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Ecology Test One
Terms in this set (87)
all the organisms living in a particular place and their interactions with each other and with local climate and geology
Farms and Cities
The social science concerned with with Production, Distribution, and Consumption of goods and services as well as the theory and management of economic systems
Matter in ECOSYSTEM: trees, animals, fungi, rocks, soil, water, other plants.
Matter in ECONOMICS: people, machinery, food, money.
Basic elements of life
Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, Sulfur.
Forms of Energy
Why does ice float on water
Because water is most dense at 4 degrees
The Law that Forms of Energy Follow
Law of Conservation of Matter and The Environment
We always will be faced with pollution, we have to trade off one form of pollution for another (dumping waste causes air, water, soil pollution, cleaning up one kind converts it to another)
1st Law of Energy/Thermodynamics
can't get something from nothing
Energy is neither created nor destroyed, but rather changes form.
Net energy/Energy Yield
what's available for use after subtracting amount of energy needed to make it available
2nd Law of Energy/Thermodynamics
you can't break even
Any system and its surroundings as a whole spontaneously tend towards increasing randomness or disorder, or spontaneously tend toward increasing entropy
measure of randomness or disorder
Random and Orderly Systems and Entropy
Random system = high entropy
Orderly system = low entropy.
Two secrets of survival
Energy flows and matter cycles
Energy flows from the sun to earth and matter cycles through a system
Energy Pyramid and Levels of Energy Left
For every level of the energy pyramid, you only have 10% of what you had in the previous level.
ie. apex predators = rare, there is no energy left when it reaches them at top of pyramid.
Energy and matter in economic systems related to Money
When you buy something you are exchanging money for the energy and other things it took to make that item
Economies and The Environment
Economics should include environmental costs
Command and control regulations
-Direct regulation of an industry/thing - penalties for breaking rules
-Example: CFCs in the atmosphere being eliminated due to ozone impact
Tax on any market producing negative externalities
Problem: determining the right level of tax
All of Earth's natural assets, ecosystem services
What do Ecological Economics determine and focus on?
Determines the impact of something on natural capital, focuses on sustaining the natural capital
Realm of Ecology
-Population: group of same kind of individuals
-Community: where populations are embedded
-Ecosystem: group of communities
Types of diversity
Genetic, Species, and Ecosystem
region of gases and particulate matter above the earth
all earth's liquid water, frozen water and water vapor
soil and rock consisting of the earth's crust and inner core
3 life zones
Lower part of the atmosphere (8-12 kilometers above the surface of the earth) contains 95% of the earth's air (Troposphere)
Limited supply of life-supporting frozen water (polar ice caps, floating ice and permafrost), liquid water in rivers, lakes, oceans, and underground aquifers and water vapor.
A thin crust of soil, minerals and rocks (a few 1000 ft down)
Principles of Ecosystem Function
-Processes regulated by biotic and abiotic factors
-Negative feedback: when a system reverses a directional change
-Positive feedback: when a system reinforces change
Artificial Selection over many generations leads to changed plants and animals
When a species is no longer found in an area it once inhabited but is still found elsewhere
When there are so few members of a species left that it can no longer plays its ecological roles in biological communities
Goals of a Nature Reserve
-Species of interest
Species diversity is determined by
Number of species in a community
Their relative abundance in the world
Geographic patterns/processes influence biodiversity
To make conservation decisions we must know the biological differences among Earth's regions
Climate- wet year round
Broad leaved evergreen and deciduous trees, vines
Climate- moderate winters, warm summers
Deciduous trees, shrubs
Climate- cold winters, wet/hot summers
Climate- cold winters, short mild summers
Vast expanses of trees
Climate- cold winters, brief cold summers
Low herbs, dwarf trees
Warm tropical oceans, salt to freshwater gradient
Mangrove trees, high diversity of birds and fish
Twice daily tides, variable salinity, oxygen and temp
Oxygen-poor soil, diverse animals
Species diversity changes:
-In both directions from the equator (most diversity closer to equator)
-From low to high elevation
-Biodiversity is highest near coasts, tropics and closer to the equator
Effects of area isolation on species
Rate of immigration of new species
Rate at which species already on the island become locally extinct
ecosystem collapse that filters down when keystone species is removed
Presence of some species indicate the health of the ecosystem in which they depend
What are the potential consequences of viewing the ecosystem as outside or "external" to the economy?
