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Chapter 11: The Principles of Ecology

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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(Opening image courtesy of the National Science Foundation, http://www.nsf.gov/news/overviews/earth-environ/assets/interact06.jpg, and under the public domain.)

The Principles of Ecology


Lesson 11.1: The Science of Ecology

11.1.1 Organisms and the Environment

11.1.2 The Ecosystem

  • Niche
  • Habitat
  • Competitive Exclusion Principle

11.1.3 Flow of Energy

  • Producers
  • Consumers
  • Decomposers
  • KQED: Banana Slugs: The Ultimate Recyclers

11.1.4 Food Chains and Food Webs

  • Food Chains
  • Food Webs

11.1.5 Trophic Levels

  • Trophic Levels and Energy
  • Trophic Levels and Biomass

Lesson 11.2: Recycling Matter

11.2.1 Biogeochemical Cycles

11.2.2 The Water Cycle

  • Evaporation, Sublimation, and Transpiration
  • Condensation and Precipitation
  • Groundwater and Runoff
  • KQED: Tracking Raindrops

11.2.3 The Carbon Cycle

11.2.4 The Nitrogen Cycle

Lesson 11.3: Biomes

11.3.1 Terrestrial Biomes

  • Terrestrial Biomes and Climate
  • Climate and Plant Growth
  • Climate and Biodiversity
  • Climate and Adaptations
  • Survey of Terrestrial Biomes

11.3.2 Aquatic Biomes

  • Aquatic Biomes and Sunlight
  • Aquatic Biomes and Dissolved Substances
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Marine Biomes
  • Freshwater Biomes
  • Wetlands
  • KQED: Restoring Wetlands
  • KQED: San Francisco Bay: A Unique Estuary
  • KQED: Studying Aquatic Animals

Pacing the Lessons

Use the Class Periods per Lesson table below as a guide for the time required to teach the lessons of this chapter.

Lesson Number of Class Periods
11.1 The Science of Ecology 2.0
11.2 Recycling Matter 1.5
11.3 Biomes 2.0
  • Class periods are assumed to be 60 minutes long.

Online Resources

See the following Web sites for appropriate laboratory activities:

1. In this lab, students will undertake a field study to collect data on biotic and abiotic environmental factors in two different ecosystems. (Lesson 11.1)

2. This deceptively simple lab will reinforce students' understanding of the scientific method, build their observational skills, and give them hands-on experience with ecological fieldwork. No special equipment or materials are needed. (Lessons 11.1, 11.2, and 11.3)

3. In this lab, students will investigate the role of sunlight and nutrients on primary productivity in an aquatic ecosystem. This is a good lab for AP students. It requires a science laboratory. (Lesson 11.3)

These Web sites may also be helpful:

1. This Web site has clear and interesting animations to help students understand interspecific competition and the nitrogen cycle.

2. The three ecology chapters in this concise and well-illustrated text cover many of the same topics as the FlexBook ecology unit, but with enough additional material to make them worth reading. They could be assigned for enrichment.

3. This Web site has many links to additional information and activities about world biomes.

4. This Web site has lesson plans for each world biome and includes species and scientist profiles.

5. These Web sites have excellent information, climographs, and illustrations for major world biomes. They provide a wealth of information and visuals. They are useful for both teachers and students.

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