About This Chapter
Ecology & Ecosystems - Chapter Summary
This chapter on ecosystems and ecology will help middle school students review topics covered in their earth science class. The lessons will cover topics like ecological succession, biomes, the nitrogen cycle, food chains and more! Our expert instructors make learning easy and fun with short video lessons. Use the personal dashboard feature to measure progress through the chapter, and test your child's comprehension of the material with practice quizzes and a chapter exam.
Chapter Lessons and Objectives
|The Environment, Levels of Ecology and Ecosystems||Explore ecosystems, the environment and the different levels of ecology.|
|Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem||Look at the main features of an ecosystem.|
|Predator/Prey Interactions, Camouflage, Mimicry & Warning Coloration||Explore some of the ways that animals catch prey and evade predators.|
|Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism & Parasitism||Discover how different species form relationships with each other.|
|Carrying Capacity, Migration & Dispersion||Learn about population growth and movement.|
|Conservation Biology, Habitat Fragmentation and Metapopulations||Discuss ways to conserve animal habitats and metapopulations.|
|Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities||Describe the process of ecological succession.|
|How Introduced and Invasive Species Alter Ecological Balance||Demonstrate the effects of non-native species on an ecosystem.|
|Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs & More||Learn about some of the different types of warmer biomes.|
|Biomes: Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Grassland, and Coastlines||Discuss the major features of colder climate biomes.|
|The Nitrogen Cycle, Acid Rain and Fossil Fuels||Explore fossil fuel resources, acid rain and the nitrogen cycle.|
|The Carbon Cycle and Long-Term Carbon Storage||Examine long-term carbon storage and the carbon cycle.|
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.
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Other chapters within the Earth Science: Middle School course
- Earth's Spheres & Structure
- Understanding Plate Tectonics
- Understanding Earthquakes
- Understanding Volcanoes
- Rock Deformation & Mountain Building
- Shaping the Earth's Surface
- Thermal Energy
- Energy in the Earth System
- Earth's Energy Resources
- Earth's Material Resources
- Earth Science Investigation & Experimentation