(generally the Rocky Mountains).
Biotic Factors of the Mountains:
1. Mountain Goats
2. Mountain Lions
4. Grizzly Bear
5. Pine Trees
6. Mountain Big Sagebrush
7. Common Juniper
Abiotic Factors of the Mountains:
1. Climate (generally 50° in the Rocky Mountains.)
2. Precipitation (average precipitation is 14 inches a year.)
3. Temperature (average temperature is 43° a year.)
4. Soil (the Rocky Mountains covers 382,894 square miles.)
5. Rivers (For Example, Jewel Lake.)
6. Glaciers (For Example, Taylor Glacier)
Carrying Capacity (noun): The number of people, other living organisms, or crops that a region can support without environmental degradation.
A population of organisms changes over time depending on depending on the availability of resources in the habitat. For example, Pine Tree, a plant in the mountains habitat, needs sunlight and water to survive. If a limiting factor, a drought, causing them to starve, occurred the Pine Tree's population would decrease, therefore the carrying capacity decreased as well.
Limiting factor: Resources or environmental conditions that limit the growth, abundance, or distribution of an organism or a population of organisms in an ecosystem.
A specific predator/prey in my ecosystem is a mountain goat; limiting factors can affect them in many ways, and it just depends on which limiting factor it could be. One example of a limiting factor is predators. One of their predators is a bear; if they struggle to outrun a bear in the mountains, they will eat eaten, and sadly die.
Producer: an organism, either a green plant or bacterium, which is part of the first level of a food chain.
One example of a producer in my particular ecosystem, the Rocky Mountains, is the Miner's Candle. Producers receive their energy from the sun, and make their own food from the sun's energy. Producers are vital to our ecosystem, because they are the organism that transfer the sun's energy, and they have the most energy in the entire pyramid.
Consumer: those organisms that eat other things.
One example of a consumer in my ecosystem is a Mountain Goat; a Mountain Goat usually graze on grasses, instead of making it's own food, it finds food, which makes it a consumer. Consumers get energy from the organism/plant they consumed, whether its a plant or animal. There are many types of consumers, including herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, and scavengers. Consumers are vital to our ecosystem because they transfer the energy from the producer or another consumer, in other words, they keep the food chain going.
Decomposers: an organism that decomposes organic material.
One example of a decomposer in the mountains are mushroom. Mushroom break down the dead material of an organism and return them back to the soil. These decomposers receive their energy from dead plant/organisms. They are vital to our ecosystem because they break down the unwanted/unneeded materials, so that organisms will have space to grow, mate, eat, sleep, etc.
Food Chains vs. Food Webs
Food webs are more effective than food chains, because they display the different types of organisms the being eats instead of just showing that it eats just one organism. You can see how all food chains connect in a way, and it helps you understand how removing a factor can cause the whole ecosystem to collapse.
Removing one organism can affect many populations. For example, if the Edith's Checkerspot population died out, because of their diet, the Western Whiptail, Raven, and, Black Tipped Jackrabbit would die out. Since the Western Whiptail and the Black Tipped Jackrabbit are prey of the Coyote and Bobcat, some of them would die out as well.
Trophic Levels & Energy Pyramids.
So, why is the energy pyramid shaped the way it is? Why not a cylinder or cube? Well, energy pyramids are shaped the way they are because, as you can see from the graphic above, the producers have the most energy and the tertiary consumers have the least. 10% is being sent to the next trophic level, which explains why it starts out with 1,000 kilocalories and then ends up with to 1 kilocalorie.
The chemical equation for photosynthesis is 6CO2 + 6H2O ------> C6H12O6 + 6O2The energy transformation taking place during the process of photosynthesis is Radiant energy (from the sun) transformed to Chemical energy (the food the plant makes).
Photosynthesis takes place in the chloroplast of a producers' cell. During the process of photosynthesis, glucose and oxygen are produced. Water, light, and carbon dioxide are needed during this process.
Tropism is the turning or bending movement of an organism toward or away from an external stimulus, such as light, heat, or gravity. There are four types of tropism that you may find in this ecosystem, these include: phototropism, movement in response to light, geotropism, movement towards or away from the earth, and thigmotropism, movement towards or away from touch, hydrotropism, the way a plant grows or bends in response to water.
So, how do these tropisms help the plants of the Mountains ecosystem survive? Phototropism allows plants to get the amount of sunlight they need to live. Geotropism allows plants to stay upright and grow correctly. Thigmotropism allows insect eating plants to catch their prey and allows vines to clasp and curl onto objects. Hydrotropism allows plants to get their water to grow and be pulled toward the water.
Decomposers are organisms who break down materials in an ecosystem and release organic compound to be used by plants. They are vital to our organism because they get rid of our waste, without them our planet would be covered in waste. They also keep our topsoil fertilized in order to plants trees and flowers. Some types of decomposers you can find in the Mountains ecosystem are mushrooms and earthworms.
Adaptations are vital and important to an organism in many ways. For example, adaptations help keep them alive by allowing them to blend into their habitat, severely poison their prey, and even clasp onto their resources. (Note: these are just examples, adaptations can help an organism survive in MANY ways!)
So, you might be wondering, what are different types of adaptations that can be found in the mountains ecosystem? There are TONS of adaptations that can be found here, for example, the Mountain Goat developed hooves over time, which allowed them to climb rugged slopes and jump from rock to rock.
While animals may have adaptations in this ecosystem, plants do too! Have you ever seen the needle-like leaf structure on a pine tree? Well, that also is an adaptation! Over time, pine trees have developed a needle-like leaf structure which allows their photosynthesis period to lengthen. The needle-like leaf structure allows the vascular tissue to be protected, and reduces the process of water loss.
So, what would happen if we were to place one of these organisms into another environment? First of all, the organism would struggle to survive. It's adaptations were developed over time from the environment they were currently sheltered in. Secondly, they would fail to retrieve their prey and would probably become prey.
Natural selection is the process by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures. Natural selection is so important for organisms in an environment because it allows the environment to choose for "best" traits, and after reproduction, only the organisms with the "best" traits survive. Later on, the whole population has the "best" trait.
One example of natural selection in the mountains environment is how the Gray Jay got its' beak. Gray Jays' diet mostly consists of fungi, berries, arthropods, carrion, and nestling birds, therefore their population's beaks are short and stubby. So, how did the environment change that allowed the Gray Jay to have the beak that they have today?
Gray Jays consisted of long beaks and short beaks before natural selection, unfortunately the Jays with the long beaks struggled to capture their prey and retrieve their food. The long beaked Jays eventually died out and the short beaks were left. They reproduced and their population grew again.