Ch 32: Basics of Ecology

About This Chapter

Use this comprehensive study resource to review the basics of ecology. These fun and simple science lessons go over important ecology topics, including ecosystems, animal social behavior and ecological niches.

Basics of Ecology - Chapter Summary

This collection of science lessons provides an overview of fundamental topics in the study of ecology. You'll review the levels of ecology and explore concepts such as population dynamics, carrying capacity, animal mating systems and biological succession. The chapter's expert instructors help you differentiate between the Earth's biomes and understand the different cycles of matter. Upon completion of this chapter, you'll be able to:

  • Explain the levels of ecology, ecosystems and the environment
  • Understand concepts related to population dynamics in ecology
  • Define ecology concepts such as carrying capacity, migration and dispersion
  • Analyze animal mating systems, mate choice, sexual selection and male competition
  • Describe the social behavior of animals
  • Identify types of community ecology
  • Recognize the importance of ecological niches and species diversity
  • Know what succession in biology is
  • List and describe the Earth's biomes
  • Contextualize food chains, trophic levels and energy flow in an ecosystem
  • Summarize the nitrogen cycle and carbon cycle
  • Assess an ecosystem's abiotic factors

Studying this chapter helps you review basic ecology concepts quickly and efficiently. You'll find that our expert instructors present each lesson in an engaging and straightforward manner that simplifies the learning process and makes it more enjoyable.. Self-assessment quizzes are available so you can test your understanding of the material, and you can print the lesson transcripts to help you review key ecology definitions and concepts offline.

13 Lessons in Chapter 32: Basics of Ecology
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Environment, Levels of Ecology and Ecosystems

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.

Population Dynamics in Ecology: Definition & Concepts

2. Population Dynamics in Ecology: Definition & Concepts

In this lesson, we look at how population is an ecological concept just as it is a sociological one. We will look at wildlife populations by comparing them to human social actions and define key concepts for understanding population from an ecological perspective.

Carrying Capacity, Migration & Dispersion

3. Carrying Capacity, Migration & Dispersion

Have you ever wondered why some types of birds fly south in the winter or why some animals form territories? Watch this video to learn about a species' maximum growth capabilities, the way its members group themselves and why they might migrate to new locations every year.

Animal Mating Systems, Mate Choice, Sexual Selection & Male Competition

4. Animal Mating Systems, Mate Choice, Sexual Selection & Male Competition

Choosing a mate is the single most important thing that most animals will do for the continuation of their species. In this lesson, we look at what goes into mate selection, as well as how that biology may influence who we fall for.

Social Behavior of Animals

5. Social Behavior of Animals

Why does that squirrel flap its tail when your dog gets close to the tree? Or why are you more willing to donate a kidney to a sibling than a stranger? Learn about these and other behaviors that come along with living in a social group.

Community Ecology: Definition & Types

6. Community Ecology: Definition & Types

Community ecology looks at the interactions between populations of organisms. Here we explore a polar ecosystem in Greenland to describe what community ecology entails and what it really means to be at the top of the food chain.

Ecological Niche: Definition & Importance

7. Ecological Niche: Definition & Importance

Most people want to feel like they belong and have an important role in society. This is also true in a biological aspect. In this lesson, we will learn about ecological niches as well as the roles of organisms and the various aspects of their lives.

What Is Succession in Biology? - Definition & Examples

8. What Is Succession in Biology? - Definition & Examples

This lesson covers succession in biology. You'll learn the difference between primary and secondary succession and look at some specific examples of succession in different ecosystems.

What is Species Diversity? - Definition, Importance & Examples

9. What is Species Diversity? - Definition, Importance & Examples

Have you ever wondered how many species live on Earth? Earth is full of amazing creatures. In this lesson, you will learn about the importance of species diversity. At the end, test your knowledge with a quiz.

Overview of the Earth's Biomes

10. Overview of the Earth's Biomes

Biomes are defined both climatically and geographically as areas with similar factors, such as plants and animals, soil quality, and growing seasons. In this lesson, we'll learn about the five major categories of the Earth's biomes.

Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem

11. 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.

Cycles of Matter: The Nitrogen Cycle and the Carbon Cycle

12. Cycles of Matter: The Nitrogen Cycle and the Carbon Cycle

Matter is constantly cycled between living and nonliving parts of the environment. Processes like photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation allow the carbon and nitrogen cycles to regenerate needed substances by recycling Earth's atoms.

Abiotic Factors of an Ecosystem: Definition & Examples

13. Abiotic Factors of an Ecosystem: Definition & Examples

When it comes to ecosystems, a mountain, a river, and a cloud have more in common than you might think. Abiotic factors have specific and important roles in nature because they help shape and define ecosystems.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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