Ecology

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  • Ecology
    • Ecosystems
      • Relationships between organisms
        • Organisms need resources from their habitat to reproduce
          • Water
            • Trying to get enough results in competition
              • Light
              • Space
              • Mineral ions
          • Light
          • Mineral ions
          • Space
          • As well as competition, animals rely on each other for food, shelter ect
            • Interdependance
            • If you remove one species you effect them all
      • Adaptations
        • Abiotic factors
          • Light intensity
          • Soil pH
          • Temperature
          • Moisture levels
          • Wind intensity and direction
          • CO2 levels for plants
          • Oxygen levels for aquatic animals
        • Biotic factors
          • Availability of food
          • New predators arriving
          • New pathogens/ diseases
          • One species  out competing another
        • Organisms have adapted to survive in  these conditions
          • Structural, behavioral or functional
        • Extremophiles are organisms that live in extreme conditions
      • Studying Ecosymstems
        • Scientists often want to know the size of a population
        • This can be done using quadrats
        • Required Practical
          • Count number of plants in each quadrat. Repeat with quadrat  in different posistions
            • Calculate the mean number of plants per m squared and times this by the total area
    • Cycles an feeding relationships
      • Decomposistion
        • When organisms die, the dead material can be broken down by decomposers
          • Secrete enzymes- partly digest waste
          • Need oxygen, moisture, sutible temperature and sutible pH
          • Certain types of bacteria or fungi
        • Gardeners want to provide optimum conditions for decay
          • Compost produced is used as natural fertilisers for plants
          • If waste is broken down in anaerobic conditions, methane gas is produced
          • Bio gas generators an be used to produce bio gas from waste for use as fuel
      • Required Practical
        • Take a sample of fresh milk and check it's pH every few hours for a few days
          • The change in pH of milk represents it's decay
      • Water cycle
        • Heat evaporates water in rivers and lakes
          • Precipitation runs down mountain ranges  into rivers and lakes
            • Some water Runs into ground
              • Plants absorb water
                • Plants release water by transpiration
                  • As water cools it condenses-forming clouds
                    • As it cools further, the clouds turn into preceipitataion
            • As it cools further, the clouds turn into preceipitataion
          • As water cools it condenses-forming clouds
        • Feeding relationships
          • Food chains
            • All begin with a producer
              • usually a green plant Which makes glucose molecules
              • Eaten by primary consumers, secondary consumers, the tertiary consumers
                • Each is called a trophic level
                • Consumers are predators and those that are eaten are prey
                • Top consumers are apex predators
      • Disrupting ecosystems
        • Biodiversity
          • Variety of all different species of organisms on earth
          • Stable ecosystems have high biodiversity
          • Factors that put biodiversity at risk include changes in:
            • Availability of water
            • Temperature
            • Atmospheric gasses
            • These can be due to
              • Seasonal changes
              • Geographical activity
              • Human interaction
          • The future of humans relies of the maintenance of good biodiversity
        • Pollution
          • Kills plants and animals- reducing biodiversity
          • With an increased human population an standard of living, more waste is produced
          • Pollution can occur:
            • In water from sewage, fertilisers or toxic chemicals
            • In air from gasses e.g. sulfur dioxide- produces acid rain
            • On land from landfill and toxic chemicals e.g. pesticides and herbicides
        • Over exploitation
          • Humans can put biodiversity at risk by taking too many resources out of the enviroment
          • Building, quarrying, farming can reduce land available for animals and plants
          • Deforestation in tropical areas has occurred to:
            • Provide land for cattle and rice fields to provide more food
            • Grow crops from which bio fuels can be produced
          • Global warming is the gradual increase in temperature of the earth
            • Scientists think this is due to an increase of carbon dioxide and methane
              • Caused by pollution and deforestation
            • Consequences
              • Loss of habitats when low areas are flooded by rising sea levels
              • Changes in the disruption of species in areas where temperature or rainfall has chamged
              • Changes to migration patterns of animals
      • Feeding the world
        • The need for more food
          • food security is ensuring that the worlds population is supplied with enough food to be healthy
          • Factors making it harder to supply people with enough food
            • Increasing birthrate
            • Changing diets in developing countries
            • New pests and pathogens affecting farming
            • Changes in weather which can affect food production
            • Cost of agricultural supplies increasing
          • Scientists are trying to find sustainable methods to feed all the people on earth
            • increase food production now but leave enough for future generations
        • Manipulating energy flow
          • Pyramids of biomass show the energy flow through an  ecosystem more clearly than food chains
          • As the food chain progresses, biomass is lost. This is due to:
            • Some of the food being passed out the body as faeces
            • Large amounts of glucose used in respiration
            • Some material being lost in excretion
          • Loss of biomass means there are fewer animals in higher trophic levels
        • Biotechnology
          • Allows microorganisms to be grown in large quantities for food
            • Grown in ferementers where conditions are controlled
          • The fungus Fusarium is used for producing mycoprotien
            • Mycoprotien is: Protein rich, low in fat, high in fiber and suitable for vegetarians
            • Fungus is grown on glucose syrup in aerobic conditions and then harvested and purified
            • Quorn is an example of a food containing mycoprotien

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