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Chapter 52 An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere
Chapter 52: An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere
What is ecology?
Study Figure 52.2. It shows the different levels of the biological hierarchy studied by
ecologists. Notice also the different types of questions that might be studied by an ecologist
at each level of study. Use this figure to define or explain the following terms:
organismal ecology
population ecology
community ecology
ecosystem ecology
landscape ecology
global ecology
Concept 52.1 - Earth’s climate varies by latitude and season and is changing rapidly
3. What is climate? What 4 abiotic factors are important components of climate?
4. Describe the difference between a MACROCLIMATE and MICROCLIMATE.
Chapter 52 An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere
5. Briefly describe how the following affect climate patterns:
- Seasonality/ Earth’s tilted axis of rotation
- Bodies of Water
- Mountains
- Altitude/Elevation
Concept 52.2 - The structure and distribution of terrestrial biomes are controlled by
climate and disturbance.
6. What is a biome? What is a climograph?
7. Label the axes of this figure, and identify each biome shown here. Try to do this based on your
understanding of the figure, and then use the text to check your answers. You will use these
biomes: temperate grassland, temperate broadleaf forest, tropical forest, northern coniferous
forest, desert, tundra.
Chapter 52 An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere
8. What are most terrestrial biomes names for?
9. What is vertical layering? What are the different layers? Why are they important?
10. Briefly summarize the major features of terrestrial biomes
Typical Autotrophs
Typical Heterotrophs
Precipitation/ Temperature
Tropical Forest
Coniferous Forest
Broadleaf Forest
Chapter 52 An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere
Concept 52.3 - Aquatic biomes are diverse and dynamic systems that cover most of Earth
11. Aquatic biomes are characterized by their _____________________.
12. What’s the difference between marine and freshwater biomes?
13. What is the largest marine biome, and how much of Earth’s surface does it cover?
What impact does it have on the biosphere?
14. As you read this section and study Figure 52.13, you will encounter a number of new terms.
Distinguish between each of the following pairs of terms:
intertidal/ neritic/abyssal
15. Lakes are standing bodies of water that range from small ponds (a few square meters in area) to
lakes covering thousands of square miles. Light decreases with depth. Describe the difference between
oligotrophic and eutrophic lakes.
Chapter 52 An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere
Describe the physical environment and features of the following aquatic biomes:
Aquatic Biome
Physical Environment
Typical Autotrophs &
Streams and rivers
Oceanic pelagic
Coral Reefs
Marine Benthic Zone
Concept 52.4 - Interactions between organisms and the environment limit the
distribution of species
17. Describe the difference between ecological time and evolutionary time.
Chapter 52 An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere
18. Both biotic and abiotic factors affect the distribution of species.
Read this section carefully to understand different types of experiments and observations that
help explain the distribution of species.
A. As you conclude this section, describe four examples of biotic factors affecting the
distribution of species.
Biotic Factor
Description and Example
Pathogens/ Parasites
Food Availability
B. List five examples of abiotic factors and briefly describe how they affect the distribution of