Unit B

Module 3 ~ Lesson 1

Populations and Communities

Organisms are very diverse. A brown bear in Waterton Park may look and act very differently than a brown bear found in the Himalayan region of Asia. In fact, brown bears in Alberta are significantly smaller than brown bears in British Columbia due to the lack of spawning salmon for food in Alberta.

Image by pxhere

Pronghorn antelope are a species of animals that have been given the scientific name Antilocapra americana. This group of pronghorn antelope shown in the photograph is referred to as a population because the animals were living together in an area of Waterton National Park at the time the photograph was taken. Within Waterton National Park, there are populations of different animals. These populations are not isolated and will interact with each other. These populations that interact form a community.

The biotic components of the antelopes' environment include all of the populations of plants and animals in the same environment. The term biotic refers to all of the living components of the environment. Some abiotic components of the antelopes' environment include the climate, water, sunlight, minerals, rocks, and soil.


Some populations that would interact with this population of antelopes are populations of grasses, bears, and white-tailed deer.


Read "Organisms and Their Environment" on pages 78 to 81 of your textbook. Review mitosis and meiosis on pages 74 and 75 of your textbook.

Virtual Ecosystem

Visit this Virtual Ecosystem showing the interaction of animals and plants with the living and non-living components of the ecosystem. You don't have to complete the lab, but trying it a few times will give you a sense of this delicate interaction. Make a list of the following items:

  • all the biotic components
  • all the abiotic components
  • an example of an interaction between an abiotic and a biotic component