through the soil into underground reservoirs of water called aquifers to become ground water. Nutrient Cycles
The chemical substances that an organism needs to sustain life are called nutrients. Producers obtain nutrients in simple forms from their environments. Consumers obtain nutrients by eating other organisms. All organisms use these nutrients to build tissues and carry out essential life functions. The carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles are particularly important for ecosystems.
Nitrogen Cycle Nitrogen Cycle the cycle of matter in which nitrogen atoms move from nitrogen gas in the atmosphere, to inorganic forms in the soil, to organic forms in living things, and then back to inorganic forms in the soil and nitrogen gas in the atmosphere.
Why Nitrogen? Nitrogen is required for cells to make proteins and DNA Although nitrogen gas in abundant in the atmosphere (79%), in order to be useful to plants, nitrogen must be in the form of a nitrate ion (NO3-). plants also require nitrates to make chlorophyll. When lacking nitrates, leaves will not be a rich
dark green colour. Not enough Nitrogen? Nitrogen Fixation Nitrogen fixation two processes in which atmospheric or dissolved nitrogen is converted into nitrate ions. lightning
nitrogen-fixing bacteria, found in legumes Denitrification Denitrification the process in which nitrates are converted to nitrites and then to nitrogen gas which is released back into the atmosphere. carried out by bacteria that do not need oxygen (anaerobic) speeds up when soil is acidic or water-logged
As a result, gardeners often aerate their lawns to increase oxygen levels and allow nitrates to remain in the soil. Nitrates can also enter ecosystems through the application of synthetic fertilizers, which contain nitrates. Nitrogen Cycle
Phosphorus Cycle Phosphorus is essential to living things because it is required for DNA and RNA, which make up the genetic code. While it is very important biologically, it is still quite rare in the biosphere. Unlike water, carbon, and nitrogen, phosphorus is never found in the atmosphere. Instead, when it is not in the bodies of organisms, it is found on land in
rocks and in soil minerals, and also in ocean sediments. It is usually found in the form of inorganic phosphate. Phosphorus Cycle As phosphate-containing rocks wear down (weather) slowly over time, the phosphate is released into the soil, where it can be taken up by plants and bound into organic compounds.
This allows it to enter the food web, moving from producers to consumers, and back to the soil through decomposition. Phosphorus Cycle Some of the phosphate in the soil may be washed into streams and rivers, and eventually carried to the ocean. There it can be used by marine food webs; while some
phosphate is also deposited on the ocean floor as sediments, which may eventually turn back into rock. Phosphorus Cycle Another way that phosphorus is added to the biosphere is through human action. Synthetic fertilizers contain phosphates, so fertilizer use adds additional phosphates to the soil. Runoff
of these fertilizers, especially when over-used, adds additional phosphate to aquatic ecosystems. Carbon Cycle There are four main types of processes that move carbon through the cycle. Biological Processes: photosynthesis removes carbon from the atmosphere, while cellular
respiration and decomposition release carbon back into the atmosphere Geochemical Processes: erosion and volcanic activity release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and oceans. Carbon Cycle Mixed biogeochemical processes: the burial and decomposition of dead organisms and
their conversion under pressure into coal and petroleum (fossil fuels) this stores carbon underground Human activities: mining, cutting and burning forests and burning fossil fuels, all release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere Summary of Carbon Cycle Carbon is found in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide gas
(as well as in other gases such as methane). Plants take in carbon dioxide and use carbon to build carbohydrates through photosynthesis. The carbohydrates are passed through food webs to consumers (some of the carbon being exhaled as carbon dioxide during their lifetimes) and eventually to decomposers. When organic matter decomposes, the carbon can either be released into the atmosphere, or buried underground where over time it can be converted
into fossil fuels. Summary of Carbon Cycle Carbon is also found in the oceans in the form of calcium carbonate, which is formed by some marine organisms, and this chalky substance accumulates in ocean sediments, which over time are either compacted into rock, or broken down and the carbon returned
to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Human Impacts We release carbon from organic reservoirs (carbon sinks) by burning fossil fuels We also increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by clearing vegetation
