About This Chapter
Ecology & Ecosystems Overview - Chapter Summary
From components of an ecosystem to ecological pyramids, this chapter provides a review of everything you'll need to know about ecology. You will familiarize yourself with terms, processes and factors relating to ecological functions and systems.
Topics you can find information about include food chains, predator/prey relationships, organism adaptations, biodiversity and populations. Once you are finished with your study of this chapter, you should be able to:
- Differentiate between an environment and an ecosystem
- Define biodiversity
- Explain flora and fauna in the context of ecosystems
- Relate the types and uses of microbes
- Describe how organisms adapt to environmental changes
- Detail how two species with similar food needs live in the same spaces
- Discuss the relationship between predator and prey
- Note the effects of symbiotic relationship on specific species
- Recognize the role of food chains in an ecosystem
- List types of ecological pyramids
- State how populations are determined in a given ecosystem
Complex topics are made simple to understand by expert instructors who use definitions, illustrations and examples to support their presentations. You can access lessons 24/7 from any device and even print lesson transcripts so you always have a reference tool on hand. Take self-assessment quizzes to determine the level of your knowledge of any subject and use your Dashboard to track your progress through this chapter.
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. What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability
Imagine making a list of all of the species you have ever heard of; it would be an enormous list! There are many different species on this planet. This lesson will explore the diversity of species, as well as the different types of diversity and how diversity of life is essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems.
3. Flora & Fauna: Definition & Examples
In this lesson, we'll explain what flora and fauna are. We'll be looking at some examples from different habitats around the earth and how different adaptations allow them to survive.
4. What Are Microbes? - Definition, Types & Uses
Microbes are the tiny microorganisms that inhabit the world with us, around us, and even in us. Learn more about how these microscopic beings affect our lives.
5. Environmental Changes & Adaptation in Organisms
In this lesson, we will discuss what happens when an organism is forced to deal with environmental changes. You will learn what adaptation is and how organisms benefit from it.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Three Types of Ecological Pyramids: Number, Biomass, & Energy
This lesson is on ecological pyramids. In this lesson, we'll go over what a ecological pyramid based on numbers, biomass, and energy looks like and give examples of each.
11. Populations: Density, Survivorship and Life Histories
Have you ever wondered how biologists determine the populations of animals in a particular geographic area? Watch this video lesson to find out, and discover how scientists look at the survivorship and life histories of many different species.
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