Interactions Between Organisms and their Environments Mr. Broderick NC SCOS Goal 5
Lesson #1: Living and non-living parts of an Ecosystem • Objectives – Identify abiotic and biotic factors in a given description of an ecosystem interaction – Generate an example relationship using abiotic and biotic factors – Determine if a solution is acidic, basic, or neutral given its pH – Set-up an experiment to test the effect of pH on the sprouting of a lima bean • Develop hypothesis, procedure
• • • • • • • Ecosystem Abiotic Biotic pH Acidic Basic Neutral
The earth is a biosphere Ecosystems are the living and nonliving things in an area Populations are a group of one type of organism living in an area
• • • • Ecosystems • Communities • Populations • Organisms Organ systems • • Cells • Organelles Organs Tissues Molecules
• Ecology: The study of the relationship between organisms and their environment •
Example problems that ecology handles
: – How do humans affect the atmosphere and contribute to global warming? – How does the population of wolves in an area affect the population of rabbits?
– Do clownfish (Nemo!) and anemone benefit each other?
• Ecology: The study of the relationship between organisms and their environment
Imagine that there is an insect that lives on peanut plants growing on farms in Northampton County. Is there a way that we can limit insect damage to the peanut crops in order to decrease the price of peanuts at the store by 20 cents per pound?
• Quadrant Studies: Tracking changes in a small section of the environment
• Sampling: Only measuring a small, random part of an environment
• Ecosystem: An area containing an interaction of living and non-living factors in an area/region •
: – North Carolina forests (pine forests) – Coastal Plains of NC – Outer banks coastal water ecosystem – Lake Gaston ecosystem
• • Abiotic Factors: The non-living parts of an ecosystem – Rocks, soil, temperature, gases in the air, light Biotic Factors: The living parts of an ecosystem – Plants, animals, bacteria, fungus • •
: use light to make their own energy
: eat other organisms to obtain energy •
: break down dead organisms for energy
• Placing an “a” before a word makes it an
– Abiotic (not biotic; not living) – Atypical (not typical) – Anonymous (no name)
• • • • • • • • •
Humans Bacteria Fungus Plants Insects Amphibians Reptiles Mammals Birds • • • • • • •
Water Soil Wind or Air Gases – oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen Temperature Sunlight pH – Acid or base
Biotic (plant) Abiotic (rainwater)
• • • • • The air temperature is 45 degrees F = abiotic The soil is made of rocks and minerals = abiotic A bird lays eggs = biotic Bacteria break down dead organisms = biotic The pH or the water is 2 (acidic) = abiotic
Abiotic Biotic Biotic
Which of the following is a relationship between abiotic and biotic factors?
A) The rain on an open field washes away soil B) A hawk hunts a mouse and swoops down into the forest for the kill C) A lake has very acidic water which causes many fish populations to die
D) A deer grazes in a field of grasses
• • • Read your scenario card Identify the abiotic and biotic factors in the scenario Now, find others with your letter and check your work.
• pH: the measurement of how acidic, basic, or neutral a solution is
Weakly Acidic Weakly Basic
1 ------------ 4 ----------- 7 ------------ 11 ------------- 14
Strong Acid Neutral Strong Base (very acidic) (very basic)
• • • • • Vinegar – pH of 4 Baking Soda – pH of 8-9
Tap water – pH of about 7
1 M HCl (hydrochloric acid) – pH of about 1 1M NaOH – pH of about 14
• Which is more acidic?
A) pH of 2 B) pH of 5 C) pH of 7 D) pH of 11 • Which is more basic?
A) pH of 2 B) pH of 5 C) pH of 7 D) pH of 11
A scientist performs an experiment to see if acids have an effect on the health of a particular type of plant. Three sets of plants were treated with acidic solutions of known pH while the control set was treated with a solution of neutral pH 7. What is the
conclusion for this experiment?
A. Acid has no effect on the health of this type of plant B. High acidity is helpful to this type of plant C. Low acidity is harmful to this type of plant D. High acidity is harmful to this type of plant
• A food chain shows the flow of energy between the organisms in an environment
• Notice that the arrow points from the organism
to the organism that
Like the burger you eat goes into you Plants
What do the arrows in the food chain below indicate?
A. Sunlight B. Energy flow C. Heat transfer D. Toxins
• The energy that is transferred in an ecosystem is
in carbon-compounds, or organic compounds.
– Organic compounds: molecules that contain a carbon atom •
Carbohydrates: glucose, starch, cellulose (mostly plants)
Proteins: the muscles of animals (steak!)
Fats: in muscle of animal tissues (fatty steak!)
• When we put many food chains together in one ecosystem, it is called a food web
• Food webs show the direction that energy flows in an ecosystem.
Other animals get energy from the fat and protein in other animals Some animals get glucose from plants Plants make glucose from light
• Producers: organisms that use light to store energy in organic compounds. – (
examples: plants, algae, phytoplankton
• Where are the producers in the food web below?
• Consumers: organisms that eat other organisms to get organic compounds that they use for energy – (
examples: humans, cows, insects, birds…
• Where are the consumers in the food web below?