The Greenhouse Effect 1. Greenhouse Effect atmospheric gases that surround the Earth (such as carbon dioxide and methane) trap the heat from the sun and warm the Earths surface. Global Warming 2. Global Warming the burning of wood and fossil fuels have caused carbon dioxide levels
to triple over the past 40 years. In that time global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celcius. Global Warming Problems from Global Warming In the Arctic permafrost will thaw, causing roads & buildings to collapse (releases more
carbon) Icecaps and glaciers will melt, rivers will overflow, and ocean levels will rise causing cities to flood or be submerged, and some island nations to disappear completely. This will create many climate refugees. Problems from Global Warming Changing sea levels will also change ocean and
wind currents, leading to surprising changes in climates around the world (cooling in Europe due to the Gulf Stream disappearing) Changing climates will drastically change ecosystems plants and animals will need to shift their habitat ranges to new areas to survive. Global Warming Problems
Many extreme weather events will become more frequent, severe, and unpredictable. Nutrient Limitation Ecologists are often interested in the primary productivity of an ecosystem, which is the rate at which producers create organic matter. One factor that influences the rate of primary productivity is the amount of available
essential nutrients. When an ecosystem is limited by a single nutrient which is rare or which cycles very slowly, this substance is called a limiting nutrient. Human Response Since the very first use of agriculture, farmers have found that crops grown in the same plot of land every year start to suffer from nitrogen
deficiency. Corn and tomatoes in particular use up nitrogen (and phosphorus) very rapidly. One way to address this problem is to use crop rotation. Crop Rotation Crop Rotation The practice of growing a series of different types of crops in the same area in sequential seasons in order to replenish soil
nutrients such as nitrogen. Crop rotation has been used since 6000 BCE by early farmers in the Fertile Crescent, when they alternated planting legumes (with their nitrogen-fixing bacteria) and their other crops. The Romans also used goat, sheep, cattle, and other dung as a natural fertilizer Synthetic Fertilizers
The numbers on a bag of fertilizer tells you the Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium content. These three nutrients help to boost the productivity of the land by helping plants to grow larger and more quickly than they would in
unfertilized land. Synthetic Fertilizers In 1784 Henry Cavendish found a way to synthetically fix atmospheric nitrogen into nitric acid, and the more modern Haber process to make ammonia was developed in the 1910s. Since then we have been able to create our
own sources of nitrogen for plants, without the need for the bacteria found in legumes. Fertilizers Use of some type of fertilizer (natural or synthetic) can increase yields by 30-50% Synthetic fertilizers have become very important and are often over-used to try to raise crop yields even higher
Water Pollution Ocean ecosystems are considered to be very nutrient-poor when compared to the land. For instance, seawater contains about 1/10 000 the amount of nitrogen that is typically found in soil, so nitrogen is usually a limiting nutrient in the ocean. In some regions of the oceans, other nutrients such as silica or iron may be the key limiting nutrient. In
freshwater ecosystems such as streams, rivers and lakes, phosphorus is typically the limiting nutrient. Water Pollution When an aquatic ecosystem receives a large doses of a limiting nutrient (usually nitrogen or phosphorus runoff from a heavily fertilized field), there is often an immediate increase in the amount of algae and other producers. This
is called an algal bloom. Algal Blooms and Dead Zones If there are not enough consumers around to eat the excess algae quickly, then the algae can cover the surface of the water for a large area. This can cause major disruption to the ecosystem. When this algae dies and starts to decompose, the decomposers quickly use up the available oxygen, and this produces a dead
zone (an area of water where the oxygen levels are too low for most organisms to survive). Dead zones can become quite large and last for long periods of time for example the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Nitrogen Article Read this article about human impacts on the Nitrogen Cycle, and highlight important points. This will go in your logbook
Weekend Homework Textbook Pages: Read pages 74-80, answer questions 1-4 on pg 80 Finish that Ecological Pyramids worksheet for your logbook Read that Nitrogen article and highlight it Work on your Article Analysis
Well have a Notebook Quiz on Chapter 3 on Tuesday. For Review: Cycles Review Videos: Water & Carbon Cycles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D7hZpIYlCA Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycles:
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