Ecology vocabulary (Chapters 3-5)
Terms in this set (78)
This consists of all life on on Earth and all parts of the Earth in which life exists, including land, water, and the atmosphere.
The scientific study of interactions among and between organisms and there physical environment.
A group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring.
A group of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area.
An assemblage of different populations that live together in a defined area.
All the organisms that live in a place, together with their physical environment.
A group of ecosystems that share similar climates and typical organisms.
Any living part of the environment with which an organism might interact. This includes animals, plants, mushrooms, and bacteria.
Any nonliving part of the environment. This includes sunlight, heat, precipitation, humidity, wind or water currents, and soil type.
Organisms that use solar or chemical energy to produce "food" by assembling inorganic compounds into complex organic molecules.
The first producers of energy-rich compounds that are later used by other organisms.
Using/capturing light energy to power chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy-rich carbohydrates.
When chemical energy is used to produce carbohydrates, most organisms that use this process live underwater where sunlight is unavailable.
These organisms must acquire energy from other organisms, by ingesting them in one way or another.
Organisms that rely on other organisms for energy and nutrients, another term for heterotroph.
These organisms kill and eat other animals.
These organisms obtain energy and nutrients by eating plant leaves, roots, seeds, or fruits.
Animals that consume the carcasses of other animals that have been killed by predators or have died of other causes.
These organisms "feed" by chemically breaking down organic matter.
Animals whose diets naturally include a variety of different foods that usually include both plants and animals.
These organisms feed on detritus particles, often chewing or grinding them into even smaller pieces.
A series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten.
These organisms are most common in some aquatic food chains, where primary producers are a mixture between floating algae and attached algae
A diagram depicting the complex feeding interactions and relationships of an ecosystem.
A diverse group of small, swimming animals that feed on marine algae, krill being one example.
Each step within a food chain or web.
These show the relative amount of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a given food chain or web.
The total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level.
Through these cycles, elements pass from one organism to another and among parts of the biosphere through closed loops, which are powered by the flow of energy.
The chemical substances that an organism needs to sustain life.
In this process, bacteria convert nitrogen gas into ammonia.
In this process, nitrogen gas is released into the atmosphere, after soil bacteria converts nitrates into nitrogen gas to obtain energy.
The nutrient whose supply limits productivity.
The day-to-day condition of Earth's atmosphere.
Year-after-year patterns of temperature and precipitation exclusive to a region.
Environmental conditions that vary over small distances.
When greenhouse gases in the atmosphere allow solar radiation to enter the biosphere but slow down the loss of reradiated heat to space.
The ability to survive and reproduce under a range of environmental circumstances.
The general place where an organism lives, dependent upon a species' tolerance for environmental conditions.
The range of physical and biological conditions in which a species lives, and the way the species obtains what it needs to survive and reproduce.
Any necessity of life, such as water, nutrients, light, food, or space.
Competitive Exclusion Principle
This principle states that no two species can occupy exactly the same niche in exactly the same habitat at exactly the same time.
An interaction in which one animal (the predator) captures an feeds on another animal (the prey).
An interaction in which one animal (the herbivore) feeds on producers (such as plants).
The change in the population of a single species that, therefore, can cause dramatic changes in the structure of a community.
Any relationship in which two species live closely together.
A relationship between species in which both benefit.
A relationship in which one organism lives inside or on another organism and harms it.
A relationship in which one organism benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed.
A series of more-or-less predictable changes that occur in a community over time.
Succession that begins in an area with no remnants of an older community. I.
The first species to colonize barren areas, named after human pioneers who first settled in the wilderness.
This occurs when a disturbance affects the community without completely destroying it.
In a tropical rain forest, his is formed when tall trees create a dense, leafy covering.
This layer of a tropical rain forest is formed in the shade below a canopy, where shorter trees and vines form together.
A plant that sheds its leaves during a particular season, many are found in a tropical dry forest.
Found mainly in a temperate forest, the trees produce seed-bearing cones, and most have leaves showed like needles, which are coated in a waxy substance that helps reduce water loss.
A material formed from decaying leaves and other organic matter, found mainly in fertile soil.
This is another term for boreal forests, which are dense forests of coniferous evergreens along the northern edge of the temperate zone.
A tundra is characterized by this, a layer of permanently frozen subsoil.
The sunlit region near the surface in which photosynthesis can occur.
Located below th photic zone, where photosynthesis cannot occur.
Organisms that live on, or in, rocks and sediments on the bottoms of lakes, streams, and oceans. Their habitat is the benthic zone.
A general term that includes both phytoplankton and zooplankton.
An ecosystem in which water either covers the soil or is present at or near the surface for at least part of the year.
A special kind of wetland, formed where a river meets the sea.
The number of individuals per unit area.
The number of males and females of each age a population contains.
This may cause a population to grow, when individuals move into its range, coming from elsewhere.
This may cause a population to decrease in size, when individuals move out of the population's range.
Under ideal conditions with unlimited resources, a population will experience this type of growth.
This occurs when a population's growth slows then stops, following a period of exponential growth.
The maximum number of individuals of a particular species that a particular environment can support.
A factor that controls the growth of a population.
Density-Dependent Limiting Factors
These factors include competition, predation, herbivory, parasitism, disease, and stress from overcrowding.
Density-Independent Limiting Factors
These factors include unusual weather such as hurricanes, droughts, or floods, and natural disasters such as wildfires.
The scientific study of human populations.
A dramatic change from high birthrates and death rates to low birthrates and death rates.