Final Exam: Ecology

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  1. Ecology is the study of
    • interactions between organisms and their environments
    • relationships among organisms and their interaction with the environment
    • patterns and causes of the abundance and distribution of organisms
  2. Ecosystem
    the biotic community and its abiotic components functioning as a system
  3. Climate
    average weather conditions in an area over a long period of time
  4. four important abiotic factors that represent climate
    • temperature
    • precipitation
    • sunlight
    • wind
  5. what does the warming effect of the sun cause?
    temperature variations, which drive evaporation and the circulation of air and water
  6. What causes the earths seasons?
    earths permanent tilt on its axis as the planet orbits the sun
  7. Where does solar radiation fall in summer solstice?
    directly on tropic of cancer
  8. Where does solar radiation fall in winter solstice?
    directly on tropic of capricorn
  9. The tropics experience the _______ and ______ in solar radiation
    • greatest annual input
    • least seasonal variation
  10. Tropics (trade winds)
    earths rapidly moving surface deflects circulating air, making the winds blow from east to west
  11. Temperate wind pattern
    slower-moving surface produces the westerlies, winds that blow from west to east
  12. Where is precipitation highest?
    in equatorial regions, declines as you move north and south
  13. Intertropical convergence zone
    where the northeasterly and southeasterly trade winds meet
  14. What happens when the northeasterly and southeasterly trade winds meet?
    air mass piles up, warm humid air rises and cools, releasing water
  15. how do ocean currents influence climate along coasts?
    • during the day, land warms faster than the ocean - warm air rises and moves to sea, replaced by cooler air
    • at night, land cools quicker so warm air from sea comes in, creating offshore breezes
  16. What creates ocean currents?
    winds, the planets rotation, unequal heating of surface waters, and locations/shapes of continents
  17. How are gyres formed?
    as warm water moves away from the equator
  18. Biome
    an environment that is defined by its climatic and geographic attributes, characterized by ecologically similar organisms
  19. Terrestrial vs. aquatic biomes - what are they categorized by?
    • terrestrial: climate and plant life
    • aquatic: physical environment (freshwater vs. marine)
  20. Bioluminescence
    a chemical reaction that produces light
  21. What causes seasonal turnover in many temperate lakes?
    stratification of aquatic biomes
  22. The 3 zones in aquatic biomes
    • photic zone: have light
    • aphotic zone: no light
    • abyssal zone: complete darkness
  23. Eutrophication
    nutrient enrichment
  24. Oligotrophic vs. Eutrophic
    • Oligotrophic→ normal and good light penetration, tend to be deeper than eutrophic, and good dissolved oxygen
    • Eutrophic→ little light penetration and low dissolved oxygen because of bacterial decomposition
  25. Threats to aquatic biomes
    • Development
    • Alteration of flow
    • Nutrient pollution
    • Contamination
    • Introduction of non-native species
    • Overfishing
  26. Climograph
    plots annual mean precipitation with annual mean temperature (i.e. desert has low annual mean precipitation and high annual mean temperature)
  27. 3 types of tropical forests
    • Tropical forests: occur in the warm, moist belt along the equator (high temperature year round)
    • Tropical rainforests: Rainfall constant. The most species rich and productive biome.
    • Tropical dry forests: Seasonal precipitation. Taller trees that lose leaves during long hot, dry season.
  28. What are deserts characterized by? threatened by?
    • low and unpredictable rainfall
    • threatened by urbanization and irrigation
Card Set
Final Exam: Ecology
Unit 3: Ecology
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