Local and Surrounding Ecologies and Environments of Virginia

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Local and Surrounding Ecologies and Environments of Virginia
Introduction to Physical Science, SCI110
December 13, 2012

The Virginia Ecologies and Environments Ecology, as defined by Enger, Ross, & Tillery (2009), is “the branch of biology that studies the relationships between organisms and their environments”. Accordingly, the term environment is very broadly defined as “anything that affects an organism during its lifetime” (Enger, Ross, & Tillery, 2009). With these definitions in mind, it is easy to understand that organisms rely on their environments for sustainment and life. On the flip side, environments rely on organisms as well for survival. The factors that affect a living organism in any given environment can, in turn, be classified as either biotic or abiotic. Biotic factors are other living things that may affect a particular organism, for example predators. In contrast, abiotic factors are nonliving things that affect a particular organism, such as a drought or excessive rain. In reviewing the local ecology and environment of the Commonwealth of Virginia, we must first determine the region’s biome. A biome is the classification of a terrestrial community, primarily determined by climatic factors, such as precipitation patterns and temperature ranges (Enger, Ross, & Tillery, 2009). A biome also provides an indication of the type of plant life and animals that may be present within a particular region. The relationship is interdependent between a biome and the ecological communities contained within it. An ecological community is “an assemblage of co-existing, interacting species, considered together with the physical environment and associated ecological processes, that usually recurs on the landscape” (The Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation, 2012). When reviewing the biomes of the world, we see…...

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