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Science the Biosphere
Terms in this set (40)
is the scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, or surroundings.
contains the combined portions of the planet in which all of life exists, including land, water, and air or atmosphere
interdependence of life, dynamic, biosphere
Whether it occurs on top of a glacier or in a forest, or deep within an ocean trench, the _______________ on Earth contributes to an ever-changing, or _______, __________.
biosphere, complexity, single individual, entire biosphere
To understand relationships within the _______, ecologists ask questions about events and organisms that range in _________ from a ______________ to the _____________.
a group of organisms so similar to one another that they can breed and produce fertile offspring
groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area
assemblages of different populations that live together in a defined area
a collection of all the organisms that live in a particular place, together with their nonliving, or physical, environment.
larger systems than ecosystems. A group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities. The highest level of organization that ecologists study is the entire biosphere itself.
observing, experimenting, modeling
Regardless of the tools they use, scientists conduct modern ecological research using three basic approaches: _________, __________, and __________. All of these approaches rely on the application of scientific methods to guide ecological inquiry.
interaction, energy, life's processes
At the core of every organism's _____ with the environment is its need for ______ to power ___________________.
is the main energy source for life on Earth. Less than 1 percent- is used by living things. This seemingly small amount is enough to produce as much as 3.5 kilograms of living tissue per square meter a year in some tropical forests.
but some types of organisms rely on the energy stored in inorganic chemical compounds.
autotrophs, organic molecules, organic molecules, living tissue
Only plants, some algae, and certain bacteria can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use that energy to produce food. These organisms are called ______. They use energy from the environment to fuel the assembly of simple inorganic compounds into complex ___________. These ___________combine and recombine to produce __________.
also called autotrophs. Both types of ___________ -- those that capture energy from sunlight and those that capture chemical energy-- are essential to the flow of energy through the biosphere.
carbon dioxide, water, oxygen, energy-rich carbohydrates, photosynthesis
these autotrophs use light energy to power chemical reactions that convert _________ and ______ into ________ and __________________ such as sugars and starches. The best-known autotrophs are those that harness solar energy though ___________.
the most common of which are called cyanobacteria, are important in certain wet ecosystems such as tidal flats and salt marshes.
When organisms use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates. Is performed by several types of bacteria. Surprisingly, these bacteria represent a large proportion of living autotrophs. Some live in very remote places on Earth, but others live in more common places.
organisms that rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply they are also called consumers.
obtain energy by eating only plants.
ex: cows, caterpillars, deer
ex: snakes, dogs, owls
eat both animals and plants
ex: humans, bears, crows
feed on plant and animal remains and other dead matter, collectively called detritus
ex: mites, earthworms, snails, crabs
breaks down organic matter
ex: bacteria, fungi
one direction, producers, consumers
Energy flows through an ecosystem in _____________, from the sun or inorganic compounds to autotrophs ( _________) and then to various heterotrophs (________).
a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten.
when the feeding relationships among the various organisms in an ecosystem form a network of complex interactions, ecologists describe these relationships as a ____________. It links all the food chains in an ecosystem together.
trophic level, producers, consumers
Each step in a food chain or food web
________ makes up the first trophic level
___________ make up the second, third, or higher trophic levels
Each consumer depends on the trophic level below it for energy
the amount of energy or matter in an ecosystem can be represented by an __________________. A diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a food chain or food web.
3 types: energy pyramids, biomass pyramids, and pyramids of numbers
energy, level, energy, life processes, heat
Only part of the _____ that is stored in one trophic _____ is passed on to the next level. This is because organisms use much of the ____ that they consume for ________ such as respiration, movement, and reproduction. Some of the remaining energy is released into the environment as ____.
Only about __ percent of the energy available within one trophic level is transferred to organisms at the next trophic level.
the total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level. Usually expressed in terms of grams of organic matter per nit area. The pyramid represents the amount of potential food available for each trophic level in an ecosystem.
Ecological pyramids can also be based on the _______ of individual organisms at each trophic level.
oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen
In most organisms, more than 95 percent of the body is made up of just four elements: ____________, __________, ____________, and _________.
energy, matter, energy, matter
_____and _____move through the biosphere very differently. Unlike the one-way flow of ____, _____ is recycled within and between ecosystems.
elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to another
Matter, biosphere, matter, matter, living tissue
_____ can cycle through the _______ because biological systems do not use up _____, they transform it. The _____ is assembled into _______ or passed out of the body as waste products.
Simply put, __________ cycles pass the same _______ around again and again within the biosphere.
the process by which water changes from liquid form o an atmospheric gas
water can also enter the atmosphere by evaporating from the leaves of plants
nutrients, nutrient cycling
chemical substances that an organism is required to live with. Every living organism needs _______ to grow and carry out essential life functions. Like water, ______ are passed between organisms and the environment through biogeochemical cycles.________ also prevents many chemicals from reaching concentrations that would otherwise be toxic, or harmful, to organisms.
Three nutrient cycles play especially prominent roles in the biosphere: the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle, and the phosphorus cycle.
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