ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

First of all, thanks to my Biology teacher, Miss Siti Hanani for being such good guider for us while we were doing this task. She had given us appropriate example and knowledge in order to make us understand more about this ecological study. We take some idea from the past year’s students’ work. She spends her time to carry out each and every experiment related to this ecological study. She also makes sure that we understand everything she told and gives some explanation before we begin to work on these practical assessments. I also appreciate the school authority for giving us permission to carry out experiment in school laboratory and going our quadrates and transect sampling technique in school ground. School also provided all the apparatus and materials that we used in the ecological study task. I also want to thank to my classmates who are willing to share their information about this ecological study. They give me a lot of ideas about the tasks and I use all their information especially in transect sampling technique which required us to work together in order to complete the ecological study folio.
Also, a great thanks to my family who tried their best to give their support either by giving me a lot of encouragement for keep us with this task or by supporting the financial for use to pay all the cost required to complete this ecological study.

Introduction
Ecology is the scientific study of the way that living organisms interact with their environment. Ecology comes from the Greek words ‘oikos’, means ‘housing’ and ‘logos’, means ‘logic’ or ‘knowledge’. The term was coined by German zoologist (scientist who studies animals) Ernst Haeckel in 1870. While many people confused the work of an ‘ecologist’ with an ‘environmentalist’. There are significant differences between the two occupations. Environmentalist seeks to preserve natural systems while ecologists may shared the ideals of environmentalists, are mainly involved with gathering the information about the communities of animals and plants, as well as the physical elements (such as rocks and soil) present in a given geographical area.

8.1 The Abiotic and Biotic Components of The Environment
An environment consists of living organisms and non-living organisms. The living organisms in the environment are called biotic components and the non-living components are called abiotic components. In any ecosystem, abiotic components such as pH, temperature, light intensity, humidity, topography and microclimate determine the population size and distribution of the biotic components.

The Abiotic Components (a) pH value

 The pH value of the soil and water has a significant effect on the

distribution of organisms that live in a habitat. Most organisms can survive well in a neutral or nearly neutral environment. Aquatic organisms are sensitive to the effects of the pH of water and may kill if the changes in pH are considerable. Certain plants such as pineapple plants prefer acidic soil, while other plants such as coconut grow well in alkaline soil.

(b) Light Intensity
 Light intensity affects the distribution and growth of plants and animals. The

sun is the source of energy for photosynthesis in plants. The varying intensities of sunlight in a forest result in the growth of different types of plants. For example, tall trees that are exposed to high intensity of sunlight from the canopy of a forest , while plants such as ferns and vines survive under the cover of shady trees. Birds, tree frogs and bats are some of the animals that live under the canopy. At the ground level, where light intensity is low, mosses and animals such as ants and earthworms thrive. Bacteria and fungi that live in the soil decompose organic material.

(c) Temperature
 Temperature affects the physiology activities of plants and animals. Most

living organisms can only tolerate a narrow range of temperature. Usually, they survive within the temperature range 0 C to 45C. A drop in temperature within a certain range usually results in a decrease in the metabolic activities of the organisms. Temperatures higher than 45C usually cause enzymes to be denatured. However, there are some species of organisms that can live under extreme temperature. For example, thermophilic bacteria can survive in hot springs. Aquatic environment undergo less extreme temperature changes and therefore provide more stable habitats than terrestrial environments.

(d) Humidity
 Humidity is the amount of water vapour present in the air. The humidity of

air affects the rate of water loss by plants and animals. When the humidity is low, water evaporates from the moist surfaces at a faster rate. Humidity

