by Miller & Levine

[complete Table of Contents]

Use the pull-down menu to jump to any of the Book's 40 Chapters:

Additional Resources:

Animal Diversity Web
An extraordinary site from the University of Michigan

The Ocean Planet
An exhibition about our planet and its oceans, sponsored by NASA

Texas Parks and Wildlife
Extensive information about Texas wildlife and natural regions of the state.

Chapter 3
The Biosphere

In this chapter, students will will read about how the biologists called ecologists study the relationships among organisms in the living part of the Earth's environment, called the biosphere. You will also discover how energy and nutrients flow through the biosphere The links below lead to additional resources to help you with this chapter. These include Hot Links to Web sites related to the topics in this chapter, the Take It to the Net activities referred to in your textbook, a Self-Test you can use to test your knowledge of this chapter, and Teaching Links that instructors may find useful for their students.

Hot Links Take it to the Net
Chapter Self-Test Teaching Links

What are Web Codes?
Web Codes for Chapter 3:
Active Art: The Water Cycle
Miller & Levine: Exploring Ecology from Space
SciLinks: Energy Pyramids
SciLinks: Cycles of Matter

Section 3-1: What Is Ecology?
To understand the various relationships within the biosphere, ecologists ask questions about events and organisms that range in complexity from a single individual to a population, community, ecosystem, or biome, or to the entire biosphere.
Scientists conduct modern ecological research according to three basic approaches: observing, experimenting, and modeling. All of these approaches rely on the application of scientific methods to guide ecological inquiry.

Section 3-2: Energy Flow
Sunlight is the main energy source for life on Earth. In a few ecosystems, some organisms rely on the energy stored in inorganic chemical compounds.
Energy flows through an ecosystem in one direction, from the sun or inorganic compounds to autotrophs (producers) and then to various heterotrophs (consumers).
Only about 10 percent of the energy available within one trophic level is transferred to organisms at the next trophic level.

Section 3-3: Cycles of Matter
Unlike the one-way flow of energy, matter is recycled within and between ecosystems.
Every living organism needs nutrients to build tissues and carry out essential life functions. Like water, nutrients are passed between organisms and the environment through biogeochemical cycles.





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