About This Chapter
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. Biogeochemical Cycling and the Phosphorus Cycle
In this 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 macrominerals, trace elements, and the biogeochemical and phosphorous cycles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Other chapters within the GACE Science (524): Practice & Study Guide course
- Basics of Scientific Inquiry
- Historical Developments in Science
- Scientific Data Collection & Manipulation
- Data & Statistics
- Energy Resources
- Science & Technology in Daily Life
- Science & Public Health Issues
- Organization of Matter
- Atoms & Moles
- Energy & Matter
- Chemical Bonding
- The Periodic Table
- Chemical Reactions
- Equilibrium & Common Chemical Reactions
- Dimensions of Motion in Physics
- Newton's Laws in Physics
- Force & Pressure
- Waves, Sound, and Light
- Cell Structure & Function
- Cell Growth & The Process of Cell Division
- Biochemistry of Life
- Evolution: Theories and Principles
- Organism Characteristics
- Introduction to Plant Biology
- Human Anatomy
- Population & The Environment
- Atmospheric Sciences
- Minerals and Rocks
- Weathering and Erosion
- Earth's Spheres and Internal Structure
- Plate Tectonics
- Geologic Time
- Water Balance
- Glaciers, Lakes, Rivers & Other Bodies of Water
- The Atmosphere of Earth
- Weather and Storms
- The Solar System: Layout, Formation & Dating
- The Earth, Sky, and Moon
- The Moon: Formation & Phases
- Origins & Theories of the Universe
- GACE Science Flashcards
- Laboratory Equipment and Procedures