Areas that face towards the south or the sun are hotter and drier than areas that face north or away from the sun. this area is not suitable habitat for organisms. The slope of an area is the angle at which the land lies. temperature.is usually higher at night but lower during the day. underneath a rock. The topography of grassland ecosystems is a varied landscape of gently rolling hills and prairies. Aspects refer to the direction in which a piece of land is facing. elevation. the soil layer is thinner and drier. For example. Slope is important in our grassland as water may run downhill rather than soak into the ground where it is available for plants. The Biotic Components . Hence. Therefore. liverworts and mosses prefer humid areas. rock outcrops. (e) Topography  Topography is the variety of shapes found on the landscape determined by slopes. and aspects. cliffs and low lying areas. light intensity and atmospheric conditions of a habitat where organisms live. Elevation describes the height of land above sea level. Temperatures are generally cooler and rainfall is higher as elevation is gained. Diverse topography is what gives incredible variety to grassland ecosystems.     Gradient or the steepness of a slope is another topographic factor. For instance. Organisms such as snakes. An area that slopes with a southern aspect will be much drier than other hotter area that slopes with a northen aspects. Microclimate includes the humidity. Steep slops result in rapid drainage and run-off. grogs. Some organisms regulate their activities to prevent dehydration. woodlice are usually found under stones and rotting tree stumps. (f) Microclimate  Microclimate refers to the climate in a microhabitat.

Tertiary consumer Secondary consumer Primary consumer Producer . the primary source of energy for all organisms comes from sunlight. [Primary consumers] ● Omnivores eat both plants and animals. They also absorb nutrients from the soil. consumers and decomposers. Consumers are organisms that do not have the ability to capture the energy produced by the sun.The biotic components refers to living organisms in an ecosystem which are grouped as producers. such as goat and cow. In an ecosystem. There are three types of consumers divided based on their ability to digest plant and animal material: ● Herbivores eat only plants. storing them for future use by themselves and by other organisms. [Tertiary consumers] ● Carnivores eat only animals. such as tiger. [Secondary consumers] Decomposers such as bacteria and fungi are microorganisms that break down waste products and dead bodies of other organisms into simpler substances to be used again by plants. snake and hawk. These organisms interact and are interdependent. Green plants are called producers because they use light energy to synthesis organic substances (food). They consume plant or animal material to gain their energy for growth and activities. such as black bear and rats.

The food chains in a community are usually interconnected to form a food web.A pond ecosystem Food Chain. Each organism is the food of the next organism in the chain is known as trophic level. Food Webs and Trophic Levels Food chain shows a sequence of organisms through which energy is transferred. . It usually starts with a producer and ends with a top consumer.

In a food web. Interaction Between Biotic Components In an ecosystem. energy flows through a food web. which later passes its energy to the secondary consumer. Symbiosis relationships can be classified into 3 categories: ● Commensalism . some of the energy stored in the plants is passed on to the primary consumer. In this way. the source of energy is sunlight. When a primary consumer feeds on the producers. Green plants convert solar energy into chemical energy which is stored in food during photosynthesis. organisms interact with one another in order to survive. SYMBIOSIS Symbiosis is a close relationship between two or more different species whish live closely together and interact with each other.

interaction between one organism (commensal) benefits and the other (host) neither benefits nor is harmed. The green alga . The remora fish attaches itself to the shark to get free transport. protection and scraps of food left by the shark. A shark and a remora fish Commensalism is also shown by epiphytes which grow on branches of trees but do not obtain nutrients from the trees.● Mutualism ● Parasitism Commensalism.interaction between two species of organisms in which both organisms benefit. The shark does not benefit from this relationship. Lichens A lichen is a mutualistic relationship of an alga and a fungus. Mutualism.

Mushrooms growing on decaying wood .interaction between two organisms in which one organism (parasite) benefits and the other (host) is harmed. Endoparasites are parasites that live within the tissue of their host. the fungus supplies carbon dioxide and nitrogenous compounds for the alga to manufacture its own food. Parasitism. SAPROPHYTISM Saprophytism is a type of interaction in which living organisms obtain food from dead and decaying organic matter. In return. Ectoparasites are parasites that feed on the external surface of a host.produces food for itself and for the fungus. mucor species and mushrooms. flea A flea obtained their food and shelter from the host. Examples of saprophyte are saprophytic bacteria.

the prey.PREY-PREDATOR Prey-predator interaction occurs when an organism. is haunted and eaten by a stronger and bigger organism called the predator. The competition between individuals of different species is called inter specific competition. Trees in the rain forest compete to gain sunlight . water and space while animals compete for food. nutrients. Plants always compete for light. A tiger and a rat COMPETITION Competition is an interaction between organisms which live together in a habitat and compete for the same resources that are limited supply. shelter and breeding metes. The competition between individuals of different species is known as inter specific competition.

