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Unit IV: Ecology

BCEE 2012
Prepared by

Prashant Adsul, SKN SITS Lonavala

What is Ecology? Ecology is the study of relationships between living things and between living things and their environment.

What is an ecosystem?
Ecosystem is a system of living things that interact with each other and with the physical world. The collection of organisms in an area along with the important environmental factors

Organization of Life



All the animals and plants living in an ecosystem

A population is the number of organisms of the same species living in a habitat

The area where animals and plants live Eg ocean habitat Or.. More specific Coral habitat

Main Ecosystems:
Natural- (e.g. lake, forest, grassland, etc.) Man-made- (e.g. crop field, aquaria, etc.) temporary- (e.g. rain-fed pond) Permanent- (e.g. lake, forest, etc.) Aquatic- (e.g. pond, ocean, etc.) -Fresh water (e.g. ponds, lakes) -Salt water (e.g. marine, estuaries, etc) Terrestrial (e.g. grassland, forest, etc.)

An ecosystem can be as large as the Sahara Desert, or as small as a puddle!!! Ecosystems are more than just the organisms they contain. Geography, weather,climate and geologic factors also influence the interactions within an ecosystem.

Components of Ecosystem
Aboitic Biotic

Components of Ecosystem
Aboitic ( Non living componets)
Physical components
Sunlight- Photosynthesis Water Temperature Soil

-- Chemical Componets provides nutrients to organisms

Biotic Component
Living organisms in the ecosystem various species of plants and animals including microbes are termed as biotic components. They can be classified as producers (autotrophs) and consumers ( heterotrophs).
Autotrophs produce their own food from inorganic substances, using light or chemical energy e.g plants The heterotrophs do not have the ability to produce their own food. All these species are consumers. E.g. Bacteria

Trophic Relationships
Autotrophs 1st level consumers (herbivores) 2nd level consumers 3rd level consumers 4th level consumers (top predators)

Balanced Ecosystem????
In the natural environment a balance or equilibrium exists among various organisms and abiotic components. This condition is known as ecological balance, and the system is called as Balanced Ecosystem.

Classification of Ecosystems / Ecology

Natural Ecosystem Artificial Ecosystem Terrestrial Ecosystems which encompass the activities that take place on land, Terrestrial ecosystem - Forest ecosystem, Mountain ecosystem Desert ecosystem Grassland ecosystem Urban ecosystem

Classification of Ecosystems / Ecology

Aquatic ecosystems - the system that exists in water bodies

Marine ecosystem Fresh water ecosystem Engineered ecosystem : An ecosystem which is fully designed and controlled by man is called Engineered ecosystem. A paddy field or a fish pond can be quoted as an example for this ecosystem

Aquatic Ecosystem

Food Chains
The producers, consumers, and decomposers of each ecosystem make up a food chain. There are many food chains in an ecosystem. Food chains show where energy is transferred and not who eats who.

Food Chain

Food Webs
All the food chains in an area make up the food web of the area.

Only 10% of energy is transferred from one trophic level to the next. Example:
It takes 100 kgs of plant materials (producers) to support 10 kgs of herbivores It takes 10 kgs of herbivores to support 1 kg of 1st level predator

Grassland Ecosystem
Climate is cool to cold in winter and hot in summers Abiotic components- inorganic and organic substances present in soil and atmosphere Biotic componentsProducer- herbaceous plant cover and variety of grasses such as Dicanthium, Imparata, Saccharum, etc. Primary- Harbivores such as cows, buffalos, deer, sheep, rabit, mouse etc. feeds on leaves of Grasses

Secondary- Carnivores such as Snakes, Birds, lizards, fox, etc. feeds on harbivores Tertiary- mainly Hawks Decomposers- fungi, bacteria

Desert Ecosystem
Dugn Beetle Gerbill/ Great indian bustard Peregreen falcon

Characterised by very low rainfall ( less than 25 mm) Abiotic components- poor nutrient cycle Biotic componentsProducer-These includes shrubs, bushes, some grasses and cactus Consumers- insects, reptiles, birds, camel etc. Decomposers- Some fungi and bacteria with actinomycetes

Aquatic Ecosystem Ranging from small puddles to large oceans.

Tertiary consumers (Bird and prey) Secondary consumer

Primary consumer (Trout)

Primary Producer (Micro organism)

Producers (plankton)

Pond or Lake ecosystem Abiotic components- inorganic and organic nutrients present in the water, such as C, H, O, N, P, S, Ca, apart from temp, light and water. Biotic componentsProducers- plankton, macrophytes. ConsumersPrimary consumers- zooplanktons Secondary Consumers- insects and Fish Tertiary Consumers- Large fish Decomposers- Some fungi and bacteria with actinomycetes

River or Stream Ecosystem Sufficient oxygen must be present Abiotic components- light and Fresh water. Biotic componentsProducers- Green algae, phytoplankton and water grasses. Consumers- water insects, snails, fishes and crocodiles Decomposers- Various microorganisms including fungi and bacteria

Ocean or Marine Ecosystem Cover more than 2/3rd area of earth surface These characterised by high concentration of salts and mineral ions. Abiotic components- salinity, temp, light, dissolved oxygen and other abiotic components. Biotic componentsProducers- phytoplankton and large marine plants ConsumersPrimary consumers- Crustaceans, fish. Secondary Consumers- Fish such as Herring, Mackerel.

Tertiary Consumers- Large fish like cod, Shark etc Decomposers- fungi and bacteria.