Ecosystems

  • Define ecology.
  • Distinguish among the following ecological levels: population, community, ecosystem, landscape, and biosphere.
  • Define energy and explain how it is related to work and to heat.
  • Explain potential energy and kinetic energy.
  • Discuss the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and discuss the implications of these laws as they relate to organisms.
  • Give reactions for photosynthesis and cellular respiration and contrast these two biological processes.
  • Define energy flow, trophic level, and food web.
  • Summarize how energy flows through a food web, using producer, consumer, and decomposer in your explanation.
  • Describe typical pyramids of numbers, biomass, and energy.
  • Distinguish between gross primary productivity and net primary productivity, and discuss human impact on the latter.
  • Define evolution.
  • Explain evolution by natural selection as proposed by Charles Darwin.
  • Identify the three domains and six kingdoms of living organisms.
  • Describe the factors that contribute to an organism’s ecological niche.
  • Define competition and distinguish between intraspecific and interspecific competition.
  • Relate the concepts of competitive exclusion and resource partitioning.
  • Define symbiosis.
  • Define predation and describe the effects of natural selection on predator-prey relationships.
  • Define keystone species and discuss the wolf as a keystone species.
  • Describe factors associated with high species richness.
  • Give several examples of ecosystem services.
  • Define ecological succession and distinguish between primary and secondary succession.
  • Discuss the roles of solar energy and the Coriolis effect in producing atmospheric circulation.
  • Define prevailing winds and distinguish among polar easterlies, westerlies, and trade winds.
  • Discuss the roles of solar energy and the Coriolis effect in producing global water flow patterns, including gyres.
  • Define El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and La Niña and describe some of their effects.
  • Distinguish between weather and climate, and briefly discuss regional precipitation differences.
  • Describe a rain shadow.
  • Contrast tornadoes and tropical cyclones.
  • Define plate tectonics and explain its relationship to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions
  • Define biome and briefly describe the terrestrial biomes.
  • Identify at least one human effect on each of the biomes discussed.
  • Explain the similarities and the changes in vegetation observed with increasing elevation and increasing latitude.
  • Summarize the important environmental factors that affect aquatic ecosystems.
  • Briefly describe the aquatic ecosystems
  • Identify at least one human effect on each of the aquatic ecosystems discussed.
  • Contrast health issues in highly developed and developing countries.
  • Explain the problems associated with chemicals that exhibit persistence, bioaccumulation, and biological magnification
  • Define endocrine disrupter.
  • Define toxicant and distinguish between acute and chronic toxicities.
  • Describe how a dose-response curve helps determine the health effects of environmental pollutants.
  • Discuss pesticide risks to children.
  • Explain the relative advantages and disadvantages of toxicology and epidemiology.
  • Discuss how discovery of the effects of DDT on birds led to the replacement of the dilution paradigm with the boomerang paradigm.
  • Define ecotoxicology and explain why knowledge of ecotoxicology is essential to human well-being.
  • Define risk and explain how risk assessment helps determine adverse health effects.
  • Discuss the precautionary principle as it relates to the introduction of new technologies or products.
  • Define ecological risk assessment.

On GlobalEarthSystems you can find some presentations.

Advertisements