46 terms

Ch 4 Miller (18) Living in the Environment chapter

Miller LITE 17th ed chapter 4 vocabulary on biodiversity and evolution
biological diversity or biodiversity
the variety of the earth's species, or varying life-forms, the genes they contain, the ecosystems in which they live, and the ecosystem processes of energy flow and nutrient cycling that sustain all life.
ecosystem diversity
the earth's variety of deserts, grasslands, forests, mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. A major component of biodiversity.
large regions such as forests, deserts, and grasslands with distinct climates and certain species adapted to them.
a set of individuals that can mate (if they are sexually reproducing) and produce fertile offspring. Ex.: homo sapiens sapiens
mineralized or petrified replicas of skeletons, bones, teeth, shells, leaves, and seeds, or impressions of such items found in rocks.
functional diversity
the variety of processes such as energy flow and matter cycling that occur within ecosystems as species interact with one another in food chains or webs.
a study that tries to reconstruct the development of life with fossil evidence.
fossil record
the entire body of evidence gathered using fossils. It is uneven and incomplete.
theory of evolution
all species descended from earlier, ancestral species.
biological evolution or evolution
the process whereby earth's life changes over time through changes in the genetic characteristics of populations.
Darwin and Wallace
the two individuals who came up with the idea of natural selection.
natural selection
where individuals with certain traits are more likely to survive and reproduce under a particular set of environmental conditions than those without the traits.
random changes in DNA molecules of a gene in any cell that can be inherited (sex cell).
heritable trait
a trait that can be passed down from generation to generation.
agents that cause mutations. Ex.: radioactivity, X rays, some chemicals.
adaptation or adaptive trait
any heritable trait that improves the ability of an individual organism to survive and to reproduce at a higher rate than other individuals in a population under prevailing environmental conditions.
differential reproduction
enables individuals with a heritable trait to produce more surviving offspring than other members of the population produce.
tectonic plates
gigantic solid plates on the earth's surface.
genetic resistance
the ability of one or more organisms in a population to tolerate a chemical designed to kill it.
caused by sudden movement of tectonic plates.
volcanic eruptions
occur along boundaries of tectonic plates
when one species splits into two or more different species.
geographic isolation
occurs when different groups of the same species become physically isolated from one another for a long period of time.
reproductive isolation
occurs when geographically isolated populations of sexually reproducing organisms become so different in genetic makeup that they cannot produce live, fertile offspring if they are rejoined and attempt to interbreed.
a process in which an entire species ceases to exist or a population of a species becomes extinct over a large region.
endemic species
species only found in one area and are vulnerable to extinction. Ex: those species found only on islands.
background extinction
a low rate of extinction of about 1 - 5 species for each million on earth.
mass extinction
a significant rise in extinction rates above the background level.
genetic engineering
the alteration of an organism's genetic material, by adding, deleting, or changing segments of DNA to produce desireable traits or to eliminate undesireable ones.
artificial selection
where humans change the genetic characteristics of populations by crossbreeding those with desireable traits.
species richness
the number of different species present in an ecosystem. Ex.: a coral reef is high and an aspen forest is low
species diversity
the number and variety of species in an ecosystem. It is a combination of species richness and species evenness.
species evenness
the comparitive numbers of individuals of each species present in an ecosystem. Ex.: tropical forests high and aspen forest low
theory of island biogeography
the number of different species (richness) found on an island is determined by the interaction of (1) the rate at which new species immigrate and (2) the rate at which species become locally extinct.
a species' home or place where it lives.
generalist species
species that have broad niches, such as flies, cockroaches, raccoons, humans.
ecological niche or niche
a way of life for a species in a community and includes everything that affects its survival and reproduction, such as how much water and sunlight it needs, how much space it requires, what it feeds on, what feeds on it, and the temperatures it can tolerate.
native species
species that normally live and thrive in a particular ecosystem.
nonnative species, invasive, alien, or exotic species
species that migrate into, or are deliberately or accidentally introduced into an ecosystem.
specialist species
species that have narrow niches, such as giant panda, some shorebirds
indicator species
species that provide early warnings of damage to a community or an ecosystem. Ex.: Loss of seabirds on NJ shore.
keystone species
species whose roles have a large effect on the types and abundance of other species in an ecosystem. They are limited in number. Ex.: butterflies, alligators, or sharks
foundation species
a species that play a major role in shaping their communities by creating and enhancing their habitats in ways that benefit other species. Ex.: beaver, elephants, bats, birds
founder effect
occurs when a few individuals become isolated from a larger population
genetic bottleneck
a sudden reduction in the number of alleles in a population
genetic drift
A change in the gene pool of a population due to chance

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