Ecology Flashcards.txt

  1. producers
    autotrophs who use solar energy to power the production of food. Some autotrophic bacteria carry out chemosynthesis which means they produce carbohydrates by using energy from inorganic molecules. Plants are usually the main producers.
  2. gross primary productivity
    rate at which producers in an ecosystem capture energy.
  3. biomass
    organic material in an ecosystem : producers add biomass to an ecosystem by making organic molecules
  4. net primary productivity
    rate at which biomass accumulates. typically expressed in units of energy per unit area per year. net PP is gross primiary production minus the rate of respiration in producers
  5. detritivores
    consumers that feed on the garbage of an ecosystem
  6. decomposers
    cause decay by breaking down the complex molecules in dead tissues and wastes into simpler molecules
  7. an organism's trophic level
    indicates the organism's prosition in the sequence of energy transfers.
  8. food chain
    single pathway of feeding relationships among organisms in an ecosystem that results in energy transfer. A food web describes the feeding relationships in an ecosystem.
  9. biosphere
    The sum of all living things taken in conjunction with their environment. In essence, where life occurs, from the upper reaches of the atmosphere to the top few meters of soil, to the bottoms of the oceans. We divide the earth into atmosphere (air), lithosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), and biosphere (life).
  10. ecosystem
    The relationships of a smaller groups of organisms with each other and their environment. Scientists often speak of the interrelatedness of living things. Since, according to Darwin's theory, organisms adapt to their environment, they must also adapt to other organisms in that environment. We can discuss the flow of energy through an ecosystem from photosynthetic autotrophs to herbivores to carnivores.
  11. community
    The relationships between groups of different species. For example, the desert communities consist of rabbits, coyotes, snakes, birds, mice and such plants as sahuaro cactus (Carnegia gigantea), Ocotillo, creosote bush, etc. Community structure can be disturbed by such things as fire, human activity, and over-population.
  12. Species:
    Groups of similar individuals who tend to mate and produce viable, fertile offspring. We often find species described not by their reproduction (a biological species) but rather by their form (anatomical or form species).
  13. Populations:
    Groups of similar individuals who tend to mate with each other in a limited geographic area. This can be as simple as a field of flowers, which is separated from another field by a hill or other area where none of these flowers occur.
  14. Individuals:
    One or more cells characterized by a unique arrangement of DNA "information". These can be unicellular or multicellular. The multicellular individual exhibits specialization of cell types and division of labor into tissues, organs, and organ systems.
  15. Organ System:
    (in multicellular organisms). A group of cells, tissues, and organs that perform a specific major function. For example: the cardiovascular system functions in circulation of blood.
  16. organ
    (in multicellular organisms). A group of cells or tissues performing an overall function. For example: the heart is an organ that pumps blood within the cardiovascular system.
  17. population curves
    Two modes of population growth. The Exponential curve (also known as a J-curve) occurs when there is no limit to population size. The Logistic curve (also known as an S-curve) shows the effect of a limiting factor (in this case the carrying capacity of the environment).
  18. Population Growth Potential Is Related to Life History
    The age within it's individual life cycle at which an organism reproduces affects the rate of population increase. Life history refers to the age of sexual maturity, age of death, and other events in that individual's lifetime that influence reproductive traits. Some organisms grow fast, reproduce quickly, and have abundant offspring each reproductive cycle. Other organisms grow slowly, reproduce at a late age, and have few offspring per cycle. Most organisms are intermediate to these two extremes.
  19. Mutualism
    is a symbiosis where both parties benefit, for example algae (zooxanthellae) inside reef-building coral.
  20. Parasitism
    is a symbiosis where one species benefits while harming the other. Parasites act more slowly than predators and often do not kill their host
  21. Commensalism
    is a symbiosis where one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor gains a benefit: Spanish moss on trees, barnacles on crab shells. Amensalism is a symbiosis where members of one population inhibit the growth of another while being unaffected themselves.
  22. Removal of Predators
    Predator release is common where humans hunt, trap, or otherwise reduce predator populations, allowing the prey population to increase. Elimination of wolves and panthers have led to increase in their natural prey: deer. There are more deer estimated in the United States than there were when Europeans arrived. Large deer populations often cause over grazing that in turn leads to starvation of the deer.
  23. Pesticides and Competition
    Removal of a competing species can cause the ecological release of a population explosion in that species competitor. Pesticides sprayed on wheat fields often result in a secondary pest outbreak as more-tolerant-to-pesticide species expand once less tolerant competitors are removed.
