Ecology - Chapter 3

  1. Biodiversity
    The number and variety of organisms found in a specific region.
  2. Protect
    To legally guard from harm a species that is listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern.
  3. Biodiversity hotspot
    • A place where there is an exceptionally large number of species in a relatively small area.
    • eg. Carolinian Canada in southwestern Ontario.
  4. Community
    All the populations of the different species that interact in a specific area or ecosystem.
  5. Dominant species
    • A species that is so abundant that it has the biggest biomass of any community member.
    • Always primary producers in terrestrial ecosystems.
  6. Keystone species
    • A species that can greatly affect population numbers and the health of an ecosystem.
    • eg. sea otters, prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets.
  7. Captive breeding
    • The breeding of rare or endangered wildlife in controlled settings to increase the population size.
    • eg. black-footed ferrets.
  8. Ecosystem engineer
    • A species that causes such dramatic changes to landscapes that it creates a new ecosystem.
    • eg. a beaver because they create dams that dramatically change the landscapes and create new ecosystems.
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  9. Succession
    • The series of changes in ecosystems that occur over time following a disturbance.
    • eg. a succession could be caused by a beaver dam.
  10. Habitat loss
    • The destruction of habitats, which usually results from human activities.
    • Two examples would be deforestation and draining wetlands.
  11. Deforestation
    • The practice of clearing forests for logging or other human uses, and never replanting them.
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  12. Alien species
    • A species that is accidentally or deliberately introduced to a new location, usually as a result of human activity.
    • eg. zebra mussels and round gobies.
  13. Invasive species
    • A species that can take over the habitat of native species or invade their bodies.
    • eg. zebra mussels.
  14. Overexploitation
    • The use or extraction of a resource until it is depleted.
    • eg. overfishing of Atlantic cod, overhunting of passenger pigeons.
  15. Extinction
    • The death of all of the individuals of a species.
    • Two types: background extinction and mass extinction. Background extinction happens slowly and mass extinction is quick.
  16. Biodiversity crisis
    • The current accelerated rate of extinctions on Earth.
    • Currently estimated to be around 100 to 1000 times higher than normal background rate.
  17. Restoration ecology
    The renewal of degraded or destroyed ecosystems through active human intervention.
  18. Reforestation
    The regrowth of a forest, either through the planting of seeds or trees in an area where a forest was cut down.
  19. Biocontrol
    • The use of a species to control the population growth or spread of an undesirable species.
    • eg. use of bacteria spraying to control tent caterpillars and forest pests.
  20. Bioremediation
    • The use of living organisms to clean up contaminated areas naturally.
    • eg. use of plants to absorb heavy metals from toxic soils.
    • eg. use of bacteria to clean up oil spill on the coast.
  21. Bioaugmentation
    • The use of organisms to add essential nutrients to depleted soils.
    • eg. use of clover to add nitrogen to depleted soils.
Card Set
Ecology - Chapter 3
Ecology Chapter 3 - Glossary Terms