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Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

A LOCAL ECOSYSTEM
What is this topic about?
To keep it as simple as possible, (K.I.S.S.) this topic involves the study of:
1. DISTRIBUTION & ABUNDANCE OF ORGANISMS
2. BIOTIC & ABIOTIC FACTORS
3. ROLES & RELATIONSHIPS
4. THE FLOW OF ENERGY & MATTER
5. ADAPTATIONS TO ENVIRONMENT
6. HUMAN IMPACTS

but first, some definitions...


Community

Ecology
is the study of living things and their environment, and all
the inter-relationships between the life-forms and the
factors of the environment itself.

refers to all the living things within an ecosystem... all the


different types and individual organisms.

Ecosystem

refers to all the individuals of a particular species living


within the ecosystem. The community within a complex
ecosystem such as a coral reef, or a tropical rainforest,
contains thousands of populations of different species.

Population

An ecosystem comprises all the living things and the nonliving environment of a particular, defined area. The size of
an ecosystem can vary enormously... you might study the
ecology under one rock, or in a lake. You might consider
an entire mountain range as one ecosystem, or an entire
ocean. Ultimately, the entire Earth can be considered as a
single ecosystem.
THE SUN PROVIDES
ALL THE ENERGY FOR
THE ECOSYSTEM

sun
AN AUSTRALIAN ECOSYSTEM

Photo by Diana

The plants and animals interact


with each other, and with the
non-lliving environment

The temperature, amount of light, the


air, water and the soil are vital nonliving factors of every ecosystem
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

copyright 2005-2006

keep it simple science

Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

CONCEPT DIAGRAM (Mind Map) OF TOPIC


Some students find that memorizing the OUTLINE of a topic helps them learn and remember the concepts and
important facts. As you proceed through the topic, come back to this page regularly to see how each bit fits the
whole. At the end of the notes you will find a blank version of this Mind Map to practise on.
Abiotic
Factors

Predator
&
Prey

Quadrats
&
CaptureRecapture

Transect
Studies

Parasite
&
Host

Biotic
Factors

Commensalism

Factors of
an Ecosystem
Mutualism

Distribution
&
Abundance

Roles
&
Relationships
Allelopathy

A LOCAL
ECOSYSTEM

Competition

Flow of
Energy & Matter

Adaptations
to
Environment
Human
Impacts

Loss of Habitat
Pollution
Eutrophication
Alien Species

Cycling of matter.
Flow of Energy

Biomass
Pyramids

Structural
Physiological
Behavioural

Food
Chains
Food
Webs

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

copyright 2005-2006

keep it simple science

Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

1. DISTRIBUTION & ABUNDANCE OF ORGANISMS


A Study of Distribution at a Rocky Seashore

The first questions you might ask when beginning to study


any ecosystem are:
which organisms live here?
where do they live, exactly?
how many of them are there?

In sea-shore studies it is quickly discovered that the


different organisms tend to be found in quite distinct
zones which are related to the vertical heights above and
below the tide levels.
TRANSECT DIAGRAM OF A ROCKY SEASHORE

DISTRIBUTION in ecology refers to where

Blue periwinkles

within an ecosysytem the individuals of a species are


located.

Neptunes necklace seaweed

Some species might be more or less evenly distributed


throughout the area being studied, but often the population
of a species is clumped together, or found only in certain
parts of the environment.

Black & striped periwinkles


common here

Crabs

Brown bubble weed

How a species is distributed gives clues about how it is


interacting with the environment. For example:

A plant found mainly


along the banks of
creeks or rivers may
have a greater need for
water to grow, or might
only be able to
reproduce by spreading
its seeds in water.

Low Tide level

Sea Urchins & Starfish


common here
Kelp seaweed only found
at lower levels
30 metres

Note: Vertical scale exaggerated

An animal that is
usually found in tree
tops may be there to
find its food, or may
be escaping its
enemies.

Exactly where each species is found is an indication of the


interactions in the ecosystem between each species and
factors such as:
FOOD SUPPLIES they need to be near.
PREDATORS they need to avoid.
WAVE ACTION.
Most of the organisms along the sea-shore are well
adapted to withstand the pounding of waves.
EXPOSURE TO AIR.
Sea-shore animals are all sea creatures which can withstand being exposed for a while at low tide. How well they
cope with this often determines their exact distribution.

So, one of the first things to do when studying an


ecosystem is to study the distribution of the organisms
present. One good way to do this is by carrying out a...

Transect Study
A Transect is like a cross-section through a study area.

Barnacles

The idea is to define a line which cuts right across the area
being studied. This could be a string line or a series of
marker sticks hammered into the soil.
The study is done by moving along the line and noting and
recording which species are located at each point.
Often plants are the main subjects of a Transect Study,
because many animals move around so far and so quickly
that they cant be studied this way.
You may have done a Transect Study as part of
your practical work, or on a field trip excursion.

Sea
Urchin

For schools near the coast, a common field trip


is to study the rocky seashore environment.
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

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3 metres

High Tide level

Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

Capture-Recapture Sampling.

ABUNDANCE refers to how many individuals are


in the population of a species in the ecosystem.

The obvious problem with the Quadrat method is that it


does not work with animals that will run/fly/swim away
from you.

In some cases, especially large organisms in relatively small


areas of study, it can be easy enough to count the
population directly. For example, to find the abundance of
fig trees in a small forest, simply walk back-and-forth in a
grid pattern and count as you go.

For mobile animals, or secretive, hard-to-find types, the


capture-recapture technique can be useful.
1. Capture a number
of the species being
studied.

Hovever, small organisms, large areas and animals that hide


or move around a lot make direct counting impossible. In
many cases, abundance of a species must be done by
sampling... studying small samples of the environment,
then scaling the data up to the whole area.

2. Mark or tag
the animals

Example:
1st Capture = 100
individuals

Two commonly used sampling techniques are:

Quadrat Sampling
A quadrat is a simple wire/wooden/plastic frame which
is dropped onto the ground at random throughout the
study area.

4. Carry out a second


capture program.

At each quadrat drop the number of the species of


interest is counted. After a number of drops (the more,
the better) the average number of organisms per quadrat is
calculated. Finally, the estimated population is found by
scaling-up from the area of the quadrat to the total area
being studied.

it
wa

...

3. Release animals back


where they were
captured.

5. Count how many of the


2nd capture are marked
from the 1st capture.
Example:
2nd Capture = 200
individuals

EXAMPLE OF QUADRAT STUDY


KEY:

Example:
Out of 200 in the 2nd capture,
20 are marked = 10% marked.

Plant
studied

For the example shown, 10% of the 2nd capture are


marked. So statistically, the 1st capture sample of 100 must
represent 10% of the total population of the study area.
Therefore population estimate = 1,000 individuals.

8 metres

Quadrat
drops
1 m2

Mathematically,
Study
Area
= 8x8
= 64 m2

= 100 x 200
20

8 metres

The quadrat has been dropped 8 times. The numbers of


target plants in each quadrat drop were 2,1,0,3,1,1,1,1.
This gives an average of (10/8) = 1.25 plants per drop.

= 1,000 individuals
Limitations
This technique relies on the marked/tagged individuals
mixing randomly back into the population and being recaught again at random. Sometimes this doesnt happen.

