Biology Notes - Ecology and Eco-Systems

Topics: Ecosystem, Heat, Water Pages: 4 (858 words) Published: September 3, 2014
Biology Notes - Ecology and Eco-Systems

Environment

It is everything that surrounds you.
It includes all natural living and non-living things that are included within the environment. All living organisms depend on the natural environment they live in. A natural environment is very different to a man made environment because a man made environment is heavily influenced by people whereas a natural environment is effected by people by a very small amount.

Ecosystems

An area containing living organisms which is effected by non-living thing (wind, temperature etc.). Terrestrial ecosystem - land; aquatic ecosystem - water.
The non-living factors of an ecosystem are called abiotic factors, whereas living are called biotic factors.

Abiotic Factors

Non-living factors of the ecosystem.
Wind, temperature, weather etc. Basically the climate.

- Physiographic factors (physical abiotic factors)
+ aspect (the direction the slope is facing eg: north, east, south, west)
+ slope (the angle of which the surface is rising or falling)
+ altitude (the height of which the area is above sea level)

Soil

One of the earths most important resources because most plants grow in it. The pH, humus content, texture, water retention capacity and air content of the soil can have an effect on the ecosystem.

- Soil pH
+ soil pH is the acidity or alkalinity that is present in soil.
+ the best pH for soil to grow in is between 6,0 and 7,5 pH.
+ some plants will only grow in specific pH levels.
+ the pH levels are determined by the type of rock the soil is made from.

- Humus content
+ A dark brown mixture of organic compounds.
+ it can absorb large amounts of water.
+ Made when plant and animal cells break down, caused by fungi/bacteria.

- Texture
+ sand large particles which make it feel rough. Sand soil does not hold water but a lot of air.
+ clay has very small particles which make it feel smooth....
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