Ch 4: Evolving Ecosystems

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons, and learn about the different ecosystems and how they evolve. These brief and engaging video lessons along with the self-assessment quizzes can boost your knowledge of key concepts associated with evolving ecosystems.

Evolving Ecosystems - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Ecosystems are the various communities of living organisms that make up the planet Earth. You are probably familiar with various types of ecosystems, such as rainforests and coral reefs. Such systems are home to various organisms that rely upon the specific characteristics of the ecosystem in which they live. In this chapter, we will take a look at various ecosystems and how they evolve. This evolution occurs to aid in the lives of organisms and to adjust to surrounding changes in the environment. Some of the topics that will be covered in these lessons include:

  • Productivity in biomes
  • Ecological succession
  • The theory of evolution
  • Natural selection
  • Adaptation

Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs & More Explore biomes that include deserts, tropical rainforests, savannas and coral reefs.
Biomes: Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Grassland and Coastlines Examine biomes, such as the tundra, taigas, temperate grasslands and coastlines.
Primary Productivity of Biomes Discover the primary productivity of biomes that support the living organisms that exist within each biome.
Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities Analyze the ecological succession of communities.
Succession in Freshwater and Terrestrial Communities Study succession is freshwater and terrestrial communities.
Theory of Evolution Find out more about the theory of evolution.
Natural Selection and Adaptation Learn about the concepts of natural selection and adaptation.
Types of Natural Selection Discover the various types of natural selection.

8 Lessons in Chapter 4: Evolving Ecosystems
Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs & More

1. Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs & More

Take a trip around the world and learn all about different biomes. Why can you only find certain plants and animals in specific places? What are the most fertile climates on Earth? Watch on to answer these and other questions.

Biomes: Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Grassland, and Coastlines

2. Biomes: Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Grassland, and Coastlines

Take a trip with us in this lesson, starting in the Pacific Ocean, traveling across California through the Central Valley and up to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We'll learn how oceans, elevation, and people can determine which types of biomes are found in different areas and check out the Earth's most massive and oldest organisms.

Primary Productivity of Biomes

3. Primary Productivity of Biomes

Imagine a desert, a rainforest, and a lake. All of these areas are similar in that there are plants growing in them. These areas all vary because the amount of plant production is different based on the type of habitat. This lesson will explore the concept of primary productivity and how it varies by biomes. It will also discuss the most productive biomes and the biomes that produce the least biomass.

Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities

4. Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities

Just as people grow and change so, too, do ecosystems. Watch this lesson to learn about ecological succession from the beginning stages of development to a community's ultimate destination, or climax.

Succession in Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecosystems

5. Succession in Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecosystems

The world's many freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems are constantly changing. This lesson will discuss how these ecosystems change over time and how they recover after disturbances occur.

Theory of Evolution

6. Theory of Evolution

We'll look at the interplay between population genetics and environment. Are traits individually acquired or do entire populations evolve? The flying hamsters and a few other notable experiments will provide the answers.

Natural Selection and Adaptation

7. Natural Selection and Adaptation

How does natural selection help shape the amazing types of animals we witness around us? In this lesson, we'll explore adaptations and what they can tell us about a species' past evolution.

Types of Natural Selection

8. Types of Natural Selection

We'll take a look at the types of natural selection that can occur. From flying hamsters to moths, you'll start to grasp the different paths organisms can take as they respond to their changing environments over time.

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