A habitat provides organisms with the basic resources of life such as food. Ecosystem is vary in size. Example of ecosystem Habitat α Habitat is a natural environment where organisms live. living space.8. nesting sites and mates. It is a dynamic system where the biotic components are well balanced with one another and with the abiotic components. shelter.2 Colonisation and Succession in an Ecosystem Ecosystem An ecosystem is a community of organisms which interact with their non-living environment and function as a unit. .

Community α Several populations of different species living in the same habitat in an ecosystem is called community. Colonisation and Succession . A change in any of the populations will affect the distribution or other populations.Habitat of Polar Bears Species α A species is a group of organisms that look alike and have similar characteristics. The members of the community are interdependent and interact with one another in order to survive. Populations contain genetic variation within themselves and between other populations. share the same roles in an ecosystem and are capable interbreeding to produce fertile offspring. Population α A population is a group of organisms of the same species living in the same habitat at the same time.

very few species can survive in an environment of sand and stones since it stores little water and has few available nutrients. The gradual processes through which one community changes its environment is called succession. The larger trees out-compete the shrubs. . They have a short life cycle.  Hence.  Ecological succession leads to a relatively stable community which is equilibrium with its environment. When they die.  The successor species also change the structure and quality of the soil. Succession is a very slow and continuous process which occurs in stages. This is called climax community. external factors such as fires. assuming that the environment does not change. thus reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches them and gradually replacing them. The first coloniser is called pioneer coloniser. Most of these plants have small winddispersable seeds which are able to spread and growth rapidly.  They have special adaptations that enable them to survive on dry and nutrient-poor soil. For example. pollution and development. Colonisation takes place in newly formed areas where no life previously existed. the dominant species in turn modify the environment which allows larger trees to grow. Instead. A climax community is a stable community that undergoes little or no change in its species composition. which are replaced by forest-floor species which required lower light intensity. the pioneer species modify the environment. Pioneer species are hardy plants which usually have dense root system to bind the sand particles and hold water and humus. eventually creating conditions which are less favourable to themselves. which are called successor species. succession stops at the climax stage. These plants grow bigger than the pioneer species. These changes can be caused by changes in climate. Hence. Ecosystem undergoes changes in their structure and function as time passes. making it more conducive for larger plants to grow. they establish conditions that are more conducive to other species. their remains add to the humus content of the soil. These plants then become the new dominant species that can grow faster and so they out-compete the pioneer which grow at a slower rate  As time passes.

 There are 2 types of mangrove trees: (a) Avicennia sp. . In addition. muddy oil with a high concentration of salt and very low levels of oxygen. .have long underground cable roots that support them in the soft and muddy soil and protect them from strong coastal winds.The Process of Succession Mangrove Swamps.  Mangrove swamps are found in tropical and subtropical regions where freshwater meets salt water. .produce hundreds of thin. They are characterised by soft. vertical breathing roots called pneumatophores which project above the water around the trees. mangrove swamps are exposed to a high intensity of sunlight.

As a result. Gradually the Rhizophora sp. creating a firmer soil structure over time. This condition favours the growth of Rhizophora sp.. replaces the pioneer species. The extensive root systems of these plants trap and collect sediments. the soil is drier because it is less submerged by sea water. The presence of this species gradually changes the physical environment of the habitat. including organic matter from the plant parts. The ground becomes higher. . . . aerial roots that not only anchor the plants to the mud.(b) Rhizophora sp. traps silt and mud. but also plant an important role in aeration. As time passes. the soil becomes more compact and firm. which replaces the Rhizophora sp.have prop roots. The prop root system of the Rhiizophora sp. The condition now becomes more suitable for the Bruguiera sp.aeration can take place through lenticels found on the tree bark Rhizophora sp.

terrestrial plants like nipah palm and Pandanus sp.The buttress root system of the Bruguiera sp. the shore extends further to the sea. it is often important to study the size of the populations. a population of frog in a paddy field refers to all the frogs in the paddy field. frequency and percentage coverage of plants. As more sediment is deposited. mark.  The population size of an organism is affected by: (a) abiotic factors of the environment (b) biotic factors (c) rates of birth and death (d) immigration and emigration of organisms  Methods to study population ecology: (a) Quadrat sampling technique to determine the density. 8.3 Population Ecology  Population ecology is a branch of ecology that studies the structure and dynamics of populations. A population is defined as a group of organisms of the same species occupying a particular habitat. release and recapture method to estimate the population size of animals. . (b) Capture. forms loops which extend from the soil to trap more silt and mud. Over time. begin to replace the Bruguiera sp. For example. In the study of an ecosystem. The old shore is now further away from the sea and is like terrasterial ground.

