Ecology Unit Plan

Note: All chapter numbers refer to chapters in Campbell 8E. All lecture notes are courtesy Kim Foglia. Reading guides are courtesy Lynn Mirello, though some are also in Campbell’s Mastering Biology site and David Knuffke’s wiki site. All video links link to the UC Open Access AP Biology course.

Chapter Lecture Notes Reading Guide Video Links
Chapter 51: Behavioral Ecology Reading guide. Video on behavioral ecology.
52 – Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere Click here for notes! Chapter 52 reading guide Click here for a video on ecology!
53 – Population Ecology Click here for printable notes! Reading Guide Click here for a video on pop bio!
54 – Community Ecology Click here for printable notes! Reading guide Click here for a video on community bio!
55 – Ecosystems Click here for printable notes! Reading guide Ecosystems video

Energy flow video

Element cycles video

56 – Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology Click here for notes! (You’ll have to format them for printing.) No reading guide for this chapter! Conservation biology video

Labs and Field Trips

AP Biology Lab 12: Primary Productivity and Dissolved Oxygen

Field Trip: Cemetery Survivorship Curves

  • Click here for the data form.
  • Click here for the spreadsheet. This includes a column for calculating lifespan.

Field Trip to Sant Ocean Hall

Winogradsky Column

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Field Trip

  • Information coming soon!

Videos Used in Class

Supplementary Readings

Unit Objectives

  • Animal behavior
    • Describe how sensory inputs can stimulate both simple and complex behaviors in animals.
    • Compare behaviors related to each of the following: fixed action patterns, imprinting , conditioning, learning, insight, mating, habituation and social behaviors.
    • Measure the effects of environmental variables on habitat selection in a controlled environment and examine the distribution of organisms in a resource gradient. Measure the effects of conditioning on animal habitat selection in a controlled experiment.
    • Describe the varieties of animal learning and how it links experience and behavior.
    • Explain the connection between experience and genetics in determining animal behavior.
    • Explain how selection for individual survival and reproductive success explains animal behaviors.
  • Ecology and the biosphere
    • Explain the importance of abiotic factors to living organisms in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine environments.
    • Describe the characteristics of major terrestrial and aquatic biomes.
    • Describe the conditions that affect clumped, random and uniform dispersion of populations.
  • Population Ecology
    • Explain how age structure, generation time, and sex structure of populations can affect population growth.
    • Describe the characteristics of populations exhibiting Type I, II, and III survivorship curves.
    • Formulate survivorship curves for human populations in different cohort groups.
    • Explain models of population growth and how carrying capacity of the environment affects the intrinsic rate of increase of a population through a lab.
    • Explain how density-dependent factors affect population growth and how density-dependent and -independent factors can work together to regulate population growth.
  • Community Ecology
    • Explain the relationship between species richness, equability, and diversity.
    • Compare an organism’s fundamental and realized niches.
    • Explain how positive, negative, and neutral interactions shape communities in terms of competition, predation, niche development, and symbiosis.
    • Explain the evolutionary purpose of coloration and mimicry.
    • Formulate food chains that accurate describe the four consumer levels of an ecosystem.
    • Describe the first and second laws of thermodynamics in terms of recycling of matter and transfer of energy.
    • Distinguish between energy pyramids and biomass pyramids.
    • Describe the role of dominant and keystone species in regulating a community.
    • Determine the species composition and succession history of urban ecosystems through a field study.
    • Distinguish between primary and secondary succession.
  • Ecosystems
    • Understand the physical and biological factors that affect the solubility of dissolved gases in aquatic ecosystems.
    • Measure the effect of varying temperature and depth on dissolve oxygen levels and describe the relationship between DO and photosynthesis and respiration as they affect primary productivity in an ecosystem.
    • Compare Net and Gross Primary Productivity through a controlled experiment.
    • Sequence and describe the steps of the nitrogen, phosphorus, water, and carbon cycles.
    • Describe the effects of biological magnification of toxins.

8 Responses

  1. […] The unit plan for our first major unit – Ecology – can be found here: http://biowithoutwalls.com/ap-biology/ecology-unit-plan/. […]

  2. Where can the reading guide for chapter 52 be found?

  3. A couple people are confused about which pre-lab to complete. Is it 12-A or 12-B?

  4. Where can the reading guide for chapter 55 be found?

  5. Ok, so the one I am missing then is Chapter 52. Where can that one be found?

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