58 terms

Chapter 3 - Friedland and Relyea

the region of our planet where life resides
Particular location on Earth distinguished by its particular mix of interacting biotic and abiotic components.
organisms that can make their own food
Autotrophs. Uses solar energy to produce usable forms of energy with photosynthesis.
Plants use the sun's energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars
6CO2 + 6H2O + light --> C6H12O6 + 6O2
Cellular Respiration
Process that unlocks the chemical energy stored in cells of organisms.
aerobic respiration
Respiration that requires oxygen, glucose + O2 ==> energy
anaerobic respiration
Respiration that does not require oxygen, glucose ==> energy, produces lactic acid
Consumers or Heterotrophs
Incapable of photosynthesis. Must get energy from consuming other organisms.
organism that obtains energy by eating only plants (producers)
Primary Consumers
Incapable of photosynthesis, consume producers (zebras)
organism that obtains energy by eating animals
Tertiary consumers
carnivores that eat secondary consumers (bald eagle)
Secondary Consumers
Eat primarily consumers. Carnivores. (lions)
Trophic Levels
Successive levels of organisms consuming each other.
Food Chain
Sequence of consumption from producers to top level of consumers.
Food Web
Food chains that take into account the complexity of nature and show all connections between organisms.
Carnivores that consume dead animals
Organisms that specialize in breaking down dead tissues and waste products
Fungi and bacteria that complete the breakdown process by recycling the nutrients from dead tissues and wastes back into the ecosystem.
Gross Primary Productivity (GPP)
Total amount of solar energy that the producers in an ecosystem capture via photosynthesis over a given amount of time.
Net Primary Productivity (NPP)
Energy captured minus the energy respired by producers.
Total mass of all living matter in a specific area
Standing Crop
Total biomass present in an ecosystem at a particular time
Ecological Efficiency
Proportion of consumed energy that can be passed from one trophic level
Trophic Pyramid
Represent the distribution of biomass among trophic levels. Decrease by about 10 percent each time
Biogeochemical Cycles
Movement of matter within an between ecosystems.
Hydrologic Cycle
Powered by the sun. The pathways water takes as it travels through Earth's spheres/systems.
Plants release water from their leaves into the atmosphere
Combined amount of evaporation from land and transpiration.
Water moving across land surface and into water bodies, eventually reaching ocean.
Solar energy heats liquid water and it becomes a gas.
Water vapor goes from a gas to liquid often to form clouds
Carbon Cycle
The movement of carbon through Earth's spheres/systems. Largest reservoir is rock/geosphere. Largest sink is the ocean.
Limiting Nutrient
A nutrient whose amount available limits growth of organisms.
Burning organic fuels releasing carbon dioxide
Producers/autotrophs capture the energy of sunlight and store it in sugars.
Needed by organisms in large amounts. Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.
Nitrogen Cycle
The movement of nitrogen through Earth's spheres/systems. Largest reservoir is the atmosphere.
Nitrogen Fixation
Bacterial organisms convert N2 into ammonia NH3.
Bacteria convert ammonium NH4+ into nitrite NO2- and then into Nitrate NO3-
Process where producers incorporate elements into their tissues
the process by which fungal & bacterial decomposers break down organic matter found in dead bodies & waste products & convert it into inorganic compounds
Bacteria (decomposers) in soil and water break down biological nitrogen compounds into ammonia.
Bacteria in oxygen poor soil and stagnant water convert nitrate into nitrous oxide N2O and nitrogen gas N2
Nitrate transported through the soil with water.
Phosphorus Cycle
The movement of phosphorus through Earth's spheres/systems. Largest reservoir is rock/geosphere. Weathering of uplifted rocks contribute phosphates to the land and some phosphate make their way back to the ocean. It is NOT found in the atmosphere.
algal bloom
The rapid growth of a population of algae
deficient in oxygen
sulfur cycle
Cycle of how sulfur cycles through the earth's air, water, soil and living organisms.
an event resulting in changes in population size or composition
a measure of how much a disturbance can affect flows of energy and matter in an ecosystem
the rate at which an ecosystem returns to its original state after a disturbance
Excessive phosphates and nitrates in bodies of water. Leads to overgrowth of producers, followed by decomposers, and low oxygen conditions.
All of the land in a given landscape that drains into a particular stream, river, lake, or wetland.
Restoration Ecology
study of and implementation of restoring damaged ecosystems.
Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis
Ecosystems experiencing intermediate levels of disturbance are more diverse than those with high or low disturbance levels.
Goods that humans can directly use.