-Release of wastes
-Damage of the environment by high demand for energy and raw materials
Why are conservation biologists working to conserve populations of rare varieties of domestic plants and breeds of domestic livestock?
Preserve genetic diversity
Why is habitat destruction considered one of the most serious threats to species' populations?
-Large species need large areas to provide enough food
-Small species can't migrate away from the destruction
-Modification of the environment by other species makes favorable conditions for survival. Habitat destruction stops these beneficial interactions
-Habitat destruction take 10s to 100s of years to recover
The per capita ecological footprint increases with
Demographic transition theory states that
With decreasing birth and decreasing death rates living conditions improve
-involves reasoning from initial definitions and assumptions = premises
Formulated generalizations based on a number of observations --- logical process in which multiple premises, all believed true or found true most of the time, are combined to obtain a specific conclusion.
Can a hypothesis be proven true?
no - we can only determine the level of uncertainty around the hypothesis
2 important pieces of info about Mono Lake
The size and shape of the basin - so we could determine the volume and from this how the salinity and alkalinity would change over time
The rate at which water evaporated from the lake - to determine whether and how fast the lake would become too dry to sustain life
philosophical and theoretical frameworks within which theories, laws and generalizations are formulated
A basic model of reality
Govern the way scientist think, form hypotheses and interpret experiments - they also govern the way nonscientists think.
Once accepted rarely questioned
Observations interpreted according to the paradigm - if inconsistent often ignored or disputed
Basic (theoretical science)
aim is to increase the base of scientific knowledge
Discover new scientific principles.
Interest in knowledge for its own sake regardless of practical value
Deals with the use of information gained through science to influence the human condition
More interested in practical application of science to everyday life
Where an organism could live
Where an organism does live
Biotic factors influence where an organism is found
Competition, Predication, Parasites, and Disease
Competitive exclusion principle
Two species that directly compete for the same resources cannot coexist
Division of resources
Potential competitors may coexist
Example: Warblers in evergreen forests
Consume resource faster
Organisms compete with one another by two general mechanisms
Exploitation and Interference
(Consuming faster and stopping others from consuming)
The relationship between a parasite and its host is one form of symbiosis
Mutualistic species are better able to secure resources by living together than by living separately.
The symbiosis between a fungus and the roots of a tree is an example of a mutualism.
refers to associations that benefit only one species, leaving the other species unaffected
Food that can be consumed by higher trophic level
Terrestrial food web
Because plants produce large quantities of wood and cellulose that cannot be digested by herbivores, much energy in terrestrial food webs is processed by decomposing organisms. Like birds feeding on worms, decomposers may then be consumed by predators
The Wolf-Elk-Aspen Trophic Cascade
In Yellowstone's North Range, where wolves have become particularly common, elk activity is diminished, causing young trees to appear in the quaking aspen groves
Resources remaining after disturbance
As species reestablish themselves, they alter the environment, often making it possible for other species to become established. This process of post-disturbance change in an ecological community is called succession
Succession may increase chances of disturbance
Buildup of understory leads to intense fire
Characteristics of populations
1) Size (number of individuals)
2) Growth rate (rate of change in a population size)
3) Density (number of individuals per unit area or volume)
4) Population structure (including relative numbers of individuals of different ages)
One common way of estimating the size of a population
Ray Anderson's pathway to sustainability
Closing the loop
5 categories of ecosystem services
Non target species that get captured and discarded, often after they are dead
Worldwide fisheries discard 25% of their catch. For every pound of shrimp caught in a trawl net, an average of 2-10 pounds of other marine life is caught and discarded.
Value of satisfaction from preserving a natural environment or a historic environment, in other words natural heritage or cultural heritage for future generations
The endangered species act fails to...
balance costs and benefits meaningfully. It explicitly avoids the terrible choices that must be faced
Species at the center of their geographic range are less likely to go extinct
Species at the periphery of their range are more likely to go extinct
50% of all species are tropical
Time / Stability Hypothesis
Higher speciation rates
Lower extinction rates
Important assumptions about how many species, total, have ever lived on the Earth
The first animal/plant species, indicated by the fossil record of abundant multicellular life, began about 600 million years ago.
The number of estimated species today is between 10 million and 100 million.
The number of species had a linear increase in diversity from 1 species 600 million years ago to a range of 10 -100 million species today.
From what we know of invertebrates, the average species lives 4 million years.
estimate - 10 billion
Treatment for addictions
Periwinkles from Madagascar contain...
potent anti-cancer compounds.
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