Ecology Chapter 1 Definitions

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  1. ecosystem
    all the interacting parts of a biological community and its environment

    Eg: a pond
  2. sustainable ecosystem
    an ecosystem that is capable of withstanding pressure and giving support to a variety of organisms

    Eg: salt water is sustainable for a shark, a pond isn't
  3. biotic
    the living parts of an ecosystem

    Eg: people and animals (organisms)
  4. symbiosis
    the interaction between members of two different species that live together in close association

    Eg: a squirrel eats nuts off of a tree
  5. predation
    when one organism consumes another for food

    Eg: a cheetah eats a gazelle for food
  6. competition
    when two or more organisms compete for the same resource, such as food, in the same location at the same time

    Eg: trees and grass compete for water and sunlight
  7. abiotic
    the non-living parts of an ecosystem

    Eg: a rock
  8. lithosphere
    the hard part of Earth’s surface

    Eg: the earths crest
  9. hydrosphere
    all the water found on Earth; including lakes, oceans, and ground water

    Eg: oceans
  10. atmosphere
    the layer of gases above the Earth’s surface

    Eg: oxygen
  11. biosphere
    the regions of Earth where living organisms exist

    Eg: forests
  12. nutrient
    a chemical that is essential to living things and is cycled through ecosystems

    Eg: phosphorus
  13. terrestrial ecosystem
    an ecosystem that is land-based

    Eg: forests
  14. aquatic ecosystem
    an ecosystem that is water-based; either fresh water or salt water

    Eg: lakes,oceans etc
  15. eutrophication
    a process in which nutrient levels in an aquatic ecosystem increases, leading to an increase in the populations of primary producers

    Eg: the phosphorus cycle
  16. photosynthesis
    a process that changes solar energy into chemical energy.

    Eg: Plants use photosynthesis to make their own food.
  17. chlorophyll
    a pigment in the leaves of a plant that give it its green colouring; it is the central player in photosynthesis and allows the biosphere to harvest some of the energy given off by the Sun.
  18. trophic level
    a category of organisms that is defined by how the organisms gain their energy

    • Eg:producers->primary consume->secondary consumer->
    • tertiary consumer->quaternary consumer
  19. primary producers
    organisms that can make their own food

    Eg: Plants use photosynthesis to make their own food
  20. consumers
    organisms that cannot make their own food and must consume other organisms to gain the matter and energy that they need to survive

    Eg: cheetahs consume other animals to survive
  21. biomass
    the total mass of living organisms in a defined group or area
  22. trophic efficiency
    a measure of the amount of energy or biomass transferred from one trophic level to the next higher level

    Eg: 10% of the energy from one tropic level is transferred to the higher trophic level
  23. bioaccumulation
    a process in which materials, especially toxins, are ingested by an organism at a rate greater than they are eliminated

    Eg: DDT has accumulated in organisms
  24. cellular respiration
    a process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the presence of oxygen; cellular respiration consumes oxygen and produces carbon dioxide

    Eg: people breath in oxygen, and exhale carbon dioxide
  25. fermentation
    a process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the absence of oxygen or under anaerobic conditions

    Eg: bacteria obtains energy through fermentation
  26. greenhouse gases
    atmospheric gases that prevent heat from leaving the atmosphere, thus increasing the temperature of the atmosphere

    Eg: petroleum and methane
  27. greenhouse effect
    the warming of Earth as a result of greenhouse gases, which trap some of the energy that would otherwise leave Earth

    Eg: burning fossil fuels causes global warming by releasing gases into the atmosphere
  28. acid precipitation
    rain, snow, or fog that is unnaturally acidic due to gases in the atmosphere that react with water to form acids

    Eg: acid rain
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Ecology Chapter 1 Definitions
Ecology Chapter 1 Definitions
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