10.1 Populations
10.2 Communities
10.3 Food Relationships
10.4 Ecological Succession
10.5 Ecosystems
10.6 Biomes
10.7 Review Questions
10.8 Explanations
The Earth is a great web of interaction between various biotic organisms and nonliving, abiotic factors that make up their environment. The study of this web, and of the interactions that shape both living organisms and the environment in which they live, is called ecology.
Ecology is a critical component of biology; in some sense, it is the place where everything we have learned up until now fits together and functions in the real world. Up until this chapter we have studied biology in an increasing hierarchy:
  1. The Cell
  2. Biochemistry
  3. Tissue
  4. Organ
  5. Organism
Ecology takes individuals and puts them into larger contexts:
  1. Population
  2. Community
  3. Ecosystem
  4. Biome
  5. Biosphere
Ecology is important on the SAT II Biology for another reason: it makes up about 13 percent of the questions on the core of the test. In addition, if you choose to take the Biology E version of the test, then another 25 percent of the test will have some relation to ecology. In other words, this chapter and the material it covers are crucial.
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