Skip to main content
Create interactive lessons using any digital content including wikis with our free sister product
. Get it on the
Pages and Files
Advanced Biology Anatomy and Physiology Projects
Basic Principles of Animal Form and Function
Circulation and Gas Exchange
Conservation Biology and Global Change
Ecology Home Page
Ecosystems and Restoration Ecology
Hormones and the Endocrine System
Introduction to Ecology
Nutrition and Digestion
Osmoregulation and Excretion
The Immune System
Add "All Pages"
Introduction to Ecology
Introduction to Ecology
is the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment. There are six main types of Ecology: Global Ecology, Landscape Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology, Community Ecology, Population ecology and Organismal Ecology.
is the examination of how the regional exchange of energy and material influences the functioning and distribution of organisms across the
(global ecosystem-the sum of all the planet's ecosystems and landscapes)
(or seascape ecology) focuses on the factors controlling exchanges of energy, materials, and organisms across many organisms.
is is they emphasis of the flow of energy and chemical cycling between organisms and their environment (A
is the community of organisms in a specific area and the physical factors with which these organisms interact with each other)
is examination of how interactions between species(e.g. predation and competition) affects the structure and the organization of the community.(A
is a group of populations of different species in the same area.)
is the examination of factors that affect the size of the population and how and why the size changes through time. (A
is a group of individuals of the same species living in the same area.)
includes the sub disciplines of physiological, evolutionary and behavioral ecology. Organismal Ecology is concerned with how an organism's structure, physiology, and behavior meet the challenges posed by its environments.
is long-term weather conditions at a given place. Climate has a highly significant effect on the distribution of organisms in the ocean and on land.
There are four physical factors that affect climate: precipitation, wind, sunlight and temperature.
Climate is often describes in two scales: Microclimate and Macroclimate
is the large scale pattern in climate, such as the climate of an entire region
is referring to the climate patterns of a very small scale, for example, the climatic conditions underneath a log.
Earth's Macroclimate is affected by many things, such as the input of solar energy and the movement of the earth in space. The sun helps with warming up the earth, and things on it such as the atmosphere, water, and land. The warming helps establish variation in temperature, cycles of air, movement of water, and water evaporation that causes huge differences in latitudinal climate. the following is a picture that describes this cycle and how the climate patterns are formed:
Climate Patterns can be modified by many factors, such as seasonal variation in climate, mountain ranges, and large bodies of water.
Earth's tilted axis of rotation and its annual passage around the sun causes a strong seasonal cycle in middle and high latitudes. In addition to these changes in temperature, day length and solar radiation, the angle of the sun changes the effects on local environments. The following picture goes into more detail about Earth's tilted axis and seasonality:
Bodies of Water
There are two types of factors that affect Microclimate: abiotic and biotic
factors are factors that are living, such as organisms that will affect the microclimate.
factors are factors that are not living organisms, such as light, temperature, nutrients and water.
is any of the world's major ecosystem types, often classified according to the predominant vegetation for terrestrial biomes and the physical environment for aquatic biomes and characterized by adaptations of organisms to that particular environment.
are biomes that re on land, and
are biomes that are underwater.
: A plot of the mean temperature and precipitation in a certain region.
Distribution: Equatorial and subequatorial regions
Precipitation: In tropical rainforests, rainfall is relatively constant, about 200-400 cm per year. In tropical Dry forests, precipitation is highly seasonal, about 150-200 cm per year, with a 6-7 month long dry season.
Temperature: High year-round, averaging 25-29 degrees Celsius (79-84 degrees Fahrenheit) with little seasonal variation.
Animals: Earth's Tropical forests are home to millions of species, including 5-30 million species of undescribed insects, spiders, and other anthropods. In fact, animal diversity is higher in tropical forests than in any other terrestrial biome. The animals, including birds, amphibians, and other mammals anthropods and other reptiles, are adapted to the vertically layered environment and are often inconspicuous.Plants: Tropical forests are vertically layered, and competition for light can get very intense. Layers in rain forests include emergent trees that grow above a closed canopy, the canopy trees, one or two layers of subcanopy trees, and layers of shrubs and herbs (small, nonwoody plants). There are generally fewer layers in tropical dry forests. Broadleaf evergreen trees are dominant in tropical rain forests, whereas many tropical dry forest trees drop their leaves during the dry season. Epiphytes such as bromeliads and orchids generally cover tropical forest trees but are less abundant in dry forests. thorny shrubs and succulent common in some tropical dry forests.
Human Impact: Humans long ago established thriving communities in tropical forests.Rapid population growth leading to agriculture and development is now destroying many tropical forests.
: The narrow top part of an ocean or lake, where light can penetrate sufficiently enough for photosynthesis
: The region below the Photic zone, where light does not penetrate.
: The Open water component of aquatic biomes
: The part of the ocean's benthic zone between 2000 and 6000 meters deep.
: The bottom surface of an aquatic environment
The following diagram is the basic outline of what ecologists use to find out why species occur where they do occur:
Click here to return to the Ecology home page
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"