42 terms

Chapter 6 Population & Community Ecology


Terms in this set (...)

a group of organisms of the same species populating a given area
(ecology) a group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other
Population Ecology
The study of populations in relation to the environment, including environmental influences on population density and distribution, age structure, and variations in population size.
Population Size
The number of individual organisms present at a given time.
Population Density
number of individuals of a particular species per unit area or volume
Population Distribution
description of locations on the earths surface where populations live
Population Sex Ratio
ratio of males to females
Population Age Structure
examines the number of individuals of a species in a certain age group
Density-Independent Factors
Limiting factor that affects all populations in similiar ways, regardless of population size.
Limiting Resource
a particular natural resource that, when limited, determines the carrying capacity of an ecosystem for a particular species
Carrying Capacity
number of organisms in a population that an environment can maintain
Density-Dependent Factors
limiting factors (such as competition, predation, parasitism, and disease) that are affected by the number of individuals in a given area
Exponential Growth Model
growth model that estimates a population's future size after a period of time based on the intrinsic growth rate and the number of reproducing individuals currently in the population
Growth Rate
an expression of the increase in the size of an organism or population over a given period of time.
Intrinsic Growth Rate
Under ideal conditions, with unlimited resources available, every population has a particular maximum potential for growth.
Logistic Growth Model
a description of idealized population growth that is slowed by limiting factors as the population size increases
S-Shaped Curve
Leveling off of an exponential, J-shaped curve when a rapidly growing population exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment and ceases to grow.
The extent to which a population exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment
a rapid decline in population size when carrying capacity is exceeded and resources are limited
K-Selected Species
Species that produce a few, often fairly large offspring but invest a great deal of time and energy to ensure that most of those offspring reach reproductive age.
Survivorship Curves
curves depicting when in an organisms life it species is likely to decline
A strip of natural habitat that connects two adjacent nature preserves to allow migration of organisms from one place to another
A collection of populations that have regular or intermittent gene flow between geographically separate units
Community Ecology
The study of how interactions between species affect community structure and organization
the struggle between organisms to survive in a habitat with limited resources
Competitive Exclusion Principle
ecological rule that states that no two species can occupy the same exact niche in the same habitat at the same time
Resource Partitioning
in a biological community various populations sharing environmental resources through specialization thereby reducing direct competition
the act of preying by a predator who kills and eats the prey
True Predators
organisms who a. kill their prey and b. consume most of what they kill
an organism that eats only plants.
an organism that lives in or on another organism, deriving nourishment at the expense of its host, usually without killing it
an organism that produces disease in a host organism disease being alteration of one or more metabolic functions in response to the presence of the organism
the relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent
the relation between two different kinds of organisms when one receives benefits from the other without damaging it
Keystone Species
a species whose impact on its community or ecosystem are much larger and more influential than would be expected from mere abundance
Predator-Mediated Competition
Competition in which a predator is instrumental in reducing the abundance of a superior competitor, allowing inferior competitors to persist.
Ecosystem Engineers
an organism that causes changes in the physical environment sufficient to influence the structure of landscapes, ecosystems, or communities.
Primary Succession
an ecological succession that begins in a an area where no biotic community previously existed
Secondary Succession
succession on a site where an existing community has been disrupted
Pioneer Species
first species to populate an area during primary succession
Aquatic Succession
Water ecosystem changes to terrestrial one. Lake, lake fills in, becomes meadow, meadow becomes forest.
Theory Of Island Biogeography
A theory that demonstrates the dual importance of habitat size and distance in determining species richness.