LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT, 18e G. TYLER MILLER SCOTT E. SPOOLMAN Ecosystems: Structure and Energy Flow Cengage CengageLearning Learning2015 2015 How Does the Earths Life-Support System Work? The four major components of the earths life-support system The atmosphere (air) The hydrosphere (water) The geosphere (rock, soil, and sediment)
The biosphere (living things) Cengage Learning 2015 The Earths Life-Support System Has Four Major Components Atmosphere Troposphere: where weather happens Stratosphere: contains ozone layer Hydrosphere: water on the earths surface Geosphere: the solid earth Biosphere: life Cengage Learning 2015
Three Factors Sustain Life on Earth Life is sustained by the flow of energy from the sun through the biosphere, the cycling of nutrients within the biosphere, and gravity One-way flow of high-quality energy: Sun plants living things environment as heat radiation to space Cycling of nutrients through parts of the biosphere Gravity holds the earths atmosphere Cengage Learning 2015 What Are the Major Components of an Ecosystem? Some organisms produce the nutrients
they need Others get their nutrients by consuming other organisms Some recycle nutrients back to producers by decomposing the wastes and remains of organisms Cengage Learning 2015 Ecosystems Have Several Important Components Ecology Science of organisms interactions with each other and their nonliving
environment Ecologists study interactions within and among: Organisms Populations Communities Ecosystems Biosphere Cengage Learning 2015 Ecosystems Have Several Important Components Producers (autotrophs) Photosynthesis 6CO2 + 6H2O + sunlight C6H12O6 + 6O2 Consumers (heterotrophs)
Primary consumers = herbivores Secondary consumers Tertiary consumers Carnivores, omnivores Cengage Learning 2015 Ecosystems Have Several Important Components Decomposers Consumers that release nutrients Detritivores Feed on dead bodies of other organisms There is very little waste of nutrients in
nature Cengage Learning 2015 Organisms Get Their Energy in Different Ways Aerobic respiration Using oxygen to turn glucose back to carbon dioxide and water Anaerobic respiration Fermentation End products are carbon compounds such as methane or acetic acid Cengage Learning 2015
Energy Flows Through Ecosystems in Food Chains and Food Webs Food chain Movement of energy and nutrients from one trophic level to the next Photosynthesis feeding decomposition Cengage Learning 2015 Food web Network of interconnected food chains
What Happens to Energy in an Ecosystem? As energy flows through ecosystems in food chains and webs, the amount of chemical energy available to organisms at each successive feeding level decreases Cengage Learning 2015 Usable Energy Decreases with Each Link in a Food Chain or Web Biomass Dry weight of all organic matter of a given trophic level in a food chain or food web Decreases at each higher trophic level due to heat loss
Pyramid of energy flow 90% of energy lost with each transfer Less chemical energy for higher trophic levels Cengage Learning 2015 Some Ecosystems Produce Plant Matter Faster Than Others Do Gross primary productivity (GPP) Rate at which an ecosystems producers convert solar energy to chemical energy and biomass Kcal/m2/year (kilocalories per square meter per year) Cengage Learning 2015 Some Ecosystems Produce Plant Matter
Faster Than Others Do (contd.) Net primary productivity (NPP) Rate at which an ecosystems producers convert solar energy to chemical energy, minus the rate at which producers use energy for aerobic respiration Ecosystems and life zones differ in their NPP Cengage Learning 2015 What Roles Do Species Play in an Ecosystem? Each species plays a specific ecological role called its ecological niche Any given species may play one or more of five important rolesnative, nonnative, indicator, keystone, or foundationin a particular ecosystem
Cengage Learning 2015 Each Species Plays a Role in Its Ecosystem Ecological niche Everything that affects survival and reproduction Water, space, sunlight, food, temperatures Generalist species Broad niche wide range of tolerance Specialist species Narrow niche narrow range of tolerance
Cengage Learning 2015 Specialized Feeding Niches of Various Bird Species in a Coastal Wetland Black Black skimmer skimmer seizes seizes small small fish fish at water surface at water surface
