Ecology- Chapter 1

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  1. Ecosystems
    all the interacting parts of a biological community and community's environment
  2. Sustainable Ecosystem
    • an ecosystem capable of withstanding pressure and giving support to a variety of organisms
    • ex:
    • more variety- tropical rain forest, ocean(lots of resources for organisms to survive)
    • less variety- desert(less resources like water for the organism to use to survive)
  3. Biotic
    • the living parts of an ecosystem
    • plants (producer)
    • animals (consumer)
    • micro-organisms(consumer)
    • fungi (consumer)
  4. Abiotic
    • the non-living parts of an ecosystem
    • water
    • air (oxygen)
    • light
    • chemical nutrients
    • soil
  5. Lythosphere
    • the hard part of Earth's surface
    • includes rock and soil
    • ↳within the lithosphere there is lava
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  6. Hydrosphere
    • all the water found on Earth
    • including freshwater lakes, rivers, salt water oceans, and ground water
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  7. Atmosphere
    • the layer of gases above the Earth's surface
    • includes air
    • 78% nitrogen(N²)
    • most organisms can't use the nitrogen in the form it's exsists in the atmosphere
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  8. Biosphere
    • the regions of Earth where living organisms exist
    • not separate from other abiotic spheres
    • includes life in soil, water and air
  9. Nutrients
    • a chemical that is essential to living things and is cycled through ecosystems(some nutrients go through one of earth's spheres and other go through more than one)
    • Cycles include water, nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus.
  10. Eutrophication
    a process in which nutrient levels in aquatic ecosystems increase, leading to an increase in the populations of primary producers(plants)
  11. Photosynthesis
    • a process that changes solar energy into chemical energy
    • only used in plants
    • Formula:
    • (word)- carbon dioxide + water ⇒ glucose + oxygen
    • (chemical equation)-6CO² + 6H²0 ⇒ C6H1²06 + 60²
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  12. Trophic level
    • a category of organisms that is defined by how the organisms gain their energy
    • ex. primary producer(make their own food) and consumers(must eat other organisms to get energy for survival)
    • food chains can be used to show trophic levels in ecosystems
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  13. Biomass
    • the total mass of living organisms in a defined group or area
    • Food pyramids can be used to show how energy is stored in biomass as it moves through trophic levels in the food chain
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  14. Trophic Efficiency
    • a measure of the amount of energy or biomass transferred from one trophic level to the next higher trophic level
    • The percentage is always less than 100% because organisms use most of the energy for life functions(approximately 10% of energy is passed on)
    • This diagram demonstrates how energy is lost in the transfer from one organism to the next caused by not all of the animal/plant can be eaten or digested and energy is lost as heat
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  15. Bioaccumulation
    • a process in which materials, especially toxins, are ingested by an organism at a rate greater than they are eliminated
    • bioaccumulation of toxins from human made pollution can be destructive to a species(ex. DDT- agricultural insecticide and PCBs- used by industries and entered water, air and soil)
  16. Biomagnification
    • the increase in the concentration of a toxin as it moves from one trophic level to the next
    • This diagram shows the toxin being passed from one organism to the next as its energy is harvested
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  17. Cellular Respiration
    • a process that releases energy from organic molecules in the presence of oxygen
    • mostly carbohydrates
    • used by most living organisms ex. Humans, bacteria, plants
    • essential to life
    • word equation:Glucose + oxygen ⇒ carbon dioxide + water
    • Formula: C6H12O6 + 6O² ⇒ 6CO² + 6H²O
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  18. Fermentation
    • a process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the absence of oxygen
    • methane gas is released during fermentation
  19. Greenhouse Gases
    • atmosphere gases that prevent heat from leaving the atmosphere, thus increasing the temperature of the atmosphere
    • ex. CO², methane and water vapour
    • without greenhouse gases Earth's temperatures would average less than 0°
    • trap heat in the atmosphere
  20. Greenhouse Effect
    • the warming of the Earth as a result of greenhouse gases, which trap some energy that would otherwise leave Earth
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  21. Acid Precipitation
    • rain, snow or fog that is unnaturally acidic due to gases in the atmosphere that react with water to form acids
    • burning fossil fuels releases nitrogen oxide and sulfer dioxide 
    • gases combine with water in atmosphere and form nitric acid and sulfuric acid
    • acids lower pH of precipitation, eventually descends as acid precipitation
Card Set
Ecology- Chapter 1
21 Glossary Terms for Ecology
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