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Biology Chapter 3 Review: The Biosphere Answer Key

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What is Ecology?
#1 The scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their physical environment is called Ecology
#2 All life on earth and all the parts of the Earth in which life exists including land, water, and the atmosphere is collectively known as the: biosphere
#3 Define both biotic and abiotic factors. Give an example of each. Biotic: any living part of the enviornment with which an organism might interact (plants, animals, mushrooms,etc.) Abiotic: nonliving part of the environment (sunlight, water, heat, humidity, etc.)
#4 Name the three ecological methods scientists use. observation, experimentation, modeling
#5 Name the 5 levels of organization from narrow to broad. species, population, community, ecosystem, biome
Energy, Producers, and Consumers
#1 What are autotrophs? orgnaisms that use solar or chemical energy to produce 'food' (they make their own food)
#2 Which is more essential to energy flow: producers or consumers? Why? producers, because they produce energy rich compounds that are later used by other organisms
#3 Name three carnivores we saw at the zoo yesterday. polar bear, grizzly bear, tiger, snow leopard, etc.
#4 Name and describe two scientific processes by which autotrophs produce their own food. photosynthesis (converting energy from the sun), chemosynthesis (converting chemical energy where there is no sunlight)
#5 Name 4 of the 6 different kinds of consumers and what each eats. carnivores (meat), scavengers (carcasses of animals), decomposers (break down organic matter of dead and decaying animals), herbivores (plants), omnivores (plants and animals), detritivores (detritus particles)
Energy Flow in Ecosystems
#1 What is a food chain? a series of steps in which orgnaisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
#2 Describe how energy flows through an ecosystem. in a one-way stream, from primary producers to various consumers
#3 How is a food chain different than a food web? food webs are more complex and take into account the fact that more thna one animal may eat the same thing. There are several food chains within a food web
#4 What is a trophic level and how much energy is transferred in each trophic level? each step in a food chain is a trophic level. 10% is transferred in each level
#5 Describe a situation in which one organism impacts an entire food web. (think about your gizmo) example: rabbits get diseased and die off. This impacts the hawks ability to eat and the hawks die off. In the meantime, the grass population increases since there are less rabbits to eat.
Cycles of Matter
#1 Name three cycles of matter that occur in the enviornment. water cycle, nutrient cycle, nitrogen cycle, phosphorus cycle
#2 By what two processes is water cycled from the land to the atmosphere? evaporation and transpiration
#3 Which nutrient is abundant, but largely not usable by most organsims? nitrogen
#4 Describe the concept of nutrient limitation. If ample sunlight and water are available, the primary productivity of an ecosystem may be limited by the availability of nutrients.
#5 When and how does an algal bloom occur? When an aquatic ecosystem gets the runoff from a fertilized field, large quantities of nutrients enter the water. This feeds the algae and allows it to overpopulate the area, disrupting the flow of the entire ecosystem.
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Final Question
Describe how the owl pellet dissection showed an example of a food chain. The owl ate rodents, birds, etc. who in turn, ate seeds, grass, etc.


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