Ch 16: Ecology Overview

About This Chapter

With this overview of ecology, enhance your understanding of ecosystems, species, ecological success, food chains, and more. These brief lessons are great for individuals who are preparing for an exam or in need of an ecology review.

Ecology Overview - Chapter Summary

In these lessons, you'll learn about ecology, including topics like the components of an ecosystem, physically similar organisms, and the definition of a food web. You'll also review how animals and plants survive in different environments. After completing the chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain what ecosystems, communities, and organismal ecology are
  • Recognize the differences between an environment and an ecosystem
  • Discuss the fact that animals live in habitats
  • Detail the number of organisms that can inhabit an ecosystem
  • Explore the stages and destination of ecological succession
  • Define biotic factor and abiotic factors of an ecosystem
  • Explain food chains, trophic levels, and energy flows in an ecosystem
  • Display knowledge of desert animals, aquatic animals, and plant adaptations

Our subject-matter experts present the information in these short text and video lessons using plenty of examples to ensure the material is easy to understand. For video lessons, the timelines let you easily navigate to specific topics. You can use the Help feature to submit questions to instructors if you get stuck on a topic. A brief multiple-choice quiz is available for each lesson to test your knowledge.

14 Lessons in Chapter 16: Ecology Overview
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Is Ecology? - Definition & Explanation

1. What Is Ecology? - Definition & Explanation

From the largest animals to bacteria invisible to the human eye, the survival of any organism depends on its interaction with the environment. In this lesson you will learn the basics about ecology, the scientific study of these interactions.

What Is an Ecosystem? - Definition & Explanation

2. What Is an Ecosystem? - Definition & Explanation

Similar to a car engine that is made up of multiple parts working together, an ecosystem has interacting parts that support a whole. But how do we define an ecosystem and what are the components they consist of?

The Environment, Levels of Ecology and Ecosystems

3. 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.

Ecosystems, Habitats and Ecological Niches

4. 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.

What is a Species? - Definition & Explanation

5. What is a Species? - Definition & Explanation

In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification. It most commonly refers to a group of physically similar organisms that can exchange genetic information and produce fertile offspring. Learn more in this lesson.

Biotic Potential and Carrying Capacity of a Population

6. Biotic Potential and Carrying Capacity of a Population

When you look around, you can see a number of different individuals and species. In this lesson, we will explore the factors that control and define how many organisms can really inhabit a particular ecosystem or habitat.

Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities

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.

Biotic Factor: Definition & Examples

8. Biotic Factor: Definition & Examples

This lesson focuses on the meaning of the term 'biotic factor.' It also introduces other terminology such as the words 'abiotic' and 'ecosystem'. There are real-world examples embedded in the lesson, and a brief quiz follows.

Abiotic Factors of an Ecosystem: Definition & Examples

9. 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.

Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem

10. 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.

What is a Food Web? - Definition & Explanation

11. What is a Food Web? - Definition & Explanation

This lesson will provide a definition of a food web, as well as describe its parts and discuss examples of different types. It will also explain the transfer of energy through a food web.

Desert Animal Adaptations

12. Desert Animal Adaptations

Desert animals have adapted to living in an extreme environment (with higher temperatures and dryness) through the use of both physical and behavior specializations. Read this lesson to learn how these specializations help them survive.

Aquatic Animal Adaptations

13. Aquatic Animal Adaptations

In this lesson, we'll be reviewing what an adaptation is and looking at examples of adaptations specifically in aquatic animals. We'll cover how aquatic animals use adaptations to regulate salinity, temperature, oxygen levels and locomotion.

Plant Adaptations: Types & Examples

14. Plant Adaptations: Types & Examples

View this lesson and you will see how many unique plants we have in the world. Learn how aquatic plants survive underwater and how desert plants survive in dry conditions.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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.

Support