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Green Generation
Part 1
Review of General Ecology
ECOLOGY – how organisms interact with one another and
with their environment
ENVIRONMENT – living and non-living components
ABIOTIC – non-living component or physical factors as soil,
rainfall, sunlight, temperatures
BIOTIC – living component are other organisms.
Review of General Ecology
Levels in a Food Web
Primary Consumers
Secondary Consumers
Tertiary Consumers
Top Consumer is called the Apex Consumer
Energy Pyramids
Energy in a Living System
• All living things need energy
• Energy made by plants (through photosynthesis) is
transferred to an animal that eats it.
• The organism then transfers the energy to the next organism
which eats it, and so on, and so on.
• A graphic representation of this system is called an Energy
How is an energy pyramid organized?
Trophic Levels
• The feeding position in a food chain or energy pyramid that an
organism occupies based on what it eats.
• Energy decreases from lower to higher trophic levels.
• Biomass (living or organic matter) decreases from lower to
higher trophic levels.
Energy Pyramids
• Get their energy from the Sun
• Make their own food through the process of photosynthesis.
• Autotroph - makes its own food
• Unable to make their own food
• Heterotrophs - Cannot make their own food, so they have to
eat other things like plants or animals
Food Chain
rose plant  aphids  beetle  chameleon  hawk
1st order Consumer or Herbivore
2nd order Consumer or 1st order Carnivore
3rd order Consumer or 2nd order Carnivore
4th order Consumer or 3rd order Carnivore
Decomposers – consume dead and decaying matter
Food Web
Energy Pyramids
Primary Consumers
• First level consumers
• Herbivore - cannot make their own food
Consume Plants
Energy Pyramids
Secondary and Tertiary Consumers
• Eat primary consumers and each other
• Carnivores (eats other animals)
• Omnivores (eats both plants and animals)
• Heterotrophs
Energy Pyramids
Quaternary Consumer
• Apex predators
• Top of the food chain (animal upon which nothing preys)
• Typically carnivores
• Heterotrophs
Ecological Organization
INDIVIDUAL – individual organisms
POPULATION – organisms of same species in same area (biotic
COMMUNITY – several populations in same area (biotic factors)
ECOSYSTEM – community plus abiotic factors
BIOSPHERE – all ecosystems on earth
Growth Curves
Survival Curves
• Survivorship is the percentage of
remaining survivors of a population
over time; usually shown graphically.
– Type I survivorship curve: most
individuals live out their life span and die
of old age (e.g., humans).
– Type II survivorship curve: individuals die
at a constant rate (e.g., birds, rodents,
and perennial plants).
– Type III survivorship curve: most
individuals die early in life (e.g., fishes,
invertebrates, and plants).
Ecology of Communities
Closed vs. Open communities
Closed – sharp boundaries
Open – Lack boundaries
Species abundance and diversity
Trophic Structure of Communities
Food chains
Food web
Trophic pyramid
Types of Species Interactions
Neutral – two species do not interact
Mutualism – both benefit
Commensalism – one benefits, other neutral
Parasitism – one benefits, one harmed but not killed
Predation – one benefits, other killed
Predator – Prey Relationship
Numbers Pyramid
Biomass & Energy Flow Pyramids
Hydrologic (Water) Cycle
Phosphorous Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle
Carbon Cycle