Nature of Biology CH 13

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Producer

Member of an ecological community the can manufacture organic compounds, such as glucose, from simple inorganic compounds such as CO2, using an abiotic energy source, such as sunlight. Also known as an AUTOTROPH.

Autotroph

Member of an ecological community that can manufacture organic compounds, such as glucose, from simple inorganic compounds, such as CO2, using an abiotic energy source, such as the sun. Also known as a PRODUCER.

Consumer

Members of a community that must obtain their energy by eating other organisms, or parts of them. All animals are this. Also known as a heterotroph.

Heterotroph

Members of a community that must obtain their energy by eating other organisms, or parts of them. Also known as a consumer.

Photosynthesis

Process by which producers use radiant energy of the sun to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and high-energy carbohydrates such as sugars and starches.

Ecosystem

a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment.

Herbivores

Consumer organisms that eat plants, eg wallabies and butterfly caterpillars.

Carnivores

Consumer organisms that eat animals, eg numbats and snakes.

Omnivores

Consumer organisms that eat both plants and animals, eg humans and crows.

Detritivores

Consumer organisms that eat decomposing organic matter, such as rotting leaves, dung or decaying animal remains, eg earthworms, dung beetles and crabs.

Decomposer

These organisms chemically break down organic matter into simple inorganic forms or mineral nutrients, such as nitrate and phosphate. These mineral nutrients are recycled when they are taken up by producer organisms. Typically fungi or bacteria.

Guild

Refers to groups of different species that exploit the same food resource in similar ways in an ecosystem. EG, various species of bird that eat insects from the leaves of trees.

Atmospheric pollution

Can reduce the diversity of lichen populations growing in an area.

Competition

When members os a community compete for resources such as food, shelter or territory. May be between members of the same species.

Intra-specific competition

Competition between members of the same species for resources.

Inter-specific competition

Competition between members of populations of two or more different species.

Allelopathy

Chemical inhibition by one plant species of the germination or growth of another species.

Allelochemicals

The inhibitory chemicals used in allelopathy. Made in various parts of a plant such as roots leaves or shoots. Eg, barley, wheat, sweet potatoes, pine.

Pheromones

Odourless chemicals that serve as social signals to members of one's species, Many femal moths signal their readiness for reproduction by releasing these chemicals.

Volatile

Evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures.

Predator-prey relationships

A relationship is which one species (the predator) kills and eats another living animal (the prey).

Predator

any animal that lives by preying on other animals.

Prey

animal hunted or caught for food.

Coral polyp

A sea predator that sits and waits for prey to come along, then using stinging cells on their arms and captures the prey. A carnivore.

Camouflage

Prey sometimes look like something else to avoid being preyed upon.

Mimicry

the resemblance of an animal species to another species or to natural objects, provides prey concealment from predators.

Warning colouration

Conspicuous colouration or markings of an animal serving to warn off predators.

Herbivore-plant relationship

A relationship between herbivores and the plants they eat.

Parasite-host relationship

A relationship in which one kind of organism (the parasite) lives on or in another kind (the host) and feeds on it, typically without killing it. The host suffers various negative effects in the relationship and ONLY the parasite benefits.

Parasite

an animal or plant that lives in or on a host (another animal or plant) with only the parasite benefitting and the host suffering, or dying.

Host

an animal or plant that nourishes and supports a parasite, but does not benefit and may die.

Exoparasites

Parasites that live on their host, eg fleas, leaches and ticks.

Endoparasites

Parasites that live inside their host.

Parasitoids

A varied group of organisms that are like parasites. Parasitoids kill their hosts that are usually another kind of insect.

Holo-parasitism

In which the parasite is totally dependent on the host plant for all its nutrients

Hemi-parasitism

In w hich the parasite obtains some nutrients, such as water and minerals, from its host but makes some of its own food through photosynthesis.

Haustorium

a rootlike attachment in parasitic plants that penetrates and obtains food from the host.

Mutualism

The prolonged association between two different species in which both partners gain some benefit.

Mycorrhiza

a symbiotic dense network of fungal threads formed by a fungus and plant roots

Nitrogen-fixing bacteria

These bacteria can convert nitrogen from the air into useable nitrogen compounds.

Commensalism

Refers to the situation in which one member gins benefit and the other member neither suffers harm no gains benefit. Eg, clownfish.

Niche separation

When various species in the same community differ in the use that they make of a resource, such as food or space. The opposite of niche overlap.

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