Biology - Chapter 3 Section 1

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Prentice-Hall Biology

What Does The Biosphere Contain?

The biosphere contains the combined portions of the planet in which all of life exists, including:
• land
• water
• air, or atmosphere
The biosphere extends from about 8 kilometers above Earth's surface to as far as 11 kilometers below the surface of the ocean.

Why Do Ecologist Ask Questions About Events And Organisms That Range In Complexity From An Individual To The Biosphere?

To understand relationships within the biosphere, ecologists ask questions about events and organisms that range in complexity from a single individual to the entire biosphere.

Define SPECIES

A species is a group of organisms so similar to one another that they can breed and produce fertile offspring.

Define POPULATIONS

POPULATIONS are groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area.

Define COMMUNITY

COMMUNITIES are assemblages of different populations that live together in a defined area.

Define ECOSYSTEM

An ECOSYSTEM is a collection of all the organisms that live in a particular place, together with their nonliving, or physical, environment.

Define BIOME

A BIOME is a group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities.

What Is The Highest Level Of Organization That Ecologist Study?

The highest level of organization that ecologists study is THE ENTIRE BIOSPHERE ITSELF.

What are the three basic approaches scientists use to conduct modern ecological research?

Regardless of the tools they use, scientists conduct modern ecological research using three basic approaches:
• observing
• experimenting
• modeling
All of these approaches rely on the application of scientific methods to guide ecological inquiry.

Why might an ecologist set up an artificial environment in a laboratory?

An ecologist may set up an artificial environment in a laboratory TO IMITATE AND MANIPULATE CONDITIONS THAT ORGANISMS WOULD ENCOUNTER IN THE WILD.

Why are many ecological phenomena difficult to study?

Many ecological phenomena occur over long periods of time or on such large spatial scales that they are difficult to study.

Why do Ecologist make models?

• Ecologists make models to gain insight into complex phenomena.
• Many ecological models consist of mathematical formulas based on data collected through observation and experimentation.
• The predictions made by ecological models are often tested by further observations and experiments.

Is the following sentence true or false?
An ecological model may consist of a mathematical formula.

TRUE:
An ecological model may consist of a mathematical formula.

Ecological Methods:
Define OBSERVING.

Observing is often THE FIRST STEP IN ASKING ECOLOGICAL QUESTIONS.

Some observations are simple. Others are complex and may form the first step in designing experiments and models.

Ecological Methods:
Define EXPERIMENTING.

• EXPERIMENTS CAN BE USED TO TEST HYPOTHESES.
• An ecologist may set up an artificial environment in a laboratory to imitate and manipulate conditions that organisms would encounter in the wild.
• Other experiments are conducted within natural ecosystems.

Ecological Methods:
Define MODELING.

• ECOLOGISTS MAKE MODELS TO GAIN INSIGHT INTO COMPLEX PHENOMENA.
• Many ecological models consist of mathematical formulas based on data collected through observation and experimentation.
• The predictions made by ecological models are often tested by further observations and experiments.

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