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Resilient Planet
Mission 1
Invaders: A Constant Ecological Battle
Life on Our Planet
• Life exists on Earth in only a thin
layer on its surface
• Earth’s biosphere is the thin
layer on our planet’s surface
that contains life
• The biosphere exists over the
whole planet, both on land and
in the sea
• The biosphere is divided into
smaller units called ecosystems.
• Ecology – the
study of the
interactions of life
among living
things and their
• An ecosystem is a community of
interdependent organisms and their
• Ecosystems can be as large as hundreds of
square miles, like the Sahara Desert
• Ecosystems can be as small as a pool of water
Parts of an Ecosystem
• Abiotic factors – nonliving parts like rocks,
moisture, the amount of sunlight and
Parts of an Ecosystem
• Biotic factors – parts that are living or where
once alive, such as plants, animals, bacterium,
and the remains of what was once alive, like
rotting trees and deceased animal matter.
Parts of an Ecosystem
• Abiotic factors support the biotic factors,
sustaining the life in the ecosystem.
Classifications within Ecosystems
• Biotic Classifications
– Organisms – any individual life form, ranging from
plant to animal to bacterium
Classifications within Ecosystems
• Species – a class of organisms that share
common characteristics and specific
hereditary traits
Classifications within Ecosystems
• Population – the number of a particular
species in a specific geographical area
Classifications within Ecosystems
• Community – different populations of
organisms that interact with each other.
• Biodiversity– the number and variety of
organisms that live in an ecosystem.
Classifications within Ecosystems
• Predator – an animal that captures and eats
other animals
• Prey – an organism that is captured and eaten
by another a predator
Habitats in an Ecosystem
• Habitat – a place where an organism can find
what it needs to survive, in terms of both
biotic and abiotic factors.
Habitats in an Ecosystem
• Niche – the combination of behaviors and
resources that an organism is adapted to
• Competition – when two or more organisms
rival for resources.
Habitats in an Ecosystem
• Carrying capacity – the largest population that
an environment can support over a long
period of time
• Limiting factors – the biotic or abiotic factors
that restricts the growth of a population.
– Limited food
– Limited space
– Other examples?????
• Biomes are a way to describe a large group of similar
• Land biomes are grouped by precipitation ranges,
temperature ranges, geography and the plants that
grow in that area, for example:
• Similar biomes are found throughout the
world, each containing many unique