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Option G Ecology

Option G Ecology



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Published by: Lauren Catherine Ayala on May 31, 2007
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Option G.1 Ecology of SpeciesG.1.1 Outline the factors that affect the distribution of plant species includingtemperature, water, light, soil pH, salinity, and mineral nutrients.
High temperatures denature enzymes and retards growth of plants; the rate oftranspiration is also increased. Low temperatures decrease enzyme activity andfreezing temperatures inactivate enzymes. Most plants live in moderatetemperature zones. Water is needed for enzyme activity, transport, photosynthesis,support, and many other things. There is a low diversity of plants in deserts andpolar regions. Light is important for photosynthesis and flowering. Dark areas havesmall amounts of plants. Soil pH is important for absortion of nutrients. If the soilis acidic, desertification can occur, the use of limestone can neutralize the soil.Salinity has an affect on the absorption through osmosis. High salinity causes plantsto lose water through osmosis. Halopohytes live in high salinity. Mineral nutrientsare needed for many vital functions. Nitrogen is needed to manufacture proteins,enzymes, nucleotides, vitamins, and other compounds.
G.1.2 Explain the factors that affect the distribution of animal species includingtemperature, water, breeding sites, food supply and territory.
High animal distribution according to temperature is found in the tropical rainforest due to the suitability of temperature and high availiability of producers asstarters of food chains and webs. Water is needed for vital functions, so there islow animal distribution is deserts. Breeding sites are needed for growth andprotection of young. High animal diversity is found in areas with varied topographicalnature. Food supply is important for survival since animals are heterotrophs. Highanimal diversity is once again found in the rain forest. Some animals are territorialand need large areas for feeding, mating, and protecting their young. Some areterritorial during breeding season and occupy areas to prevents others fromapproaching them. There is high animal distribution where there is room to occupyterritoryand defend against other members of the species.
G.1.3 Deduce the significance of the difference between two sets of data usingcalculated values for t and the appropriate tables.
The t-test can be used to compare two sets of data and measure the amount ofoverlap.
G.1.4 Explain what is meant by the niche concept, including an organism's spatialhabitat, its feeding activities and its interactions with other organisms.
No two species can live in the same niche, therefore there is competition for theresources of the land and only one species will survive. A niche is the total factors,biotoic and abiotic to one species.
G.1.5 Explain the principle of competitve exclusion.
First proposed by Lokta and Volterra, competitive exclusion is where two speciesneed the same resources and will compete until one species is removed. Inevitably,one would be more capable of gathering more resources or reproducing more rapidlyuntil the other was run out of existence. Later experiments with bacteriapopulations in the lab of Russian ecologist G.F. Gause demonstrated this conceptscientifically. This principle was termed competitive exclusion.
Option G.2 Ecology of CommunitiesG.2.2 Explain the following iunteractions between species, giving two examples of each:competition, herbivory, predation, parasitism, and mutualism.
Competition is when two species need the same resource such as a breeding site orfood. It will result in the removal of one of the species. Bacteria will display thismanner. Herbivory is the relation between an animal and a plant. Different animalsfeed on different plants. Deer feed on tree leaves, rabbit feed on grass, giraffes ontrees. Predation is the relation between the predator, which is usually bigger, andthe prey, which is usually smaller. An example would be a fox and a rabbit. Parasitismis the relation between the host and the parasite. The parasite causes harm to thehost to get food and other resources. Examples of parasites are some viruses, fungi,worms, bacteria, and protazoa. Mutualism is where two members of differentspecies benefit and neither suffers. Examples include rumen bacteria/protazoa thatdigest cellulose in the digestive systems of cows, providing the cow with an energysource and the bacteria with a stable habitat. Lichens and Chlorella/Chlorohydra, analgae, also exhibit such a relation. The lichen provide an means of attaching to thesurface, and the algae photosynthesize to produce a added source of sugars andnutrients.
G.2.2 Define gross production, net production, and biomass.
Gross production is the amount of material fixed by plants in the process ofphotosythesis. Net production is the amount of material that stays in the body ofthe plant after spending some material on respiration. Biomass is the dry weight oforganic matter comprising a group of organisms in a particular habitat.
G.2.3 Calculate values for gross production, net production, and biomass from givendata.
Gross Production - Respiration = Net Production
G.2.4 Discuss the difficulties of classifying organisms into trophic levels.
It is difficult due to the fact that some organisms can be secondary, tertiary, andmay be quaternary consumers at the same time, such as humans. It is difficult to
place them on a certain level of the food pyramid. For this reason, an alternatemethod of classification- the food web- has been developed. The food web displaysrelationships not as a simple hierarchy but rather a complex network, with thevarious feeding relationships between species existing as connections and theanimals themselves existing as the hubs.
G.2.5 Explain the small biomass and low numbers of organisms in higher trophic levels.
There is small amount of organisms in the higher trophic levels because as the levelsget higher, the amount of energy from feeding on the level below them is very low,making it difficult to survive. Energy is lost between levels in the form of heat(respiration), waste, and death.
G.2.6 Construct a pyramid of energy given appropriate information.
The lowest bar of the pyramid of energy represents gross primary productivity, thenext bar is the energy ingested as food by primary consumers, and so on. The unitsare energy per unit area per unit time.
G.2.7 Describe ecological succession using one example
Ecological succession is the gradual change in the composition of a community withtime in an ecosystem. If succession occurs in a lifeless area, it is primary succession.It can start after things such as volcanoes, fire or flood. Lichens inhabit a rock andover time, the face of the rock changes. This makes the rock now inviting to mosses.Later, ferns arrive through the activity of their roots, causing furthur changes tothe rock, so soil formation starts to occur. Then flowering trees grow, thenconifers, and other larger trees.
G.2.8 Explain the effects of living organisms on the abiotic environment with referenceto the changes occurring during ecological succession to climax communities.
Living organisms can help with soil development, as a plant grows, their roots growdeeper down and break rock into small particles, helping soil formation. Plants enrichthe soil with minerals as they die and decompose. The plant roots hold the soilparticles together, preventing soil erosion. Plants can grow heavily in a certain areathat might result in blocking river flow and altering its direction. Plants cancontribute to the water cycle through the process of transpiration. The water thatevaporates from the leaves condenses and comes down in the form of rain. Thepresence of organic materials in the soil and the presence of roots and root hairhelp in the retention of water and slows down drainage.
Option G.3 Biodiversity and ConservationG.3.1 Discuss reasons for the conservation of biodiversity using rainforests as anexample. Reasons should include ethical, ecological, economic, and aesthetic arguments.

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