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functional, ecological, genetic, and species diversity

name the 4 major components of biodiversity

biological evolution

the process whereby earth's life changes overtime through changes in the genes of populations

natural selection

this occurs when some individuals of a population have genetically based traits that enhance their ability to survive and produce offspring with the same traits


mineralized or petrified replicas of skeletons, bones, teeth, shells, leaves, and seeds, or impressions of such items found in rocks

gene splicing (genetic engineering)

the alteration of an organism's genetic material through adding, deleting, or changing segments of its DNA

adaptive trait (adaptation)

any heritable trait that enables an individual organism to survive through natural selection and the reproduce more than other individuals under prevailing environmental conditions

differential reproduction

enables individuals with the trait to leave more offspring than other members of the population leave

biological evolution

genes mutate, individuals are selected, and populations evolve that are better adapted to survive and reproduce under existing environmental conditions

adapt, migrate,become extinct

when environment changes a population of species can

tectonic plates

huge flows of molten rock within the earth's interior break its surface into a series of gigantic solid plates


when two species arise from one

geographic isolation

occurs when different groups of the same population of species become physically isolated from one another for long periods of time

reproductive isolation

long term geo-graphic separation of members of a particular sexually reproducing species


when an entire species cease to exist

endemic species

species that are found in only one area

background extinction

when species disappear at a low rate

mass extinction

a significant rise in extinction rates above the background level

species diversity

an important characteristic of a community and the ecosystem to which it belongs

species richness

the number of different species it contains

species evenness

the relative abundance of individuals within each of those species

(ecological) niche

the role that a species plays in its ecosystem

generalist species

broad niches, they can live in many different places, eat a variety of foods, and often tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions (ex: raccoons)

specialist species

occupy narrow niches, they may be able to only live in one type of habitat, use one or few types of food, or tolerate a narrow range of climatic and other environmental conditions (ex:panda)

indicator species

species that provide early warnings of damage to a community or an ecosystem

keystone species

species that have large effect on the types and abundances of other species in an ecosystem

foundation species

species that play a major role in shaping communities by creating and enhancing their habitats in ways that benefit other species


random changes in the structure of number of DNA molecules in a cell that can be inherited by offspring

geographic isolation, reproductive isolation

two types of mechanisms of speciation

4.5 BYA

The earth is formed from the collision of countless meteors in the young solar system. The planet's surface is an ocean of molton rock


Rodinia, the first supercontinent is formed by the collision of all the earth's continents

300 MYA

the continents converge again to form the supercontinent pangea. Huge insects, amphibians, and reptiles begin to live on land.

250 MYA

huge volcanic eruptions cause the extinction of 95% of living species

65 MYA

an enormous meteor lands in mexico. In combination with large-scale volcanic eruptions, this event creates a huge dust cloud that causes the dinosaurs and 70% of all species on Earth to become extinct


the earth was formed 4.5 BYA by collisions of millions of _______

molton ocean

4.5 BYA the earth looked like a...


4.0 BYA (to 3.4 BYA) the ocean was _____ because of the increasing amount of iron in the seas


3.4 BYA what new type of rock creating protoplanets began forming?


stromatolites lived off sunlight and filled the atmosphere with


layered rocks that form when certain prokaryotes bind thin films of sediment together, dated as far as 3.4 bya, increased oxygen levels in the atmosphere


once iron left the water, the oceans turned from green to ....
(1.9-1.5 BYA)

continental drift

The gradual movement of the continents across the earth's surface through geological time. Alfred wegener developed this in the early 1900


during WWII maps of the ocean floor made ____ boundaries noticeable

oceanic plates

Plates that lie primarily beneath the oceans and move downwards (escalator or conveyer belt)

continental plates

lithospheric plates including land that move upwards

snowball earth

The formation of the 1st supercontinent, Rodinia, triggered...

cambrian explosion

Occured when life forms evolved and multiplied 630-550 MYA

higher diversity, bigger size

what type of changes and adaptations have occurred with the living species at 630-550 MYA


after all the volcanic activity a new supercontinent formed 240 MYA when dinosaurs ruled

warm blooded

the dinosaurs were so big because they were ____ ______

180 MYA

volcanic eruptions occurred as the supercontinent Pangaea split apart starting to form today's continents. In addition, global warming experienced a 500% increase in CO2 resulting in tropical rainforests with oxygen rich environments (and food)


large crater in Yucatan, Mexico. Some believe it impacted the site that resulted in the demise of the dinosaurs

Africa and Europe

the collision between which continents form the Alps?


another sign of evidence of glaciers seen in NY central park are _____ on rock outcrops


it is widely believed that we are in a gap between...


when populations of two (+) different species interact in this way over such a long period of time, changes in the gene pool of one species can lead to changes in the gene pool of the other species. Such changes can help both sides to become more competitive or can help to avoid or reduce competition. This process is called...

interspecific competition

occurs when members of two or more species interact to gain access to the same limited resources such as food, light, or space


occurs when a member of one species (the predator) feeds directly on all or part of a member of another species (the prey)


occurs when one organism (the parasite) feeds on the body of, or the energy used by, another organism (the host) usually by living on or in the host


an interaction that benefits both species by providing each with food, shelter, or come other resource


an interaction that benefits one species but has little if any effect on the other

evolutionary divergence

When one "general" species changes through evolution to produce a variety of different types of that specific species.

resource partitioning

The division of environmental resources by coexisting species such that the niche of each species differs by one or more significant factors from the niches of all coexisting species

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