Estimated = Average count x Study area


Population
per quadrat
Quadrat area
For this example:

Estimated = 1.25 x 64
Population
1
= 80 plants in this area.

For example, intelligent mammals learn to avoid the traps


or nets, or may even enjoy being caught (for the food in a
trap) and learn to seek out the traps. Either way, this can
make the population estimate inaccurate.

Remember this is an estimate only, and can be improved by


increasing the number of quadrat drops.
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

Estimated = 1st capture x 2nd capture


Population
no.marked in 2nd capture
(no. re-captured)

copyright 2005-2006

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Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

Quadrat Study Problems


1.
Abundance of starfish on a rock platform was
studied by the quadrat method. The quadrat was
a plastic frame with an area of 0.25 m2.
The rock platform was a rectangle approximately
20m x 30m.

Worksheet 1
Fill in the blank spaces.
Check your answers in the Answer Section.
Distribution in ecology refers to a)..................
a species is located in an area. This gives clues
to how a species is b)............................................
with the environment. For example, an animal
found predominantly in treetops might be
there to find c)........................, or it may be
d)....................................... from its enemies. A
good technique for studying distribution is
carry out a f)..........................................study.
This is where you work along a
g)..................................... across the study area,
noting h).............................................................
at each point.

The numbers of starfish in 10 quadrat drops


were: 8, 0, 14, 11, 3, 1, 0, 0, 7, 2.
Estimate the starfish population on the rock
platform.
2.
A farmer wished to estimate the population
abundance of a noxious weed species in a
paddock measuring 300 x 400 metres. He used a
rectangular wire quadrat frame 1.0 x 0.5 metre.
The number of target weeds in 20 quadrat
drops were: 2, 8, 0, 15, 11, 0, 2, 1, 0, 9, 16, 3, 7,
13, 0, 1, 7, 0, 8, 2.

i)...................................... refers to how many


individuals of a species are in an environment.
One way to estimate this is by dropping
j).................................... at random throughout
the area. At each drop you count how many
organisms are in the quadrat. At the end you
calculate the k)............................... per quadrat.
Knowing the area of each quadrat, and the
area of l)................................................., the total
population can be estimated. The accuracy will
be improved by m)................................................
.......................................

What is the approximate population of weeds in


the paddock?
Capture-Recapture Problems
1.
A capture-recapture study was carried out on the
lizard population on an island. In the first capture
exercise, 230 lizards were captured, tagged and
released.

For animals that move around a lot, the


abundance is best estimated by the
n)........................................................ method.
This involves capturing a sample of the
population, then o).......................................
them
in
some
way,
and
then
p)..................................... them again. Later, you
carry out a second q)..............................., and
count how many of the sample are
r)................................... This allows calculation
of an estimate of the s).....................................
One limitation of this technique is that it relies
on
the
captured
specimens
t)...............................................................................,
but this doesnt always happen.

A week later, 156 lizards were captured. Of these,


18 had tags from the 1st capture.
Calculate an estimate of the lizard population on
the island, to the nearest thousand.
2.
To estimate the possum population in area, 65
possums were captured unharmed, tagged and
released. A week later 48 possums were captured.
Of these, 12 had tags.
Estimate the possum population.
It was later found that the possums rather
enjoyed being trapped because of the tasty food
used as bait. Does this mean your population
estimate may be too high or too low?
Explain your answer.

WHEN COMPLETED,
WORKSHEETS BECOME SECTION SUMMARIES

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

copyright 2005-2006

keep it simple science

Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

2. BIOTIC & ABIOTIC FACTORS OF AN ECOSYSTEM


The distribution and abundance of any species within an
ecosystem depends on a whole host of factors...

Biotic Factors

Abiotic Factors

(biotic = living)
examples...
Food organisms
Predators
Diseases
Competitors

(non-living)

Temperature Variation
On land the temperature can easily vary 20oC from day to
night, and even more from summer to winter. Living things
must be able to cope with that while maintaining relatively
stable internal body temperatures. Terrestrial animals need
fur or feathers for insulation, or have physiological
responses such as sweating or shivering, or alter their
behaviour (sunbaking or seeking shade) in response to heat
or cold.

Availability of water
Availability of oxygen
Light intensity
Temperature range
Soil characteristics
Salinity
Acidity (pH)
Exposure to wind

Water-living organisms generally do not need such special


adaptations. Aquatic environments have very stable
temperatures and change very little, even between summer
and winter.

Comparison of Abiotic Characteristics:

Availability of Gases (oxygen & carbon dioxide)


Since the air is about 20% oxygen, it is readily available in
terrestrial environments. Carbon dioxide (needed by plants
for photosynthesis) is only 0.035% of air, so land plants are
often limited by this.

Terrestrial Environment / Aquatic Environment


(on land)
(in water)
Viscosity is a measure of the stickiness of a substance,
and how easy or difficult it is to move through it. On land,
plants and animals are surrounded by air, which has very
low viscosity and is easy to move through.

These gases do NOT dissolve well in water, so the


concentration of gases in aquatic environments is very low,
and gets lower as the water gets warmer. For this reason,
fishs gills have to be highly efficient to extract the necessary
oxygen, and are far better than our lungs for gas exchange.

Water has a much higher viscosity and is more difficult to


move through. As a result, many aquatic animals are
streamlined, and equipped with powerful tails for propulsion.

Availability of Water
Terrestrial environments are subject to evaporation, and
plants and animals must have ways to conserve water, by
having water-proof skin, or avoiding losses during
excretion. This problem becomes extreme in some
environments such as deserts.

STREAMLINING

In aquatic habitats the organisms are surrounded by water,


but there can still be problems due to osmosis. This will be
studied in the next topic, but in summary:

Most of body is muscle


to power the tail

Buoyancy is a measure of flotation ability. Water is very


buoyant and supports plant and animal bodies against the
pull of gravity. Aquatic organisms do not need strong
stems or legs to hold themselves up.

SALTWATER
FISH

Absorbs water

Terrestrial plants need strong stems or trunks of wood to


grow upwards against gravity. Animals need strong
skeletons.

Osmosis sucks
water from body.

Bony skeleton
supports body
against gravity

Must
drink
constantly
to replace
water loss

Must
excrete
water
constantly

In salt-water environments animals can lose water by


osmosis and must constantly replace it.
In fresh water, osmosis causes water to flow into the
organisms body and must constantly be pumped out
again.

Strong
trunk to
hold leaves
up to catch
light

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

FRESH WATER
FISH

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Availability of Light
Light is essential for plants to carry out photosynthesis.
This process makes all the food, so the availability of light
is a critical factor in any ecosystem.
Light penetrates through air very easily, so most terrestrial
environments get plenty of light for the plants. The floor
of a rainforest is an exception... here the dense canopy of
trees means very little light penetrates to reach the smaller
species or seedlings.
Rainforest plants have adapted to this in many ways:

Brown Kelp Seaweed

Epiphytes (e.g. staghorn ferns) germinate and grow high


up in other plants and so avoid the darkness below.

