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34 terms

Ecology and Ecosystems

the study of the interactions of organisms with their environments
environmental interactions
organism, population, community, ecosystem
components of ecosystems
energy flow and chemical cycling
energy flow
passage of energy through the ecosystem
chemical cycling
transfer of materials within the ecocsystem
all the organisms in the community as well as the abiotic environment
trophic structure
a pattern of feeding relationships
food chain
sequence of food (energy) transfer up the trophic levels
support all trophic levels, autotrophs (plants, algae and phytoplankton)
trophic levels
producers, consumers, detritivores,
decomposers, derive energy from dead matter and wastes
eat food (can't make it themselves); primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary
produce own food (by photosynthesis)
primary consumers
grasshoppers, zooplankton
secondary consumers
mouse, herring
tertiary consumers
snake, tuna
quaternary consumers
hawk, killer whale
food web
a network of interconnecting food chains
primary production
the amount of solar energy converted to chemical energy; carried out by producers; produce biomass; "energy budget"
amount of living organic material in an ecosystem
10% rule
only 10% of the energy present in a trophic level makes it to the next level
nitrogen fixation
converts N2 to nitrogen used by plants; carried out by bacteria
terrestrial, marine, freshwater
a vast treeless plain in the arctic regions between the ice cap and the tree line
land where grass or grasslike vegetation grows and is the dominant form of plant life
the wide part of a river where it nears the sea
a group of organisms of one species that interbreed and live in the same place at the same time
biotic potential
maximum rate at which a population can increase in under ideal conditions
What 5 factors affect biotic potential?
lifespan, age at first reproduction, frequency of reproduction, clutch size, length of reproduction capability
carrying capacity
largest number of individuals of a particular species that can survive over long periods of time in a given environment
change in the (plant) species composition of a community over time
a temporary change in average environmental conditions that causes a pronounced change in an ecosystem, usually resulting in the removal of large amounts of biomass.
A directional growth movement, made by a part of a stationary plant, in response to an environmental stimulus.

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