About This Chapter
Ecological Systems and the Environment - Chapter Summary
Use this mobile friendly chapter to study information about ecological systems and the environment. You will find fun and brief video and text lessons. Once you have completed them, take the short multiple-choice quizzes to find out the amount of information you remember. The subjects covered by this chapter include the following:
- Definition of the environment and ecosystems
- Ecosystems and habitats
- Food chains and the way energy flows within an ecosystem
- Definition of an energy pyramid
- Function of microorganisms
- Types of biomes like the desert, coral reefs, tundra, and coastlines
- Explanation of biogeochemical cycling
- Processes of the nitrogen cycle and carbon cycle
Work at your own pace through the short lessons. You may contact your instructors with any questions you have while moving through the chapter by using the Help tab. All quizzes can be taken offline by printing out the worksheets and answers.
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. What is an Energy Pyramid? - Definition & Examples
When organisms eat other organisms, energy is transferred. An energy pyramid can be used to diagram this flow of metabolic energy. Here we will examine the definition of an energy pyramid, look at some examples, and finish with a brief quiz.
5. Ecological Role of Microorganisms
What are microorganisms? And why are they an important part of ecosystems? Learn about the role of microorganisms both inside large organisms like humans, and in the ecosystem as a whole.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
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