In contrast to air, water does NOT allow light through so


easily. Light can penetrate the surface layers easily enough,
but even just 10 metres deep, much of the light has been
absorbed, and by 100 m down it is totally dark.

Birdnest fern epiphyte


in a rainforest tree

Also, water does not absorb all the different colours


(wavelengths) equally. Red and orange are absorbed rapidly,
while green and blue penetrate deeper into the water.
Most seaweeds are not the familiar green of land plants.
Many are brown or red because they contain special
pigments to absorb the dominant blue wavelength of light
they receive.
In deep ocean waters there is no light and consequently no
plants. Deep ecosystems rely on dead organic remains
drifting down from above for their food supply. On the
deep ocean floor, some ecosystems are based on food
made by chemosynthesis around volcanic vents. This will
be explained in a later topic.

Photo by Diana

Plants living on the floor have large, broad leaves, packed


with extra chorophyll, to absorb what little light is available.

Different colours
(wavelengths)
of light
penetrate water to
different depths.

Red light is
absorbed near
the surface

Blue light penetrates


to greater depth

Many seaweeds
have special
pigments to
efficiently absorb
the available
light.
Photo courtesy of
Katia Grimmer-Laversanne
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

copyright 2005-2006

keep it simple science

Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

Worksheet 2
Divide these ecosystem factors into 2 lists... the
Biotic and Abiotic factors.

On land, plants and animals must have ways to


p)............................................... water and avoid
dehydration. This could involve having
q)....................................... skin, or avoiding
excessive water loss during r)....................................
In aquatic environments there can be water
problems too, due to the process of
s)......................................................
For example, salt-water fish constantly
t)....................................... water, while fresh-water
fish need to constantly u).............................. water.

Light, prey, diseases, oxygen, water, predators,


soil, temperature, food plants, exposure,
competitors, acidity.
Fill in the blanks.
Check your answers in the Answer Section
In comparing the a)...............................................
(on
land)
environment
with
the
b)...................................... (in water) environment,
a number of Abiotic factors are very important;

On land, availability of light is generally not a


problem, except in environments such
v).......................................... To cope with this,
epiphyte plants such as w)................................,
grow up in the tops of trees. Plants on the floor
may
have
leaves
which
are
x)..................................................................................
to absorb any light available.

c).................................. refers to how easy/difficult


it is to move through the medium. Air has a very
d).............. ........................... while water is much
e).......................................... Because of this,
aquatic animals often have a f)..............................
shape.

In water, light penetration is poor, and the


different y)............................................... of light
penetrate differently. z)........................ wavelengths
are absorbed rapidly, while aa)..................................
penetrates further. Seaweed plants often have
special ab)................................ (often red/brown in
colour) to better absorb the available light. In the
very deep ocean there is no light, and no
ac)...................................... can survive there.
Ecosystems must rely on ad).................................
drifting down from above, for food, or on
ae).......................................... around volcanic
vents.

Buoyancy
is
a
measure
of
g).................................. ability. Water is much
h)....................... (more/less) buoyant than air.
Terrestrial animals and plants need strong
i)............................... structures to withstand
gravity, while aquatic organisms are supported by
the water.
Comparing temperature variations, the terrestrial
environment shows j).....................................
variation than water. Thats why many land
animals have special features such as
k)................................ for insulation, or the ability
to l)................................... when too hot.
Important gases like m).......................... are
abundant in the air Gases do not
n).............................. very well in water, so aquatic
animals need very efficient o).................................
or other breathing organs.

WHEN COMPLETED,
WORKSHEETS BECOME SECTION SUMMARIES

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

copyright 2005-2006

keep it simple science

Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

3. ROLES & RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ORGANISMS


Ecology is very much about relationships. This section
looks at some of the ways that different species within an
ecosystem relate to each other.

Predator - Prey
Although animals eat living plants, this is not predation...
the term is reserved for situations where one animal eats
another.
examples...

Predator
Dingo
Lion
Spider
Dolphin

eats
eats
eats
eats

Prey
Wallaby
Zebra
Insect
Fish

Both predator and prey have major impacts on each others


distribution and abundance, and each can cause the others
population to rise and fall in a fairly regular pattern.

Photo by Pam Roth


CreatingOnline.com

Population Size
(ABUNDANCE)

PREY SPECIES

Commensalism
Commensalism is a relationship in which one organism
benefits while the other is neither harmed nor helped.

Population
peaks

A good example is the remora, or sucker fish which


attaches itself to a shark with a suction cup structure and
hitches a ride. It does the shark no harm at all. When the
shark feeds, the remora feeds on the debris and scraps
from the sharks meal.

PREDATOR SPECIES

TIME (years)

Notice that
Predator abundance is always lower than prey.
(Reasons for this are explained in the next section)
The peaks and troughs of the predators population
always occur after those of the prey species.

Shark with remora hitching a ride.

What happens:
1. The numbers of the prey species increase because of its
breeding cycle, or seasonal increase in available food.
2. This provides more food for predators, who survive in
greater numbers and reproduce more sucessfully.
3. As predator numbers increase, more prey get eaten and
so the prey population decreases.
4. As prey numbers decline, less predators can survive, and
breeding is less sucessful... predator numbers decline.

A simple example of commensalism is a bird nesting in a


tree. The bird family gain the important benefit of a
relatively safe and secure nest site, while the tree neither
gains nor loses.
Another example, seen commonly in rural areas is the
cattle egret (bird) which follows the cattle through the
pastures, feeding on the insects which are disturbed by the
cows. The cow neither gains nor loses from the
relationship.

EACH ORGANISMS ABUNDANCE AFFECTS THE


OTHERS ABUNDANCE.

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

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Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

Another example is coral. The coral animal is a polyp... a


soft, hollow animal related to jellyfish. Inside the polyps
flesh lives another organism, an alga (microscopic plant).

Mutualism
In a mutualistic relationship, both species benefit.
Mutualism is much more widespread in nature than is
generally realized.
The classic example is the honey bee and many flowering
plants. The bees total food supply is nectar and pollen from
the flowers. As the bee gathers its food the plants gain the
essential service of pollination of their flowers. Both benefit
so profoundly that neither can survive without the other.

The polyp provides a secure home for the alga, which pays its
way by sharing the food it makes by photosynthesis. Both
organisms gain tremendous benefits from the relationship.
Photo by Norbert Machmek

Many grazing animals (e.g. kangaroos) eat a diet rich in


plant cellulose which is nutritious but difficult to digest.
These animals have a population of mutualistic microbes
living in their gut. The microbes are able to break the
cellulose down and make its nutrition available to the
animal, while the microbes gain a secure, stable place to live
and a permanent food supply... both benefit.
A mother koala will regurgitate pap from her gut to feed
her baby. The pap contains the mutualistic bacteria that the
baby must have to digest the tough gum leaves.

Photo by Diana

Parasite - Host
Parasitism is a relationship in which one organism feeds on another without
killing it, or even necessarily harming it significantly.

Allelopathy
is a relationship found particularly among plants and
fungi, in which one organism directly inhibits the
growth and development of others by releasing
toxins. The famous antibiotic penicillin was
discovered in the fungus Penicillium because of its
inhibiting effect on the growth of bacteria.
Some trees and shrubs (including the pest weed
lantana) release inhibiting chemicals from their
roots. These inhibitors slow down or prevent
the germination and growth of the seeds and
seedlings of other plants.

