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Ecology is the study of the relations between living things and their environment.  An ecologist is a scientist who studies the relations between living things and their environment.  An ecosystem is a specific community of living creatures and their environment.  The ecosystem can be thought of as an invisible web that holds life together.  This invisible web holds life together for a group of living things and changes when anything new comes into or leaves the web.  What happens if the web breaks?  Nature is out of balance.

People are part of an ecosystem.  People are affected by their environment and they can affect their environment.  Here are some examples of how people affect their environment in bad or negative ways. 

Water Pollution

People put chemicals and particles into water.  Factories dump chemicals and waste into rivers and lakes.  Farmers use chemicals, artificial fertilizers and insect killers.  These things cause harmful plants to grow that suffocate fish and other plants.  These chemicals can also be harmful when people and animals drink the water.

Air Pollution

Exhaust from cars, trucks, and school busses pollute the air.  Factories also send smoke into the air that contains unhealthy chemicals.  To pollute means to make something dirty, impure, or unsafe.

People can help keep nature in balance.  One way is to conserve.  Conserve means using something carefully and not wasting it.  Using both sides of a sheet of paper, rather than only one side is conserving.  Turning the temperature down a few degrees is another way to conserve.  There are many ways to conserve oil, trees, clean water and land so they will be there for the future.

Another way to conserve our nature resources is to recycle.  Many cities have recycling programs.  Lots of stuff can be recycled: newspapers, grocery bags, cardboard, glass, and many kinds of plastic.  Recycling not only conserves natural resources, it also helps reduce air and water pollution.

Directions: Answer the questions about ecology and ecosystems.

Which of the following is the invisible thread which holds life together? ecology
ecosystem
ecologist
What is the name of a scientist who studies relations between living things and their environment? geologist
biologist
ecologist
What is the study of the relations between living things and their environment called?  ecology
biology
chemistry
Exhaust from cars, trucks, and school busses is an example of  water pollution
air pollution
Which word means: to use something carefully and not waste it? conserve
recycle
Which word means: to make something dirty, impure, or unsafe? conserve
pollute
recycle
Oil, trees, clean water and land are examples of  natural resources
pollution
recycling
Which of the following items can be recycled? trees
lakes
newspaper
Turning the temperature down a few degrees is a good example of how to conserve
recycle

 

 

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Ecosystem