1.1 Biomes

Biome- The largest division of the biosphere, which includes large regions with similar biotic components.

Biotic- living organisms such as plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria
Abiotic- non living parts of the environment such as sunlight, soil. Moisture, and temperature


the 9 biomes are:
- Boreal forest
- Desert
- Grassland
- Permanent ice
- Temperate deciduous forest
- Temperate rainforest
- Tropical rainforest
- Tundra
- Aquatic
The oil is spilling out from the seafloor at 5,000 barrels a day -- the equivalent of 210,000 gallons is abiotic. Among the animals that live in the Gulf Coast it is time for them to reproduce. This could bring sensitive young animals in contact with the toxic oil or cause their parents to plunge into oily waters looking for food. The Tropical rainforest, Grassland, and the Desert are being affected by the oil spill because they are located near the Gulf of Mexico. The oil that is bursting out from under the sea is washing up on to the shorelines where it is causing a tremendous threat to the plants and animals

1.2 ecosystem
Ecosystem- A part of a biome in which abiotic components interact with biome components such as oxygen, water, nutrients, light, and soil, support the life functions of biotic components, such as plants, animals and micro-organisms.

Habitat- Is the place in which an organism lives
Nutrients- Substances such as the chemicals nitrogen and phosphorus that are required by plants and animals for energy, growth, development, repair, or maintenance.


The ecosystem is all about Organisms within the community constantly interacting to get hold of resources such as food, water, sunlight, or habitat. Examples of these connections in the ecosystem include commensalism, mutualism, parasitism, competition, and predation. Every organism plays a role, or niche, within an ecosystem. The oil spill is polluting our air by releasing harmful chemicals which both humans and animals have to breathe in. The water is also affected by the oil spill because when the oil is released into the water it contaminates the water which the marine wild life is harmed by. The oil spill that is happening in the Gulf of Mexico can put toxic chemicals in our drinking water furthermore this can cause serious weakness to your immune system or can cause death.

2.1 Energy flow in ecosystems

Emery flow- The flow of energy from an ecosystem to an organism and from one organism to another.

Food Chains- show the flow f energy from plant to animal and from animal to animal
Food web- A mode of the feeding relationships within an ecosystem
Trophic levels- Steps in a food chain that show the feeding of a niche relationships among organisms.


Every organism interacts with its ecosystem in two ways:
1) The organism obtains food energy from the ecosystem
2) the organism contributes energy to the ecosystem


When the animal is contaminated by oil it is harmful for its predators. When the predator intakes his prey the harmful oil that is inside the animal will harm the predator and may even cause death furthermore this will be a food chain.

2.2 Nutrient cycles in Ecosystems
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Nutrients- are chemicals required for plant and animal growth and other life processes.
Nutrient cycles- describes the flow of nutrients in and out of stores as a result of biotic and abiotic processes
Carbon cycle- The nutrient cycle in which is moved through the biosphere
Nitrogen cycle- The nutrient cycle in which nitrogen is moved through the biosphere
Phosphorus cycle- The nutrient cycle in which phosphorus moved through the biosphere


The carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, and phosphorus cycle move nutrients into and out of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The nitrogen cycle can be affected by human activities such as land clearing, industry, motorized transportation, and agriculture. These human activities affect the nutrient cycle by increasing the amounts of nutrients in the cycle faster than natural biotic and abiotic processes can move them back to the stores. The oil is limiting the chemical nutrients that are required for plants, animal growth and other life processes. The oil in the ocean stops the nutrient cycle from functioning properly. In order for the nutrient cycle to work there must not be any interference with the way the cycle behaves.

2.3 Effects of Bioaccumulation on Ecosystems


Bioaccumulation- The gradual build-up of synthetic and organic chemicals in living organisms
Biomagnifications- The process in which chemicals not only accumulate but become more concentrated at each trophic level in a food pyramid
Bioremediation- The use of organisms usually micro-organisms or plants to break down chemical pollutants in water or soil to reverse or lessen environmental damage
Heavy metals- Metallic elements with a high density that are toxic to organisms at low concentrations
PCB's (Polychlorinated biphenyls)- Synthetic chemicals containing chlorine that are used in the manufacture of plastics and other industrial products, become stored in the tissue of animals, and also persist in the environment
POP's (Persistent organic pollutants)- carbon-containing compounds that remain in water and soil for many years


Humans create a lot of harmful pollutants in the environment. Not all pollutants can be broken down by decomposers and these pollutants are taken up by plants. Bioaccumulation then occurs in the living organisms all the way up to the highest trophic. Biomagnifications is greater for primary, secondary and tertiary consumers because contaminated food is eaten and pollutants build up in tissues also lower trophic level organisms are affected two. Low amounts of heavy metals such as lead and mercury are very toxic. These metals build up in ecosystems due to human activities. Oil spills affect
bioaccumulation in many organisms. For example, when oil gets into the oceans, it can transfer into many fishes when
predators prey on these fishes, oil is also transferred into them and affects their ability to survive


3.1, 3.2, and 3.3



Organisms adapt to change through natural selection. Species that are well adapted to their environment are the ones that survive to produce offspring. When biotic and abiotic factors change in the environment adaptive radiation occurs. This means that different species change from a common ancestor and live in different niches. Ecological succession refers to changes that take place over time in the types of organisms that live in an area. There are two types of ecological succession, primary succession occurs in areas where no soil exists, such as lava and glaciations. Wind and rain carry spores of lichens to these areas. A Secondary Succession is small disturbances, like fires. They occur in places that has soil and were once home to living organisms. There are also natural events that can affect ecosystems. Some examples are flooding and drought. Secondary succession is occurring by oil spills such as the one that is happening now. Secondary Succession is occurring because the oil is beginning to wash onto the shore where there is soil involved. Sustainability is the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes. Sustainability is affected through land and resource use. Land use means the way we use land around us. Some examples are using land for roads and cities. Resource use means the way we get and use resources such as soil, and wood. First Nations traditional ecological knowledge refers to knowledge about things such as animal and plant life cycles. This knowledge has been gained over centuries and produces data to enhance productivity and health of ecosystems. The way we use our resources could be affected by the oil spill because one of our resources is sea food which is being harmed by the harmful chemicals in the oil. Also since the oil is coming on to land the soil and wood could be debilitated by the oil. Some introduced species are invasive and can destroy ecosystems. Invasive species can reproduce quickly and are often aggressive. They easily beat native species and change habitats. The rapid spread of introduced invasive species is a huge cause of global biodiversity loss. Introduced species can have an effect on native species through competition, predation, disease, parasitism, and habitat alteration. Eurasian milfoil forms mats on the surface of waterways that limits the amount of sunlight that is needed for organisms lower down. Oil can also limit the sunlight that is necessary for organisms and therefore organisms cannot get the required living needs.
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