Ch 13: Introduction to Ecosystems

About This Chapter

Watch these video lessons to learn more about ecosystems, from their components to how they function. Each illustrated lesson is accompanied by a self-assessment, which can help to confirm how well you understood this challenging topic.

Introduction to Ecosystems - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

These video lessons provide an introduction to ecosystems. Learn about big-picture concepts, like global ecology, as well as smaller - though no less important - facets of ecosystems, like ecological niches. An experienced instructor will explain biodiversity, long-term carbon storage, and energy flow as they relate to ecosystems. At the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe what ecology and ecosystems are
  • Define biodiversity
  • Discuss food chains, predator/prey interactions, and symbiotic relationships
  • Explain the carbon cycle

Video Objective
The Environment, Levels of Ecology and Ecosystems Define these terms and learn about five levels of ecology: organismal ecology, population ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, and biosphere ecology.
Ecosystems, Habitats, and Ecological Niches Define these concepts, and discuss how they're interrelated.
Global Ecology: Definition and Overview Define the concept of global ecology, and provide examples where global ecology can be applied.
What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability Define biodiversity, and explain its role in ecosystems.
Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem Describe how each of these affects an ecosystem.
The Carbon Cycle and Long-Term Carbon Storage Describe the carbon cycle, and explain the effects of long-term carbon storage.
Fossil Fuels, Greenhouse Gases, and Global Warming Describe the role that fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses play in the phenomenon of global warming.
Predator/Prey Interactions, Camouflage, Mimicry, and Warning Coloration Explain how the techniques of camouflage, mimicry, and warning coloration affect predator/prey interactions.
Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism, and Parasitism Describe three types of symbiotic relationships.

9 Lessons in Chapter 13: Introduction to Ecosystems
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Environment, Levels of Ecology and Ecosystems

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.

Ecosystems, Habitats and Ecological Niches

2. 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.

Global Ecology: Definition and Overview

3. Global Ecology: Definition and Overview

A large oil spill in the middle of the ocean and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere are examples of environmental problems that can influence the entire planet. This lesson will explore the study of environmental problems occurring on a global scale, including the impact of globalization and current major global environmental problems.

What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability

4. 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.

Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem

5. 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.

The Carbon Cycle and Long-Term Carbon Storage

6. 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.

Fossil Fuels, Greenhouse Gases, and Global Warming

7. Fossil Fuels, Greenhouse Gases, and Global Warming

In this video lesson, you'll learn what roles fossil fuels and greenhouse gases play in global warming, as well as what life on Earth can expect due to rising carbon dioxide levels within Earth's atmosphere.

Predator/Prey Interactions, Camouflage, Mimicry & Warning Coloration

8. 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.

Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism & Parasitism

9. 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.

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.
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