Ecology - Chapter 2

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  1. Population
    • All the individuals of a species that occupy a particular geographic area at a certain time.
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    • For example, the population of humans in Elkhorn at the time the photo was taken was 4082.
  2. Exponential growth
    • Accelerating growth that produces a J-shaped curve when the population is graphed against time.
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    • Though humans are not the best choice because we do not have a equilibrium yet, this graph does show the exponential growth of humans after the industrial revolution and major scientific and medical advances.
  3. Limiting factors
    • A factor that limits the growth, distribution, or amount of a population in a ecosystem.
    • Examples of limiting factors include food, water, space, and shelter.
  4. Carry capacity
    The size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by the available resources and services of an ecosystem.
  5. Ecological niche
    The way in which an organism occupies a position in an ecosystem, including all the nessasary biotic and abiotic factors.
  6. Predator
    • An organism that kills and consumes other organisms.
    • For example, a lynx is a predator to a snowshoe hare.
  7. Prey
    • An organism that is eaten as food by a predator.
    • For example, an insect is prey to baby crocodiles and many other predators.
  8. Mutualism
    • A symbiotic relationship between two species in which both species benefit from the relationship.
    • For example, photosynthesis algae lives inside coral and provides the coral with nutrient while it receives protection and a constant supply of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.
  9. Parasite
    • An organism whose niche is dependent on a close association with a larger host organism.
    • For example, a brainworm and a deer.
  10. Competition
    When two or more organisms compete for the same resource in the same location at the same time.
  11. Sustainable use
    • Use that does not lead to long-term depletion of a resource or affect the diversity of the ecosystem from which the resource is obtained.
    • Sustainable use of a resource, whether it is water or an entire ecosystem, allows the resource to meet the needs of present and future generations.
  12. Doubling time
    • The period of time that is required for a population to double in size.
    • The current doubling time for humans (for when the textbook was written) is 60 years.
  13. Ecological footprint
    A measure of the impact of an individual or a population on the enviorment in terms of energy consumption, land use, and waste production.
  14. Unsustainable
    A pattern or activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem.
  15. Sustainability
    Use of Earth's resources, including land and water, at levels that can continue forever.
  16. Ecosystem services
    • The benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems.
    • Examples:
    • provision of food and clean water
    • pollination of crops and vegetation
    • conversion of atmospheric carbon into biomass
    • beauty and spirituallity
    • cycling of nutrients
  17. Desertification
    The change of non-desert land into a desert, which may result from climate change or from unsustainable farming or water use.
  18. Ecotourism
    • A form of tourism that is sensitive to the heath of an ecosystem and involves recreational activities provided by sustainable ecosystems.
    • Examples:
    • boat trips to see whales, dolphins
    • hiking
    • fishing
    • kayaking
Card Set
Ecology - Chapter 2
Ecology Chapter 2 - Glossary Terms
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