Chapter 3 - The Biosphere

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- the study of the relationships between organisms and the environment

Biosphere - all the parts of earth where life exists.

Population - allmembers of a species living in an area

Community - all the populations in an area

Ecosystem - living and non living factors

Biome - large ares with certain climates (and plants and animals)

Ecologists and Field Biology

- attempt to solve real-world problems related to the environment

Gathering Ecological Data

  1. Observations - gathering data on types of butterflies in a field
  2. Experimentation - determing how butterflies respond to pesticides
  3. Modeling - using data, such as graphs to discover trends

Ecology in the Field (Field Biology)

Analyzing Patterns in a Savanna Landscape ( 8 min video) with Student Worksheet

How do termites contribute to the resilience of the ecosystem?

spatial patterning of termite mounds

Factors that Affect Organisms

Biotic factors - living things (predators, prey, parasites)

Abiotic factors - nonliving things (temperature, soil, humidity)

Modeling Global Systems

Climate and Weather

Weather - day to day conditions at a particular time and place

Climage - average, year-after-year conditions in a region

Three main climate zones


Greenhouse effect - solar energy hits the earth and is trapped by greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide, water, methane)

*Greenhouse Gas Demonstration

Why do we have seasons?

The eart tilts on its axis as it revolves around the sun. In summer months, the northern hemisphere receives more direct rays (warmer). In the winter, the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, less direct rays means cooler temperatures.

seasons and axial tilt

Biomes - environments are grouped into areas that have similar climate and communities

- biomes have unique characteristics and plants and animals

Marine Ecosystems (oceans and seas)

Freshwater Ecosystems (lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands)

Estuary - where freshwater meets sea

Classroom Activities and Resources

Analyzing Climatographs (Key, TpT)

Analysing Data: Biomes (Key, Tpt)

Mapping Algae Blooms