• • • Tertiary consumers: organisms that eat secondary consumers for energy Secondary consumers: organisms that eat primary consumers for energy Primary consumers: organisms that eat producers to obtain energy compounds
Tertiary Consumer Secondary Consumer Producer Primary Consumer
How is energy stored and transferred in an ecosystem?
A. In light B. In oxygen and carbon dioxide C. In carbon compounds like glucose D. In the process of decomposition
Which of the following organisms is a primary consumer in the ecosystem shown?
A. Hawk B. Rabbit C. Mountain lion D. Frog
• If the population of organisms at any level of the food web changes, it will affect the population at other levels
• If the population of producers decreases, then the population of primary consumers will decrease if they don’t have enough food.
• If the population of primary consumers decreases, then… – The producers will increase because there are less consumers eating them – The secondary consumers will decrease because there is less food for them
Which organism would be most affected if the cricket population decreased?
A. Snake B. Deer C. Frog D. Hawk
• Energy Pyramids show the amount of energy at each level of a food web – Trophic Level: the total amount of energy in all organisms at one level in the food web.
• More energy at the bottom, decreases as the pyramid moves up the food web
Less Energy More Energy
Tertiary Consumers Secondary Consumers Primary Consumers Producers
• • • Each trophic level of the energy pyramid supplies energy to the level above it.
Each transfer loses 90% of the energy Only 10% of the energy at a level is passed to the next level up!
0.1% 1% 10% 100%
1 calorie 10 calories 100 calories 1,000 calories
• • We can say that the energy transfer from level to level is inefficient – (not a lot of the energy at each level makes it up) This means that there can’t be many levels ina food web or pyramid – The amount of energy decreases, and it cannot typically support organisms at higher levels than tertiary consumer
Why are there a limited number of energy levels in an energy pyramid or food web?
A. Energy transfer is very efficient B. Energy is captured as heat C. Energy transfer is inefficient D. Energy is not transferred in a food web
NCSCOS 5.02a, 2.05bc
How does energy enter the food web?
Better question… where does the weight of a producer come from?
How does this... become this?
• Photosynthesis: a toxin process that occurs in
and converts light, carbon dioxide, and water
glucose (sugar) and oxygen.
Carbon Dioxide Water Sunlight Glucose Oxygen
from the air.
carbon dioxide b. The carbon dioxide in the air is the building block for
c. The light energy helps
together to make glucose.
CO 2 and H 2 O
• The energy in light is now stored in the glucose molecule
Starch Fat (nuts) Glucose O 2 Light CO 2 H 2 O
of organic molecules – Consumers eat other organisms to obtain organic molecules, which are forms of
– Energy is stored in the
of the molecules.
• Carbon is found throughout the environment – Carbon is found in the atmosphere and in water as carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) – Carbon is found in organisms as organic molecules, like glucose (sugars) and fats – Carbon is found buried in the ground as fossil fuels
• Carbon is cycled, or moves 1) Atmosphere: Carbon is in the form of CO 2
2) Producers: Use photosynthesis to make sugars from CO 2 in the atmosphere (carbon is moved!)
C 6 H 12 O 6
3) Consumers: Eat organic molecules and release CO 2 into the atmosphere during
, or die and go into the soil
4) Soil: decomposers break down organisms, releasing carbon into the atmosphere OR trapping it in the ground (fossils)
5) Fossil Fuels: carbon from some dead organisms are trapped as fossil fuel until we burn it
• • • • • Start at one of the stations Make your way to each different station based on a correct path through the carbon cycle If you can go to two different places, choose between them and then go back Write all answers on your sheet!
After you are done, explain to your partner the “story” of the carbon cycle, and have them explain back to you!
Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming •
Heat is trapped near the Earth’s surface because once light gets in, it warms the surface but cannot escape out of the atmosphere.
– It is trapped by the gases in the atmosphere, like CO 2
The Earth has been warming on average.
Could be due to increased CO 2 emissions into the atmosphere, which enhances the greenhouse effect and traps extra heat.
Excess CO 2
Greenhouse Effect Global Warming
• Symbiosis: a long-term relationship between two organisms in an ecosystem.
• • • Mutualism: both organisms
relationship from their Commensalism: one organism
, and the other is
Parasitism: one organisms
, and the other is
Relationship Type Mutualism Commensalism Parasitism Species A + + + Species B + 0 -
• Leeches feed off of the lamprey below, and eventually cause it to die.
• A clown fish lives among the sea anemone. The clown fish gains protection, but the anemone is neither harmed nor helped.
• Ox-peckers live on the heads of the ox, eating insects and keeping the ox clean. The birds also get a place to live.
• • • Species:
Organism: Protist Disease: Malaria, which is prevalent in Africa
A. Plasmodium Vivax
is a one-celled organism that is transmitted to humans through the bite of the female
B. It enters
cells and begins to reproduce C. The reproductive cells infect blood cells.
