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50 terms

Pre IB Biology Ecology

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ecology
the scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, or surrounding.
biosphere
the part of the earth's crust, waters, and atmosphere that supports life.
photosynthesis
the process by which autotrophs use light energy to power chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy-rich carbohydrates such as sugars and starches.
population
groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area.
community
assemblages of different populations that live together in a defined area.
ecosystem
a collection of all the organisms that live in a particular place together with their nonliving, or physical, environment.
biome
a group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities.
abiotic factors
all of the living organisms that inhabit an environment.
niche
the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
habitat
the natural environment of an organism
autotrophs
organisms that capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use that energy to produce food.
heterotrophs
organisms that rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply.
food chain
a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten.
food web
when the feeding relationships among the various organisms in an ecosystem form a network of complex interactions.
ecological pyramid
a diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a food chain or food web.
pyramid of energy
a diagram that shows energy relationships between trophic levels in the form of calories
pyramid of numbers
a diagram that shows the relationship between numbers of organisms at different trophic levels.
pyramid of biomass
a diagram that shows the living mass at each trophic level in a food web or food chain.
nitrogen cycle
bacteria converts N2 gas into amonia; other bacteria converts it to amonia to nitrates (which are used by plants); plants turn nitrates into nitrogen containing compounds (usually proteins); animals eat plants and convert plant proteins to animal proteins; animal dies --> decomposers break down the nitrogen containing compounds and return them to N2 gas in the atmosphere.
carbon cycle
CO2 --> [plant (photosynthesis) --> animal eats plant] --> cellular respiration/death --> carbon is given back to the environment. [WHEN STUFF IS BURNED (LIKE FORESTS/FOSSIL FUELS) CARBON DIOXIDE IS ALSO RELEASED INTO THE ENVIRONMENT]
transpiration
the passage of water through a plant from the roots through the vascular system to the atmosphere.
evaporation
process by which water changes from a liquid into an atmospheric gas
eutrophication
characterized by an abundant accumulation of nutrients that support a dense growth of algae and other organisms, the decay of which depletes the shallow waters of oxygen in summer.
nutrient cycles
the cycle of biological and chemical elements and compounds in specific patterns through substances in an ecosystem; the uptake, use, release, and storage of nutrients by plants and their environments.
homeostasis
the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function.
kingdom eubacteria
are the true bacteria. Some are decomposers that are involved in the nitrogen cycle.
protista
(plant like protists) produce carbohydrates through photosynthesis. They produce more oxygen then all of the other autotrophs put together.
fungi
heterotrophs and decomposers that are involved in breaking down of dead plant matter.
succession
orderly, natural changes in species that take place in the community of an ecosystem.
primary succession
changes in the species distribution that occur on rock that has never supported plant life before.
climax community
a stable, mature community that undergoes little or no succession -the new trees (plants) that are coming up under the old trees are the same species as the old trees.
secondary succession
changes that occur in a place that has supported plant life previously (soil already present).
symbiosis
a relationship where there is a close and permanent relationship between organisms of different species.
commensalism
a symbiotic relationship where one species is benefited and the other is neither harmed nor benefited.
mutualism
a symbiotic relationship where both species benefit.
parasitism
a symbiotic relationship where one organism is harmed and the other organism is benefited.
competition
ecological interaction between two or more species that use the same limited resource such as food, light, and water.
predator-prey relationship
the cycle in populations between the predator and prey populations.
predator
an organism that kills and feeds on that organism
prey
the organism that is killed
linear growth
straight line growth, for every unit increase on the x axis, there is an equal increase in the value on the y axis.
logistic growth
an "S" shaped growth curve, where the population eventually levels off at the carrying capacity of the environment.
carrying capacity
the maximum, equilibrium number of organisms of a particular species that can be supported indefinitely in a given environment.
exponential growth
occurs in populations where the population grows at an increasing rate.
non biodegradable
incapable of decaying
biodegradable
capable of decaying through the action of living organisms
biological magnification
is the process whereby certain substances such as pesticides or heavy metals move up the food chain.
biodiversity
diversity among and within plant and animal species in an environment.
cellular respiration
process that releases energy by breaking down glucose and other food molecules in the presence of oxygen.
bacteria
domain of unicellular prokaryotes that have cell walls containing peptidoglycans