notes for class 2017-18 below

  1. note
  2. final note covering ecology , food chain, food webs and cycles note
  3. Home work for this long weekend 13th to 15th October 2017 in word document below
good video link on ecosystems 4th Nov 2017

ecology - the study of the relationships and interactions
  1. between organisms
  2. between organisms and the environment a sand dollar in motion.
3-3 project

3-4 project

levels of organization.jpg
link to an excellent introduction to ecology -----
The parts of an ecosystem

ecosytem pic.jpg

a good power point
a solid presentation with notes

link shows the interconnection between sea fish, animals and the cycles of nitrogen and carbon

link of facts about coral reef ecosystem


biotic factors ------ individuals, populations and communities with feeding relationships (food chains, food webs, predator/prey relationships and symbiotic relationships (parasitism, commensalism and mutualism)
biotic factor (food chain)

producers of food chains
  • the transfer of energy form one organism to another as organisms feed in a sequence.
  • producers are organisms of the first feeding level that are able to produce their own food (they start all food chains)
  • being the first feeder they are organisms receiving the most energy in any food chain
  • plants (terrestrial), phytoplankton (aquatic) and some bacteria are example of producers and are classed as photoautotrophes or chemoautotrophes
  • photo (light) autotrophes (producers) use sunlight energy to convert inorganic carbon dioxide and water to chemical energy - food (glucose)
  • chemo or chemical autotrophes - bacteria obtain their energy by the breakdown of chemical compounds usually along processes that follow decomposition. e.g. nitrifying bacteria that convert ammonia compounds of a decaying animal to soil nitrate
  • the most converted energy is obtained by feeding on the first trophic level (producers)


  • heterotrophic organisms that consume other organisms for food (matter and energy)
  • are classified into herbivores, carnivores and omnivores (plant, animal and both plant and animal eaters respectively)
  • energy is received with decreasing efficiency through each higher trophic level
  • 90% loss between each level and only 10% of the available energy at each trophic level is passed up
  • toxins build up and become more concentrated through higher trophic levels
  • the first or primary consumers at trophic level 2 are usually herbivorous
  • top consumer or predator populations are usually smaller in size than the supporting food supply or prey population
  • top comsumer populations receive less energy as a food chain lengthens to 5 or more trophic levels
  • the top consumer populations compensate or adapt by
    • occupying multiple food chains feeding on a variety of prey at lower trophic levels (they occupy food webs)
    • become omnivorous - feeding on producers that receives the greatest amount of energy


  • bacteria and fungi that feed on dead or waste matter of plants and animals
  • their feeding breaks down dead or waste materials thus recycling nutrients (minerals) into the ecosystem
  • the group of organisms that end all food chains
  • most common cycles in nature where decomposers play major roles - carbon and nitrogen cycles

example of biotic influences on population size ---
predation levels - predator presence/numbers control prey populations
food availability - food supply determines all population sizes of a community
disease - often a natural control of large populations (producers or consumers)
human activity --- represents a major biotic factor that influences the ecosystem (biotic and abiotic)

abiotic factors ---- physical non - living environment that impact on the survivability of the biotic factors
example of abiotic influences on population size --- (determined by factors --soil type and conditions, space, water availability and climate)
Some more abiotic factors
  • salinity- the degree on saltiness of an aquatic environment
  • pH - the degree of acidity or alkalinity of an aquatic (lake) or terrestrial (soil) environment
  • LIGHT - the intensity of light from high to low desert v,s, deep sea canyons
  • temperature - the quantity of heat energy absorbed by an environment measured as a change in degrees e.g.Celsius
  • humidity - the quantity of water in the air, (high humidity = lots of water vapour in the air as in tropical rainforests) while (low humidity = dry air as in deserts)

Population and the human impact (negative and positive)

define the following terms:
ecology,ecosystem, habitat, environment, abiotic factors, biotic factors (living organisms of the five kingdoms), niche, organism - species,community, adaptation, industrialization, deforestation, biodiversity, pollution, erosion, eutrophication

a basic population growth curve


A comparison between population growth curves


What biotic and abiotic factors influence the natural growth behaviour of a population from rapid growth to slowed growth and finally to stabilize at the point called the carrying capacity?
  • rapid growth = low predation, good immediate food supply and conditions
  • growth slows = increased predation, competition for food supply and living space
  • stable population = healthy predation controls, adequate food supply,space and climate

external image image014.jpg
external image image014.jpg

human population growth curve through history
external image Growth-of-World-Pop-v-History-of-Tech.png
external image Growth-of-World-Pop-v-History-of-Tech.png

key moments
  • first agri-revolution we begin to overcome food and water supply factors
  • second agri-revolution we invented fertilizers and now manipulate world food supply
  • industrial revolution - using a 'non renewable' source of energy oil we gain the ability to greatly control other biotic and abiotic resistors to our population growth by changing our environment
  • germ theory and the medical revolution- we reduce death rates (mortality) and improve birth rates (natality). therefore the natural result of increased survivor-ship is an increasing population.
The continued expansion of the human population has resulted in the
populations decline of other species.