  24. Introduction of New Species
    Introduction of exotic or alien non-native species into new areas is perhaps the greatest single factor to affect natural populations. More than 1500 exotic insect species and more than 25 families of alien fish have been introduced into North America; in excess of 3000 plant species have also been introduced. The majority of accidental introductions may fail, however, once an introduced species becomes established, its population growth is explosive. Kudzu, a plant introduced to the American south from Japan, has taken over large areas of the countryside.
  25. Habitat disruption
    is the disturbance of the physical environment of a species, for example cutting a forest or draining wetlands. Habitat disruption in currently the leading cause of extinction.
  26. Changes in the biological environment occur in three ways.
  27. Species introduction: An exotic species is introduced into an area where it may have no predfators to control its population size, or where it can gratly out compete native organisms. Examples include zebra mussels introduced into Lake Erie, and lake trout released into Yellowstone Lake where they are threatening the native cutthroat trout populations.
    • Overhunting: When a predator population increases or becomes more efficient at killing the prey, the prey population may decline or go extinct. Examples today include big game hunting, which has in many places reduced the predator (or in this case prey) population. In human prehistory we may have caused the extinction of the mammoths and mastodons due to increased human hunting skill.
    • Secondary extinction: Loss of food species can cause migration or extinction of any species that depends largely or solely on that species as a food source.
  28. re
    • Overkill is the shooting, trapping, or hunting of a species usually for sport or economic reasons. Unfortunately, this cannot eliminate "pest" species like cockroaches and mice due to their large population sizes and capacity to reproduce more rapidly than we can eliminate them. However, many large animals have been eliminated or had their populations drastically reduced (such as tigers, elephants, and leopards).
    • The death of one species or population can cause the decline or elimination of others, a process known as secondary extinction. Destruction of bamboo forests in China, the food for the giant panda, may cause the extinction of the panda. The extinction of the dodo bird has caused the Calviera tree to become unable to reproduce since the dodo ate the fruit and processed the seeds of that tree.
  29. benthic zone
    One of the two basic subdivisions of the marine biome; includes the sea floor and bottom-dwelling organisms
  30. pelagic zone
    One of the two basic subdivisions of the marine biome; consists of the water above the sea ├żoor and its organisms.
  31. Behavior that has a genetic basis and does not need to be taught
    Innate behavior
  32. Automatic response to a stimulus
  33. Instinctual response that occurs when an organism is threatened. The body prepares the organism to stay & fight or flee.
    Fight-or-flight response
  34. Ways of attracting mates through sounds, sight or smell
    Courtship behavior
  35. Behavior that allows animals to occupy & dominate a specific area
  36. Helps to prevent some animals from using limited resources. Often involves a specific area or territory.
    Agressive behavior
  37. Social structure among a group of animals in which one is dominant and the others have subordinate positions.
    Dominance hierarchy
  38. Daily/24 hour cycles. (Sleep cycle)
    Circaduan rhythms
  39. Seasonal cycles that involves movement of animals from one area to another.
  40. A state of inactivitiy in animals, with lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rte which conserves energy.
  41. Similar to hibernation, but during the months of the summer.
  42. The response of an organism moving away or towards something
  43. Must be observed or taught to acquire the behavior.
    Learned behavior
  44. Learning to ignore a stimulus
  45. A complex response that is a combination of iinate and learned behaviors.
  46. Forces and influences that drive an individual to achieve certain goals
  47. Act of associating one stimulus with another
  48. Most complex learned bahavior. Ability to problem solve or to perform a correct or appropriate behavior the first tim the animal is exposed to a situation.
  49. Passing of information from one organism to another with sight, sound touch or chemical sigal (phenomes)
    Communicationa nd Language
  50. arning to behave through repeated practice in order to receive a reward or avoid a punishment.
  51. he study of interactions among organisms and with their environment.
  52. refers to the parts of the earth where you will find life
  53. Living
  54. Non-living
  55. Group of organisms so similar that they can breed and produce fertile offspring
  56. Group of individuals in the same species that live in the same area.
  57. Different populations living in the same area.
  58. Collection of organisms (biotic) in a particular area and the non living parts of their environment
  59. What are the 3 methods field ecologists use to study organisms?
    Observation, experimentation, modeling
  60. Organisms attempt to use the SAME resources
  61. One organism HUNTS and PREYS on another
  62. Two species living closely with each other
  63. What are 3 examples of symbiotic relationships?
    Mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism.
