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33 terms

AP Biology- Unit 1 Ecology

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Acclimation
the process of an organism's adjustment to an abiotic factor
Biogeography
the study of geographic distribution of species.
Age structure
the relative amount of individuals in each age bracket (cohort) of a population
Life history
the traits that affect an organism's schedule of reproduction and survival
K-selection
selection for life history traits that are sensitive to population density
R-selection
have as many offspring as possible as fast as possible (fish, insects)
Opportunistic populations
show exponential growth and have small organisms with early maturation, short life span, and limited parental care to offspring
Intraspecific competition
competition between members of the same species
Ecological niche
A specific role of a species within an ecosystem, including its use of resources, and relationships with other species.
Fundamental niche
the full range of conditions that a species can tolerate and resources it can use
Resource partitioning
in a biological community various populations sharing environmental resources through specialization thereby reducing direct competition
Exotic species
organisms that are not native to a particular area
Mark-recapture method
A sampling technique used to estimate wildlife populations.
Species richness
the number of different species in a community
Species diversity
Number of different species in the biosphere, the number and relative abundance of species in a biological community
Coevolution
process by which two species evolve in response to changes in each other
Cryptic coloration
coloring that conceals or disguises an animal's shape
Mimicry
a defense in which one organism resembles another that is dangerous or poisonous
Batesian mimicry
A type of mimicry in which a harmless species looks like a species that is poisonous or otherwise harmful to predators.
Mullerian mimicry
evolution of two species, both of which are unpalatable and, have poisonous stingers or some other defense mechanism, to resemble each other
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
Denitrification
conversion of nitrates into nitrogen gas, process in which fixed nitrogen compounds are converted back into nitrogen gas and returned to the atmosphere
Primary productivity
rate at which organic matter is created by producers in an ecosystem
Gross primary productivity
the rate at which organic matter is assimilated by plants and other producers during a period of time over a certain area
Net primary productivity
The gross primary productivity minus the energy used by the producers for cellular respiration; represents the storage of chemical energy in an ecosystem available to consumers.
Biomass
the total mass of living matter in a given unit area
Standing crop biomass
the weight or mass of above-ground, dry plant material in a defined area at a given point in time.
Limiting nutrient
single nutrient that either is scarce or cycles very slowly, limiting the growth of organisms in an ecosystem
Biomass pyramid
diagram representing the biomass in each trophic level of an ecosystem
Nitrification
the oxidation of ammonium compounds in dead organic material into nitrates and nitrites by soil bacteria (making nitrogen available to plants)
Ammonification
the formation of ammonia compounds in the soil by the action of bacteria on decaying matter
Biodiversity crisis
the current rapid decline in the variety of life on Earth, largely due to the effects of human culture
Endemic species
species that are native to and found only within a limited area