ENV200 Supp Reader Chap 6 (Ecosystems and Ecosystem Management) and Chap 7 (Biological Diversity)

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School of Environment
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Karen Ing

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1 ENV200 Environmental Science Textbook Notes Chapter 6Ecosystems and Ecosystem Managementy Ecosystemall living organisms and all nonliving physical components air soil water sunlight interacting in a defined geographic area y Ecosystem made up of 2 partso Nonlivingphysicalchemical environment atmosphere water called ecological community is the set of species interacting within the o Livingecosystem y 2 basic kinds of processes must occur in an ecosystem o Cycling of chemical elementso Flow of energy y Ecosystem changes over time o Processes that occur in ecosystem are necessary for life of ecological community but no member of that community can do it alone o Chemical cycling is complexEach chemical element required for growthreproduction must be available to each organism at right time right amount and right ratio relative to othersChemical elements must also be recycled converted to a reusable formfor complete recycling to take place several species must interact y Ecological communityset of interacting species that makes up living part of an ecosystem y Food chainslinkages of who feeds on whom energy chemical elements and some compounds are transferred from creature to creature along food chainsy Trophic levels o Consists of all those organisms in a food web that are the same number of feeding levels away from the original source of energyo Food webs are complex because most creatures feed on several trophic levels o Level 1Autotrophsgrasses herbs treesMake own food from inorganic chemicals and are source of energy o Level 2Herbivoresmice deer Feed on plants o Level 3Carnivoresfoxes wolves hawks and other predatory animals Feed on herbivores or carnivores o Level 4 Omnivorespeople Eat both plants and animals feed on several trophic levelsDecomposersbacteria fungiEat wastes and dead organisms feed on all trophic levels y Keystone species o Species such as the sea otter have a large effect on its communityecosystem
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