This week we will be exploring biology of the desert using the words that we have learned and learning some new words, we will create a model of the desert and the beings that live there.
Biosphere: the regions of the surface, atmosphere, and hydrosphere of the earth (or analogous parts of other planets) occupied by living organisms.
Atmosphere: air, Hydrosphere: water
Biome: a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, examples: desert, forest or tundra.
Biomes of the World - tundra biome, desert biome, marine biome, grassland biome, taiga biome, temperate grassland biomes, temperate deciduous forest biome, tropical rain forest biome, savanna biome, polar ice biome
Habitat: a place where an organism or a community lives, more specific, examples: the grassland, coral reef, underground, a pond, a river
Environment: the environment is all of the natural materials and living things, including sunlight. If those things are natural, it is a natural environment. Environment includes the living and nonliving things that an organism interacts with, or has an effect on it. Includes rocks.
Community: an interacting group of various species in a common location. For example, a forest of trees and undergrowth plants, inhabited by animals and rooted in soil containing bacteria and fungi, constitutes a biological community.
Population: individuals of a certain species found in an area—all the squirrels that live in a park; all toads that live in a pond.
Ecological Hierarchy: Population, community, ecosystem, biome and biosphere
Relationships Between Organisms
Symbiosis: relationship between living organisms
Food Chain: organisms feed from lower trophic level.
Food Web: multiple food chains.
Trophic levels: producers, consumers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, detritivores, decomposers.
Decomposers: mushrooms, eukaryotes, break down dead things
Detritivores: consume decaying plant materials: earthworms and millipedes
Consumer: Any organism that eats
Producer: Organism that makes their own food using sunlight, or absorbs sunlight, plants absorb blue and red light and reflect back green light
Heterotrophs are Consumers
Autotrophs are Producers
Cyanobacteria: Cyanobacteria, also known as Cyanophyta, are a phylum consisting of bacteria and the endosymbiotic plastids. They commonly obtain their energy through photosynthesis. They are the only photosynthetic prokaryotes able to produce oxygen.
Endosymbiotic Theory: the theory that chloroplasts and mitochondria used to be free living bacteria (prokaryotes) and now are part of eukaryotic cells
Prokaryotes: no cell nucleus, have plasmids
Eukaryotes: have nucleus and organelles
Primary consumer: eats the plants
Secondary Consumer: Eats the organism that eats the plants
Tertiary Consumer: Large predator
A species' place in the food web is their trophic level.
Physical aspects of the environment
Erosion: the process of scraping away the surface, or being eroded by wind, water, or other natural agents. Grasses slow down erosion and help water seep into the ground.
Groundwater: water in the soil and in crevices of rock, underground, on its way down, it trickles for years until it reaches an aquifer or gets absorbed by roots
Aquifer: underground water reservoir, water can be extracted using a water well.
Precipitation: water in the air, drizzle, rain, sleet, snow, graupel and hail
Nitrogen: Nitrogen is the chemical element with the symbol N and atomic number 7. Nitrogen plays an important role in the health and growth of all plants, and it is responsible for the green leaves you see growing on them. Nitrogen helps plants photosynthesize, which is a process that involves using energy from the sun to break down water and carbon dioxide so that sugars are formed.
Nitrogen Cycle: Nitrogen from the air goes into soil and bacteria turn it into a type of nitrogen that plants can use. It involves nitrogen fixation, nitrogen fixing bacteria, assimilation, ammonification, nitrification, nitrifying bacteria, denitrification, denitrifying bacteria, atmospheric N2, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites.
Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria: bacteria's that are able to convert atmospheric nitrogen into essential compounds required by the plants. Plants cannot directly take in nitrogen from atmosphere. So there are certain bacteria's which helps the plant to do so.
Nitrogen Fixing Plants: plants don’t pull nitrogen from the air on their own. They actually need help from a common bacteria called Rhizobium. The bacteria infects legume plants such as peas and beans and uses the plant to help it draw nitrogen from the air.
Carbon Cycle: We breathe out carbon dioxide, CO2 and plants take it to make glucose (sugar) and release oxygen in the process. It includes: Atmospheric CO2, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, combustion, death and decomposition, fossil fuels, erosion from marine organisms.
Water/ Hydrogen Cycle: Water evaporates and rains back down. It included: ground water, percolation, run off, transpiration, precipitation, evaporation, water vapor.
Phosphorous cycle: when it rains, water brings phosphorous down from rocks in mountains and it nourishes plants
Plants need: NPK, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium
Some of the Populations in the
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Symbiosis in the desert
- Commensalism/mutualism between roadrunner and pricklypear cactus, mutualism if poo is a good fertilizer.
- Commensalism: an association between two organisms in which one benefits and the other derives neither benefit nor harm.
- Parasitism between opuntia moth and prickly pear cacti
- Parasitism: A relationship between two organisms in which one organism (the parasite) benefits and the other (the host) is harmed.
Each species is classified according to Their Taxonomy
Taxonomy: classification of organisms
Diorama of the desert
We made conductive clay, potatoes conduct electricity too
Energy from the sun is stored in food
Select four desert animals and teach your classmates about them: