Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Discover the Biological Sciences

The introductory information for this site has been contributed as a joint assignment by students in Bio. Sci. 10.


By: Kerry Kyle

1) Biological field or sub-topic chosen: Ecology

2) Define field or sub-topic: Ecology is a branch of biology that studies the relationships between living things and their environments. For example ecology would study a tree, the soil that it’s roots live in, and the carbon dioxide that it takes in from the air and the chlorophyll that absorbs sunlight. It’s not just a tree that they look at, but the relationship that it has with the environment that helps the tree grow.

3) Describe in more detail the breath and depth of what could be studied or learned within this topic: There are many things to be learned with this topic such as different ecosystems around the world: Ecosystems can range from tropical rain forests in South America, southwestern United States ecosystems (deserts), or even New York’s Central Park. Ecosystems are a study of everything that affects life in a certain area.

4) Focusing on one major concept, principle, or group of organisms (as appropriate within the topic), describe its importance, relationships, functional aspects, or otherwise explain it in more depth as seems important to you and (potentially) the others in class: There are 2 major components to Ecology. The abiotic component consists of all nonliving factors such as chemical and physical. These factors can include temperature, light, water, and air – they are not living.
The other component is the biotic component which consists of living factors which basically means every living organism that are a part of someone’s environment.
These are both important factors in ecology because the science of ecology – studies the interactions between organisms and their environments, and whether something is “alive” or not (abiotic or biotic) it will still affect the living organism of which we are studying.

5) In studying and discovering more about this topic, what was the most interesting aspect, fact or some other piece of information that you have learned.
Well to start off, I don’t really know squat about biology! I haven’t taken it since my sophomore in high school which is well over 10 years ago, and it’s a miracle I ever passed that class. Everything that I am learning is great, and interesting, though I don’t feel like I am truly “getting it”, which will hopefully come with time.
As far as studying more about Ecology, I enjoyed learning more about how everything affects everything (if that makes sense) I never really thought about how much living and non living organisms can affect the growth of a tree, or an animal before.

6) References – provide references used and at least two Web sites with additional information on this topic (or sub-topic) for anyone that would like to learn more:
2.) “Essential Biology” Pages 3-4 and Pages 382-383

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