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

Some parasites, such as tapeworms, live inside their host and


absorb digested food without doing much harm. This way the
host stays healthy and the parasite has a secure home and
guaranteed food supply.
Other parasites, such as leeches and ticks, are casual parasites
who attach to a host, take a feed of blood, and then drop off and
live independently until it is time to feed again.
More serious are the many micro-organisms which can cause
infectious diseases. These parasites include bacteria, viruses and a
few protozoans and fungi. They invade the hosts body, feeding
and reproducing so that the host becomes sick and may even die.

10

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Competition

It is known from fossils that the Thylacine (Tasmanian


tiger) was once widespread as one of the main predators
on mainland Australia. However, its numbers rapidly
declined after the introduction of the dingo from Asia
about 10,000 years ago.

occurs whenever two different species need to use exactly


the same resource, in the same way. The resource in
question may be a food source, or nesting sites or simply
living space, such as when plants like lantana or bitou bush
cover areas at the expense of other plants.
Competition usually results in a winner and a loser. One
species will be slightly more successful than the other, and
its population will grow, while the less sucessful competitor
will decline in numbers and may eventually become extinct
in the ecosystem.

Dingo

Sometimes what seems like competition turns out not to be.


For example, the lion and the leopard are both large African
predators, often living in the same areas and both feeding
on the herds of grazing animals.

Photo by Alex Maher

Population Size (ABUNDANCE)

A TYPICAL COMPETITION GRAPH


Dingo
Thylacine
Original population
reasonably stable

Dingo
introduced

Thylacine
Extinct

TIME (years)
Photo by Mark Karstad

Photo by Pau Talan

It seems the dingo was a more sucessful predator and outcompeted the Thylacine on the mainland. The dingo was
never introduced to Tasmania, so there the tigers survived
until driven into total extinction by the impacts of
European settlement.

However, careful study reveals that their hunting techniques


are so different that they tend to prey on different species
and different categories (e.g. young rather than adults) so
they are in fact NOT competing and can both survive in the
same habitat.

Worksheet 3

Mutualism
is
when
2
organisms
m)..................................................................................................
A good example is the n)..................................... and
................................................... Many grazing animals get
help to digest the tough fibres of plant food from
mutualistic relationship with o)....................................... living
in their gut.

Fill in the blanks. Check your answers in the Answer Section

An animal which kills and eats another animal is called a


a)......................................... The animal it eats is its
b)............................ Each ones population abundance affects
the other. For example, if the predator population
increases, the prey population will c)......................................
because d)........................................................................ On a
graph, the peaks & troughs will match each other, but the
predators graph will always be e).........................................
and f)................................................. than the preys graph.

Some plants and fungi produce chemical toxins which


p)............................................ the growth of other organisms.
This relationship is called q)......................................................

A parasite is an organism which g).......................................


on its host without h).................................... A good example
is the i)............................................. which lives in the gut of
its host, eating the digested food. Other parasites such as
j)...................................... and ................................................
feed on the hosts blood.

Competition is when 2 organisms both need to use


r)................................................................... in an environment.
Usually,
the
result
of
competition
is
s).....................................................................................................

A relationship in which one organism gains an advantage,


while the other neither gains nor loses, is called
k).............................................................An example is the
shark and the l)..........................................................
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

WHEN COMPLETED,
WORKSHEETS BECOME SECTION SUMMARIES

11

copyright 2005-2006

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Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

4. THE FLOW OF ENERGY & MATTER IN AN ECOSYSTEM


Cycling of Matter

How Organisms Use Energy

Within any ecosystem the important chemicals of life tend


to be re-cycled.

Everything that an organism does requires energy.


Organisms:Move
Grow and Repair body tissue
Reproduce
Seek, Eat and Assimilate their food
Respond to things happening around them
Keep their bodies warm

The water cycle of nature is well known, and you should


be familiar with the Oxygen-Carbon cycle.

Respiration

CO2

Cellular Respiration

Photosynthesis

is the process which releases the energy stored in food. It


takes place in every living cell on the planet and after
photosynthesis (next topic) has got to be the next most
important biological process on
rgy to
rs ene
Earth.
transfe
s
s
e
c
o
ATP
The pr

O2
PLANTS

ANIMALS

Glucose + Oxygen
(sugar)

Carbon + Water
Dioxide

in air

Other chemicals that are recycled within ecosystems


include Nitrogen, Calcium and Phosphorus... in fact ALL
the chemicals get used over and over again.

Energy Inputs & Outputs

Energy-carrying
chemical used in
all cells to power
life processes.

Waste
products

Major energy
compound in
foods

Unlike the chemicals, energy cannot be recycled. As it is


used it must be replaced from outside the ecosystem.
C6H12O6 + 6O2

The ultimate source of ALL the energy in an ecosystem is


the SUN. The Sun provides the heat to keep each
ecosystem at a livable temperature, but more importantly it
is the LIGHT of the Sun which powers all life.

SUN

energy transfer

PLANTS
capture light energy
during
Photosynthesis

Dont forget that the essential product of respiration is the


energy-carrier ATP. The CO2 and H2O are merely waste
products to be recycled in the ecosystem like all chemicals.
A common misconception is that plants do
PHOTOSYNTHESIS and make food, while animals
do RESPIRATION to use the food.

Energy is stored in the FOOD

produced by plants

OUTPUT
waste
heat
energy

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

ATP

Although the process can be witten as a simple chemical


reaction, this is very deceptive. Cellular respiration actually
takes place as a sequence of about 50 chemical steps... the
equation above is merely a summary of the overall process.

INPUT
Ligh
t

6CO2 + 6H2O

Its true that plants do photosynthesis and make all the


food on Earth, but respiration is carried out by all living
things... animals AND plants.

All organisms use the energy


in food to power their life
functions.
The process of Respiration
releases the energy in food.

Luckily for us animals, the plants carry out enough


photosynthesis to feed themselves, AND produce a surplus
to feed us as well.
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Food Chains
Plants are food PRODUCERS.
They capture light energy by the process of photosynthesis, and store it as the chemical energy in food.
All other organisms are CONSUMERS of food. They rely on eating the plants or other animals.
So, in any ecosystem there is a chain of feeding, based on the plants... a food chain.

Photo by Alex Maher

Photo by Diana

GRASS

KANGAROO

DINGO

Plant

Herbivore

Carnivore

Producer

1st order
Consumer

2nd order
Consumer

1st Trophic
2nd Trophic
level
level
(trophic refers to feeding)

3rd Trophic
level

NOTES:
1. The arrows in a food chain show the direction that the energy flows. The arrows must never be reversed.
2. Note the different ways to describe each organisms role in the chain. Be careful not to confuse the different methods...
e.g. a 1st Order Consumer is at the 2nd Trophic Level... etc.

The Role of the Decomposers


All along the food chain organic wastes are produced. Dead
leaves from plants, body wastes and shed skin and fur from the
animals are just a few examples.

