Biotic and Abiotic Factors
Biotic Factors: Living factors in an ecosystem
Seals Arctic Willow
Polar bears Bearberry
Caribou Purple Saxifrage
Abiotic factors: Non-living factors in an ecosystem
Extreme temperatures (very cold)
Lots of precipitation
Little sun at times
Carrying Capacity and Changes in Populations
Carrying capacity: The largest number of individuals of one species that an environment can support.
Resources needed for a population to survive:
If the seal population (the polar bear's food) starts declining for some reason (less water, human destruction, etc), the polar bear population will start to decline since their food source the seals have declined, and the polar bears could go extinct.
Limiting Factors and Predator/Prey Relationships
Limiting Factors: Any factor or condition that limits the growth of a population in an ecosystem
Examples of Limiting Factors in the Arctic:
●Extreme weather conditions (really cold temperature)
●Food (increase or decrease)
●A disease of some sort that can withstand the cold
●Small number of prey or too many predators
A specific predator/prey relationship in the arctic is the penguin and the fish. If the waters were frozen for even more of a longer time than it already is, the penguins wouldn't be able to get to their food in time and would probably make the little baby penguins they're taking care of die, lessening the penguin population.
Another example would be the extreme temperatures. It's already cold enough for the penguins, and still yet many baby penguins die from freezing. If the temperature were to drop even more, even more baby penguins would die, which would even decrease the penguin population even more.
Energy Roles are determined by how the organism gains energy and how it interacts with other living things in its ecosystem. The three main energy roels are: Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers
Some examples of producers in the Arctic are:
Some examples of First-level consumers in the Arctic are:
Some examples of Second-level consumers in the Arctic are:
Some examples of Third-level consumers in the Arctic are:
Some examples of decomposers in the Arctic are:
●Lichen (both decomposer and producer)
Each of the energy roles receive its energy from the organism it feeds on (producers- sun, consumer- other consumer or producer... depends, decomposers- dead organisms, wastes, etc...)
Producers are vital to any ecosystem because they give out the energy which consumers take in, which makes them the base of the food chain, web, etc....
Food Chains and Food Webs
Food webs are more realistic than food chains for the arctic because we just aren't talking about one single food chain with only one producer or consumer(s), we are talking about more than one prey/predator which could (now be shown) feed on more organisms, and shows even more possibilities.
If, for example, I removed the arctic foxes' population, and since the arctic fox is a prey of the polar bear, competition between the polar bears for other prey will happen, and the polar bear population will decrease greatly. Another example is the lemmings; if the arctic fox is removed, the lemmings will start to overpopulate, which will lead to competition since there won't be enough food for all the overpopulated lemmings, and many lemmings will die of starvation (and other factors).
Trophic Levels and Energy Pyramids
Why we use a pyramid shape is because as an organism eats another organism, they receive only 10% of the energy from the organism, which makes the top less and less populated with the consumers, and it shows the amount of energy left, which gets less as you go up, and no other shape gets smaller as it goes up.
Producers are in the largest level at the base because they have the most energy since they get it completely from the sun and the fact that their numbers are so large. Top predator are in the smallest level because they get the least of the energy out of them all and their population is the least.
Chemical Equation for Photosynthesis:
(water)+(carbon dioxide)-->(glucose[or sugar])+(oxygen)
C₆H₁₂0₆ We're Goin Down (anyone get that reference?)
What is needed for photosynthesis are sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. What is produced by photosynthesis is oxygen.
Photosynthesis takes place in the chloroplast of a plant cell.
Radiant energy is transformed into chemical energy.
Tropism is turning or bending movement of an organism toward or away from an external stimulus, such as light, heat, or gravity.
An example of a tropism is lichen growing on a tree (thigmotropism). Another example is the arctic poppy's cup shaped flowers that face towards the sun (heliotropism).
These tropisms help the plants in the arctic survive by changing their growth in response to the stimulus, which could affect whether they survive or not.
The Role of Decomposers
Decomposers are vital to ecosystems because they are needed to break down waste and give nutrients to producers, which makes plants grow, which the consumers eat. If there were no decomposers, waste wouldn't be broken down, and nutrients wouldn't get to the producers, which would eventually kill off the producers, which means the consumers wouldn't have food and they would die off and we'd all die. :)
Some types of decomposers in the arctic are arctic mushrooms or slime molds.
The importance of having adaptations is that it helps fit an organism to a specific location when or if a change happens to their environment. How it helps organisms survive is that adaptations increase its chance of survival. The different types of adaptations are structural and behavioral.
Adaptations that plants and animals need in the arctic are migration, hibernation, dormancy of plants, camouflage, shallow root systems, ability to grow under snow, growing close together and low to the ground, layers of fur (or thicker fur), claws, fast speed, patience, and etc....
If you place an organism from the arctic to another environment, such as the desert for example, the organisms from the arctic would overheat from too much heat in the desert and perish. Since the arctic animals have thick fur, there's no way they'd survive in the desert because of overheating.
Natural selection is the process by which certain inheritable traits become more common in a population over successive generations. Natural selection is important for organisms in an ecosystem, because those that make it more likely for an organism to survive and successfully reproduce better offspring.
Musk oxen are an example of natural selection. The environment was so cold that the musk oxen got thick overcoats of long straight hair that is all around their body, and an undercoat of thick brown fleece. Before their population was low, but when they got that natural selection, their population rose. The environment changed by getting colder, and that caused the musk oxen to get to natural selection, which made their coats thicker and warmer in general, which rose their population.