Quadrat Sampling Technique  A quadrat is a square frame made from wood.  The size of the quadrat used (1mx 1m.  The distributions of the plants species under study can be determined by: (a) Density. a number of quadrats are randomly placed in a particular area to study the population of one or more plant species. metal or rope and can be subdivided into smaller squares within. 10cmx10cm) depends on the plant population under study.  In this technique.the number of times a particular species is found from all quadrats used Quadrat Presence of species Y key:  = present X = absent 1 2 3 4 5     X .the number of individuals per unit area (not suitable for plants which reproduce vegetatively) Quadrat Number of species X Area of quadrat = 1mx1m=1m2 Density = = = 11 individuals per m2 1 2 3 4 12 10 15 8 5 10 (b) Frequency.

a second capture is carried out at random. Mark. a number of animals are captured at random and marked with a ring. The marking must not injure the animal.Frequency = = x 100% = 80% (c) Percentage coverage. After a period of time (days or weeks).     Population size = Example: First captured: 50 animals caught and then marked Second captured: 20 unmarked animals and 20 marked animals caught Population size = =100 .how much of an area is covered by a particular species in percentage Percentage = X 100% Capture. the population of garden snails in a garden and the population of woodlice under a tree. The marked animals are then released into the general populations and allow to mix with those that are unmarked. a tag or with nontoxic and waterproof coloured such as Indian ink or cellulose paint so they will not be washes off by rain. For example. The total number captured in the second sample and the number of marked animals recapture are recorded. hinder their movement or make them more conspicious to predators. Release and Recapture Method  This method is used to estimate the population size of animals that move freely in an area. Initially.

Certain plants such as pineapple plants prefer acidic soil. (b) Light Intensity  Light intensity affects the distribution and growth of plants and animals. The varying intensities of sunlight in a forest result in the growth of different types of .Assumption made in this method to estimate the population size of an organism  The population is stable and does not change during the time of investigation.  Recapture is done randomly. while other plants such as coconut grow well in alkaline soil.  The manner used to mark the animals does not harm or kill the animals or make them obvious to predators. Abiotic factors that affect the distribution of an organisms    Light intensity Temperature Humidity Ph (a) pH value  The pH value of the soil and water has a significant effect on the distribution of organisms that live in a habitat. Aquatic organisms are sensitive to the effects of the pH of water and may kill if the changes in pH are considerable. Most organisms can survive well in a neutral or nearly neutral environment. The sun is the source of energy for photosynthesis in plants.  The marked animals are allowed to mix freely with the other animals in the habitat.  The marked animals have the same probability of being captured.

tall trees that are exposed to high intensity of sunlight from the canopy of a forest . Organisms such as snakes. . woodlice are usually found under stones and rotting tree stumps. For example. tree frogs and bats are some of the animals that live under the canopy. water evaporates from the moist surfaces at a faster rate. Aquatic environment undergo less extreme temperature changes and therefore provide more stable habitats than terrestrial environments. When the humidity is low. Most living organisms can only tolerate a narrow range of temperature. Some organisms regulate their activities to prevent dehydration. Usually. At the ground level. while plants such as ferns and vines survive under the cover of shady trees. 8. grogs. (c) Temperature  Temperature affects the physiology activities of plants and animals. they survive within the temperature range 0 C to 45C. where light intensity is low. The humidity of air affects the rate of water loss by plants and animals. For instance. Humidity is usually higher at night but lower during the day. (d) Humidity  Humidity is the amount of water vapour present in the air. there are some species of organisms that can live under extreme temperature. mosses and animals such as ants and earthworms thrive. Temperatures higher than 45C usually cause enzymes to be denatured. Bacteria and fungi that live in the soil decompose organic material. liverworts and mosses prefer humid areas. A drop in temperature within a certain range usually results in a decrease in the metabolic activities of the organisms. thermophilic bacteria can survive in hot springs. Birds.4 Biodiversity  Biodiversity refers to the wide variety of plant and animal species on Earth. For example. However.plants.

