Chapter 04

Ecosystems and Communities

4-1 The Role of Climate

At the conclusion of this section, you should be able to answer the following questions:
How does the greenhouse effect maintain the biosphere's temperature range?  What are Earth's three main climate zones?

4-1 The Role of Climate Key Terms


condition of Earth's atmosphere at a particular time and place
average, year-after-year conditions of temperature and precipitation in a particular region natural situation in which heat is retained in Earth's atmosphere by carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and other gases


Greenhouse Effect

moderate climate zone between the polar zones and the tropics warm climate zone that receives direct or nearly direct sunlight year round  Temperate zone   Tropical zone  .4-1 The Role of Climate Key Terms  Polar Zone  cold climate zone where the sun's rays strike Earth at a very low angle.

year-after-year conditions of temperature and precipitation in a particular region. precipitation.Climate    In the atmosphere. temperature. . Weather is the day-to-day condition of Earth's atmosphere at a particular time and place. and other environmental factors combine to produce weather and climate. Climate on the other hand. refers to the average.

The shape and elevation of landmasses also contribute to global climate patterns. the latitude. .Climate   Climate is caused by the interplay of many factors. including the trapping of heat by the atmosphere. and the amount of precipitation that results. the transport of heat by winds and ocean currents.


At the same time.Solar Energy & Climate    The energy of incoming sunlight drives Earth's weather and helps determine climate. Solar energy has an important effect on the temperature of the atmosphere. the presence of certain gases (greenhouse gasses like CO2) in the atmosphere also has an effect on its temperature. .

methane (CH4). and a few other atmospheric gases trap heat energy and maintain Earth's temperature range. . water vapor (H2O).The Greenhouse Effect  Carbon dioxide (CO2).

Much of the sunlight that hits the surface of our planet is converted into heat energy and then radiated back into the atmosphere. .The Greenhouse Effect  Greenhouse gases allow solar energy to penetrate the atmosphere in the form of sunlight.

.5 degrees off 90.  We are tilted about 23.The Effect of Latitude on Climate  Earth is a sphere that is tilted on its axis.

 Near the equator.  .Climate Zones  Earth has three main climate zones. the sun's rays strike Earth's surface at a lower angle.  The same amount of solar energy is spread out over a larger area. energy from the sun strikes Earth almost directly. These climate zones are caused by the unequal heating of Earth's surface. heating the surface less than at the equator.  Near the poles.

. and tropical. These zones are located in the areas around the North and South poles.Earth’s 3 Main Climate Zones   As a result of differences in latitude and thus the angle of heating. temperate. Earth has three main climate zones: polar. Polar Zones  cold areas where the sun's rays strike Earth at a very low angle.5° and 90° North and South latitudes. between 66.

5° South latitudes. the climate in these zones ranges from hot to cold.Earth’s 3 Main Climate Zones  Temperate Zones  sit between the polar zones and the tropics. near the equator. depending on the season.  Tropical Zones  .5° North and 23. making the climate almost always warm. Because temperate zones are more affected by the changing angle of the sun over the course of a year. between 23. The tropics thus receive direct or nearly direct sunlight year-round.



Heat Transport in the Biosphere .

4-2 What Shapes an Ecosystem?  At the conclusion of this section. you should be able to answer the following questions: How do biotic and abiotic factors influence an ecosystem?  What interactions occur within communities?  What is ecological succession?  .

factor that shapes an ecosystem the area where an organism lives. or nonliving.4-2 What Shapes an Ecosystem? Key Terms  Biotic factor  biological influence on organisms within an ecosystem physical. including the biotic and abiotic factors that affect it  Abiotic Factor   Habitat  .

such as water. or space ecological rule that states that no two species can occupy the same exact niche in the same habitat at the same time  Resource   Competitive Exclusion Principle  . light. nutrients.4-2 What Shapes an Ecosystem? Key Terms  Niche  full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions any necessity of life. food.

4-2 What Shapes an Ecosystem? Key Terms  Predation  interaction in which one organism captures and feeds on another organism relationship in which two species live closely together symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit from the relationship  Symbiosis   Mutualism  .

4-2 What Shapes an Ecosystem? Key Terms  Commensalism  symbiotic relationship in which one member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed symbiotic relationship in which one organism lives in or on another organism (the host) and consequently harms it  Parasitism  .

4-2 What Shapes an Ecosystem? Key Terms  Ecological Succession  gradual change in living communities that follows a disturbance succession that occurs on surfaces where no soil exists first species to populate an area during primary succession    Primary Succession  Pioneer Species  Secondary Succession  succession following a disturbance that destroys a community without destroying the soil .

You do not exist in your house alone There are numerous things living and non living.Let’s think about Ecology    Think about your house. both inside and outside your house that affect you .

Let’s look at some living examples  Your Parents may control     What you eat Curfews & Bed times Allowance Privileges .

