Ecology Video #1: Introduction To Ecology

Hello students and welcome to the first video lecture on ecology, I'm really excited to be sharing ecology with you I. Do think it is my favorite part of biology ecology has to do with really large things in biology. It has to do with interactions between things that are even larger than the individual and I just really like those interactions. So I'm excited to talk about them. The goal of today's lecture is just to get some common terms, some common vocabulary. So we can use that throughout the rest. Of the unit.

So by the end of this, we need to be able to define habitat population community ecosystem ecology as well as autotrophs and heterotrophs for the first part of your homework I had you look at some different images, this one of a coral reef, this one of a coniferous forest this one of a desert and this one of an urban ecosystem. The reason I wanted you to look at all of these is twofold. First I want you to get perfect at making observations and asking questions? Because that is a very. Important science skill in all Sciences.

But second I wanted you to look at these images because they all represent ecology. So each one of these things has a lot of different things that you could notice and that's, the basis of ecology ecologist, just defined as the study of relationships between living organisms and between organisms and their environments. So everything you noticed in all of those pictures that could all be looked at through the lens of ecology.

So let's get some base. Vocabulary the first thing I want to define is a species, so everyone has heard the term species before and most people think they have a pretty good understanding of what it is. But actually, when you look at if it's kind of a difficult thing to define, depending on the type of research that biologists do they're, actually to define the term species in different ways, there's something called a species concept and different groups of biologists will use different species concepts to explain.

They work. The work that they do for the purpose of our class. This is the definition that we're going to use a group of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. There are four members.

This same species have a common gene pool let's dissect. This definition, a little first, this idea of interbreeding in order to be a species, you have to be able to make babies with other members of that species. And you have fields to produce fertile offspring. So this term fertile means that the babies. Have to then be able to produce more babies let's, look at this image at the bottom here.

So first on the left of the image, there's an image of a horse. So if a horse were to have babies with other horses, then those babies could have more horse babies. Then we have a donkey if this donkey would have babies with other donkeys, then they would have donkey babies that could have more donkey babies. So those are both species horses a species. Donkey is a species.

If you put a horse and a donkey together. Then they actually can produce a baby and the type of baby, they produce is called a mule and mules are perfectly healthy animals, and they're used for a lot of different things. However, if you took a mule and another mule and put them together, they could not make more babies. Therefore, using our definition, a mule is not a species. A horse is a different species from a donkey. And a mule is not a species at all.

So all those different species that they have a habitat and there are two ways we can use the. Term habitat either where something normally lives like this adorable little baby deer, a little guy hanging out there in the grass, or maybe this really disturbing mite that might be living in your eyelashes or on your scalp right now, or we can use habitat in the current location of a living organism. So a fish tank like this, one could also be a habitat that someone may want to study even though it's not the natural location of those fish. Next we have a population.

So a population is going to be a. Group of organisms that are the same species in the same area at the same time. So if we look up here, here's a population of prairie dogs, they're, the same species, they're in the same area.

They in fact, live in like this say, you know, prairie dog town, um, therefore, they're a population. We could also have a population of poppies. You could have a population of deciduous trees. Those are all different types of populations that you could have. Then we have a community so community and biology terms is a. Group of populations that live and interact with each other in an area, so it's, basically putting a bunch of those populations together. So you could have a community that lives within leaf litter there's going to be worms and there's going to be beetles in there that would be a community.

You could have a community of a bunch of different populations of people. You could have a community looking at some different populations of fish. Furthermore, you can add those different communities in any ecosystem. Furthermore, you look at.

Then you have that whole ecosystem. So an ecosystem is going one step even larger it's looking at that community, and then also all of its abiotic environment. So that term on a biotic, it means nonliving.

So the prefix a just means, not bio means living. So not living. Abiotic factors can be just as important as biotic factors when we're talking about ecology. So if I look at this image, which I think is really, really pretty like just gorgeous image. I really want to go there.

Um, if I look at this I can. Notice things that are biotic components and things that are abiotic components. So if I look here, I can assume that there's probably some fish living in this lake up front. And so those fish would be an example of a biotic component I'm over here. I see all of these aspen trees that are changing color in the fall.

Those are biotic component. I also see all these coniferous trees. Those are a biotic component as well as any deer elk, anything else that lives here. All of those living things are biotic.

But all those things depend on the abiotic components, so abiotic components can be things like this water itself being close to a lake is going to affect those biotic components or things like the weather. Notice there's snow up here. The average temperature is going to impact the biotic components it's, looking at the rugged ground it being really steep that's going to change the biotic components. So all of those different abiotic components are really important to what's living there as well. Okay, Focusing a little more on those biotic components. So just the living parts.

We can categorize them a bunch of different ways. And as biologists we just love to put things into groups. And so some groups that we could potentially look at our autotrophs and heterotrophs. So let's break down these words using our word attack skills, trophy means like food or energy. Auto means self. Hetero means other so self food or energizing is the way that we could define this term, or we could say that any organism. That is capable of making its own organic molecules as a food source is an autotroph.

The most common autotroph is going to be plants. So all plants are able to do photosynthesis. Photosynthesis makes their organic molecules as food. Therefore, they're, autotrophs, there's also, chemo troughs, which are things that are going to be autotrophs that use different chemicals, they're much rarer, but they would still count as autotrophs there's. Also, some allergies that can be single-celled autotrophs. They.

Also do photosynthesis and then may have heterotrophs, meaning other food, getters other energy, getters. They can't make their own food, but they get their in organic matter. They get their organic molecules from other organisms. So anything that eats something else that's alive becomes a heterotroph. So this lovely great white.

Shark is a heterotroph war, heterotrophs, even single-cell Paramecium can be heterotrophs a lot of different types.

Dated : 04-May-2022

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