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Ch 33: Understanding Ecosystems

About This Chapter

The lessons in this chapter will help you brush up on the many facets of Earth's ecosystems. Keep track of your progress through the chapter on your Dashboard.

Understanding Ecosystems - Chapter Summary

The Earth contains many ecosystems and cycles that support its sustainability and balance. In this chapter, our instructors will help you explore these different systems and learn how they can affect homeostasis on Earth. Specifically, you'll examine:

  • Biodiversity
  • Global ecology, ecosystems, habitats and niches
  • Biomes like deserts, tropical rainforests, tundras and more
  • Food chains and trophic levels
  • Biogeochemical and phosphorous cycles
  • Nitrogen and carbon cycles
  • Global warming and glacation
  • Ecological succession including freshwater and terrestrial systems

The lessons have been developed to keep the learning process enjoyable and engaging. Each lesson contains a short video to help illustrate the material. The video's transcript is included as a great resource for taking notes. A self-assessment quiz is available after each lesson for you to apply what you've learned. Take the chapter test after you complete all of the lessons to see how well you've retained the information.

13 Lessons in Chapter 33: Understanding Ecosystems
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs & More

1. Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs & More

Take a trip around the world and learn all about different biomes. Why can you only find certain plants and animals in specific places? What are the most fertile climates on Earth? Watch on to answer these and other questions.

Biomes: Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Grassland, and Coastlines

2. Biomes: Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Grassland, and Coastlines

Take a trip with us in this lesson, starting in the Pacific Ocean, traveling across California through the Central Valley and up to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We'll learn how oceans, elevation, and people can determine which types of biomes are found in different areas and check out the Earth's most massive and oldest organisms.

What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability

3. 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.

Ecosystems, Habitats and Ecological Niches

4. 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

5. 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.

Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem

6. 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.

Biogeochemical Cycling and the Phosphorus Cycle

7. 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.

The Nitrogen Cycle, Acid Rain and Fossil Fuels

8. The Nitrogen Cycle, Acid Rain and Fossil Fuels

Do you know the difference between nitrite and nitrate? Do you have any clue how all the nitrogen in the atmosphere becomes usable? If you can't answer these questions, then you need to watch this lesson on the nitrogen cycle.

The Carbon Cycle and Long-Term Carbon Storage

9. 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

10. 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.

Causes of Glaciation

11. Causes of Glaciation

Glaciation refers to being covered with glaciers. Learn about the theories behind glaciation, including the changing continental positions and the Milankovitch theory, which points to three orbital variations: eccentricity, obliquity and precession, in this lesson.

Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities

12. 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.

Succession in Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecosystems

13. Succession in Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecosystems

The world's many freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems are constantly changing. This lesson will discuss how these ecosystems change over time and how they recover after disturbances occur.

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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