some negative effects of human population

We (the human population) now represent a major biotic resistor to the growth of species other populations, unable to adapt to an environment determined by human activity.
Future resistors to human population growth that may bring us to the carrying capacity of the planet may be
  • climate due to climate change fueled by human activity.... gloobal warming by green house gases e.g. carbon dioxide and methane
  • water availability made non renewable by the extent of human waste or pollutants e.g. mercury and lead poisoning of the water supply
  • predation levels as humans war over depleting resources
  • disease out of human activity a deadly global pandemic

human activity and impact

human activity chart.png

  1. deforestation - the cutting down of ancient forests (trees and vegetation) leads to destruction of the environment and exposure of the soil to erosion and desertification of land
      • advantages
    1. space for human development
    2. materials, energy or resources available for industrialisation
      • disadvantages
      1. erosion -- landslides and flooding
      2. destruction of habitats
      3. less oxygen production
      4. less carbon dioxide removal from the air by plant photosynthesis
      5. loss of plant species and possible medical benefits
      6. disruption of food webs
      7. micro climatic changes as water cycle is disrupted ..... rain forest via transpiration affect humidity and local rainfall patterns
      8. species extinction as related to habitat loss
  2. pollution - any harmful man made substance that is released into the environment
  • car ban in paris due to air pollution
  • the 6 biggest polluters of the earths air {60% carbon emmissions}responsible for the greenhouse effect. check out link below
classified into 3 zones of pollution land, water and air.
land --- improper garbage disposal.
  • it accumulates providing micro environments for pest and disease causing organisms
  • some a very toxic and soluble thus getting into the soil and poisoning underground water sources
  • unsightly and smelly
  • also unsanctioned combustion at dumps contribute to air pollution and related respiratory diseases
  • smug and acid rain
water ---- any industrial substances that pollute the water ways
  • oil spills and chemical spills
  • hot water released into water ways from factories
  • improper release of raw sewage or soluble fertilizer run off from large scale farms (usually after heavy rainfall) leads to eutrophication
  • solids example plastics -- a danger to sea turtles that mistake them for jelly fish
  • metals ( lead from batteries/mercury from gold mining) or toxic chemicals that build up in the food webs of an ecosystem.
air ---- any industrial gases or light particulates that are released into the atmosphere
  • carbon compounds, lead and sulphur oxides
  • smug a combination of these oxides released by house holds, factories and vehicle exhaust -- form a cloud of pollution over major cities that cause - acid rainfall, darkening of walls/ vegetation by sooth, cancers, COPDS and chronic respiratory disorders
  • air pollution linked to cancer ----


example mercury poisoning

3. eutrophication cycle of death for aquatic habitats - the over growth of algae or aquatic producers as a result on nitrate rich water (fertilizer runoff)
nitrates ---- promotes algae growth --- blocks out sunlight --- death to any other producers (coral reefs) --- algae also die --- excess dead material leads to large bacterial population --- mass decomposition and decreased oxygen content of water(especially at night) -- leads to death of juvenile fish --- bacteria and algae bloom -- more nitrates and the process begins again becoming a self- sustaining system of death.

The problem of flooding and the economics that drive the decisions to do something about it. check it out in the video links.

Endangered Maui's dolphins fighting for survival off NZ coast by human fishing activity and disease see in link -

The response to the adverse effect of human activity

is conservation --- reduce, reuse and recycle
  • that is the proper management of renewable resources e,g water and the efficient use of non renewable resources e.g energy

conservation - reduce, reuse and recycle

Other forms of conservation
  • The zoo - a place where animals and plants are preserved and breed in captivity. some animals are extinct in the wild
  • programmes to re-introduce animals and plants in the wild or the sharing of successful breeding techniques between zoos.
  • nature parks and reserves - large areas of land where organisms are protected from human interference.
  • organisms are studied in a natural environment to gain a better understanding of how to preserve already endangered species.
  • periods of hunting may be allowed as a form of population control.
  • world wide hunting bands imposed by governments in response to over hunting or species that are on the endangered list.
  • seed banks - a store of as many plant species in case of any cataclysmic event


    There are about 6 million accessions, or samples of a particular population, stored as seeds in about 1,300 genebanks throughout the world as of 2006.[citation needed] This amount represents a small fraction of the world's biodiversity, and many regions of the world have not been fully explored.

