The Natural Environment
The Concept of Natural Environment
Explain the concept of natural environment
Natural environment is made up of all living and non living things that occur naturally on earth. An organism living anywhere in any environment is affected by the things around it such as air, water, animals, plants, microorganism, stones, rock, soil, clouds and the sun. everything around it in fact makes its natural environment. It is important to understand that the environment includes all living things as well as non living things.
Interactive of Organisms in the Environment
Ground water and water from rain flow into streams and rivers
The stream and rivers flow into lakes and ocean
Water evaporate into the atmosphere from lakes and ocean and from plantsthrough transpiration
The evaporated water precipitates to form water vapor which condenses to form clouds
Wind causes clouds to move for example from above the ocean to above the land
Rain fall and absorbed by plants or form grounds water, and the cycle begins again..
INTERACTION AMONG LIVING ORGANISMS
Competition That organisms must compete for limited resources in struggle for life. For an organism to survive in an ecosystem it must compete with partner for the limited resources .EXAMPLE lions and leopards both hunt zebra, and so they are competitors
PredationIs the system in which one organism utilize the other as food. The eater is a predator while the eaten is a prey and a number of predators and preys regulate each other. e,g cats eat mice
SymbiosisThis is where there is a close relationship or association between organismsthis association could take various forms like mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism
Mutualism is a relationship where two organisms benefit each other for example the rhizobium bacteria in the root nodules of legumes fix nitrogeninto nitrate to be used by the plant
Adaptation Adaptation has enabled organisms to survive. They may be anatomically structurally physiologically or behavioral. Eg some organisms are poisoners to their predator while others while others develop warming coloration
Commensalism is the interaction that is beneficial to one organism and is neutral to the other organism. For example when a bird builds a hole or a nestin a tree
Parasitism is the association where one organism benefit while the other is harmed. E.g plasmodium that cause malaria to human
Food Chain and Food Web
- 1. Grass →Zebra→Lion
- Maize plant→grasshopper→frog
These organisms feed on dead matter and break it down thereby facilitating decomposition. For example bacteria and fungi
Differences between food chain and food web
|Food chain||Food web|
|1. It consists of the single straight pathway through which food energy travels in an ecosystem||1. It consists of a number of interconnectedfood chains through which energy travelsin an ecosystem|
|2. Usually members of the higher trophic level feed upon a single type of organisms of lower trophic level||2. Usually members of the higher trophiclevel feed upon many organisms of lowertrophic level|
|3. Isolated or separate food chains increases the instability of the ecosystem||3. Presence of complex food websincreases the stability of the ecosystem|
|4. It does not have any effect on improving the adaptability and competitiveness of the organisms||4. More complex food webs improves theadaptability and competitiveness of theorganisms|
Diagrammatic Representation of a Food Chain and Food Web
- Grass →cow→human being
The following are the significant of food chain and food web
Food chains and webs help in the flow of energy from producers to consumers and from one trophic level to another, without which energy flow would be impossible.
Food chain studies have had an important role in ecotoxicology studies tracing pathways and biomagnifications of environmental contaminants.
Learning how the food chain works enable us to understand the importance living organisms that make up the food chain and how the ecology is balanced. This is crucial since any interruption in food chain could lead to ecosystem imbalance.
Food chains and webs show the flow of energy through an ecosystem.
Understanding the effect of polluting the natural environment enable us to avoid or control environmental pollution so as to maintain natural ecosystems.