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Introduction to Ecology

J.T. II Olivar, MAEd


Faculty of Arts and Letters
University of Santo Tomas
Objective of the Lecture
• To relate the different components of the
ecosystem.
• To trace the energy transfer in the food
pyramid using the laws of
thermodynamics.
• To point out the connection of the different
biogeochemical cycles in the ecosystem.
Outline of the Lecture
• Definition of Ecology and Ecosystem and
other related environmental concepts.
• Interactions in the Ecosystem.
• Laws of Thermodynamics.
• Biogeochemical Cycles.
Definition of Ecology
• The word “ecology” means, literally, “the
study of houses.”
• A branch of biology that studies
interrelationships of organisms with their
environments.
• Variety of conditions under which organisms
live and adaptations to those conditions.
The Biosphere
• The area in which life on our planet is
possible.
• One gigantic biological system.
Ecosystem
• It refers to any stable environment in
which living and nonliving things interact,
and in which materials are used over and
over again.
• Interactions of:
– Biotic community (the group of population)
– Physical environment
Community Structure and
Species Diversity
• Community structure
– Biological communities differ in their structure
and physical appearance.
• Relative sizes, stratification, and distributions of
populations
• Species diversity and Niche structure
– Biological communities differ in the types and
numbers of species they contain and the
ecological roles they play
Interactions
• Interactions in the Biotic Community
• Interaction between the Biotic Community
and the Physical Environment
• Interaction within the Physical
Environment
Interactions in the Biotic
Community
• Species interactions
– Species can interact and increase their ability
to survive through competition, predation,
parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism.
Interaction between the Biotic Community
and the Physical Environment

• Climate
– Sunlight
– Temperature
– Wind
– Precipitation
• Micro climate
• Macro climate
Climate
• Varies with latitude
• Varies seasonally
Temperature
• Affected by ocean • Affected by sunlight
currents
Wind
• PGF
• Coriolis Force
• Frictional Force
Precipitation
Topography
• Bodies of Water
• Landforms
Interaction within the Physical
Environment
• Cloud cover reduces light intensity
Laws of Thermodynamics
• First Law: The Law of Conservation of
Energy.
• Second Law: The Law of Entropy.

• How are these laws applied in the food


pyramid?
Biogeochemical Cycles
• The water cycle
• The carbon-oxygen cycle
• The nitrogen cycle
Population
• Population density is a measure of the
changing populations by counting and
recording individuals from a very large
area at various times.
Factors causing fluctuations in
population density
• Density-dependent factors
• Density-independent factors
Overcrowding and
Undercrowding
• What are the advantages and
disadvantages of overcrowding and
undercrowding?