cyanobacteria true nucleus. reptiles. mushroom Plantae Example: ferns. mosses.cells with nucleus and organelles surrounded by membrane Autotrophic (plant. flowering plants       Animalia Example: Fishes. no nuclear membrane and membranebound organelles  Unicellular  Maybe autotrophs or heterotrophs Protista Example: algae. mammals    . algae) or heterotrophic Mostly unicellular but some are multicellular No specialization of tissues Eukaryotes Mostly multicellullar and some unicellular (yeast) Plants without chlorophyll Cell wall contains chitin Either saprophytes or parasites Main body is made up of a network of hyphae called mycelium Multicellular Contains chlorophyll Autotrophs Cell wall made up of cellulose Have specialized tissuesxylem and phloem Immobile Multicellular organisms Cell without cell wall and chloroplasts Heterotrophs Fungi Example: yeast.cells without Example: bacteria. birds.like protists. mould. protozoa           Eukaryotes. amphibians. Organisms are classified based on their common characteristics into five Kingdoms as shown. Kingdom and examples Characteristics Monera  Prokaryotes.

namely kingdoms (alam). all animals in the phylum Arthropoda have jointed legs and a chitinuos exoskeleton. These characteristics differentiate them from organisms in other phyla. each family into genera (singular: genus). A kingdom can be divided into a number of phyla (singular: phylum). class. A phylum can be subdivided into a number of classes. The kingdom is the largest unit of classification and contains the largest number of organisms.  Mobile Digest their food internally The Hierarachy in the Classification of Organisms The classification of millions of organisms on Earth into only five kingdom means each kingdoms is made up of a large number of organisms. it is necessary to divided each kingdom into smaller groups. each class can be subdivided into orders. phylum. and each genus into species. family. Organisms in the same phylum have some characteristics in common which is different from organisms in other phyla. each order into families. order. Species is the smallest group in the system of classification. They are classified into 7 levels. For example. Therefore. (Aphycofags) The hierarachy of classification is the stages of groupings in the system of classification from kingdom to species. Hierarachy in the classification of humans and the hibiscus plant: Classification Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Human being Animalia Choradata Mammalia Primates Hominidae Hibiscus Plantae Tracheohyta Angiosperma Malvales Malvaceae . genus and species.

including humans. Types of organisms Bacteria Characteristics  The majority of bacteria range in size from 0. for example. algae. namely viruses. bacteria. Provide environmental services. protozoa and fungi.regulation of atmospheric temperature. organic oils) Important of Biodiversity Provide shelter and food for the variety of interacting organisms in an ecosystem.forces such rainforests provide raw materials for medicine. Most microbes are harmless and useful to humans while others can cause diseases in plants and animals. rubber. CO2 and N2).5µm t0 5.  Bacteria are unicellular .  Microorganisms are divided into five types. pollination and recycling of nutrients. food for organisms and economic resources (timber.0µm. 8.5 Impact of Microorganisms on Life  Microorganisms are tiny organisms that can only be seen clearly under a microscope. and gases ( O2.Genus Species Homo sapiens Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis Importance of Biodiversity Source of biological products. Diversity in genetic pool gives rise to genetic variation and new species. in the treatment of cancer.

Examples of bacteria are Lactobacillus sp. Certain bacteria have a slimy capsule outside their cell wall for extra protection. Examples of algae are phytoplankton and Spirogyra sp. roots or leaves. They form spores under unfavourable conditions. spiral (spirillium) or comma-shaped (vibrio). rod-like (bacillus). Algae are photosynthetic. plasma membrane and DNA that is not enclosed in a membrane. Fungal cell walls are made of chitin. Bacteria cell walls are made of a unique polymer called peptidoglycan which is made up of protein and a complex polysaccharide. Fungi feed by secreting enzymes that break down . plant-like organisms.     Algae      organisms which have a basic cell structure that includes a cell wall. Bacteria can be spherical (coccus). stems or roots. Fungi    Microscopic fungi are heterotrophic microorganisms whichdo not have chlorophyll. Their cell walls are made up of cellulose. They are very simple organisms which contain chlorophyll. They have no leaves. and Staphylococcus sp. stems.

