This is an introduction.
Investigate and analyze the critical abiotic and biotic factors that define an ecosystem. To accomplish your mission successfully, you will need to:
Understand the dynamics of ecology.
Explain how limiting factors influence carrying capacity.
Compare and contrast the major ecosystems of the world.
Describe the processes of photosynthesis and chemosynthesis.
Trace the flow of energy through an ecosystem.
Discover how abiotic factors are distributed, stored, and
recycled on the planet.
Explain how abiotic and biotic factors influence an ecosystem.
What Is Ecology?
Picture this: the sun rises over the African savannah.
A giraffe stretches to nibble the acacia tree’s tiny leaves, carefully avoiding the stinging ants that live within the tree’s long thorns. Wildebeests and gazelle graze on grass that flourishes in volcanic soils set down long ago by the pulling apart of Earth’s tectonic plates.
A cheetah sits high on a rocky outcrop—searching for a meal that she will share with her cubs. Vultures watch from above, ready to pounce on the remains of the cheetah’s catch.
A family of warthogs scurries around a termite mound, disturbing an ostrich as she flutters her feathers in the dust to shake off unwanted parasites.
Now put yourself in that scene. Are you the predator or are you prey? How will you survive? What will you need? Where are the threats? What are the dangers?
How will you get what you need without being eaten?
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