About This Chapter
Who's it for?
This unit of our Middle School Earth Science Homeschool course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about ecology levels and types of ecosystems. There is no faster or easier way to learn about ecology and ecosystems. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about the environment, food chains, biomes, habitat fragmentation, and conservation biology.
- Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
- Homeschool parents who need an Earth science curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
- Gifted students and students with learning differences.
How it works:
- Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
- Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
- Short quizzes and an ecology and ecosystems unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.
Ecology & Ecosystems Unit Objectives
- Learn facts about the environment, ecology, populations, and biosphere.
- Explore food chains.
- Study predators and prey.
- Explore topics in conservation biology.
- Review ways in which ecological balance is affected by invasive and introduced species.
- Understand symbiotic relationships within an ecosystem.
- Study regions with similar ecological and environmental aspects.
- Learn about acid rain and fossil fuels.
- Discover what a carbon cycle is.
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. 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.
3. Predator/Prey Interactions, Camouflage, Mimicry & Warning Coloration
You probably know that skunks can be quite stinky, bees sting and monarch butterflies are pretty, but do you know why? This lesson will introduce you to the reasons why some animals look or act the way they do and how these things relate to the predator/prey relationship.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Conservation Biology, Habitat Fragmentation, and Metapopulations
It's becoming harder to conserve large, unbroken tracts of wilderness. Is there another way for conservation biologists to ensure the survival of a species? In this lesson, you'll learn about habitat fragmentation and metapopulations.
7. 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.
8. 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?
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. The Nitrogen Cycle, Acid Rain and Fossil Fuels
Do you know the difference between nitrite and nitrate? Do you have any clue how all the nitrogen in the atmosphere becomes usable? If you can't answer these questions, then you need to watch this lesson on the nitrogen cycle.
12. 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.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the Middle School Earth Science: Homeschool Curriculum course
- Earth's Structure: Homeschool Curriculum
- Understanding Plate Tectonics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Understanding Earthquakes: Homeschool Curriculum
- Understanding Volcanoes: Homeschool Curriculum
- Rock Deformation & Mountain Building: Homeschool Curriculum
- Shaping the Earth's Surface: Homeschool Curriculum
- Thermal Energy: Homeschool Curriculum
- Energy in the Earth System: Homeschool Curriculum
- Earth's Energy Sources: Homeschool Curriculum
- Earth's Material Resources: Homeschool Curriculum
- Earth Science Research: Homeschool Curriculum