B4a: Ecology in the local environment

We are surrounded by a huge variety of living organisms, many of which go unnoticed. This item seeks to help candidates appreciate this variety. Candidates are introduced to methods of sampling and mapping animals and plants. It also provides an appreciation of the biodiversity of some artificial ecosystems. 

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Describe pooters.
A pooter is a small jar used for collecting insects. One tube goes into your mouth so you can apply suction, and the other goes over the insect so that is sucked into the jar. A fine mesh over the end of the first tube stops you swallowing the insect
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What are nets useful for collecting?
Nets are useful for collecting flying insects such as butterflies and moths.
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Describe pitfall traps.
Pitfall traps consist of containers, such as a yogurt pot, is buried in the ground with its top level with the soil surface. The top is covered with a piece of wood, with just a slight gap to allow insects to get in.
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Why should you check pitfall traps regularly?
It is important to check the trap regularly to avoid the animals escaping or being eaten before they are counted.
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What animals are pitfall traps usually for?
A pitfall trap is often used to sample small invertebrates living on the ground, such as beetles, spiders and slugs.
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Describe quadrats.
A quadrat is usually a square made of wire. It may contain further wires to mark off smaller areas inside, such as 5 x 5 squares.
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What are quadrats useful for collecting?
Plants are usually collected, however, quadrats may also be used for slow-moving animals such as slugs and snails.
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How would you work out the amount of a certain species in a given area, using a 1m x 1m quadrat.
Number of species x area.
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Name the key where the question has two possible answers.
Dichotomous key.
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What six physical features may effect how living organisms are distributed.
Temperature, amount of light, availability of water, carbon dioxide, oxygen and nutrients.
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What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the variety of species living in a habitat.
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Name two artificial ecosystems.
Fish farms, and forestry plantations.
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What are lakes? and can you name another?
Natural ecosystems, and native woodland.
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How do you work out population size from the capture, re-capture method.
(Number in 1st sample x number in 2nd sample) divided by the number in 2nd sample previously marked.
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Explain the effect of sample size on the accuracy of an estimate of population size.
A greater sample size, the more accurate the estimate of the population size will be. Catching all the individuals in a particular population, would ensure that the estimate of the population size was accurate. This would be hard to do + unethical.
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What are the assumptions made when using the capture, recapture method?
No death, emigration or immigration, identical sampling techniques and marking not affecting survival rates.
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What is the definition of ecosystem?
A community and the habitat in which it lives.
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What is the definition of habitat?
The place where an organism lives.
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What is the definition of community?
All the populations of different organisms that live together in a habitat.
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What is the definition of population?
All the members of a single species that live in a habitat.
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What is a transect?
A transect is line across a habitat or part of a habitat. It can be as simple as a string or rope placed in a line on the ground. The number of organisms of each species can be observed and recorded at regular intervals along the transect.
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Describe the term 'ecosystems are self-supporting' and give examples.
They contain almost everything they need to maintain themselves. Water, nutrients and essential elements like carbon all get recycled within the ecosystem.
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What is zonation?
A gradual change in the distribution of species across a habitat.
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What are abiotic factors?
Physical factors.
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What can a gradual change of an abiotic factor cause?
The zonation of organisms in a habitat.
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Which have a higher biodiversity? Lakes or fish farms, and native woodland or forestry plantations?
Lakes and native woodland.
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Compare native woodlands to forestry plantations.
N: variety of tree, plant and animal species, trees of different ages and sizes, and variety of habitats. F: One species of tree, fewer plant and animal species, many trees the same age (planted at same time) and fewer habitats.
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Give examples of tree (3), plant (2) and animals species (3), and habitats (and for who) (2).
Tree species: Birch, hazel and oak, Plant: flowers and shrubs, Animals: Invertebrates, birds and mammals, Habitiats: Trees and shrubs for birds and leaf litter for invertebrates.
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Why is there one species of tree in forestry plantations? and two examples.
Often a non-native tree, is planted for timber - e.g. Corsican pine or Douglas fir.
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Why are there fewer plant species in forestry plantations?
Trees are densely packed - leaving less room and less light for other plants.
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Why are there fewer habitats in forestry plantations?
There aren't enough plant species to create them. When trees are cut down (felled) habitats are also disturbed or destroyed.
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Why are there fewer animal species in forestry plantations?
There aren't as many habitats or sources of food.
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Compare lakes to fish farms.
L: Many different fish species, variety of plant and animal species. FF: One fish species, fewer plant and animal species.
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Why is there one species of fish in fish farms?
Often a non-native fish is farmed for food.
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Why are there fewer plant species in fish farms?
Fish food is added and the food waste can cause algal blooms (rapid algal growth) This blocks out light, killing plants.
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Why are there fewer animal species in fish farms? Give examples.
Predators (herons, otters) are kept out and pests (fish lice) are killed. There is also less food, and fewer habitats due to lack of plants.
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What one thing do ecosystems need? Where do they get this from?
They need nervy, often from the sun.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What are nets useful for collecting?

Back

Nets are useful for collecting flying insects such as butterflies and moths.

Card 3

Front

Describe pitfall traps.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why should you check pitfall traps regularly?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What animals are pitfall traps usually for?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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