Ecosystems and fundamentals of ecology

1. In this threaded discussion, you will draw on the data you analyzed in the field study. Place your answers to the following questions online.

Identify the ecosystem you investigated and state its geographic limits. Write a short summary of the abiotic and biotic factors that you found.

In the same post, choose a plant or animal species that is not currently in your ecosystem, and think of a scenario in which this species might realistically migrate into the ecosystem you studied. Describe some of the abiotic and biotic factors in the ecosystem that would affect the species. Do you think this species would become extinct or thrive in your ecosystem?

Next read the posts of two or more people. Review and comment on their analysis in a respectful manner. Comment on the parts of their analysis that you find interesting and suggest areas of improvement. In at least two cases for each, explain why you agree or disagree with their analysis.

Finally go back to your original post and reevaluate it based on the feedback your peers gave you, and state how other posts changed or supported your initial idea.


Biotic life is plentiful with 2 large trees, many garden plants like small flowering plants, mint plants (Mentha longifolia), earth worms(Lumbricidae), the bugs that live amongst us and my cats. All of these biotic factors assist or retract from one another. One thing I noticed is that because of the large size of the trees, many of the plants are not exposed to sunlight, forcing un-even growth. Forms of energy like rain, sunlight and the water from the sprinkler system, are all included in the Abiotic list.

Since we laid new top soil, tended the garden and planted new grass seed, birds have taken notice of the plethora of earth worms in our yard. This has led to an influx of aerial attacks by nearby birds. They have also taken it upon themselves to dwell in the two column like tree that stand in the yard.

  1. Lookat the illustration of a trophic level pyramid. For each trophic level,write one or two sentences explaining the role of that type of organism.You should include those organisms that fall outside the normal pyramid.Give an example of each type of organism.Your examples do not have to belongto the same food chain in real life. Why does the pyramid get narrower ateach higher level?


(8 points)


2.  What is an environmental sphereor earth system sphere? Name the earth’s five major environmental spheres andstate the defining characteristics of each. Give one example of a way in whichtwo or more earth system spheres interact.


(8 points)


3.  What is biogeochemical cycling?For each of the following fivecycles, state two processes in which matter changes its form: carbon,phosphorus, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur.


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