About This Chapter
Ecology Overview - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Ecology is the study of relationship among living organisms and their environments, from the tiniest bacteria to weather systems that span continents. In this chapter, our instructors explain the ways scientists view the world from an ecological perspective. You'll look at how species react to changes in their environments and the kind of relationships animals create among themselves. You'll see how ecologists make calculations about certain populations and what these numbers can tell us. This chapter will help you understand the following AP Biology exam areas:
- Defining the environment, levels of ecology and ecosystems
- Describing food chains and energy flows
- Explaining interspecific competition
- Describing symbiotic relationships
- Understanding invasive species
- Exploring biogeochemical cycling
- Diagraming the carbon cycle
- Understanding the human impact on the environment
- Defining nitrogenous wastes
1. The Environment, Levels of Ecology and Ecosystems
Do you know the difference between an environment and an ecosystem? In this lesson, you'll find out what makes an environment, and what makes an ecosystem. You'll also learn what ecology is and some of the ways that scientists study ecology using organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems and even the entire biosphere.
2. Ecosystems, Habitats and Ecological Niches
Check out this video lesson to understand the many complex aspects of an ecosystem. See how animals live in habitats and survive amongst their surroundings.
3. Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem
In this lesson, you'll learn about food chains, food webs, and the different roles that organisms play in an ecosystem. You'll also learn about how energy flows through an ecosystem.
4. Interspecific Competition, Competitive Exclusion & Niche Differentiation
What happens when two similar species that consume the same resources occupy the same space? Interspecific competition, that's what! Watch our video lesson to learn about the outcomes of this ecological battle.
5. Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism & Parasitism
If your cat or dog has ever had fleas, you've witnessed symbiosis in action. In this lesson, learn the many types of symbiosis in biology, and how these relationships can have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on the individual species.
6. How Introduced and Invasive Species Alter Ecological Balance
What happens to your block when a new neighbor moves in? Something changes, right? Now think about that on an ecological scale: what happens to an environment when a new SPECIES moves in?
7. Biogeochemical Cycling and the Phosphorus Cycle
In this video lesson, we'll take a look at how elements large and small use other elements to grow. This is achieved through cycles. We'll look at macronutrients, trace elements and the biogeochemical and phosphorous cycles.
8. Nitrogenous Wastes: Definition, Forms & Interrelationships
The natural processes of creating energy always result in some sort of wasteful byproduct. In this lesson we are going to look at how organisms produce and dispose of nitrogenous wastes and see how this relates to those organisms' evolutionary history.
9. The Carbon Cycle and Long-Term Carbon Storage
All living organisms have a role in the carbon cycle. Do you know you understand how humans, animals and plants use carbon? This lesson will introduce you to the carbon cycle and explain how it functions on a global scale.
10. Human Impacts on the Environment
The human population continues to grow, but the size of Earth and the resources available for our use are limited. Humans greatly impact the world around them, and our actions can and often do have dramatic and long-lasting consequences.
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Other chapters within the AP Biology: Exam Prep course
- Scientific Principles
- AP Biology: The Origin of Life on Earth
- AP Biology: Evolution Overview
- AP Biology: Inorganic Chemistry Review
- AP Biology: Organic Chemistry Review
- AP Biology: Enzymatic Biochemistry
- AP Biology: Cell Biology
- AP Biology: Requirements of Biological Systems
- AP Biology: Cell Division
- AP Biology: Metabolic Biochemistry
- AP Biology: DNA and RNA Overview
- AP Biology: DNA Replication
- AP Biology: The Transcription and Translation Process
- AP Biology: Genetics and Heredity
- AP Biology: Genetic Mutations
- AP Biology: Phylogeny and the Classification of Organisms
- AP Biology: Plant Biology
- AP Biology: Plant Reproduction and Growth
- AP Biology: Animal Reproduction and Development
- AP Biology: Anatomy and Physiology of Reproductive Systems
- AP Biology: The Circulatory, Respiratory, and Excretory Systems
- AP Biology: The Nervous, Immune, and Endocrine Systems
- AP Biology: Animal Behavior
- AP Biology: Basic Molecular Biology Laboratory Techniques
- AP Biology: Analyzing Scientific Data
- AP Biology: Laboratory
- AP Biology Exam Information
- AP Biology Flashcards