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Ch 20: Understanding Basics of Ecology

About This Chapter

Get reacquainted with the basics of ecology as you prepare for at test by utilizing the study resources in this self-paced chapter. Explore entertaining lessons and take accompanying quizzes to quickly boost your knowledge and strengthen your ability to excel on the test.

Understanding Basics of Ecology - Chapter Summary

This self-paced chapter makes studying the basics of ecology simple! By reviewing bite-sized lessons, you can improve your understanding of symbiotic relationships, biodiversity, population ecology, ecosystems, biotic factors, the biogeochemical cycle and much more. After completing this chapter, you will be able to do the following with ease:

  • Define abiotic factors of an ecosystem
  • Describe the density, survivorship and life histories of various animal populations
  • Exhibit knowledge of carrying capacity, migration and dispersion among species
  • Discuss competitive exclusion, interspecific competition and niche differentiation
  • Provide facts about predator/prey camouflage, interactions, mimicry and warning coloration
  • Share details about trophic levels, food chains and energy flow in an ecosystem
  • Explain the effects of deforestation and desertification on biological diversity
  • Discuss the impact of humans on the environment and how ecological conservation can help

If you have a busy schedule, don't let that deter you from studying the lessons in this chapter. Accessible anytime via any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection, you can study the basics of ecology whenever and wherever your schedule permits. To speed up your studying process, get a quick gauge of your knowledge of specific lessons before reviewing them by taking their multiple-choice quizzes. Our practice exam can ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the entire chapter.

14 Lessons in Chapter 20: Understanding Basics of Ecology
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Is an Ecosystem? - Definition & Explanation

1. 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?

Biotic Factor: Definition & Examples

2. 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

3. 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.

Population Ecology: Definition, Theory & Model

4. Population Ecology: Definition, Theory & Model

In this lesson, learn how population ecologists study populations and their interactions with their environment. You will learn about the various terms and models they use to describe and understand this complex field of study.

Populations: Density, Survivorship and Life Histories

5. 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

6. 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.

Interspecific Competition, Competitive Exclusion & Niche Differentiation

7. 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

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.

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 the Biogeochemical Cycle? - Definition & Explanation

11. What is the Biogeochemical Cycle? - Definition & Explanation

Did you know that all elements are recycled over and over again on Earth? In this lesson, we'll learn about the biogeochemical cycle and explore the cycle of phosphorus as an example. Test your new knowledge at the end with a quiz.

What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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.

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

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