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An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere The Scope of Ecology IEcology Greek AScientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environment BInvolve organisms with open systems CNaturalists made the process of observing and describing organisms in their natural habitats an end in itself DBecoming increasingly experimental ERapidly growing and exciting science due to field experiments IIThe interactions between organisms and their environment determine the distribution and abundance of organisms AEcologists use observations and manipulative experiments to test hypotheses BSophisticated computer programs develop models that predict the effects that human activities will have on a climate and how the resulting climatic changes will affect geographic distribution CSome environments of organisms include abiotic components which are nonliving and physical factors temp light water DSome environments of organisms include biotic components which are all the organisms that are part of any individuals environment EOther organisms compete for food and resources prey upon it or change its environment IIIEcology and evolutionary biology are closely related sciences AGeographic distribution of organisms and their exquisite adaptations to specific environments provided Darwin with evidence for evolution BAn important cause of evolutionary change is the interaction of organisms with their environment CEvents that occur in the framework of ecological time minutes months years translate into the effects over the longer scale of evolutionary time decades centuries millennia and longer IVEcological research ranges from the adaptations of individual organisms to the dynamics of the biosphere AFour levels of ecological study organismal population community and ecosystem BOrganismal ecology is concerned with the morphological physiological and behavioral ways in which individual organisms meet the challenges posed by the way their biotic and abiotic environments CPopulation ecology concentrates mainly on factors that affect how many individuals of a species live in an area DCommunity ecology deals with the whole array of interacting species in a community Focuses on predation competition and disease which affect community structure and organization EEcosystem ecology is
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