Some more living examples  Brothers and Sisters may affect     Your allowance Your duties around the house How much trouble you get in Your free time .

if they bark all night The appearance of your house. .Outside your house  Neighbors may affect    How loud you play your music Your pets.

   What kind of neighborhood do you live in? Do you have to travel a long way to get food or water? Is your neighborhood sanitary? .There are non living factors too.

Fire. Ambulance etc?  Are there numerous options available to you for almost anything you can think of? .More non living factors  Do you have numerous public services available?  Police.

tornadoes. earthquakes.Finally…   Do you live in an area where there is constant war or fighting? An area subject to frequent floods. or volcanoes? . hurricanes.

and Sanitation are three important factors. . They all influence you. and neighbors. You interact with parents. and you influence them too. Non living factors also play a role in your growth and development. Safety.Apply this to ecology    Ecology applies to this example. Security. siblings.


Abiotic Factors in this ecosystem        Temperature Rainfall Sunlight Soil Type & pH Rocks Elevation Humidity .


grasses and aquatic plants Molds and Fungi Bacteria Insects .Biotic Factors in this ecosystem       Birds Fish Plants. trees. shrubs.

biotic and abiotic factors determine the survival and growth of an organism and the productivity of the ecosystem in which the organism lives .Biotic & Abiotic Factors in the Ecosystem  Together.

its niche is its occupation.The Niche   If an organism's habitat is its address. A niche (NITCH) is the full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions. .

The organism's niche also includes when and how it reproduces. . how it obtains this food.The Niche    A niche includes the type of food the organism eats. The physical conditions that the organism requires to survive are part of its niche. and which other species use the organism as food.

However. yet each warbler has a different niche within the forest. For instance. The species are similar. . different species can occupy niches that are very similar. the three species of North American warblers shown in the figure at right live in the same spruce trees but feed at different elevations and in different parts of those trees.The Niche  No two species can share the same niche in the same habitat.


predation. and various forms of symbiosis. such as competition.Community Interactions  Key Concept:  Community interactions. . can powerfully affect an ecosystem.

food.Competition    Competition occurs when organisms of the same or different species attempt to use an ecological resource in the same place at the same time. or space Direct competition in nature often results in a winner and a loser—with the losing organism failing to survive. . nutrients. light. The term resource refers to any necessity of life. such as water.

britannica. . one species survives while the other expires under a given set of environmental conditions. competitive exclusion. and J. Encyclopædia Britannica>. an American naturalist. a Soviet biologist. Grinnell. who first clearly established it). Gause.F. 2007 <http://www. The result is that each species occupies a distinct niche. 2007.The Competitive Exclusion Principle  also called Gause's principle. or Grinnell's axiom (after G." Encyclopædia Britannica. principle of. 11 Oct. statement that in competition between species that seek the same ecological niche.

The organism that does the killing and eating is called the predator (PRED-uh-tur). .Predation   An interaction in which one organism captures and feeds on another organism. and the food organism is the prey.

or have no effect on one another." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. 2007 <http://www. "symbiosis.Symbiosis    means “living together. whether the species benefit. .” Any of several living arrangements between members of two different species. Any association between two species populations that live together is symbiotic. commensalism. and parasitism. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.britannica. Both positive (beneficial) and negative (unfavorable to harmful) associations are therefore included.>. 11 Oct. including mutualism. and the members are called symbionts.

Mutualism .

The aphids produce a sweet liquid that the ant drinks. . The ant cares for the aphids and protects them from predators. both species benefit from the relationship.Mutualism   In mutualism (MYOO-choo-ul-iz-um).

Commensalism .

one member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed. but the tree is not affected. The orchid benefits from its perch in the tree as it absorbs water and minerals from rainwater and runoff. .Commensalism   In commensalism (kuh-MEN-sul-iz-um).

Parasitism .

parasites weaken but do not kill their host. Generally. which is usually larger than the parasite. The parasite obtains all or part of its nutritional needs from the other organism. called the host. one organism lives on or inside another organism and harms it. .Parasitism   A tick feeds on the blood of its host and may also carry disease-causing microorganisms. In parasitism (PAR-uh-sit-iz-um).

. Continuous changes in structure and composition until a dynamic equilibrium is reached.Ecological Succession   The development of communities over time.

Ecological Succession  A process by which an existing community of organisms is replaced by a different community over periods of time ranging from a few decades to thousands of years. .

co. When first formed these consist of pure rocks. New land is referring to a newly formed land mass such as a volcanic island. Plants (flora) can not live here and so no animal life (fauna) can live here.restoringearth.Primary Succession  Primary succession  This is when succession is started by the formation of totally new land. http://www. This may happen naturally or be caused by humans (Anthropogenic). These islands are very inhospitable are identified mostly by a almost total lack of soil.htm .uk/education/a-level/science/environmental_science/ecology/succession/succession.

co. At this point mosses and ferns are able to grow.restoringearth. http://www. These mosses and ferns dominate the area and the Lichens die.htm . Some bacteria and Lichens (Lichens) may already have already colonized the rocks by absorbing nutrients from the rocks.Primary Succession  Over a period of time a thin layer of soil may form by the processes of But it is not until this first weathering has formed the thin soil that succession really starts.