Flamingo feeds on minute organisms in mud Brown pelican dives for fish, Avocet Avocet sweeps sweeps bill bill which it locates through through mud mud and and from the air
surface surface water water in in search search of of small small crustaceans, crustaceans, insects, insects, and and seeds seeds Scaup and other diving ducks
feed on mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic vegetation Louisiana heron wades into water to seize small fish Herring gull is a tireless scavenger Dowitcher
Dowitcher probes probes deeply deeply into into mud mud in in search search of of snails, snails, marine worms, marine worms, and and small crustaceans
small crustaceans Oystercatcher feeds on clams, mussels, and other shellfish into which it pries its narrow beak Knot (sandpiper) picks up worms and small crustaceans left by receding tide Ruddy Ruddy turnstone
turnstone searches searches under under shells shells and and pebbles pebbles for for small small invertebrates invertebrates Piping plover feeds on insects
and tiny crustaceans on sandy beaches Cengage Learning 2015 Fig. 4-16, p. 92 Case Study: The Giant Panda A Highly Endangered Specialist 1600 to 3000 Pandas left in the wild Pandas need bamboo Makes it a specialist species Habitat is currently being destroyed Low reproductive rate
Females give birth to 1 or 2 cubs every 2-3 years Cengage Learning 2015 Species Can Play Four Major Roles within Ecosystems Native species Normally live in an ecosystem Nonnative species Not native Indicator species Keystone species Cengage Learning 2015
Indicator Species and Keystone Species Play Critical Roles in Their Ecosystems Indicator species Provide early warning of damage to a community Can monitor environmental quality Keystone species Have a large effect on the types and abundances of other species Can play critical
roles in helping sustain ecosystems Pollination Top predators Cengage Learning 2015 Case Study: A Keystone Species That Almost Went Extinct The American alligator: Largest reptile in North America, keystone species in its ecosystems 1930s Hunted and poached 1967 added to the endangered species list
1977 impressive comeback More than a million alligators today in Florida Cengage Learning 2015 Core Case Study: Southern Sea Otters - A Species in Recovery Live in giant kelp forests By the early 1900s they had been hunted almost to extinction Partial recovery since 1977 Why care about sea otters? Ethics
Tourism dollars Keystone species Cengage Learning 2015 How Do Species Interact? Five types of species interactions competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism, and commensalismaffect the resource use and population sizes of the species in an ecosystem Cengage Learning 2015 Most Species Compete with One Another for Certain Resources Interspecific competition Compete to use the same limited resources
Involves the ability of one species to become more efficient than another species Cengage Learning 2015 Some Species Evolve Ways to Share Resources Resource partitioning (through evolution) Species may use only parts of resource At different times In different ways Cengage Learning 2015 Consumer Species Feed on Other Species Predator feeds directly on all or
part of a living organism Carnivores Pursuit and ambush Camouflage Chemical warfare Cengage Learning 2015 Consumer Species Feed on Other Species Prey can avoid predation Camouflage Chemical warfare Warning coloration Mimicry Behavioral
strategies Cengage Learning 2015 Interactions between Predator and Prey Species Intense natural selection pressures between predator and prey populations Coevolution Interact over a long period of time Changes in the gene pool of one species can cause changes in the gene pool of the other Bats and moths
Cengage Learning 2015 Echolocation of bats and sensitive hearing of moths Some Species Feed off Other Species by Living on or inside Them Parasitism Parasite is usually much smaller than the host Parasite rarely kills the host Parasite-host interaction may lead to coevolution
Cengage Learning 2015 In Some Interactions, Both Species Benefit Mutualism Nutrition and protective relationship Gut inhabitant mutualism Not cooperation mutual exploitation Cengage Learning 2015 In Some Interactions, One Species Benefits and the Other Is Not Harmed Commensalism
Benefits one species and has little affect on the other Epiphytes Birds nesting in trees Cengage Learning 2015
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