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. This chapter will help you understand the following exam areas:
- Explaining how populations interact with their ecosystems
- Understanding what happens when ecosystems are disrupted
- Exploring the cycles of important elements throughout an ecosystem
- Identifying the different ecosystems that exist on earth
In this chapter, our instructors will 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.
|The Environment, Levels of Ecology, and Ecosystems||Learn the difference between an environment and an ecosystem as defined by the scientists who study them.|
|Ecosystems, Habitats, and Ecological Niches||Understand the terms used to talk about the role and living space of animals within ecosystems.|
|Food Chains, Trophic Levels, and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem||Explore how to classify animals in an ecosystem by their place on the food chain or what they eat.|
|Interspecific Competition, Competitive Exclusion, and Niche Differentiation||See what happens when species in the same area are competing for resources.|
|The 10 Percent Rule||Examine the process of energy transfer along the food chain and what is lost in normal conditions.|
|Predator/Prey Interactions, Camouflage, Mimicry, and Warning Coloration||Take a look at some of the ways that animals attempt to fend off predators or attract prey.|
|Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism, and Parasitism||Learn the different ways that animals can live together long-term.|
|Populations: Density, Survivorship, and Life Histories||Understand the ways that scientists study and graph populations within a geographic area.|
|Carrying Capacity, Migration, and Dispersion||Explore how populations move and grow due to environmental factors.|
|Dispersal, Colonization, and Island Biogeography||See how species can expand their territory or why they remain limited in an environment.|
|Conservation Biology, Habitat Fragmentation, and Metapopulations||Examine the effect that humans have had on wildlife and what they have done to help.|
|Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities||Take a look at how ecosystems grow and change to reach their ultimate destination.|
|How Introduced and Invasive Species Alter the Ecological Balance||Learn how new species can disrupt an existing ecosystem.|
|Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs, and More||Understand the classification of these different environments around the world.|
|Biomes: Tundra, Taiga, Temperature Grassland, and Coastlines||Explore these biomes, including their weather, organisms, and geography.|
|Biogeochemical Cycling and the Phosphorus Cycle||See how elements and molecules cycle through life forms on the earth.|
|The Nitrogen Cycle, Acid Rain, and Fossil Fuels||Examine the important nitrogen cycle and how it affects life on Earth.|
|The Carbon Cycle and Long-Term Carbon Storage||Take a look at the essential element carbon as it travels through life forms on our planet.|
|Fossil Fuels, Greenhouse Gases, and Global Warming||Learn about these adverse affects to our planet.|
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
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