Ecosystems: Everything Is Connected In nature, things that we would never think were connected can be linked to each other ? Everything is Interconnected… We learned the hard way DDT use in Borneo An ecosystem is all of the organisms living in an area together with their physical environment An rainforest and a coral reef are examples of ecosystems Ecosystems don’t have clear boundaries Things move from one ecosystem to another. Birds migrate from Michigan to Mexico In order to survive, ecosystems need five basic components • Energy • Mineral nutrients • Water • Oxygen • Other living things An ecosystem is made up of both living and nonliving things Biotic factors are the living and once living parts of an ecosystem. Biotic factors include dead organisms, dead parts of an organism, and the organism’s waste products Abiotic factors are the nonliving things in an ecosystem Abiotic factors include air, water, rocks, sand, light and temperature Scientists organize living things into various levels. An organism is an individual living thing A species is a group of organisms that are closely related and can mate to produce fertile offspring All black widow spiders belong to the same species (Latrodectus mactans) Members of a species may not all live in the same place. Field mice in Florida won’t interact with field mice in Maine. Populations are members of the species that live in the same place at the same time Members of a population will interact with one another. An organism doesn’t live alone and neither does a population Every population is part of a community – a group of various species that live in the same place and interact with each other All organisms live in particular places The place an organism lives is called a habitat Every habitat has specific characteristics that the organisms that live there need to survive If any of the factors change, the habitat changes Organisms tend to be very well-suited their natural habitats Living things can’t survive long away from their natural habitats An individual organism’s way of life is called its niche. Organisms may share a habitat, but they do not share a niche. The community in an area along with the abiotic factors make up the ecosystem or biome All the biomes on Earth make up the biosphere. The biosphere is about 16km (10 miles) thick and is the layer of life surrounding the Earth.