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Natural Science - Year II

Unit 57: Natural History and Ecology

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Science Weblecutre for Unit 57

This Unit's Homework Page History Lecture Science Lecture Lab Parents' Notes

Science Lecture for Unit 57: Ecology

For Class



Ecology is the study of the interaction of living things with their environments and with each other. The first part requires us to look at our enviornment: the biosphere, ecosystems, and communities, and the climate and geographic characteristics of particular regions. The second part requires us to look at species and their populations, and the factors that increase and decrease the population count.

Population Ecology

Read through the terms on biological diversity, population growth, and factors influencing population growth.

  • Be sure that you understand the terms listed.
  • What is the difference between exponential growth and logistic growth.
  • What is life history?
  • What do we mean by growth and stability?
  • How do predators and symbiosis influence population rise and decline.

Environmental Ecology

Environments share certain kinds of characteristics: geographical forms like mountains or deserts, climate conditions like rain and average temperature, and vegetation types like forests or marshlands. By looking at the combinations of characteristics, we can make some predictions about the types of environments or "biomes" that we will find based on the differences in climage and geography.

Read the summaries of characteristics on the world's biomes.

  • List the characteristics of the major types of aquatic biomes:
    • marine (saltwater) - oceans, coral reefs, and estuaries
    • freshwater - ponds, lakes, streams and rivers, wetlands
  • List the characteristics of the major types of land biomes:
    • desert - hot and dry, semiarid, coastal, cold.
    • forest - tropical, temperate, boreal (also called taiga)
    • grassland - savannahs, temperate grasslands, steppes, prairies.
    • tundra - arctic and alpine treeless plains.

Study/Discussion Questions

Further Study On your Own (Optional)