Mushrooms and toadstools are the


reproductive structures of soil-lliving fungi

This left-over waste material is food for a very important group


of organisms... the decomposers. The main decomposer
organisms are the microscopic bacteria and the soil fungi. These
organisms feed on the scraps and wastes and in doing so, cause
wastes to decay and be broken down into very simple chemicals
such as CO2 and nitrate and phosphate ions.
THIS IS ESSENTIAL TO THE RECYCLING OF THE
CHEMICALS IN AN ECOSYSTEM.
Not only do the decomposers get rid of all the yucky stuff
and clean up the environment, but they ensure that the vital
chemicals are recycled into the air or soil for re-use by the
plants...
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

13

Photo by Diana

...and so the food chains continue....


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Food Webs

Although we can best understand the flow of energy by a food chain,


in fact simple food chains never exist by themselves in nature.
Kangaroos dont just eat grass, and dingoes dont just eat wallabies.
The real feeding relationships in an ecosystem can only be described by a food web...
many inter-connected food chains.

large fish

Example: FOOD WEB IN A ROCK POOL

octopus

starfish

small fish

mussels
limpets

periwinkles

chitons

zooplankton

(microscopic animals)

phytoplankton

green algae

(microscopic plants)

Hints on Constructing a Food Web


To keep it simple and read-able (K.I.S.S.) when constructing a food web:
always start with the producers (plants) at the bottom and work upwards
try to keep the members of the same trophic level in-line in the diagram.
(not always possible, because some organisms may be feeding at more than one trophic level...
look at the mussels in the diagram above.)
A food web diagram allows us to analyse the flow of energy
(stored in food) through the ecosystem and to make certain
predictions...

Question:
What might be the effect on the mussel population if there
was a large increase in the octopus population?
Answer:
If there were more octopus they will eat more
mussels, so the mussel population would decrease.

Example Questions and Answers:


Question:
Which organism is at the highest Trophic Level above?

Question:
If a disease wiped out all the mussels in a particular area,
what effect might this have on the chiton population?
Answer:
(Chitons are not directly connected to mussels, so you
might think thered be no effect, but there might be...)
If there are no mussels to eat, the octopus might eat
more chitons. Therefore the chiton population could
decrease.
OR
Without mussels to eat, the octopus might eat more
starfish. This could mean less chitons being eaten by
starfish so the chiton population could increase.
THIS DEMONSTARTES THE DIFFICULTY OF MAKING
PREDICTIONS ABOUT NATURAL FOOD WEBS... CONSEQUENCES
OF CHANGES CAN BE QUITE UNPREDICTABLE!

Answer:
The large fish, which is at the 5th trophic level.

large fish
(5th)
octopus (4th)
mussels (3rd)
zooplankton (2nd)
phytoplankton (1st Trophic Level)
Question:
List all organisms which are 1st order consumers.
Answer:
Limpets, periwinkles, chitons, mussels & zooplankton.
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

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Biomass
You are what you eat goes the old saying, and it is literally
true that every molecule of your body is built from the
chemicals that you have eaten as food over your lifetime.
Your body weight is your Biomass... the mass (weight) of
living flesh in you.

Everything you do requires energy, which you get from


cellular respiration...
C6H12O6 + 6O2

6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP

...and as you breathe out you excrete the waste CO2 (plus
some water vapour) and so lose a little of the mass of the
food you previously ate.

An average person eats at least 250 kg of food per year and


drinks at least 500 litres of liquids. So why arent we all as
big as an elephant? Simply because we all produce roughly
the same mass of wastes and excrete them so that our
biomass stays more or less the same. (Unless still growing,
of course).

...and as you use the energy of the ATP molecules, the


energy is converted to low-grade heat and dissipates into
your surroundings. This energy is lost, and cannot be reused by living things.

In ecology, we deal with the total biomass of an entire


population, or of the whole community. For example, if
there are 200 starfish living in a particular rockpool, and
each has a mass (on average) of 50 grams, then the biomass
of starfish in the rockpool is 200 x 50 = 10,000 g = 10 kg.

In any ecosystem it turns out that about 90% of the


food/energy taken in at any trophic level, is lost as wastes
and low-grade heat. (Thank goodness for the
Decomposers to get rid of all that waste!)

It is always found that the biomass of plants is more than


the biomass of herbivores, which is more than the biomass
of carnivores, and so on. Why?

This means that in a food chain, only about 10% of the


biomass and energy at any trophic level is available to be
eaten by the next trophic level organisms. The result is a

BIOMASS PYRAMID.

So, for the food chain

GRASS

PYRAMID OF
BIOMASS &
ENERGY

DINGO

if there was (say) 100,000 kg of grass in an ecosystem,


then this could not support more than about 10,000 kg of
kangaroos, and only about 1,000kg of dingo biomass.

4th
Trophic
Level

3rd
Trophic
Level

KANGAROO

The approximate population numbers would be:


5 million grass plants feeding about 400 kangaroos,
feeding just 50 dingoes... a pyramid of numbers too.

10%

90% of Biomass
and Energy lost

2nd
Trophic
Level

Biomass
of
Herbivores

90% of Biomass
and Energy lost

Py
ra

mi

ds
ha

pe

10%

1st
Trophic
Level

10%
available

Biomass of Producers
(Plants)

90% of Biomass
and Energy lost

This is why very few food chains in nature have more than 5 or 6 trophic levels... the available food & energy becomes too little
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

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5. ADAPTATIONS OF ORGANISMS TO THEIR ENVIRONMENT


Adaptations are special characteristics that help an

A third category is behavioural adaptation, which is


where an animals instinctive behaviour helps it survive and
thrive in its environment

organism survive in its environment.


For example, the black bear of North America has a thick
coat of fur. This is a structural adaptation to its
environment. The fur helps insulate the body to keep it
warm in the cold climate in which this species lives.

Example: most reptiles....

sunbake when
too cool

seek shelter
when too hot

Dangers of Inferring Adaptations


You need to be careful when examining any organism for
its adaptations because it may require careful study to be
sure of the real reason for some characteristics.
For example, it is possible that the adaptation you observe
could be inherited from ancestors who lived in a different
environment, and it is not a help to survival in the current
habitat.

Other structural adaptations that have already been


mentioned in previous sections include:
streamlining of many aquatic animals to deal with the
high viscosity of water

Also, its not always easy to decide what survival advantage


a particular characteristic may give.

large, broad, chlorophyll-packed leaves of plants living on


the rainforest floor, to cope with the low light levels
the bony skeleton of most terrestrial animals needed to
support the animal against gravity.
Another category of adaptation is physiological
adaptation. (Physiological refers to the way the body
works or functions) Previously mentioned examples
include:
animals shivering when cold, and sweating when too hot
freshwater fish excreting water constantly to remove
excess water from their bodies. This is controlled by the
functioning of their kidneys.

Photo by Diana

For example:
is the magpies colour scheme an adaptation which helps it
survive because it gives:

One of the classic physiological adaptations is the kidney


function of many desert animals. In an environment where
water is scarce, these animals conserve body water by
producing only small amounts of very concentrated urine.

or
or
or

In some cases, such as desert mice, their kidneys are so


efficient at retaining water that they do not need to drink,
but can survive on the metabolic water produced by
cellular respiration.
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

camouflage?
temperature control?
sexual attraction for mating?
identification, to keep a group together?