    • The Millennium Seed Bank housed at the Wellcome Trust Millennium Building (WTMB), located in the grounds of Wakehurst **Place** in West Sussex, nearLondon, in England, UK. It is the largest seed bank in the world (longterm, at least 100 times bigger than Svalbard Global Seed Vault),[5] providing space for the storage of billions of seed samples in a nuclear bomb proof multi-story underground vault.[5] Its ultimate aim being to store every plant species possible, it reached its first milestone of 10% in 2009, with the next 25% milestone aimed to be reached by 2020.[5] Importantly they also distribute seeds to other key locations around the world, do germination tests on each species every 10 years, and other important research.[5][6]
    • The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has been built inside a sandstone mountain in a man-made tunnel on the frozen Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, which is part of the Svalbard archipelago, about 1,307 kilometres (812 mi) from the North Pole. It is designed to survive catastrophes such as nuclear war and world war. It is operated by the Global Crop Diversity Trust. The area's permafrost will keep the vault below the freezing point of water, and the seeds are protected by 1-metre thick walls of steel-reinforced concrete. There are two airlocks and two blast-proof doors.[7] The vault accepted the first seeds on 26 February 2008.
    • The former NSW Seedbank focuses on native Australian flora, especially NSW threatened species. The project was established in 1986 as an integral part of The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan. The NSW Seedbank hasdcollaborated with the Millennium Seed Bank since 2003.[8] The seed bank has since been replaced as part of a major upgrade by the Australian PlantBank.
    • Nikolai Vavilov (1887–1943) was a Russian geneticist and botanist who, through botanic-agronomic expeditions, collected seeds from all over the world. He set up one of the first seed banks, in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), which survived the 28-month Siege of Leningrad in World War II. It is now known as the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry. Several botanists starved to death rather than eat the collected seeds.
    • The BBA (Beej Bachao Andolan — Save the Seeds movement) began in the late 1980s in Uttarakhand, India, led by Vijay Jardhari. Seed banks were created to store native varieties of seeds.[9]
    • National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation,[10] Fort Collins, Colorado, United States


discuss ways in which the individual, family, community and nations can engage in meaningful conservation.

food waste the problem

  2. protection of th great barrier reef
  3. Why is everyone so angry about generating energy?
  4. getting pass the idea of drinking sewage

3. video showing the conservation mthod of recycling plastic bottles
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plastic solar power invention by brazilian Afredo Moser
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recycling waste to energy
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waste to electrical energy and for heating home

an example of sampling - click on link below
a bit boring but his definitions are simple and clear on the following terms
organism, population, community and ecosystem
video 1
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Other related videos

a solid explanation on the term niche and habitat

videos 2 & 3
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video 4
a very comprehensive explanation of the topic ecology also a bit funny
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Coal fires green anger at UN climate talks

Berchatow open-cast lignite mine
Berchatow open-cast lignite mine
Poland says the country's economy depends on continuing to use coal
Continue reading the main story==Related Stories==
Environmental groups have sharply criticised the Polish government for hosting a coal industry meeting while UN climate talks are held in the country.
They are angry because they believe Poland is more committed to coal than curbing climate change.
The Polish government says that coal will remain a critical part of their energy mix for many decades.
But they say they are committed to developing cleaner technologies.
Continue reading the main story==“Start Quote==
  • This whole concept of clean coal is a myth and it is being presented by the industry”
End Quote Tasneem Essop WWF
The UN's chief climate negotiator, Christiana Figueres, will address the International Coal and Climate two-day summit and is expected to call for radical reform.
She said she "wanted to speak directly to an industry that must change quickly".
But her appearance at the event has drawn criticism from green groups.
According to WWF's head of delegation at the climate talks, the coal meeting is a "provocative act".
"For the coal industry to come to Warsaw at a time when we are dealing with these serious issues and to say they have a future and try to pretend they can make a contribution, is a bit provocative," Tasneem Essop told BBC News.
Protesters and police in Krakow
Protesters and police in Krakow
Protesters marched at the weekend to chants of "keep the coal in the hole".
The World Coal Association believes that coal is an important part of the energy mix right now and is growing in many parts of the world.
They say that coal accounts for 41% of the world's electricity and in 20 years' time is still expected to be providing a quarter of the world's primary energy, the same level it was at in 1980.
If people are serious about tackling climate change, they need to accept this reality and help the industry develop the "clean coal" technology that can extract the CO2 from the substance.
But Tasneem Essop rejects the idea that coal can be cleaned up.
"This whole concept of clean coal is a myth and it is being presented by the industry," she said.
Christiana Figueres
Christiana Figueres
Ms Figueres is expected to call for radical reform in her address
"We do recognise that for developing countries that giving up coal is going to be a challenge and we're not suggesting that tomorrow they stop.
"What we are saying is that we need to recognise that there is a point at which we cannot continue using coal in our energy mix and we have a just transition into renewables."
Poland is investing heavily in clean coal technology and the coal meeting has the open approval of the government, being held at the Ministry of the Economy.
Speaking in September, Prime Minister Donald Tusk re-iterated the importance of coal for Poland.
"The future of Polish energy is in brown and black coal, as well as shale gas," he was quoted as saying.
"Some wanted coal to be dispensed with, but energy independence requires not only the diversification of energy resources, but also the maximum use of one's own resources."