Download What Shapes an Ecosystem? Section 4-2

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Notes will vary based upon individual class concept attainment. These notes will be
modified with examples and more in depth information at the teacher’s discretion.
What Shapes an Ecosystem?
Section 4-2
Biotic and Abiotic Factors
Biotic Factors are the biological, or living, influences on organisms within an ecosystem.
- ex. animals, tress, plants, bacteria
Abiotic Factors are the physical, or non-living, factors that shape ecosystems.
- ex. climate, wind, soil type, sunlight
Together, Biotic and Abiotic Factors determine the survival and growth of an
organism and the productivity of the ecosystem in which the organism lives.
The Niche
A Niche is the full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives
and the way in which the organism uses those conditions.
Community Interactions
Community interactions, such as competition, predation, and various forms of
symbiosis, can powerfully affect an ecosystem.
A Resource is any necessity of life, such as water, nutrients, light, food, or space.
The Competitive Exclusion Principle is a fundamental rule in ecology which states that
no two species can occupy the same Niche in the same habitat at the same time.
Predation is an interaction in which one organism captures and feeds on another
Symbiosis is any relationship in which two species live closely together. There are 3
main classes of Symbiotic Relationships in nature which are:
1. Mutualism- both species benefit from the relationship.
2. Commensalism- one member of the association benefits and the other is
neither helped nor harmed.
3. Parasitism- one organism lives on or inside another organism and harms
Ecological Succession
Ecosystems are constantly changing in response to natural and human disturbances.
As an ecosystem changes, older inhabitants gradually die out and new organisms
move in, causing further changes in the community.
Ecological Succession is the series of predictable changes that occur in a community
over time.
Primary succession occurs on land where no soil exists.
Notes will vary based upon individual class concept attainment. These notes will be
modified with examples and more in depth information at the teacher’s discretion.
Pioneer Species are the first to populate an area.
Secondary Succession occurs when the community interaction restore an ecosystem to
its original condition after some disturbance has occurred. Ex. fire or farming