About This Chapter
Introduction to Ecology - Chapter Summary
This comprehensive introduction is designed to help you better understand the basics of ecology. Review the lessons anytime from your smartphone, tablet or computer to learn more about ecosystems, food chains, mutualism and other ecology concepts. With each lesson is a short quiz you can use to test your comprehension of the topics you review. Upon completion of this chapter, you will have a good grasp of the following:
- What are ecosystems, ecology levels and the environment
- What are tropic levels, food chains and an ecosystem's energy flow
- How niche differentiation, competitive exclusion and interspecific competition work
- Why mutualism, parasitism and other symbiotic relationships are important
- What are metapopulations, habitat fragmentation and conservation biology
- How ecological succession functions
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. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
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Other chapters within the Science 101: Intro to Natural Sciences course
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- Introduction to Thermodynamics
- Cell Biology Fundamentals
- Introduction to Molecular Biology
- Introduction to Biochemistry
- Cellular Reproduction Processes
- Molecular Genetics Overview
- Plant Anatomy, Physiology & Processes
- Animal Reproduction, Growth and Development
- Animal Anatomy, Physiology & Functions
- Human Anatomy & Physiology
- Environmental Science Fundamentals
- Basics of Evolution
- The Origin and History of Life On Earth
- Phylogeny and the Classification of Organisms
- Studying for Science 101