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Ecosystems

Unit 13

3. Teaching resources
Unit summary:
The biosphere refers to any part of the Earth where life exists. Ecology is the science that
studies the interaction between living things and their environment.
Organisms from different species interact in an ecosystem and live in populations. Each
species lives in a specific place or habitat.
The number of different species within a habitat determines its biodiversity.
Different populations form a community or biocenosis. The physical environment that
surrounds them is called the biotope. Together, they form an ecosystem and are part of
the Earths ecosphere.
The factors of an ecosystem can be biotic or abiotic.
The relationships between members of an ecosystem can be classified as intraspecific or
interspecific.
The trophic levels represent the way food is obtained. The three ways they can be expressed
is by food chains, food webs and trophic pyramids.
Depending on the biotope, ecosystems can be either aquatic or terrestrial.
There are two types of aquatic ecosystems: freshwater ecosystems, with low salinity, and
marine ecosystems, with high salinity.
In terrestrial ecosystems, organisms have adapted to survive changing environmental
conditions.
Biomes are regions of the Earth that have a similar climate and similar ecosystems. The
Earth has two cold zones, high mountains areas, two temperate zones, and one hot zone.
Soil is the top layer that covers the Earths surface. It is made up of rock pieces that have
been modified through mechanical, chemical and biological processes.

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Human activities modify the environment and cause the loss of biodiversity due to these
actions: overuse, pollution, habitat destruction (through deforestation and erosion) and
global climate change (causing desertification).

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