02 - The Environment & Ecosystems


Objectives/Guide Question  

1. Define an ecosystem incorporating the terms producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, and decomposer organisms.

      a) Explain how matter, and energy interact in an ecosystem.

      b) Indicate the movement of energy through a typical ecosystem.


2. Define food chain, food web and the pyramid of energy flow give examples of each.

a) How do food chains function together in food webs to make a sustainable system?

b) How does energy flow and how efficient are the transfers of energy?

c) What factors account for decreasing biomass at higher trophic levels?


3. Describe how metabolism and respiration keep organisms alive.


4. Discuss the cyclical nature of material flow through an ecosystem using carbon, nitrogen, or phosphorus cycle.


5. Identify and describe four of the world’s major biomes.
Discuss the adaptations of plants that live in them.

      b) Discuss the adaptations of animals that live in them.


6. Define primary, and secondary ecological succession.

      a) Describe two management techniques that can be employed to speed up succession.

      b) Give two specific examples of human actions that affect the process of ecological succession. 


7. Explain why wild species of plants and animals are important to us, and the ecosphere.


8. What are ecosystems?

a) What is the difference between the biotic community, and the abiotic environmental factors of an ecosystem?

b) What does the limiting factor principle tell us? 


9. Explain biodiversity using the four components of biodiversity (Functional, Ecological, Genetic, and Species Diversity).

a) Why is biodiversity important to Earth's life-support systems (include examples)?

b) Why is biodiversity important to the economy (include examples)? 


10. What is the Theory of Evolution?

a) Who first proposed the theory?

b) What does this scientific theory explain?