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Ch 40: Praxis Middle School Science: Key Aspects of Ecology

About This Chapter

Get a handle on various aspects of ecology before you take the Praxis Middle School Science examination. This chapter includes online video lessons that could serve as tutorials that prepare you to answer relevant test questions.

Praxis Middle School Science - Key Aspects of Ecology - Chapter Summary

The online videos in this chapter are designed to help you build up your knowledge of ecology. Use them to get ready for the Praxis Middle School Science examination. As you watch, you'll re-examine the distinctions between ecosystems and environments, expand your knowledge of habitat fragmentation and review some of the factors that influence life histories. The video lessons might also assist you with:

  • Describing the principles and levels of ecology
  • Understanding the elements, niches, food chains and trophic levels of ecosystems
  • Interpreting the circadian rhythm
  • Understanding the signals that allow animals to communicate
  • Describing the causes of interspecific competition and competitive exclusion
  • Distinguishing between innate and learned behaviors
  • Exploring the benefits and costs of social behavior in animals
  • Discussing the interactions and warfare between prey and predators
  • Examining various symbiotic relationships
  • Identifying methods for determining the density of a population
  • Defining carrying capacity, dispersal and island biogeography

As accomplished lesson instructors explain these and other concepts, you may recall much of what you previously learned about ecology. Utilize the videos so that you can confidently address related questions when taking the Praxis Middle School Science examination. The lessons include text transcripts as well as video tags for navigational purposes. Learn on-the-go, submit your questions to our experts and take the handy self-assessment quizzes.

Praxis Middle School Science - Key Aspects of Ecology Objectives

The key aspects of geology are addressed during the 'Life Science' portion of the Praxis Middle School Science examination. This fourth section of the six-part test consists of 30 questions and adds up to 24% of the examination. This is where you'll showcase your knowledge of ecosystems, energy flow, biomes, carrying capacity and other ecological topics. The computer-delivered examination lasts up to 2.5 hours, and it includes 125 selected-response questions.

14 Lessons in Chapter 40: Praxis Middle School Science: Key Aspects of Ecology
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.

Innate & Learned Behavior

4. Innate & Learned Behavior

We all respond to different situations with some type of behavior. Some of these are innate and others are learned. This lesson will help differentiate between the two.

Social Behavior of Animals

5. Social Behavior of Animals

Why does that squirrel flap its tail when your dog gets close to the tree? Or why are you more willing to donate a kidney to a sibling than a stranger? Learn about these and other behaviors that come along with living in a social group.

Social Systems vs. Individual Fitness: The Queen/Worker Relationship

6. Social Systems vs. Individual Fitness: The Queen/Worker Relationship

The queen bee rules her hive while others take care of her needs. This form of behavior may seem odd, but it can be explained by looking into social systems and fitness.

The Circadian Rhythm

7. The Circadian Rhythm

You wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. But some animals do the opposite: wake at night and sleep during the day. What determines the time of day you're active is your circadian rhythm, an internal clock that keeps daily time for you.

How Animals Communicate: Chemical, Visual & Electrical Signals

8. How Animals Communicate: Chemical, Visual & Electrical Signals

Animals use a variety of different signals to communicate with each other. In this lesson you'll identify the different types of communication signals and the situations in which they might be most useful.

Interspecific Competition, Competitive Exclusion & Niche Differentiation

9. 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

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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.

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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