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51 terms

Bio

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allele
genetic instructions for a specific trait
directional selection
individuals at one end of the curve have higher fitness than individuals in the middle or at the other end
stabilizing selection
individuals near the center of the curve have a higher fitness than individuals at either end
disruptive selection
individuals at the upper and lower ends of the curve have higher fitness than individuals near the middle
genetic drift
random change in the genetic information
ecology
study of living organisms and their interactions in their physical environment
ecosystem
all living things in a physical environment
evaporation
the process of water in liquid form changing into gas form
condensation
water vapor forming from cold, The change of state from a gas to a liquid
precipitation
rain, hail, snow, sleet
evapotranspiration
when water is transfered into the atmosphere by evaporating off plants/soil
consumers/heterotrophs
organisms that rely on others for energy/food
producers/autotrophs
organisms that take energy sunlight to create food
detritivores
organisms that consume remains and dead matter
decomposers
heterotrophs that break down organic matter
combustion
process of burning
fossil fuels
natural fuel (coal/gas) formed in the past from remains of living organisms
biome
a region characterized by certain sunlight and rainfall conditions
immigration
the movement of individuals into an area
emigration
the movement of individuals out of an area
carrying capacity
the largest number of organisms that an environment can support
nitrogen fixation
the conversion of nitrogen gas into ammonia
denitrification
when other soil bacteria convert nitrates and nitrites back into nitrogen gas (N2)
atom
basic unit of matter
half-life
the length of time required for half of the radioactive atoms in a sample to decay
speciation
the evolutionary process by which new species arise
species
a group of organisms so alike that they can mate and produce fertile offspring
isotope
unstable form of an element - irregular number of subatomic particles
macroevolution
big evolutionary changes that take place of long periods of time
microevolution
evolutionary change within a species or small groups of organisms usually over short periods of time
evolution
the process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient organisms
theory
a well-supported testable explanation
fossils
preserved remains of ancient organisms
fitness
the ability of an individual to survive and reproduce in a given environment
adaptation
an inherited trait that increase the chance of survival
population
a group of organisms of one species that interbreed and live in the same place at the same time
parasitism
one organism lives in or on another and harms the host
commensalism
an association between two organisms in which one benefits and the other derives neither benefit nor harm
community
an area composed of a group of organisms or populations of different species occupying a particular space
interspecies competition
when individuals of different species compete over a variety of limiting factors
symbiosis
a relationship between organisms in which at least one organism benefits
competitive exclusion
two species competing for the same resources can not stably coexist in the same niche
biodiversity
a diversity of species
r-strategist
creatures that are small, demand very few resources, have no parental care, and have lots of offspring (high death rate).
exponential growth
when individuals in a population reproduce at a constant rate (J-shaped curve). When the population grows exponentially under ideal conditions and unlimited resources
sustainability
maintaining balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources
k-strategist
plans for carrying capacity, fewer babies but greater care, low death rate.
logistical growth
when a populations' growth slows or stops, following a period of exponential growth.
maximum sustainable yield
the maximum number of prey which can be killed such that the number of prey is below carrying capacity and predators thrive.
dynamic equilibrium
when a population oscillates around the carrying capacity
limiting factors
factors that control organism/species growth, population, or distribution