Mosses and Lichens demonstrate ecological succession .

Lichens breaking down rock .

Mosses on Rock .

due to humus (Humus) and more weathering of the Bedrock/regolith. http://www.restoringearth. The whole process for a particular ecosystem is known as its sere (sere). When the soil becomes more fertile and thicker. The life present will change many times and we called these stages a seral stage (seral stage).uk/education/a-level/science/environmental_science/ecology/succession/succession. As the plant life changes so does the fauna/animals that live in the area.Primary Succession  Many of these early plants are Legumes (legumes) and this helps to fertilize the soil. other flora can colonize the area.htm .co.

They could be described as ecosystems that have reached the carrying capacity (carrying capacity) of their environment. A climax community is normally a forest ecosystem as trees are the most efficient at using Succession  Succession ends when a climax community is reached.htm . However in areas that have to low or to high amounts of insulation (insulation) may have different climax communities. http://www.

uk/education/a-level/science/environmental_science/ecology/succession/succession.Primary Succession  Primary succession showing the movement from no life. http://www. eventually to a climax community. to small plants and . to pioneer species. to conifers.

This may be due to a natural disaster such as an earthquake or volcanic eruption. http://www.Secondary Succession  This is much the same as Primary succession except it occurs when the current seral stage (seral stage) is removed or by anthropogenic (Anthropogenic) effects such as deforestation and strip mining.htm .uk/education/a-level/science/environmental_science/ecology/succession/succession.restoringearth.

which will then be followed by bush like plants and trees if the ecosystem can support such flora. http://www. These will then be replaced by herbaceous (herbaceous) plants.htm .co.Secondary Succession  This time there is already soil and probably seeds present. This means the succession will happen more rapidly than primary succession.restoringearth. Wind blown plants that are tolerant to high levels of sun and grow fast called pioneer or fugitive species will colonize the

Secondary Succession   These types of succession are known as autogenic (autogenic). For example a lake may silt up (silt up) over time to eventually produce a terrestrial (terrestrial) environment. In some cases allogenic succession (allogenic succession) may .uk/education/a-level/science/environmental_science/ecology/succession/succession. Autogenic succession may then occur on this new land. http://www.

Secondary Succession

The illustration shows a major disturbance (fire) removing the current seral stage abruptly. Succession occurs again rapidly due to already established soil.

Mt. St. Helens & Secondary Succession
 

At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted. Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. Nearly 230 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing.

Helens & Secondary Succession   At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind. St. turning day into night as dark.Mt. The eruption lasted 9 hours. . Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments. gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. but Mount St.

Mt. . Helens & Secondary Succession  Blown down forest protected by snow near Meta Lake. Snow protected Pacific silver fir and mountain hemlock trees near Meta Lake three years after the eruption. St. Re-sprouting shrubs are also visible.

St.Mt. Helens & Secondary Succession .

Helens & Secondary Succession  Same view of blown down forest near Meta Lake nine years after the eruption.Mt. Note that the snow-protected trees have grown and numerous snow-protected shrubs have also re-sprouted. . St.

Helens & Secondary Succession . St.Mt.

.Mt. Helens & Secondary Succession  Same view of blown down forest near Meta Lake 14 years after the eruption. Note the comparative large size and continued growth of the snow-protected trees and shrubs. St.

Helens & Secondary Succession .Mt. St.

.Climax Community  The final stage of biotic succession attainable by a plant community in an area under the environmental conditions present at a particular time. The species composition of the community remains the same because all the species present successfully reproduce themselves and invading species fail to gain a foothold.

htm . Community  A climax community is a more or less permanent and final stage of a particular succession. often characteristic of a restricted area.

Climax Community   Climax communities are characterized by slow rates of change. compared with more dynamic. They are dominated by species tolerant of competition for .uic. earlier stages. http://www.

old field succession may require 100 –300 years to reach climax community. For example.Climax Community   Succession can take a long time. But in this time frame.htm .edu/classes/bios/bios101/communitie/sld028. flood) will occur becomes so high. http://www. hurricane. the probability that a physical disturbance (fire.uic. the process of succession may never reach completion.

and ecosystem. How are they related to one another? What are biotic factors? Abiotic factors? Describe the process of ecological succession. What is a climax community? How would the breakdown of large amounts of organic matter upset the natural balance of a lake ecosystem? .Questions for your consideration      Define ecology. biosphere.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful