49 terms

Friedland APES Chapter 3 Vocabulary

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Ecosystem
a location of interacting biotic and abiotic components.
Producer
an organism that uses the energy of the Sun to produce usable forms of energy
Autotroph
able to produces it's own food
Photosynthesis
process by which producers convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen
Cellular Respiration
process by which cells convert glucose and oxygen into energy, carbon dioxide, and water
Heterotrophs
can not make own food, eats other organisms
Primary Consumer
organism that must obtain energy by consuming other organisms (producers)
Secondary Consumer
carnivore that eats primary consumers
Tertiary Consumer
carnivore that eats secondary consumers.
Trophic Levels
levels in the feeding structure of organisms, higher trophic levels consume organisms from lower levels
Food Chain
sequence of consumption from producers through consumers
Food Web
complex model of how energy and matter move between trophic levels
Scavengers
carnivore that consumes dead animals
Detritivores
organism that specializes in breaking down dead plant or animal tissues
Decomposers
fungi or bacteria that recycle nutrients from dead tissues and wastes back into an ecosystem
Gross Primary Productivity
the total amount of biomass produced via photosynthesis over a given amount of time
Net Primary Productivity
the energy captured by producers in an ecosystem minus the energy producers use to live
Biomass
total mass of all living matter in a specific area
Standing Crop
the amount of biomass present in an ecosystem at a particular time
Ecological Efficiency
the proportion of consumed energy that can be passed from one trophic level to another
Trophic Pyramid
a representation of the distribution of biomass or energy among trophic levels
Biosphere
The region of out planet where life resides, the combination of all ecosystems on Earth.
Biogeochemical Cycles
the movements of matter within and between ecosystems
Hydrologic Cycle
the movement of water through the biosphere
Transpiration
the release of water from leaves during photosynthesis
Evapotranspiration
the combined amount of evaporation and transpiration.
Runoff
water that moves across the land surface and into streams and rivers
Carbon Cycle
the flow of carbon through the environment
Nitrogen Cycle
the flow of nitrogen through the environment.
Macronutrients
the six key elements that organisms need in relatively large amounts
Limiting Nutrient
a nutrient required for the growth of an organism but available in a lower quantity than other nutrients
Nitrogen Fixation
a process by which some organism can convert nitrogen gas molecules directly into ammonia
Leaching
the transportation of dissolved molecules through the soil via groundwater
Phosphorus Cycle
the flow of phosphorus through the environment
Disturbance
an event, caused by physical, chemical, or biological agents, resulting in changes in an ecosystem
Watershed
all land in a given landscape that drains into a particular stream, river, lake, or wetland
Resistance
a measure of how much a disturbance can affect flows of energy and matter in an ecosystem
Resilience
the rate at which an ecosystem returns to its original state after a disturbance
Restoration Ecology
the study and implementation of restoring damaged ecosystems
Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis
the hypothesis that ecosystems experiencing intermediate levels of disturbance are more diverse than those with high or low disturbance levels
Instrumental Value
something that has worth as an instrument or useful tool
Intrinsic Value
worth independent of any benefit it may provide to humans
Provision
a good that humans can use directly
ecotone
transitional area between two ecosystems.
nitrification
process by which certain bacteria convert ammonium to nitrates
assimilation
plants absorb inorganic nitrogen from the soil and convert it into organic molecules such as DNA/amino acids & proteins
ammonification
the formation of ammonia compounds in the soil by the action of bacteria on decaying matter
denitrification
conversion of nitrates in the soil by bacteria into nitrogen gas
combustion
the process of burning organic molecules, which produces heat an releases carbon dioxide and water