- A species interacts with its abiotic and biotic environments, and its niche is described by these interactions.
- Populations change and respond to interactions with the environment.
- Any system has a carrying capacity for a given species.
Knowledge and understanding:
- A species is a group of organisms that share common characteristics and that interbreed to produce fertile offspring.
- A habitat is the environment in which a species normally lives.
- A niche describes the particular set of abiotic and biotic conditions and resources to which an organism or population responds.
- The fundamental niche describes the full range of conditions and resources in which a species could survive and reproduce. The realized niche describes the actual conditions and resources in which a species exists due to biotic interactions.
- The non-living, physical factors that influence the organisms and ecosystem—such as temperature, sunlight, pH, salinity, and precipitation—are termed abiotic factors.
- The interactions between the organisms—such as predation, herbivory, parasitism, mutualism, disease, and competition—are termed biotic factors.
- Interactions should be understood in terms of the influences each species has on the population dynamics of others, and upon the carrying capacity of the others’ environment.
- A population is a group of organisms of the same species living in the same area at the same time, and which are capable of interbreeding.
- S and J population curves describe a generalized response of populations to a particular set of conditions (abiotic and biotic factors).
- Limiting factors will slow population growth as it approaches the carrying capacity of the system.
Applications and skills:
- Interpret graphical representations or models of factors that affect an organism’s niche. Examples include predator–prey relationships, competition, and organism abundance over time.
- Explain population growth curves in terms of numbers and rates.
- The change in one community can impact on other communities (butterfly effect).
Theory of knowledge:
- Through the use of specialized vocabulary, is the shaping of knowledge more dramatic in some areas of knowledge compared to others?
- Human population carrying capacity (8.4)