D. Which causes them to lyse or burst.
E. The reproductive cells can be picked up by another mosquito, where they reproduce (G) and are transmitted to another human (H)
• Population: the number of organism from one species that live in a specific area –
Examples: the human population in different cities, the squirrel population in a forest, the grass population in a meadow
• Populations are affected by many resources. These include: –
The amount of food available in an area
The amount of sunlight (if it is a plant population)
The amount of water
The competition for food/shelter
The predators in an area
Birth Rate > Death Rate
A: Slow growth as a population begins to grow
Birth Rate > Death Rate
B: Exponential growth as population grows rapidly
Birth Rate > Death Rate
C: Slow-down of growth as population maxes out its resources, like food, water, or light
Birth Rate = Death Rate
D: Population reaches the maximum number supported by environment, the carrying capacity
• Carrying Capacity: the maximum number of organisms in a population that are supported by the environment
Reaching Limit of Resources Carrying Capacity Exponential Growth, no limiting resources
• Populations are typically
by resources – They reach
when there aren't enough resources to keep growing. – Birth Rate = Death Rate.
• • If there are no limiting resources, populations grow
. Birth Rate > Death Rate
• If population birth rate < death rate, the population will go down!
Which of the following graphs shows a population that is free of limiting factors?
Which of the following graphs shows a population that has reached carrying capacity?
How would a scientists determine the growth rate of a population?
A. Birth Rate + Death Rate B. Birth Rate – Death Rate C. Birth Rate x Death Rate D. Birth Rate / Death Rate
What statement best describes the population shown in the graph below?
A. Birth rate = Death rate B. Birth rate < Death rate C. Birth rate > Death rate D. Birth rate = 0
What statement best describes the population shown in the graph below at time “t”?
A. Birth rate = Death rate B. Birth rate < Death rate C. Birth rate > Death rate D. Birth rate = 0
populations can affect one 1. As prey increases, predator will increase in response 2. As predators increase, prey will decrease 3. As prey decrease, predators will decrease
• • • Deer control is a major issue in North Carolina We are going to work as small groups to figure out the problems concerning deer management We will also brainstorm solutions to the problem.
1) What are the effects of an overpopulation of deer? Why is it a problem?
2) What are some natural ways to control the deer population 3) What are some ways that humans can help control the deer population?
NC SCOS 5.03
• • • We can analyze the growth patterns of the human population We can explain the impacts of deforestation, pollution, and resource overuse on the environment We can inform the public about the dangers of human impacts and how to avoid resource overuse
• Human population is currently about
– Human population growth has been
• Developing countries tend to have
growth rates, whereas developed countries tend to have
– Population age distribution • Larger at the bottom = more future growth • Equal at each age = stable growth or even decline
• Population age distribution • Larger at the bottom = more future growth • Equal at each age = stable growth or even decline
• The problems with overpopulation include abuse of resources: – Deforestation – Fossil Fuel Overuse – Freshwater Overuse – Pollution – Lack of adequate food – Non-native species
• Cutting down forests leads to a loss of
not as many different species in an area – Can affect local food webs, other species, and even medicine!
Burning Fossil Fuels Excess CO 2 heat in the air, traps Greenhouse effect enhanced Global warming
• • Poor water quality, not enough freshwater in areas of need Polluted runoff from factories
– Sulfur and nitrogen gases released from factories into the air – Sulfur dioxide: SO 2 – Falls in rain drops, slowly impacts pH of water, soil, etc.
Ozone Layer Destruction
chlorofluorocarbons – released into the air through old refrigerator and spray cans, destroy ozone layer.
leads to high UV radiation –
mutation can cause skin cancer through
• Lack of food sources • Most important in poor, developing countries
• Putting species into
ecosystems that aren’t supposed to be there – The introduced species generally
, or do better, than the native species. – Example: pythons in the everglades.
resources for energy – Water, wind, solar, and geothermal energy
• • • • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions Reduce water waste Investigate factories and their pollution levels Increase public awareness of the issues
practices – Using renewable energy, rotating crops, avoiding pesticides and toxins, making sure we keep fishing populations high, conserve resources
NC SCOS 5.03, 5.02b
: makes its own energy, a producer
: gets its energy from somewhere else, a consumer
: to gain over time
• Bioaccumulation: the buildup of toxins in top consumers after eating many smaller organisms in a food web – Also called biomagnification or bioamplification
• Imagine that a
, a pesticide, was sprayed on the grass in the food web below. It cannot be released by the plant and is always
• • Each level of organisms above the grass in the food web will accumulate more and more of the toxin because they eat so much of the level below them For example, the mouse eats a large amount of grass, and stores all of the toxins in its body. Then the snake eats many mice, storing all of their toxins. Finally the hawk eats many snakes and stores all of their toxins in its body
Eats 10 snakes= 1g
Eats 100 mice = .1g
Eats 1,000 grasses = .001g
1 grass has 0.000001g
Highest toxin levels Even more toxin More toxin, concentrated Lots of toxin, spread out
Why is biomagnification a problem?
• What do you think?
– Depends on the type of toxin – If the toxin is toxic, it might cause problems with the functions of an organism • Impairs reproduction • Kills off members of a species • Prevents organisms from reproducing
• • What do you think?
– Decreased top consumers means more low level consumers – More low level consumers means increased amounts of the toxic toxin!
– The top level consumers don’t stand a chance!
Are we top level consumers? Can this happen to us?