Unit 8: Ecology (5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5) - Yellow

13 Instruction & 3 Lab Hours, 9 classes


Topic Numbers





5/9 & 5/10



Energy Transfer Lab

Ecology Crash Course

Food Web Activity

Energy Flow

  • Most ecosystems rely on a supply of energy from sunlight.
  • Light energy is converted to chemical energy in carbon compounds by photosynthesis.
  • Chemical energy is carbon compounds flows through food chains by means of feeding.
  • Energy released from carbon compounds by respiration is used in living organisms and converted to heat.
  • Living organisms cannot convert heat to other forms of energy.
  • Heat is lost from ecosystems.
  • Energy losses between trophic levels restrict the length of food chains and the biomass of higher trophic levels.
  • Skill: Quantitative representations of energy flow using pyramids of energy.

4. 2 Energy Transfer Notes

Pg. 1202-1206, 1219-1226

5/13 & 5/14


4.2 Quiz

What is a Mesocosm?

Chi-squared activity

Species, Communities & Ecosystems (4.1)

  • Species are groups of organisms that can potentially interbreed to produce fertile offspring.
  • Members of a species may be reproductively isolated in separate populations.
  • Species have either an autotrophic or heterotrophic method of nutrition (a few species have both methods).
  • Consumers are heterotrophs that feed on living organisms by ingestion.
  • Detritivores are heterotrophs that obtain organic nutrients from detritus by internal digestion.
  • Saprotrophs are heterotrophs that obtain organic nutrients from dead organisms by external digestion.
  • A community is formed by populations of different species living together and interacting with each other.
  • A community forms an ecosystem by its interactions with the abiotic environment.
  • Autotrophs obtain inorganic nutrients from the abiotic environment.
  • The supply of inorganic nutrients is maintained by nutrient cycling.
  • Ecosystems have the potential to be sustainable over long periods of time.
  • Skill: Classifying species as autotrophs, consumers, detritivores or or saprotrophs from a knowledge of their mode of nutrition.
  • Skill: Setting up sealed mesocosms between two species to try to establish sustainability (Practical 5)
  • Skill: Testing for association between two species using the using the chi-squared test with data obtained by quadrat sampling.
  • Skill: Recognizing and interpreting statistical significance.


Communities & Ecosystems Notes Video

Reading: 1202-1206 & 1219-1226

5/17 & 5/20



4.1 Communities & Ecosystems Quiz

Review Chi-Squared Assignment

Carbon Cycle

Chi Squared Exit Ticket

Carbon Cycling (4.3)

  • Autotrophs convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and other carbon compounds.
  • In aquatic ecosystems carbon is present as dissolved carbon dioxide and hydrogen carbonate ions.
  • Carbon dioxide diffuses from the atmosphere or water into autotrophs.
  • Carbon dioxide is produced by respiration and diffuses out of organisms into water or the atmosphere.
  • Methane is produced from organic matter in anaerobic conditions by methanogenic archaeans and some diffuses into the atmosphere or accumulates in the ground.
  • Methane is oxidized to carbon dioxide and water in the atmosphere.
  • Peat forms when organic matter is not fully decomposed because of acidic and/or anaerobic conditions in waterlogged soils.
  • Partially decomposed organic matter from past geological eras was converted either into oil and gas that accumulate in porous rocks.
  • Application: Estimation of carbon fluxes due to processes in the in the carbon cycle.
  • Application: Analysis of data from air monitoring stations to explain annual fluctuations.
  • Skil: Construct a diagram of the carbon cycle.

4.3:Carbon Cycle Video Notes

Chi Square exit ticket

5/21 & 5/22



4.3 Carbon Cycle Quiz

Greenhouse Lab

Ted Ed: Climate Change

Climate Change (4.4)

  • Carbon dioxide and water vapor are the most significant greenhouse gases.
  • Other gases including methane and nitrogen oxides have less impact.
  • The impact of a gas depends on its ability to absorb long wave radiation as well as on its concentration in the atmosphere.
  • The warmed Earth emits longer wavelength radiation (heat).
  • Global temperatures and climate patterns are influenced by concentrations of greenhouse gases.
  • There is a correlation between rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide since the start of the industrial revolution 200 years ago and average global temperatures.
  • Recent increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are largely due to increases in the combustion of fossilized organic matter.

5.5 Classification Video Notes

Reading: 551-553

5/23 & 5/24



5.5 Classification Quiz

Taxonomy Crash Course (first 7


Creating Dichotomous Key Lab

Taxonomy Activities

Classification of Biodiversity (5.3)

  • The binomial system of names for species is universal among biologists and has been agreed and developed at a series of congresses.
  • When species are discovered they are given scientific names using the binomial system.
  • Taxonomists classify species using a hierarchy of taxa.
  •  All organisms are classified into three domains.
  • The principal taxa for classifying eukaryotes are kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.
  • In a natural classification, the genus and accompanying higher taxa consist of all the species that have evolved from one common ancestral species.
  • Taxonomists sometimes reclassify groups of species when new evidence shows that a previous taxon contains species that have evolved from different ancestral species.
  • Natural classifications help in identification of species and allow the prediction of characteristics shared by species within a group.
  • Application: Classification of one plant and one animal species from dominant to species level.
  • Application: Recognition features of bryophyta, filicinophyta, coniferophyta and angiospermophyta.
  • Application: Recognition features of porifera, cnidaria, platylhelmintha, annelida, mollusca, arthropoda and chordata.
  • Application: Recognition of features of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish.
  • Skill: Construction of dichotomous keys for use in identifying specimens.

Greenhouse Lab


Evolution Retakes Deadline




Zoo Trip

  • Application: Classification of one plant and one animal species from dominant to species level.
  • Application: Recognition of features of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish.
  • Skill: Construction of dichotomous keys for use in identifying specimens.

4.4 Climate Change Video Notes

5/30 & 5/31



4.4 Climate Change Quiz

HBO Vice Climate Change

Global Temperature Change 1850-2016

Ocean Acidification Lab

Climate Change (4.4)

  • Carbon dioxide is produced by the combustion of biomass and fossilized organic matter.
  • Animals such as reef-building corals and mollusca have hard parts that are composed of calcium carbonate and can become fossilized limestone.
  • Application: Threats to coral reefs from increasing concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide.
  • Application: Correlations between global temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations on Earth.
  • Application: Evaluating claims that human activities are not causing climate change.

6/3 & 6/4

Climate Change Analysis


6/5 & 6/6


Ecology Assessment

6/7 & 10


Semester Review & Nature walk



Finals Schedule