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Key concepts

In this session we will focus on summarising what you need to know about:

  • Concept of an ecosystem
  • Structure and ecosystem function related to abiotic factors and biotic factors
  • Factors that influence terrestrial and aquatic primary production

Terminology&Definitions

Ecosystem - a community plus the physical environment that it occupies at a given time

Abiotic factors – non-living factors . Eg soil, air.

Biotic factors – living factors. Eg trees, insects.

Producer – organism that manufactures food by photosynthesis.

Herbivore – an organism that feeds on plants only.

Carnivore – an organism that feeds on animals only.

Omnivore – an organism that feeds on both plants and animals.

Saprotroph – an organism that feeds on dead and decaying matter. (fungi)

Decomposers – an organism that causes the decay of dead and dying organisms. (bacteria)

Scavenger – an organism that feeds on remains of animals.

Predator – an animal that hunts for its food.

Prey – an animal that is hunted and is food for the predator.

Food chain – a chain showing feeding relationships between organisms.

Content

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms interacting with each other and their environment. Ecosystems occur in all sizes. A tidal pool, a pond, ariver, and a yellowwood forest are all examples of ecosystems. The living organisms (plants and animals) are referred to as biotic factors.The non-livingcomponents make up the abiotic factors. Organisms living in a particular ecosystem are adapted to the prevailing abiotic and biotic conditions.

Abiotic components

Abiotic factors may be grouped together as:

  • Physical / Climatic factors: sunlight, water, temperature and gases.
  • Edaphic factors: soil type, soil pH.
  • Physiographic factors: slope, aspect and altitude and latitude.

Climatic factors:

Sunlight

  • Light is a fundamental necessity.
  • The amount of sunlight an ecosystem receives is called insolation. This is critical for plant survival, especially in aquatic ecosystems. Light decreasesand water depth increases.
  • Amount of light changes from season to season.
  • In summer – days are longer, ecosystems gets more hours of sunlight than during short winter days.
  • The amount of sunlight affects other features of the ecosystem such as temperature, and the types of plants and animals that are found there.

Temperature

  • Temperature increases with an increase in both latitude and altitude.
  • Temperature affects the rate at which photosynthesis, respiration and decomposition take place. The higher the temperature, the faster the processes.

Water

  • Water is one of the most important factors in the ecosystem.
  • It is the main component of living cells and is essential for all living organisms.
  • About 80% of the human body and 90% of the plant body consists of water.
  • Water is evenly distributed over the earth.
  • It is abundant in aquatic ecosystems and least in deserts
  • Plants are adapted to the available amount of water in the following ways:
    • Xerophytes are plants that are able to live in dry habitats, or in regions with low annual rainfall. These plants are resistant to drought, have to cope withshortage of water, high temperatures and light intensities and dry warm winds. ie Cactus, Aloe
    • Hydrophytes are plants that are able to live entirely or partially in submerged water ot in very wet soil. These plants have to cope with a water surplus. ieWater lily, Water hyacinth
    • Mesophytes are plants that need an average, regular supply of water. ie Fruit trees, wheat

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
why and for what was five kingdom of classification of organisms introduced
SUBHIKSHA Reply
give the ans as fast as possible
SUBHIKSHA
Comment on the ozone depletion over the period of 1982 to 1996
Mpho Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula: life sciences grade 10. OpenStax CNX. Apr 11, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11410/1.3
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