ONLY CAREFUL STUDY WILL REVEAL THE TRUTH.


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Worksheet 4
Fill in the blanks. Check answers at the back.

Worksheet 5

In any ecosystem, the chemical resources tend


to be a)..............................................., but the
energy is used up and must be constantly
b)............................................. The source of all
the energy is the c).......................... The energy
is captured by the d)......................................in
the process of e)...................................................
This converts light energy into the energy
stored in the f)............................................
molecules.

Special characteristics which help an organism


survive in its environment are called
a).........................................................................
Some of these are structural: they involve
special structures, such as the fur of a bear
which b)..................................................................
in a cold climate. Another example is how
many
aquatic
animals
are
c)...................................... to allow them to move
more easily through water, which has a high
d)................................................................

Organisms need energy for all the life


processes such as moving around,
g).............................................................. and
.................................................................................
The energy of food is released by the process
of h)............................. ......................................
This requires the gas i)..................................
The products are the chemical wastes
j)...........................................................and
................................................. and the energy
chemical known as k)......................................

The second category of adaptations are those


that are e).............................................., or related
to the functioning of the body. For example, an
animal might f).................................... when too
hot, or g)................................................ if too
cold. Many desert animals have highly efficient
kidneys so they produce h).............................
amounts of highly i).......................................
urine, in order to j)...........................................
water.

Energy is passed from one organism to


another as food, and the flow of energy
through an ecosystem is a l).................................
.......................... In any food chain, the plants
are the m)................................, and animals are
n)...........................................................

The third category of adaptations is


k).................................................. For example,
reptiles cannot regulate their body temperature
physiologically, so they use behaviours instead.
They will l)......................................................
when too cool, and seek m)...................................
when too hot.

The Decomposers are vital to get rid of


wastes and dead scraps and to
o)....................................... vital chemicals. Single
food chains rarely exist in nature. Instead, a
number
of
food
chains
which
p).................................... with each other, form a
q)..................................... ...............................
The total body weight of all the individuals of
a species in an ecosystem is known as the
r)................................ There is always about 10
times more r)............................... of plants than
of s).............................................. because about
90% is always lost as wastes. Because the
biomass decreases rapidly up through any
food chain it is referred to a biomass
t)................................

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

WHEN COMPLETED,
WORKSHEETS BECOME SECTION SUMMARIES

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6. HUMAN IMPACTS ON ECOSYSTEMS


Eutrophication

Human culture is the learned behaviours we have


accumulated over the millenia since our ancestors invented
tools, controlled fire and began to rise above nature. Our
culture includes language, art, music, customs and
TECHNOLOGY.

occurs when rivers and streams are over-fertilized by


human sewerage and agricultural run-off.
Although our sewerage may be thoroughly treated to make
it safe to the environment, the effluent still contains many
minerals which act as a fertilizer. Typically, the treated
effluent from our sewer systems is discharged into
waterways. Similarly, when farmers use fertilizer on their
crops and fields, some will eventually be washed into creeks
and rivers during rainy weather.

It is our over-population, and our complex, industrial


technology that impacts on natural ecosytems...

Loss of Habitat
Very simply, humans clear forests, fill wetlands and divert
streams to make room for our towns and cities and for our
agriculture. For example, only about 3% of Australian
rainforests remain, from those present 200 hundred years ago.
Clearing of natural environments is disaster for many
species. They are specially adapted to their habitat and
cannot survive elsewhere.

The result is that algae living in the waterways are


stimulated to grow in over-abundance, often choking
waterways and blocking light from other water plants.
Later, great masses of algae die off and their decay uses up
all the oxygen in the water, so that many fish and other
organisms suffocate.

Pollution

Introduction of Alien Species

Many human activities produce chemicals which can harm


the environment if released.

The European settlers to Australia brought many species


from other places and released them into the new
environment. The list includes plants such as prickly pear,
lantana and bitou bush, and animals such as rabbits, foxes,
pigs, camels, and cane toads.

Acid rain results from gases such as sulfur dioxide (SO2)


released from burning of fossil fuels, especially coal. The
gas dissolves in rainwater forming an acid solution that can
seriously affect forests, lakes and wetlands by killing some
organisms so that food chains are disrupted.
Pesticides and industrial poisons, even in very small
amounts can build up in living communities by biological
magnification...
example: the level of toxic chemical in a shrimp might be
quite low, but a fish which eats many shrimp in a year ends
up with a concentration of toxins 100 times higher... and so
on up through the food chain.
Biological Magnification
Toxin concentration = 10 units

All of these species, and many others, have become major


problems in the ecosystems, because:

Toxin concentration
= 1000 units

the aliens find themselves in an environment in which


the normal predators and diseases are not present to keep
their population in check

Toxin concentration = 1 unit

they are often more ruthlessly efficient in using resources,


and so they out-compete the native species.

Scientists are currently alarmed by a world-wide decline in


populations of amphibians (frogs & toads). It is suspected
that various human-made chemicals are disrupting the
reproduction and development of 100s of species which
are vital links in the food webs in many ecosystems.
Preliminary Biology Topic 1

Many ecosystems around the world are being disrupted by


alien species introduced by humans.

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CONCEPT DIAGRAM (Mind Map) OF TOPIC


Some students find that memorizing the OUTLINE of a topic
helps them learn and remember the concepts and important facts.
Practise on this blank version.

A LOCAL
ECOSYSTEM

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

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Practice Questions

6. The streamlined shape of a dolphin is an adaptation to:


A. the high buoyancy of water.
B. low availablity of gases in the sea.
C. the large temperature variations of aquatic habitats.
D. the high viscosity of water.

When you have confidently mastered this level, it is


strongly recommended you work on questions from
past exam papers.

7. Many seaweeds have brown or red pigments because:


A. these absorb the predominately blue light that
penetrates underwater.
B. it camouflages them among the rocks of the sea floor.
C. red and brown light penetrates water more than other
colours.
D. this helps them control their temperature by absorbing
more heat.

These are not intended to be "HSC style" questions,


but to challenge your basic knowledge and
understanding of the topic, and remind you of what
you NEED to know at the K.I.S.S. principle level.

Part A

Multiple Choice

1. When studying an ecosystem, a transect study could


be useful for recording the:
A. abundance of species within the study area.
B. distribution of species within the area.
C. special adaptations of species to the habitat.
D. food chains in the area.

8. The following graph shows the changes in population


numbers for a prey species and 4 other species. Which
one (A, B, C or D) is most likely to be the predator?

2. Refer to the Transect Diagram of a rocky seashore


habitat on page 3.
It would be reasonable to infer from this transect study
that:
A. starfish eat kelp plants.
B. blue periwinkles can withstand drying effects at low
tide better than starfish can.
C. Crabs can survive the effects of wave action better
than bubble weed.
D. Kelp has special adaptations to resist drying out.

A
B
ABUNDANCE

C
D
Time

3. The best way to improve the accuracy and reliability


of a quadrat study is to:
A. use a bigger quadrat frame.
B. deliberately drop quadrats where the target
species is found in larger numbers.
C. measure the size of the study area more carefully.
D. have more quadrat drops.

