chapter 3

  1. ecology
    scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment
  2. biotic factors
    all living things
  3. abiotic factors
    all nonliving things
  4. trophic level
    step in a level or food chain
  5. biogeochemical cycles
    process in which elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to another
  6. species
    group of organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
  7. population
    groups of organisms of the same species living in the same area
  8. community
    groups of different populations living in the same area
  9. ecosystem
    all organisms that live in the same area along with the environment
  10. biome
    group of ecosystems with the same climate and similar dominant communities
  11. biosphere
    highest level of organization
  12. producer/autotroph
    organisms that make their own food from sun/inorganic chemicals
  13. consumers/heterotrophs
    organisms that can't make their own food
  14. herbivore
    only eats plants
  15. carnivore
    eats animals/meat
  16. omnivore
    eat both plants and animals
  17. photosynthesis
    use energy from the sun to make organic chemicals for energy
  18. chemosynthesis
    capture energy from source other than sun
  19. food chain
    a simple series of who eats who
  20. food web
    a complex interaction of all the food chains in an ecosystem
  21. nutrient
    chemical substance that an organism requires to live
  22. detrivore
    organism that feeds on plant and animal remains and other dead matter
  23. decomposer
    organism that breaks down and obtains energy from dead organic matter
  24. ecological pyramid
    diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter within each trophic level in a food chain or food web
  25. primary productivity
    rate at which organic matter is created by producers in an ecosystem
  26. limiting nutrient
    single nutrient that either is scarce or cycles very slowly, limiting the growth of organisms in an ecosystem
  27. evaporation
    process by which water changes from a liquid into an atmospheric gas
  28. transpiration
    loss of water from a plant through its leaves
  29. nitrogen fixation
    process of converting nitrogen gas into ammonia
  30. denitrification
    conversion of nitrates into nitrogen gas
  31. biotic: grass, trees, animals
  32. abiotic: rocks, air, temperature
    using the African savannah as an example, list some biotic and abiotic factors
  33. species, population, community, ecosystem, biome, biosphere
    list the levels of organization from smallest to largest
  34. observing, experimenting, modeling
    what are the 3 main methods used to study ecology?
  35. predictions
    what are the benefits of creating ecological models?
  36. photo- use sun's energy
  37. chemo- energy source other than sun
    what is the difference between photosynthetic autotroph and chemosynthetic autotroph?
  38. one direction: sun to producers, then to consumers and decomposers
    which way does energy flow through an ecosystem?
  39. show how much energy is available at each trophic level
    what is the basic principle of energy pyramid?
  40. show how much food is available at each trophic level
    what is the basic principle of the biomass pyramid?
  41. shows number of individuals at each trophic level
    what is the basic principle of the pyramid of numbers?
  42. biological process
    photosynthesis, respiration, deposition
  43. geochemical process
    erosion, volcanic activity
  44. biogeochemical process
    burial, deposition
  45. human activities
    mining, cutting/burning forests, burning fossil fuels
  46. nitrogen is required to make amino acids
    why is nitrogen so important to living things?
  47. producers and bacteria use products
    why is nitrogen fixation so vital to food chains/webs?
  48. phosphorus forms part of important life-sustaining molecules such as DNA and RNA
    why is phosphorus so important to living things?
  49. a large input of a limiting nutrient
    what causes algal blooms?
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chapter 3