Biology 2010 Student Edition

Published by Prentice Hall
ISBN 10: 9780133669510
ISBN 13: 978-0-13366-951-0

Chapter 3, The Biosphere - Assessment - 3.1 What is Ecology? - Understand Key Concepts/Think Critically - Page 90: 5

Answer

When you introduce something into an ecosystem, it can have a major impact on what's already there. For example, if you were to go to a place that had no cats (abiotic factor) or other larger predators, had a very large number of smaller organisms, like mice or rabbits, that worked to keep something in the area, like vegetation growth, under control, you couldn't just decide to introduce cats to the area. If you did, the population of the native animals would drop, and the amount of vegetation in the area would rise without the native organisms keeping it in check (ecosystem). Due to the lack of the area's natural predators, the population of the cats would rise continuously, until they had eaten the area's natural organisms to extinction, at which point the cats would starve, and there would be no animals around to keep the vegetation under control.

Work Step by Step

When you introduce something into an ecosystem, it can have a major impact on what's already there. For example, if you were to go to a place that had no cats (abiotic factor) or other larger predators, had a very large number of smaller organisms, like mice or rabbits, that worked to keep something in the area, like vegetation growth, under control, you couldn't just decide to introduce cats to the area. If you did, the population of the native animals would drop, and the amount of vegetation in the area would rise without the native organisms keeping it in check (ecosystem). Due to the lack of the area's natural predators, the population of the cats would rise continuously, until they had eaten the area's natural organisms to extinction, at which point the cats would starve, and there would be no animals around to keep the vegetation under control.
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