  64. both species benefit from the relationship
  65. one species benefits, and the other is not affected.
  66. One species benefits and the other is harmed
  67. Organisms that produce their own food (producers)
  68. Organisms that eat other things to obtain energy (consumers)
  69. Organisms that eat plants
  70. Organisms that eat animals
  71. Organisms that eat both plants and animals
  72. Organisms that break down dead things to obtain energy
  73. A series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
    food chain or web
  74. What do arrows in a food web represent?
    The direction of energy flow
  75. Each level ina food web. It begins with the producers and works up to the top level consumers.
    trophic level.
  76. How much energy is passed between each trophic level?
  77. What happenes to the energy that is not passed on to the next trophic level.
    It is used to sustain the organisms within the trophic level and is lost to the environment as heat.
  78. Typically there are only four trophic levels. What are these four levels starting with the largest (bottom)?
    Producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, tertiary consumers.
  79. Knowing that matter is recycled, explain how carbon is recycled during photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
    The carbon from carbon dioxide is used ot make glucose during photosynthesis. During cellular respiration, the carbon in glucose is used to make carbon dioxide.
  80. Due in part to the disrution of the carbon cycle. CO2, methane, water vapor and other gases trap heat in the atmosphere resulting in the surface of the Earth being warmer. Heat from the sun passes through the atmosphere, hits the Earth, is radiated back into the atmosphere but cannot all escape to space.
    Greenhouse effect
  81. What has the greenhouse effect led to?
    Global warming
  82. What are four factors that affect population size?
    Births, deaths, immigration (moving in), and emigration (moving out)
  83. Factors that affect all populations regardless of population size (ex: floods)
    density independent factors
  84. Factors that affect the population size when the population density reaches a certain level (Ex: competition, disease)
    density dependent factors
  85. Individuals reproduce at a constant rate and there are no limits on population growth
    exponential growth
  86. A populations growth stops or slows after a period of exponential growht; there are limits plces on the growth of the population.
    Logistic growth
  87. maximum number of species in the population that the environment that the environment can support.
    Carry capacity.
  88. Shows males versus females and how many individuals are alive at specific age ranges.
    Age structure diagram
  89. What does the age-structure diagram of an underdeveloped country look like?
    More life a pyramid with a large base and not many individuals living to older ages.
  90. Concentration of a polluatant in organisms increases as the pollutant moves through the levels of a food chain.
    Biological magnification.
  91. Define Ecology
    The science by which we study how organisms interact in and with the natural world.
  92. Define Ecological System
    A collection of living and non-living components that are tied together by regular interactions
  93. What are the 3 levels of organization in an Ecological System
    • 1) Organism with its surroundings
    • 2) Populations within a habitat
    • 3) Community with abiotic environment
  94. What are the 3 principles of an Ecological System?
    • 1) Ecological systems are physical entities
    • 2) Ecological systems exchange materials and energy with their surroundings
    • 3) Ecological systems undergo evolutionary change
  95. Can biological systems alter physical or chemical properties?
  96. Do ecological systems exist in steady or un-steady states?
    Steady states
  97. Who is the founding father of ecology as a science?
    Ernst Haeckal
  98. What does Macroecology do?
    Characterizes and explains the statistical patterns of Abundance, Distribution, and Diversity
  99. Define Optimal Range
    The range in an environmental gradient in which a species is best suited for growth or reproduction
  100. What does it mean when sheep sorrel get pushed out of the soil pH where they grow the best and grow in acidic soils?
    They have been restricted to one end of it's tolerance range in nature
  101. Define the Law of Minimum
    When a process depends on many different factors, then the process will be limited by the factor in the Lowest Relative Abundance
  102. What is Diatom growth regulated by?
    Silicate or Phospahate limitation
  103. What is Synergy?
    Interaction greater than sum
  104. Define Acclimation
    A reversible physiological or structural change in response to a changing environment
  105. Define Adaptation
    A genetically determined charactersistic that enhances the ability of an organism to cope with it's environment
  106. Define the Law of Trade-Offs
    Adaptatioin to one environment makes it difficult or impossible to live in a different environment
  107. Define Ecotypes
    Different populations of a species that have genetic differences of ecological significance (color, size, physiology)
