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Biological Communities

Identifies the component parts of biological communities, including living and nonliving factors, and types of biological communities.

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Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2

Credit: daderot
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biosphere_2_-_1998_a.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

In 1991, eight humans entered a biosphere seated on Earth, yet it was separate from Earth’s biosphere (what they called Biosphere 1). The Biospherians lived in Biosphere 2 for two years, almost entirely separate from Biosphere 1.

Amazing But True!

  • The eight Biospherians were sealed in what was supposed to be a self-sustaining habitat.
  • Biosphere 2 contained five wilderness areas: a rainforest, an ocean with a coral reef, mangrove wetlands, savannah grassland, and a fog desert.
  • Credit: Colin Marquardt
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Biosphere2_Inside_big.jpg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Savanna and Ocean sections inside Biosphere 2 [Figure2]

     

  • Biosphere 2 also contained an agricultural system and a human habitat. However, the Biospherians could not grow enough food to sustain themselves. They broke into emergency supplies and many lost quite a bit of weight.
  • Below ground contained the system’s infrastructure.
  • Biosphere 2 is now owned by the University of Arizona and is the site of earth science research. They are especially interested the effects of a warming climate on ecosystems.

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With the link below, learn more about Biosphere 2. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What is the main reason that people would need to live in a biosphere separate from Earth’s?
  2. What happened to the air and water that was trapped within Biosphere 2 during the two year experiment?
  3. Why did it take Poynter four months to make a pizza?
  4. What happened to the oxygen in the sealed biosphere?
  5. What did the experiment at Biosphere 2 teach us? Did the people involved learn what they wanted to learn from it?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: daderot; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biosphere_2_-_1998_a.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Colin Marquardt; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Biosphere2_Inside_big.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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