cilia or microtubules.Trypanosoma sp. All viruses are infectious. A virus is the smallest microorganism and can only be seen under an electron microscope. either DNA or . the surrounding organic material into simple molecules before absorbing them. Paramecium sp . They must infect living cells to reproduce. Since a virus does not have its own cellular machinery. Examples of protozoa are Euglena sp. A virus is non-living cell because it cannot survive or reproduce on its own outside the cells of its host. cytoplasm and a plasma membrane. They can carry out life processes such as respiration. Each type of virus has two basic parts: an inner core which is composed of nucleic acid. They move by using flagella. reproduction and excretion. Protozoa have a nucleus. it must utilise the cellular machinery of the host to make copies of itself. Examples of fungi are yeast and Mucor sp. Protozoa      Viruses     Protozoa are unicellular organisms..

  RNA. Viruses can be purified and crystallised. The Effect of Abiotic Components on The Activity of Microorganisms The activity of microorganisms is affected by abiotic components such as the: (a) Concentration of nutrients (b) pH (c) Temperature (d) Light intensity Nutrients and water . Bacteriophages are viruses that are parasitic on bacteria while the tobacco mosaic virus causes the tobacco mosaic diseases. and an outer capsid of protein sub-units. Examples of viruses are T4bacteriophage and tobacco mosaic virus.

Most bacteria prefer slightly alkaline conditions (pH around 7. Extreme pH can kill the microorganisms. Beyond 60 C. the growth of microorganisms is inhabited.0). The optimum temperature of most microorganisms is between 35 C-40 C. pH Each species of microorganisms has an optimum pH. yeast and protozoa prefer acidic conditions (pH around 4. Temperature Microorganisms are inactive at low temperatures.4) while moulds. . High intensities of sunlight or ultraviolet rays can kill algae and bacteria are more active under high light intensities because they need light to carry out photosynthesis.5-5. microorganisms will die or form spores. Microorganisms and their spores can only be destroyed when they are sterilised at a temperature of about 121 C. Role of Useful Microorganisms in the Ecosystem NITROGEN CYCLE…. Without nutrients or water. Light Intensity Microorganisms prefer dark or low light densities.Microorganisms need nutrients and water for reproduction and growth.

nitrate or nitrite ions which they can absorb from the soil. are readily taken up by plant roots and converted into plant proteins. which live freely in the soil and Rhizobium sp. The oxygen is used by the bacteria while the nitrogen is returned to the atmosphere. .. Nitrates. decompose and then are converted into ammonium compounds.      Atmospheric nitrogen cannot be absorbed directly by plants. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as Nostoc sp. These bacteria break down nitrates into gaseous nitrogen and oxygen. Ammonium compounds are converted into nitrites and nitrates by nitrifying bacteria through a process called nitrification. can assimilate atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium compounds through a process called nitrogen fixation.  DECOMPOSITION  Decomposers are organisms that secrete digestive enzymes to break down organic matter and animal wastes into simple molecules. Waste matter. Plants can only use nitrogen in the form of ammonium. plants and animals die.. in particular. which live in the root nodules of leguminous plants. The cycle is balanced by a continuous return of nitrogen to the atmosphere by denitrifying bacteria through denitrification. such as carbon dioxide. the organic nitrogen is transferred into the body of the animals and becomes animal protein. When animals eat plants.

6 Appreciating Biodiversity The biodiversity around us should be conserved and preserved because of their importance to all living organisms through the following method:  Reinforcement of laws to protect wildlife species and ecosystems. Without them. the soil would become less fertile and can no longer sustain plant life and the community on the whole. water and ammonium compounds.  8. . soil and water. As a result. These molecules can be used by autotrophs such as green plants. the nutrients stored in the dead bodies cannot be used to enrich the soil.  Designate areas as forest reserves and national parks  Educate people (schools and societies) on the importance of biodiversity  Prevent hunting and discourage the buying of goods made from animal parts or plants. Saprophytic bacteria and fungi are the main decomposers in and ecosystems which return the nutrients contained within the remains of organic matter to the atmosphere.

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