  108. What rank is Oregon in species diversity?
  109. What are the Biotic regions in Oregon?
    • 1) Forested Regions
    • 2) Interior Valleys
    • 3) Steppe Region
    • 4) Coastal Strand
  110. Do Assimilatory processes consume or release energy?
    Consume - Inorganic--> Organic
  111. Do Dissimilatory processes consume or release energy?
    Release- Organic--> Inorganic
  112. Define Compartment Models
    Organization of ecosystem into functional units that exchange materials and energy
  113. What are some examples of compartment models?
    • -Living Organisms
    • -Inorganic pool
    • -Organic pool
    • -Unavailable pools
  114. What can use atmospheric supply directly?
    Nitrogen Fixing organisms (prokaryotes)
  115. Define Rates of Decomposition
    Rate at which nutrients are made available to primary producers is determined largely by rate of mineralization
  116. Gallardo and Merino found
    Differences in mass loss by the target species reflected differences in the physical and chemical characteristics of their leaves
  117. Melillo used
    Litter bags to study decomposition in temperate forests
  118. Gessner and Chauvet found that
    Leaves with a higher lignin content decomposed at a slower rate
  119. Suberkropp and Chauvet found that
    Leaves degraded faster in streams with higher nitrate concentrations
  120. Webster found that
    Nutrients in streams are subject to downstream transport
  121. MacNaughton found
    A positive relationship between grazing intensity and rate of turnover in plant biomass in Serengeti Plain
  122. Witkowski compared
    Nutrient dynamics under canopy of native shrub and introduced acacia
  123. Vitousek and Walker found
    Invading N-fixing tree Myrica faya is altering N dynamics of Hawaiian ecosystems
  124. Define Ecological Community
    A group of populations that occur together, interact, and whose ecological function and dynamics are in some way interdependent
  125. Ecological communities can be characterized by
    • -Dominant species
    • -Major growth habit
    • -Geographic location
    • -Climate type
    • -Major taxon
    • -Trophic level
  126. Define Stratification
    The organization of the community in vertical space
  127. Define Zonation
    Horizontal changes in the physical environment reflect zonational changes in plant and animal components of ecological communities
  128. Define Guild
    A group of species thatexploit the same environmental resources in a similar way
  129. In what ways could an organism be dominant in the ecological community?
    • -Most numerous
    • -Greatest biomass
    • -Preempt the most space
    • -Largest contribution to energy or nutrient flow
    • -Behavior
  130. What are the two fundamentally different models for why certain species occur together?
    • -Open/Individualistic Communities
    • -Closed/Organismal Communities
  131. Who was the main proponent of Open communities?
    Henry Gleason
  132. Describe characteristics of an Open community
    • -Species are individualistic
    • -Occurrence of one species is independent of other species
    • -Each species has a characteristic environmental tolerance or optimal range
    • -Species occur together where environmental tolerance coincide
    • -Overlapping species populations intergrade
    • -Communities are a gradient or continuum of species associations accross a changing physical environment
  133. Describe characteristics of a closed community
    • -Main proponent was Frederic Clements
    • -Communities are discrete, discontinuous, predictable entities
    • -Community types are compared to "super organisms"
    • -Certain clusters of species reach their optima in the same environmental conditions
    • -Dominant members of one group do not occur as important or dominant members of any other group
    • -Only minor overlap between communities
  134. What is the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis?
    • -Species diversity is low when frequency or intensity of disturbance is high
    • -Species diversity is low when frequency or intensity of disturbance is low
    • Greatest species diversity occurs when frequency or intensity of disturbance is intermediate
  135. Define Species Diversity
    The total number of species in a community or region
  136. What are the 2 components of diversity?
    • 1) Species richness
    • 2) Relative abundance (species evenness)
  137. Define Diversity Index
    A quantitative measure of relative diversity
  138. What is the simplest and most common measure of diversity?
    Species Richness
  139. Define Rarefaction
    Statistical method to compare species richness for unequal sample sizes
  140. What should be known about rarefaction
    • -Can be used to compare species richness for unequal sample sizes
    • -Uses number of species and relative abundance to estimate expected number of species in a standard sample size
    • -Some information is lost, number of species and relative abundance is converted to expected number of species only
  141. Describe Lognormal Distribution
    The majority of communities studied by ecologists display a log normal pattern of species abundance
  142. Describe Simpson's Index
    • -Based on dominance of species
    • -Emphasizes evenness
  143. What are the disadvantages of Simpson's Index?
    • -Rare species are mostly ignored
    • -Influenced by sample size
  144. Define Simpson's Index
    The probability that any two individuals drawn randomly from a population belong to different species
