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BIO120H1 (305)
Chapter 1

BIO120 Notes - The Economy of Nature 6th ed Textbook Chapter 1

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Doug Thomson

CHAPTER 1 INTRO ecology is the science by which we study how organisms interact in and with the natural world study of the interrelationships referred to by Darwin as the conditions of the struggle for existence Ecological Systemsecological system may be an organism a population a community assemblage of populations living together an ecosystem or the entire biosphere they all obey similar principlesinternal processes exchange with the external surroundings y Each smaller ecological system is the subset of the next larger one forms a hierarchyy Internal processes include the transformations of energy and transfer of materialsnutrients y All eco systems depend on transformations of energy the organism is the most basicfundamental unit of ecology the elemental ecological system no smaller biological unit such as the cell has a separate life in the environment y Unit of natural selection populations consist of many organisms of the same kind living together y Differ from organisms bc they are potentially immortal they have properties like geographic range density and variations in sizecomposition y Unit of evolution community comprises many interacting populations living in the same place like ecosystems no rigidly defined boundaries y Unit of biodiversity an ecosystem is made up of assemblages of organisms together with their physical and chemical environments eg forest ecosystem prairie ecosystem etc y ecosystems are distinct units because relatively little energy and few substances are exchanged between the units the biosphere includes all the environments and organisms on earth y farflung parts of the biosphere are linked by exchanges of energy and nutrients carried by windwater and
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