Ecology Scavenger Hunt
By: Cole Crawford and Ashwin Kumar, 3rd period
The word biotic means relating to something living. Thus, a biotic factor is any organism that is considered living. This is the reason this fish serves as an example of a biotic factor.
An abiotic factor is the opposite of a biotic one. By this I mean that an abiotic factor is something that is not living. This is the reason this rock serves as an example of an abiotic factor.
An autotroph is a type of organism that can produce its own energy and food from raw, inorganic substances. A plant or tree is considered an autotroph because it can use the process of photosynthesis to produce its own food and energy.
Heterotrophs, unlike autotrophs can not make its needed nutrition. Instead, a heterotroph receives its energy and food source by consuming, and therefore taking some of the energy from the organism consumed. A dog serves as an example of a heterotroph because it eats other organisms food it required nutrition instead of making it.
Producer (Food Chain)
Within this food chain, the plant is the main producer. It is an autotroph and produces its own food for other heterotrophs to feed off of. Plants capture energy from sunlight and use carbon dioxide, go through the process of photosynthesis, in order to produce glucose and oxygen.
Primary Consumer (Food Chain)
The ants in the photograph below are example of primary consumers that consume the leaves of the plants directly. They are example of heterotrophs as they rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply. Harvester ants mainly forage for the seeds of various plants, but will also leaves of those plants.
Secondary Consumer (Food Chain)
The bird in the photograph below eats the ant who ate the leaves, positioning itself in the second level of the consumer hierarchy. Birds such as Sparrows, Wrens, Flickers, Gouse, and Starling are examples of birds that possess the capability to consumer ants as part of their diet.
Tertiary Consumer (Food Chain)
The cat in the picture below possesses the instinct to consume a bird. It being the third highest consumer in the food chain, makes it likely to receive the least amount of energy as the previous consumers. In fact it will receive .1 percent of the energy of the producers.
Decomposer (Food Chain)
The organic matter in this food chain will broken down by decomposers. Decomposers are organisms such as earthworms that break down the organic matter in the dead bodies of plants and animals. They recycle the dead matter into chemical nutrients like carbon and release it back into the environment.
The picture below was taken during the intervals of cloudy and rainy weather. This event most likely occurred due the seasonal spring showers that arise within the Dallas area of Texas. This is distinct to our ecosystem, and the human species is adjusting accordingly to mold into the environment today.
Carbon dioxide plays a crucial life for the intake and production of itself in a plant. Carbon dioxide is taken in by plants during photosynthesis and is given off by both plants and animals during respiration. The plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and process it through photosynthesis, thus releasing oxygen as one of it's products.
Carbon dioxide is also released into the atmosphere by human related activities. Human activities such as burning fossil fuels, directly release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The process of cellular respiration in the human body also emits carbon dioxide. As oxygen is taken in through the respiratory system, carbon gas is released as a byproduct of the kreb's cycle. Thus, carbon dioxide is exhaled from the human body.
The burial and decomposition of dead organisms also releases carbon dioxide. As organic matter is decomposed their remaining matter gets converted into coal and petroleum, which is stored carbon underground. The carbon based compounds gather together in the bones of the organism, and these compounds break down and return to the atmosphere.
The production of cement that's used for constructing modern infrastructure releases an enormous amount of carbon dioxide. Cement is made from limestone taken from the atmosphere. Cement production involves heating limestone and releasing its stored carbon as carbon dioxide.
There are a few basic steps in the water cycle. Water is evaporated from Earth. It is then condensed into clouds. The sun heats the atmosphere up, as it warms moist air rise, and the water falls back to Earth as precipitation. In the picture it shows the step of water falling back to Earth as precipitation.
Nitrogen is required by all organisms to make amino acids and proteins. Nitrogen-containing substances are found in waste products and decaying organic matter. Bacteria can then convert this further into usable nitrogen. This picture below is a waste product which is important in the nitrogen cycle.
Phosphorus is essential to living things because it forms part of life-sustaining molecules such as DNA and RNA. Phosphorus lays within rock and soil minerals. However, there phosphorus exists as inorganic phosphate. As the rocks and soil minerals break down over time phosphorus will be released. This picture of a soil mound is important in the phosphorus cycle because when broken down, the soil minerals will release phosphorus.
In mutualism, both species benefit from a relationship. Humans and bacteria are an example of mutualism. The human provides a safe and comfortable place for the bacteria to live, and the bacteria help the human digest food and are partly responsible for immune responses. This picture of a person eating food is an example of mutualism. The human is providing the bacteria with a place to live and absorb nutrients, and the bacteria helps the human break down the food.
In commensalism, one member of the relationship benefits and the other member is unharmed. This picture of a bagworm on a tree serves as an example of commensalism. The tree provides a place for the bagworm to mature and partially protects the bag worm from the elements (the bagworm lays within the leaves and branches). The tree remains unharmed by the bag worm.
In parasitism, one organism causes harm to another organism. This picture of a moldy piece of bread serves as an example of Parasitism. If someone ate the bread, the bacteria and parasites would cause harm to the human by causing illness and absorbing nutrients.