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Ecology, Organisms, and Ecosystems

1. Tell how ecosystem, ecotone, landscape, biome, and biosphere are different from one another.

2. Name and describe the roles of the three main types of organisms that make up the biotic structure of every ecosystem. Give examples of organisms from each category.

3. In terms of energy, why are there unlikely to be 6 or 7 trophic levels in a particular ecosystem?

4. Describe what differences in climate cause the Earth to be divided into each of the six major biomes.

5. What are limiting factors, zones of stress and ranges of tolerances? Give an example of each.

6. Explain how the energy of the sun is provided to a consumer such as a deer. Provide details that mention oxidation, respiration, photosynthesis, and heat.

7. How are ecological succession, climax ecosystem, primary succession and secondary succession different? Provide a clear, separate example for each. Why does succession occur?

8. Define and give examples of intraspecific and interspecific competition.

Solution Preview

An ecosystem is a complete unit consisting of animals, plants, and the resources that sustain them. Landscapes are the physical features of the earth in a particular place. The biosphere is only the living part of all ecosystems.
A biome is a transistion between two types of landscape.

The three main types of organisms in every ecosystem are consumers, producers, and decomposers. Producers capture energy from the sun and form the basis of the ecosystem. They include plants such as grass and trees. Consumers are animals that utilize plants, or other animals, as food. All mammals are consumers: deer, lions, elephants and so forth. Decomposers are plants and animals breakdown the waste products generated by animals and plants and return the nutrients to the ecosystem. They are what allows the ecosystem to continue to function, as certain limiting nutrients such as nitrogen would otherwise be quickly depleted. Some decomposers you could mention are insects, mushrooms, worms and bacteria.

There is a limit to the number of tropic levels because some energy is lost at each level. Only 1-15% of energy ...

Solution Summary

Ecological succession, the six major biomes, and other concepts in environmental science.

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