AP Biology Summer Assignment
Chapter 50.1: An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere
Ecology is the scientific study of how organisms interact with the environment. When studying Ecology scientists want to know, where organisms live, why they live there, and how many are there. Ecology and environmental biology both stem from Darwin’s interest and observations upon the distribution of organisms and how they adapted to their specific environment. Darwin concluded that the environment interacting with populations could cause evolutionary change. We now know that small changes in the ecological framework can cause changes long down the road. Environments always have both abiotic and biotic components. Abiotic are non-living components and biotic are things that are alive. All organisms in an environment are referred to as “biota”. Subfields of Ecology include, Organismal Ecology, Population Ecology, Community Ecology, Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Ecology. Organismal Ecology is the study of how and organism’s physical being confronts environmental problems. A population is a group or population of alike species all living together in one area or environment. A community is all sorts of organisms all living together in a specific environment. Community ecology concerns the entire spectra of the species in a community. An Ecosystem is all abiotic factors along with the community of species in an area. 50.2: Interactions between organisms and the environment limit the distribution of species
Dispersal is when individuals move away from highly populated areas to less populated areas, like diffusion in chemistry. In an attempt to witness the rare act of dispersal, ecologists will normally just do experimental studies rather than trying to watch in nature. Sometimes species are even transplanted into environments, often times not familiar. In order to determine whether a transplant was successful scientists must observe that that species was prosperous and reproduced along with surviving. The actual range of species would actually be lower than potential range if transplants were successful. People question if behavior affects the likeliness of distribution. Some individuals have habitat selection behavior which sometimes will stray them from an environment that may seem suitable for them. When a transplant is not successful it is often blamed on the inhabitants of that environment. However when the population of a species in a community is low it can be tough to reproduce at the time of transplant. When it all comes together, predators will always limit the preys distribution. Abiotic factors are native to where they are considering they are not living and just a part of the ecosystem which was placed there to help with all other organisms well being. Temperature affects an organism in a number of ways. An organisms internal temperature is based on the external temperature which reacts as heat exchange to the organism. Mammals, being endotherms are exceptions but still rely on external environmental temperatures to survive. Water can dramatically affect an ecosystem. Depending on water levels organisms must adapt to it and can change. This applies for sunlight and wind too. All can cause organisms to adapt. Rocks and soil are physical structures needed for survival. Earth’s global climate patterns depend on solar energy and the planets astronomical movement. Location can contribute to the livelihood of a community too. Abiotic factors such as mountains influence species distribution. Microclimates are small climates particular to an environment.
50.3: Abiotic and biotic factors influence the structure and dynamics of aquatic biomes.
The different types of earth’s ecological associations of land or water are called Biomes. Aquatic biomes are the main biome on earth, occupying more than 75 percent of the world’s surface. For the most part marine biomes contain salt. Oceans are the largest of the marine...
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