Bespoke Education SAT2 Biology - Ecology

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Abiotic
Nonliving
Atmosphere
All the air between the surface of the earth and outer space
Autotroph
Organism that is able to utilize inorganic carbon (usually carbon dioxide) as a carbon source
Biological Magnification
The increasing concentration of environmental toxins in higher trophic levels
Biomass
The dry weight of organic matter comprising a group of organisms in a particular habitat
Biosphere
The portion of the atmosphere that can support life
Carnivore
An animal that eats other animals
Carrying Capacity
In a population, the number of individuals that an environment can sustain
Chaparral
A scrubland biome of dense, spiny evergreen shrubs, characterized by mild, rainy winters and long, hot, dry summers
Chemosynthesis
Synthesis of carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water using energy obtained from the oxidation of simple inorganic compounds
Climax Community
A stable mature community in a successive series which has reached equilibrium after having evolved through stages and adapted to its environment
Cline
Variation in features of individuals in a population that parallels a gradient in the environment
Commensalism
A type of symbiosis in which one species benefits and the other is unaffected
Community
All the organisms that inhabit a particular area
Deciduous
Having leaves that fall off seasonally to avoid adverse weather conditions
Decomposer
An organism that derives its energy from organic wastes and dead organisms; also called detritovore
Denitrifying Bacteria
Bacteria that convert nitrogenous compounds into nitrogen gas
Desert
A dry, often sandy region of extreme temperatures and sparse rainfall
Desertification
The transformation of arable or habitable land to desert
Ecosystem
All the organisms in a given area, along with the nonliving factors with which they interact
Emigration
Migration out of a population
Eutrophication
An increase in the mineral and organic nutrient content of a body of water, promoting a proliferation of algae, reducing the dissolved oxygen content of the water
Fossil Fuel
Hydrocarbon fuels consisting of the partially decomposed remains of organisms that lived millions of years ago
Greenhouse Effect
The heating of the planet caused by absorption and emission of heat by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane
Herbivore
An animal that eats only plants or algae
Heterotroph
Organism requiring an organic form of carbon as a carbon source
Hybrid
An organism produced by mating of two organisms of different species; usually sterile
Immigration
Migration into a population
Leaching
The removal of minerals from a solid by dissolving them in a liquid
Legume
A mutualistic association a plant and a nitrogen-fixing bacterium
Lichen
An symbiotic association of a fungus and a photosynthetic alga
Logistic Growth
A pattern of growth of a population characterized by exponential growth followed by a plateau
Mutualism
A type of symbiosis in which both species benefit
Mycorrhizzae
Mutualistic associations of plant roots and fungi
Nitrifying Bactera
Soil bacteria that convert ammonium into nitrates and nitrites
Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria
Bacteria that convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia
Omnivore
A heterotrophic animal that consumes both animal and plant material
Ozone Layer
A layer of O3 in the upper atmosphere that protects life on earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays in sunlight
Parasitism
A type of symbiosis in which one species benefits at the expense of the other
Population
A group of interacting individuals belonging to one species and living in the same geographic area
Prairie
North American grasslands with frequent wildfires and long periods of drought
Primary Succession
The establishment of a biological community in an area virtually barren of life
Producer
An autotroph; an organism that sustains itself without eating or decomposing other organisms
Savanna
A tropical grassland biome with scattered individual trees, large herbivores, and three distinct seasons based primarily on rainfall; maintained by occasional fires and drought
Secondary Succession
The establishment of a biological community in an area where the existing community has been destroyed, but the soil remains intact
Society
A population distinguished by division of labor
Species
A group whose members have the ability to interbreed and produce fertile offspring
Sulfur Dioxide
A gas produced in many industrial process that mixes with water vapor to form sulfuric acid, a main component of acid rain
Taiga
The forest biome characterized by considerable snow, harsh winters, short summers, and evergreen trees
Transpiration
The loss of water vapor from the stomata of a plant
Trophic Level
The division of species in an ecosystem on the basis of their main nutritional source
Tropical Rainforest
The biome located near the equator where rainfall is abundant; harbors more species of plants and animals than all other terrestrial biomes combined
Tundra
A treeless area that has little rainfall and permanently frozen subsoil (permafrost) thus supporting only low-growing vegetation
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