  145. What do Rank Abundance Curves do?
    Portray relative abundance and species diversity within a community by plotting relative abundance of species against their rank in abundance
  146. What are the 3 terms used to divide spatial scale continuum?
    • 1) Alpha local
    • 2) Beta regional
    • 3) Gamma biogeographical
  147. Define Alpha diversity
    Diversity of small areas of relatively homogeneous habitat; number of species per unit area
  148. What is the principal goal of Alpha diversity?
    Describe local community structure
  149. Define Beta Diversity
    Change in species composition over relatively small distances; often between distinct adjacent habitats along an environmental gradient
  150. What is the principal goal of Beta Diversity?
    Describe species turnover
  151. Define Gamma Diversity
    Diversity of similar habitat type separated by wide geographic distances
  152. What is the principal goal of Gamma Diversity?
    Address the relative roles that history and ecology have played in species assemblages, distribution
  153. In latitudinal diversity gradients, species diversity (Increases/Decreases) with decreasing lattitude
  154. In elevational diversity gradients, diversity (Increases/Decreases) with increasing elevation
  155. In Aridity diversity gradiants, diversity (Increases/Decreases) with increasing aridity
  156. What are the 2 factors controlling diversity?
    • 1) Environmental Heterogeneity
    • 2) Area
    • 3) Climatic Stability
    • 4) Biotic factors
    • 5) Evolutionary speed
  157. The cycle of evaporation and condensation that controls the distribution of the earth's water as it evaporates from bodies of water, condenses, precipitates, and returns to those bodies of water.
    The Water Cycle
  158. When this is compounded, dissolved in rain, and depostited in the soil, where it is assimilated and metabolized by bacteria and plants, then returning to the atmosphere by bacterial decomposition of organic matter.
    Nitrogen Cycle
  159. The combined process, including photosythesis, decomposition, and respiration.
    Carbon Cycle
  160. A cycle by which these atoms are circulated through living organisms through erosion, absortion, and decompostion.
    Phosphorous Cycle
  161. The branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment, including other organisms.
  162. An ecological community together with its environment, functioning as a unit. EX: rainforest, tundra, dessert.
  163. The ecosystem comprising the entire earth and the living organisms that inhabit it.
  164. Process of ecosystems gradually changing from simple to complex environments
  165. The one factor in an ecosystem that limits its growth
    Limiting Factors
  166. The Maximum number of individuals in a population an ecosystem can support
    Carrying capacity
  167. Role an organism takes in an ecosystem based on how it gets its food
    Niche/Trophic level
  168. organisms that break down other organisms for energy and recycle that material in the dead organisms back into the ecosystem.
  169. Organisms that produce all of the energy for the ecosystem usually bt doing photosynthesis (some do chemosynthesis)
  170. One species hunts, one species is hunted; constantly evolve adaptions to survive
  171. relationship when 2 species live in direct contact with eachother and depend on eachother; one species lives in or on the other species.
  172. Both species benefit from the relationship
  173. One species benefits and the other is unaffected by the relationship
  174. One species benefits and the other is harmed by the relationship
  175. When 2 species evolve adaptations in order to maintain their relationship due to constant contact
  176. Illustration of the feeding relationships between the organisms in an ecosystem
    Food web
  177. autotrophs that predominately eat producers
    First order consumers/herbivores
  178. Heterotrophs that predominately eat first order consumers
    Second order consumers/ carnivors
  179. Heterotrophs that predominately eat producers, first and second order consumers
    Third order consumers/omnivores
  180. Large heterotrophs that are capable of eating third order consumers
    Fourth order consumers
  181. What is Ecology?
    the scientific study of the relationship between organisms and their environment
  182. Who coined the term Ecology?
    German zoologist Ernst Haeckel in 1866
  183. What are the Greek root words for Ecology?
    • oikos - "family of the household"
    • logy = "study of"
    • it same root as economics = "management of the household"
  184. What did Haeckel call Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection?
    The struggle for existence
  185. How do organisms react with their environment?
    • they do so on many levels
    • Physical and chemical, (i.e. ambient temperature, oxygen concentrations,
    • moisture, light intensity)
  186. what is the ultimate goal of all organisms?
    to pass their genes on to successive generations
  187. What is an ecosystem?
    • both the physical conditions and the array of organisms
    • that coexist within its confines
  188. What are the 2 basic interacting components of an Ecosystem?
    • Biotic - the living
    • abiotic - the non-living (physical, chemical)
Card Set
Ecology Flashcards.txt
Ecology, Biology