Ecology Essential Questions

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  • Topic: Plant, Water, Water cycle
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Ecology EQ’s
2. Abiotic and biotic components influence each other. For instance, temperature (abiotic factor) can make plants (biotic factor) reproduce more or reproduce less. Also water, an abiotic factor, has an effect on how animals, a biotic factor, survive in certain areas of the world. 3. Because a different niche allows multiple species of organisms to coexist. If all organisms had the same niche, then there would be heavy competition for food, shelter, etc. Having different niches gives each species a specific role in the habitat, all of which are tied into the food web, population control, and many other aspects of the ecosystem that most people overlook. The Galapagos finches are a perfect example of this. The many different (14) species of finches on the Galapagos Islands all evolved from one common ancestor. Once the population of finch got to a point where food was scarce and competition was causing many finches to die off, the need to evolve presented itself and one group of finches developed a broader beak for cracking seeds, and the niche of that particular finch changed from eating insects to eating seeds, so it allowed the two finches to coexist in the same ecosystem. 4. The levels of ecological organization are:

1) Organism 2) species 3) population 4) community 5) ecosystem 6) biomes 7) biosphere 5. 1. Competition-Organisms struggle, fight or search for the same basic needs and becomes more intense when basic needs become limited. Normally, they will compete for shelter, nesting sites, food, sunlight, minerals, and breeding partners. Organisms that are stronger, fitter, and better adapted to environmental changes will be successful and survive. For example: The maize plants competing with weeds for water and minerals. / The owl and the snake competing with each other for food (the rat). 2. Symbiosis-The close relationship between two organisms of different species which live closely together and interact with each other. At least one of the two living organisms benefits from this relationship. There are three types of symbiosis: a) Commensalism- A relationship between two organisms in which one partner benefits in which one partner benefits (the commensal) while the other does not receive any benefits or harm (the host). For example: A remora fish is often found attached under a shark, gets free transportation, and feeds on food scraps left by the shark without harming it. b) Mutualism- An interaction between two different species of organisms which benefits both organisms. This relationship helps the organisms to survive in harsh conditions. Neither organism will be able to survive on its own. For example: An alga and fungus form lichen, The algo produce food and the fungus provides shelter. c) Parasitism- In this relationship, there is a parasite and a host. The parasite benefits from living outside or in the host. The host is harmed or may even be killed by the parasite. For example: Round worms, tapeworms, hook worms and thread worms (parasites) lives inside the intestines of humans (host). 3. Prey-predator relationship- In this relationship, the predator which is normally bigger in size, hunts, kills and feeds on the smaller, hunted animals called prey. Generally, the predator population is smaller than the prey population. For example: Lions (predators) hunting deer (prey) for food. 6. Level 1: Plants and algae make their own food and are called primary producers. Level 2: Herbivores eat plants and are called primary consumers. Level 3: Carnivores which eat herbivores are called secondary consumers. Level 4: Carnivores which eat other carnivores are called tertiary consumers. Level 5: Apex predators which have no predators are at the top of the food chain. 7.

8. Water cycle is also called as hydrological cycle: The sun, which drives the water cycle, heats water in oceans and seas. Water evaporates as water vapor into the air. Ice and snow can sublimate directly into water vapor....
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