Ch 31: NYSTCE Biology: Ecological Principles & Processes

About This Chapter

Use these video lessons and self-assessment quizzes to brush up on your knowledge of various ecological topics. You will be tested on these topics in one of the subareas of the Biology Content Specialist Test (CST) of NYSTCE.

NYSTCE Biology: Ecological Principles & Processes - Chapter Summary

The lessons in this chapter are designed to help you develop a deeper understanding of ecosystems, environmental processes, and ecological concepts. Specific principles and processes are defined and elaborated on, allowing you to enhance your knowledge of these topics before the NYSTCE Biology exam. The lessons will focus on the following:

  • Defining ecology and identifying various types of interactions within ecosystems
  • Discussing types of ecosystems and their inhabitants
  • Describing the characteristics of prey and predator
  • Defining biodiversity, deforestation, mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism
  • Understanding population density, colonization food chains and carrying capacity
  • Detailing ecological conservation and the human impact on the environment
  • Summarizing factors that affect ecological balance
  • Finding out about renewable and non-renewable resources

The videos and quizzes provide study of topics you are likely to encounter in the Biology CST. The material is presented in a short and engaging way, while the quizzes allow you to see what you have retained and what you might need to review further.

NYSTCE Biology: Ecological Principles & Processes - Chapter Objectives

The Biology CST of the NYSTCE (New York State Teacher Certification Examinations) is used to assess your proficiency in biological topics and to measure your readiness in teaching this subject. You will be tested on such topics as life processes, genetics, and cell biology. The Ecological Principles & Processes chapter is designed to prepare you to answer questions in the ecology subarea, which accounts for 12% of the entire test. The test is comprised of 90 multiple-choice questions and one written assignment and is entirely computer-based.

NYSTCE are teacher certification exams pursued by both beginning and established teachers. In addition to content area tests, exams are given in areas of literacy skills, communication skills, performance, liberal arts and sciences, performance, and pedagogical knowledge at various teaching levels.

19 Lessons in Chapter 31: NYSTCE Biology: Ecological Principles & Processes
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.

Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem

3. 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.

Interspecific Competition, Competitive Exclusion & Niche Differentiation

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.

Predator/Prey Interactions, Camouflage, Mimicry & Warning Coloration

5. 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

6. 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.

Populations: Density, Survivorship and Life Histories

7. 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.

Carrying Capacity, Migration & Dispersion

8. 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.

Dispersal, Colonization, and Island Biogeography

9. Dispersal, Colonization, and Island Biogeography

Have you ever gone in your backyard and discovered a wild raspberry bush that has never been there before? How did it get there? Why is there only one bush year after year? In this lesson, you'll study how plant and animal species colonize in new areas through dispersal and immigration and how some species thrive in a new area while others fail.

What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability

10. 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.

Deforestation, Desertification & Declining Biological Diversity

11. Deforestation, Desertification & Declining Biological Diversity

When trees are lost due to deforestation, the result can be a drier climate and desertification or the transformation of the once fertile land to desert. Learn how deforestation and desertification can lead to a decline in biological diversity.

Human Environmental Impact & Ecological Conservation

12. Human Environmental Impact & Ecological Conservation

The Earth has only so much space for us and our non-human neighbors. In this lesson, we will learn about how humans impact the environment, what causes habitat fragmentation, and what ecological conservation can do to help.

Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities

13. 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.

How Introduced and Invasive Species Alter Ecological Balance

14. 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?

Overview of the Earth's Biomes

15. Overview of the Earth's Biomes

Biomes are defined both climatically and geographically as areas with similar factors, such as plants and animals, soil quality, and growing seasons. In this lesson, we'll learn about the five major categories of the Earth's biomes.

Biogeochemical Cycling and the Phosphorus Cycle

16. Biogeochemical Cycling and the Phosphorus Cycle

In this video lesson, we'll take a look at how elements large and small use other elements to grow. This is achieved through cycles. We'll look at macronutrients, trace elements and the biogeochemical and phosphorous cycles.

Cycles of Matter: The Nitrogen Cycle and the Carbon Cycle

17. Cycles of Matter: The Nitrogen Cycle and the Carbon Cycle

Matter is constantly cycled between living and nonliving parts of the environment. Processes like photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation allow the carbon and nitrogen cycles to regenerate needed substances by recycling Earth's atoms.

Renewable & Non-Renewable Resources: Definition & Differences

18. Renewable & Non-Renewable Resources: Definition & Differences

We use a variety of Earth's resources, but not all of them will be around forever. This lesson explains the difference between resources that can be regenerated for our use and those that are gone after they are used once.

Fossil Fuels, Greenhouse Gases, and Global Warming

19. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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