9. The cleaner wrasse is a small fish of the coral reef


which feeds on the parasites clinging to other fish. Many
larger fish will queue up to wait for a cleaner wrasse to
pick off their parasites.
The relationship between the cleaner wrasse and the
larger fish is an example of:
A. Mutualism
B. Commensalism
C. Allelopathy
D. Competition

4. When using the capture-recapture technique,


which of the following would be most likely to result
in an INACCURATE estimate of population size.
A. The marking technique used reduces survival
chances of the animals.
B. Increasing the number captured in the 2nd capture
operation.
C. After release from the first cature, the animals mix
randomly back into the population.
D. Increasing the number captured in the first capture
operation.

10. Which of the following statements about ecosystems


is generally true?
A. Energy is re-cycled, while chemicals have to be
constantly supplied.
B. Both matter and energy are re-cycled.
C. Matter is re-cycled, while energy has to be constantly
supplied.
D. Both matter and energy have to be constantly supplied

5. Which of the following is a biotic factor in an


ecosystem?
A. Light intensity.
B. Soil type
C. Diseases
D. Temperature range.

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

Prey
species

11. The essential product of cellular respiration is:


A. Glucose
B. Oxygen
C. Carbon Dioxide
D. ATP

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12. In the following food chain:


algae

limpet

octopus

fish

Part B

shark

the herbivore and the organism at the 4th Trophic


level are respectively:
A. limpet and shark
B. limpet and fish
C. algae and fish
D. algae and shark

17. (4 marks)
The following is a diagram of a transect done to study
the distribution of 4 plant species J, K, L and M in a
certain area.

13. Soil bacteria usually have the role in ecosystems of:


A. Decomposers
B. Disease causing parasites
C. Producer organisms
D. Epiphytes

Vertical
scale
exaggerated

Pond

Key

14. In a certain area, the biomass of several species is:


Species
Biomass (kg)
P
10,000
Q
5,000,000
R
100,000
S
500
If these 4 organisms are involved in the same food
chain, then the order in the food chain is most likely:
A.
S>R>P>Q
B.
P>Q>R>S
C.
Q>S>P>R
D.
Q>R>P>S

Creek
K

Describe the distribution of species K and L.


18. (3 marks)
Using a capture-recapture method to estimate the
population of trout fish in a lake, the following results
were obtained:
1st capture: 537 trout tagged & released.
2nd capture: 832 captured. Of these 45 were tagged.
To the nearest 1 000, how many trout are in the lake?
Show your working or reasoning.

15. One of the adaptations visible in the North


American beaver is a large, broad, flat tail.

19. (6 marks)
To estimate the population size for a small plant species
living in a field, a quadrat study was carried out. The field
was rectangular, measuring 120m x 85m.

Photo by Diana

The quadrat used was a square wired frame


0.50m x 0.50m = 0.25 m2 area.
It was dropped at random 10 times in the field. The
count of the target species in each of the drops
was:8, 14, 2, 5, 9, 22, 3, 0, 12 and 7.

This adaptation probably helps the beaver survive by:


A. giving it more stability and balance as it moves on
land.
B. helping it to carry the twigs and branches it feeds
on.
C. used as a shield it protects against predator attack.
D. helping it to swim and steer in water.

a) Calculate
i) the area of the field.
ii) the average number of plants per quadrat.
b) Find an estimate of the size of the plant population in
the field. Show working.
c) Suggest one way to improve this study to give a more
accurate estimate.

16. Eutrophication is when:


A. polluting chemicals in the environment become
more concentrated as they move up a food chain.
B. aquatic habitats suffer from algal blooms due to
over-fertilization.
C. gases from burning of fossil fuels cause waterways
to become very acidic.
D. an introduced species over-populates an ecosystem.

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

Longer Response Questions

Mark values given are suggestions only, and are to give


you an idea of how detailed an answer is appropriate.

20. (4 marks)
Construct a simple table and fill it in to compare the
terrestrial and aquatic environments with respect to
viscosity
buoyancy
temperature variation
and
availability of light

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21. (5 marks)
a) Define the term mutualism.
b) Give an example of mutualism, naming 2
organisms and outlining how each is affected by the
relationship.

25. (8 marks)
From your diagram for Q24 answer the following.
a) Name three 2nd-order consumers.
b) Name an organism which occupies more than one
trophic level.
c) Write the longest food chain within this web.
d) Name 2 organisms who could well be competitors.
e) There is a world-wide trend of decline in amphibian
populations. If the frog population in this food web was
drastically reduced, what might happen to the:
i) insect population?
ii) mouse population?
f) Comment on a human impact apparent from the food
web for this ecosystem.

22. (5 marks)
In nature, allelopathy is a method of beating your
competition.
Discuss this statement briefly, giving definitions and
examples as appropriate.
23. (8 marks)
a) Write a word equation to summarize the process of
cellular respiration.
b) The process makes energy available to living cells.
i) What is the original source of this energy?
ii) How does the energy get into an
ecosystem?
iii) In what form is the energy passed from
organism to organism?

26. (4 marks)
In a seaside rockpool, the total biomass of all visible
plants, herbivores and carnivores was estimated as
follows: Plants 10 kg
Hebivores 20 kg
Carnivores 2 kg

24. (5 marks)
The following observations were made about the
feeding relationships in an Australian rural ecosystem.
Use the information to construct a food web diagram.

a) On these figures alone, could the rockpool be a viable,


stable ecosystem? Explain your answer.
b) Over time, the rockpool community is studied and it is
found to be very stable and more-or-less unchanging.
Suggest how this might be possible.

Honey-eater birds feed on the nectar and pollen of


native shrubs. These shrubs are also eaten by insects
and wallabies. Grass is eaten by insects, rabbits and
wallabies, while mice feed on the grass seeds. Frogs eat
insects, while dingoes prey on rabbits and wallabies.
Kookaburras hunt snakes and frogs. The snakes feed
on frogs, mice and take the eggs and babies from
honey-eater nests.

27. (4 marks)
a) Explain what is meant by an adaptation.
b) Give an example of an adaptation for each of the
following situations.
i) A structural adaptation (in an animal) to a cold climate.
ii) A plant adaptation to low light levels on the rain forest
floor.
iii) An adaptation for water conservation in a desert
animal.
28. (3 marks)
Outline a human impact on a named type of ecosystem.

