Ecology Essay

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ECOLOGY: PRINCIPLES OF ECOLOGY INCLUDES: Ecology of abiotic factors, individual organisms, populations, interaction among species, communities, ecosystems, biomes and biosphere. – the study of the all the inter-relationships between living organisms and their surroundings. LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION: - Organisms - Populations - Communities - Ecosystem - Biome - Biosphere CHARACTERISTICS OF A POPULATION – * Population size = number of individuals making up its gene pool * Population density = number of individuals per unit of area or volume, (persons/square mile) * Population distribution = the general pattern in which the population members are dispersed through its habitat, may be: Clumped (most common), Uniformly dispersed (rare), or Randomly dispersed * Age structure defines the relative proportions of individuals of each age: Pre-reproductive, Reproductive, and Post-reproductive * Zero population growth designates a near balance of births and deaths * Exponential growth: If birth and death rates of a population remain constant. * Population Growth: G = rN G = population growth per unit time, r = rate of increase and N= the number of individuals. * Biotic potential - the maximum rate of increase under ideal conditions. * Limiting factor - any resource that is in short supply. * Carrying capacity - max. # of individuals a population can sustain. * Density-independent factors: adverse weather, floods, droughts, cold temperatures r- Selected Strategist: - Good colonizers, reach maturity rapidly, short-lived, high fecundity, low care for young. K- Selected Strategist: - Poor colonizers, slow maturity, long-lived, low fecundity, high care for young, good competitors. Characteristics of Taiga (Coniferous or Boreal Forests) : • 2nd largest forest in the world • Ring Artic between

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