BSCI106H Intro to Ecology.docx

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University of Maryland
Biological Sciences Program
BSCI 106
Alexandra Bely

BSCI106H: Introduction to Ecology  Ecology: interactions of orgs with each other and environment (biotic and abiotic)  Ecological attractions (abiotic and biotic factors) affect how nature forms  Why is ecology important? 1. Determines where species are found (in part) 2. Context for evolution 3. Management of resources: sustainability, how species we are harvesting fits into ecological context 4. Evaluation of human impacts: we alter ecological interactions, pump CO2 into atmosphere  Levels of study: organismal (individual interactions with its environment), population (factors regulating population growth rates and population size), community (interactions among different species in an area), ecosystem (biotic/abiotic interactions between communities and their environments), landscape ecology, global ecology  Global processes: major processes that determine where orgs exist and how they interact, abiotic factors  Abiotic Factors: o some predictable attributes of communities are based on large scale abiotic factors (ie: latitudinal variation in sunlight intensityenergy input and temp)  local geography ie. “rain shadows” (Figure 52.6) o global air circulation and precipitation patterns: Hadley cells, rotating inner tubes of air, ascending moist air releases moisture while descending dry air absorbs moisture; impact how much rainfall there is (desert vs. tropical rainforest), deserts at 30 degrees N and S o how about seasons? What causes them? Because the earth’s axis is TILTED, orbits around the sun, we have more or less sun
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