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

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Answer Section

p) conserve
q) waterproof
r) excretion
s) osmosis
t) lose
u) excrete
v) rainforests
w) staghorns/orchids etc
x) large/broad/packed with chlorophyll
y) colours / wavelengths
z) Red/orange
aa) blue
ab) pigments
ac) plants
ad) dead material
ae) chemosynthesis

Worksheet 1
a) where
c) food

b) interacting
d) hiding / escaping
f) transect
g) straight line
h) which species are present
i) Abundance
j) quadrats
k) average number / quadrat l) the environment / study area
m) doing more quadrat drops n) Capture - Recapture
o) marking/tagging
p) release
q) capture
r) marked/tagged
s) total population
t) mixing randomly back into the population
Quadrat Study Problems
1. Average per quadrat = 46 / 10 = 4.6
Study area = 20 x 30 = 600 m2

Worksheet 3
a) predator
b) prey
c) decrease
d) more prey will be eaten
e) lower
f) later / after
g) feeds
h) killing it
i) tapeworm
j) ticks, mosquitoes, leeches
k) commensalism
l) remora (sucker fish)
m) both gain a benefit
n) bee & flowering plants
o) bacteria / protozoa
p) inhibit / slow
q) allelopathy
r) the same resource(s)
s) one survives and thrives, the other declines.
(one wins, one loses)

Estimated = Average count x Study area


Population
per quadrat
Quadrat area
= 4.6 x 600 / 0.25
= 11,040
Population estimate = 11,000 starfish approx.
2. Average per quadrat = 105 / 20 = 5.25
Paddock area = 300 x 400 = 120,000 m2
Estimated = Average count x Study area
Population
per quadrat
Quadrat area
= 5.25 x 120,000 / 0.5
= 1,260,000 weeds approx.

Worksheet 4
a) re-cycled
b) replaced / input
c) Sun
d) plants
e) photosynthesis
f) food (glucose)
g) growing, reproducing, responding etc
h) cellular respiration
i) oxygen
j) water & carbon dioxide
k) ATP
l) food chain
m) producers
n) consumers
o) re-cycle
p) inter-connect
q) food web
r) biomass
s) herbivores
t) pyramid

Capture - Recapture Problems

1.

Estimated = 1st capture x 2nd capture


Population
no.marked in 2nd capture
= 230 x 156
18
= 1,993
Estimated population 2,000 lizards
2.

Estimated = 1st capture x 2nd capture


Population
no.marked in 2nd capture
= 65 x 48
12
= 260 possums

If the possums enjoy being trapped then the recapture sample


contains a disproportionately HIGH number of tagged animals,
who have come back to the traps deliberately. Mathematically, if
the number 12 is too high, then the answer (260) is too low, so
the real population is higher than the estimate.

Worksheet 5
a) adaptations
c) streamlined
e) physiological
g) shiver
i) concentrated
k) behavioural
m) shade / shelter

Worksheet 2
Biotic Factors
prey
diseases
predators
food plants
competitors

Abiotic Factors
light
oxygen
water
soil
temperature
exposure
acidity

a) terrestrial
c) Viscosity
e) higher viscosity
g) flotation
i) support
k) fur/fat/feathers
m) oxygen
o) gills

b) aquatic
d) low viscosity
f) streamlined
h) more
j) much less
l) sweat
n) dissolve

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

23

b) insulates it
d) viscosity
f) sweat
h) small
j) conserve
l) sunbake

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keep it simple science

Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

Practice Questions- Answers


Part A
1. B
2. B
3. D
4. A

5. C
6. D
7. A
8. C

9. A
10. C
11. D
12. B

22. Competition is when 2 species both use the same


environmental resource, such as plants competing for the
same soil minerals in an area.
Allelopathy is when one species produces a chemical or
toxin to inhibit the growth and development of other
species.
Allelopathy is a method of dealing with competitors, such
as the lantana plant producing toxins in its roots, which
inhibits other plant species. This allows lantana to outcompete other plants and gain more soil minerals and light.

13. A
14. D
15. D
16. B

Part B In some cases there may be more than one correct

answer. The following model answers are correct


but not necessarily perfect.

17. Species K is not widely distributed, but seems confined to the


hilltop (higher elevation).
Species L seems to occur only near water, on the banks of ponds
and creeks.

(Note: this is why lantana is such a noxious weed... its a


great competitor when introduced to a new environment
without its natural diseases and enemies.)
23.
a) Glucose + Oxygen

Estimated = 1st capture x 2nd capture


Population
no.marked in 2nd capture

18.

Carbon + Water + ATP


Dioxide

b) i) The Sun
ii) Energy is captured by plants in photosynthesis.
iii) As food (containing chemical potential energy)

= 537 x 832
45
= 9,929

24.

kookaburras

To nearest 1000, Estimate = 10,000 trout.


snakes

19. a) i) Area = length x width = 120 x 85 = 10,200 m2.


ii) Average = (8+14+2+5+9+22+3+0+12+7) / 10
= 82 / 10
= 8.2 plants / quadrat
b)

frogs
honey
eaters

Estimated = Average count x Study area


Population
per quadrat
Quadrat area

native shrubs

= 8.2 x 10,200/0.25
= 334,560
Estimate = 335,000 plants approximately

Aquatic
Environment

Viscosity

low

high

Buoyancy

low

high

Temp. variation

high

low

Light avail.

good

gets less with depth

rabbits

grass

e) i) without predators, the insect population should


increase.
ii) If less frogs, then snakes might eat more mice.
Therefore mouse population may decrease.
f) The rabbit is an alien species introduced to Australia
from Europe. In the absence of its natural enemies and
diseases, it has over-populated at the expense of native
species.

21. a) Mutualism is a relationship between 2 different


species in which both gain a benefit.
b) Honey bee and flowering plant.
Bee gains food supply. Plant achieves pollination of its
flowers.

Preliminary Biology Topic 1

wallabies

(Note: other possible answers are not as good.


e.g. snakes & kookaburras both eat frogs, but kooks also eat
the snake, so they are not just competing for frogs.
Honey-eaters and insects both eat shrubs, but different
parts of the plant, so not competing. Same with mice v
rabbits... not eating the same parts of plants.)

c) Make more drops of the quadrat.


Terrestrial
Environment

mice

25 a) snakes, frogs, dingoes


b) snake or kookaburra
c) nat.shrubs > insects > frogs > snakes >kookaburras
d) wallabies and rabbits (best answer)

(Note: it is NOT appropriate to give an answer of 334,560


since this suggests that the process will calculate the exact
number of plants. It is a statistical estimate only, and
answers should be rounded off)

20.

insects

dingoes

24

copyright 2005-2006

keep it simple science

Liverpool Boys High School SL#702296

26
a) No. Stable ecosystems always have about 10 times more
biomass of plants than herbivores. The rockpool has less
plant biomass than herbivores. This is not sustainable.
b) The biomass figures include only visible plants. There
may be a large biomass of microscopic algae and plankton
not accounted for in the figures.
or,
Perhaps the herbivores in the rockpool are not just feeding
on the plants present, but leave the pool at high tide to feed
elsewhere.
or,
The community might be sustained by extra biomass which
washes into the pool with waves and tides and feeds the
herbivores.

27. a) An adaptation is a special feature of an organism,


which helps it to survive in its environment.
b) i) A thick fur coat, or feathers, or layers of blubber (fat)
all act as heat insulators.
ii) Large, broad leaves capture what light is present.
iii) Kidneys that produce small amounts of concentrated
urine, so less water is lost by excretion.
28. (many different answers possible)
Humans clear forests, fill and drain wetlands etc for
agriculture and to build towns, roads etc. This results in
loss of habitat for many forest species which are adapted
to particular environments and cannot live elsewhere.

NOTICE ANY ERRORS?


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but were only human
If you notice any errors, please let us know

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PORT MACQUARIE NSW 2444
(02) 6583 4333

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Preliminary Biology Topic 1

25

FAX (02) 6583 9467

copyright 2005-2006

keep it simple science