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31 terms

Ecology 2

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conservation biology
a division of science that studies the effects of human activities on species, communities, and ecosystems and to develop practical approaches to preventing the extinction of species and the destruction of ecosystems.
bioinformatics
application of mathematics and computer science to store, retrieve, and analyze biological data
biodiversity
the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole), gene variability & the communities where they live
endangered species
a species at risk of extinction
threatened species
a species that could become endangered in the near future
biodiversity hotspots
areas containing unusually high concentrations of species
direct value
used directly by us! humans depend on plants and animals to provide food, clothing, energy, medicine, and shelter
medicinal value
living organisms that help with medicine production
agricultural value
organisms that help w/ agriculture (rice)
consumptive value
organisms we eat
indirect value
or non-consumptive use value; refers to the intrinsic value of ecosystem services in biodiversity:
photosynthesis, production of soil, regulation of climate, biogeochemical cycles, waste disposal, provides fresh water, prevent soil erosion, regulates climate, ecotourism
extinction
disappearance of a species from all parts of its geographical range
habitat loss
the process in which natural habitat is rendered functionally unable to support the species present. In this process, the organisms, which previously used the site, are displaced or destroyed, reducing biodiversity.
exotic species
organisms that are not native to a particular area
pollution
Release of harmful materials into the environment, undesirable state of the natural environment being contaminated with harmful substances as a consequence of human activities
acid deposition
The return to earth as rain or snow of the sulfate or nitrate salts of acids produced by commercial and industrial activities.
eutrophication
process by which a body of water becomes too rich in dissolved nutrients, leading to plant growth that depletes oxygen
ozone depletion
thinning of Earth's ozone layer caused by CFC's leaking into the air and reacting chemically with the ozone, breaking the ozone molocules apart
organic chemicals
pesticides, fertilizers, plastics, detergents...
global warming
an increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere (especially a sustained increase that causes climatic changes)
overexploitation
the number of individuals taken from a population is so great that the population becomes severely reduced in members
keystone species
a species whose impact on its community or ecosystem are much larger and more influential than would be expected from mere abundance
flagship species
Especially interesting or attractive organisms that people respond to emotionally. Motivate public to preserve biodiversity and contribute to conservation. EX: giant panda (youtube.com: panda sneezing)
metapopulation
A group of spatially separated populations of one species that interact through immigration and emigration. Separated due to habitat fragmentation.
source population
A population that has a surplus of individuals that are able to emigrate to other areas
sink population
A population that relies on immigration, fewer offspring produced than can coexist (numbers decline)
edge effect
the different conditions along the boundaries of an ecosystem compared to the more favorable ones on the inside
gap analysis
a biogeographical technique of mapping biological diversity and endemic species to find gaps between protected areas that leave endangered habitats vulnerable to disruption; use of computers to discover places where biodiversity is high outside of preserved areas
population viability analysis
helps determine how much habitat a species requires to maintain itself; minimum population size needed to prevent extinction
restoration ecology
Applying ecological principles in an effort to return ecosystems that have been disturbed by human activity to a condition as similar as possible to their natural state. A subdiscipline of conservation biology.
sustainable development
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Management of an ecosystem so that it maintains itself while providing services to human beings.