Items that Are Part of Ecology Essay

Items that Are Part of Ecology Essay

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When asked to consider the term ecology I have to look at what that word is defined as being. The dictionary defines it as, “The branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings” (online dictionary, 2013). This is a very short definition for something that is comprised of so much once you start thinking about how many things affect an organisms physical surroundings. For this, I will be focusing on energy and chemical cycles, community structure, biodiversity and succession, and how all of these items are a part of ecology.
How does energy play a part in ecology? Everything that we do requires using energy; therefore, there must be a continuous cycle of energy to ensure that functions can continue. When we categorize how things fit in this cycle, we use trophic levels to fit everything together. The first trophic is comprised of organisms that make use of solar energy by means of photosynthesis. Herbivores comprise the second trophic level, using the plants for their energy. Predators make up the third trophic level, gaining energy by eating the herbivores; higher trophic levels are possible if there are higher-level predators in the local ecosystem. Land based ecosystems are usually limited to around five trophic levels, whereas marine ecosystems the number is around seven. Trophic levels are not a one size fits all type of deal, some species can be categorized in many trophic levels, such as humans who are omnivores could comprise several trophic levels. The transfer of energy between these trophic levels is not very efficient, somewhere around 10 percent, which makes decomposers an important element in the energy flow process. Decomposers, recycling org...

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...ed through many processes by different bacteria in order to make it into nitrate form, which is necessary for plant life. The importance of communities within an environment where species are not directly competing each other but have their own niche in order to create a well-balanced ecosystem. The process of succession where if the process is not interfered with it will result in greater diversity and a well-rounded ecosystem, and where succession goes wrong due to invasive species, and what was carefully crafted through the gradual process of divergence comes crashing down in a few careless moments. All of these things are amazing in how it affects, and changes things, and how it has crafted life into what we have today. These different cycles of ecology are definitely very powerful driving forces for the cycle of life in this world, yet easily tampered with.

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