11 Easy Questions to Learn Basic Ecology Concepts

Definition of Ecology

1. What is ecology?

Ecology is the field of biology that studies the relationship between living beings and between living organisms and the environment.

Ecosystems - Biology Questions and Answers

Definition of Species

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2. What is a species?

A species is a set of living organisms able to cross-breed among themselves to generate fertile offspring.

However, this concept does not apply to species with exclusive asexual reproduction and, as a result, other definitions have been proposed. For example, “a species is a set of living organisms that evolve in a common manner, all of which are considered ancestors of the same type in relation to common descendants”.

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Population and Community in Biology

3. What is a population?

A population is a set of individuals of the same species found in a given place at a given time.

4. What is a community? What is the difference between the concepts of community and population?

A community is a set of populations of living organisms that live in the same region and interact with each other.

In ecology, a population is a set whose members (living in a given place at a given time) are part of the same species. A community is a set of populations of different species (living in a given place at a given time).

Ecological Niche and Habitat

5. What is the difference between an ecological niche and a habitat?

An ecological niche is a set of particular activities, resources and strategies that a species explores to survive and reproduce.

A habitat is the place where the species lives to explore its ecological niche.

In other words,the habitat can be considered the “address” of the species and the ecological niche is the “profession” of the species.

Biotic and Abiotic Factors

6. What are biotic factors?

Biotic factors are the living organisms (plants, animals and microorganisms) that are part of a given environment.

7. What are abiotic factors?

Abiotic factors are the nonliving elements that compose a given environment, such as light, temperature, minerals, water, gases, atmospheric pressure, etc. 

Definition of Ecosystem

8. What is an ecosystem?

An ecosystem is a system composed of interacting biotic and abiotic factors.

  • Ecosystem Review - Image Diversity: ecosystem

9. What is a biosphere?

A biosphere is the set of all of the ecosystems on the planet.

Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Organisms

10. What are autotrophic organisms? What are heterotrophic organisms?

Autotrophic organisms are those that can produce their own food, or rather, that produce organic material from inorganic compounds. Heterotrophic organisms are those that need to ingest organic material to nourish themselves. Therefore, heterotrophs depend on the production of the autotrophs.

11. What are the processes that autotrophic organisms use to produce organic material from inorganic substances?

Autotrophic organisms produce organic material through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. There are photosynthetic autotrophs, such as plants, and chemosynthetic autotrophs, such as some bacteria.

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