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Ecological Engineering Exam 1
Terms in this set (100)
the design of sustainable ecosystems that integrate human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both
The scientific study of the processes influencing the distribution and abundance of organisms,the interactions between organisms, and the transformation and flux of energy and matter
3 challenges that motivate ecological engineers
Population growth (9 billion by 2050)
•Pollution, water quality & quantity
•Global-scale land degradation, loss of biodiversity and habitat
•Climate change, NR energy supply
2 goals of ecological engineering are
1."The restoration of ecosystems that have been substantially disturbed by human activities..." (FIX)
2."The development of new sustainable ecosystems that have both human and ecological value" (DESIGN/BUILD)
4 types of ecosystem services
Provisioning, Regulating, Cultural, Supporting
Provisioning ecosystem service includes
food, water, timber, fuel
Regulating ecosystem service includes
flood control, disease control, air quality
Cultural ecosystem service includes
spiritual, recreation, educational, cultural heritage
Supporting ecosystem service includes
soil formation, nutrient and water cycling, habitat provisioning
Coined the word ecosystem
Howard T Odum
Coined the term ecological engineering
the property of ecosystems (and systems in general) to organize themselves in an unstable and heterogeneous environment...to evolve diversity and resilience (contrast with imposed organization)
-letting nature take its course giving rise to diversity
Ecological engineering emphasizes...the need to consider the entire ecosystem [or process]
5 principles of ecological engineering
1. It is the based on the self-designing capacity of ecosystems
2.It can be the acid test of ecological theories
3.It relies on system approaches
4.It conserves non-renewable energy sources
5.It supports biological conservation
3 variables you could measure to assess the success of the Kissimmee River Restoration efforts?
-Biotic (distribution of organisms)
-Ecosystem services (e.g. pollution reduction)
Pollution reduction, ground water recharge rate increasing, peaks and average flows of the river
A spatially explicit unit of the Earth that includes all of the organisms (biota), along with all components of the abiotic environment within its boundaries
-Defined by discontinuities or gradients in environmental conditions and a shift in biotic communities.
-Neighboring ecosystems experience flows of organisms, materials, and energy across the shared boundary.
•Inorganic and organic compounds
-Humic acids, cellulose, etc.
-Some bacteria •Consumers (heterotrophs)
-Microconsumers: small heterotrophs, bacteria and fungi that break down organic compounds (i.e., decomposers)
energy source: light
carbon source: CO2
energy source: light
carbon source: organic compounds (other organisms)
energy source: chemical
carbon source: CO2
energy source: chemical
carbon source: organic compounds (other organisms)
Holistic vs. reductionist approach to ecology:
•Ecosystems are complex and exhibit emergent properties
•Focuses on interactions within and between ecological systems
•Concerned with the way ecosystem function is influenced by human interventions
Clement's view on ecological succession
-Distinct Developmental Stages
-Progression of stages deterministic
-Predictable climax community dictated by local soil and climate conditions, there is an overall super organism, the individual species doesnt matter that much
Gleason's view on ecological succession
Communities are haphazard associations of organisms that are adapted to local environmental conditions
-The presence /absence of a species is independent of others
-Species differences matter. Individual species do matter
Population: group of interbreeding individuals of the same species
•Population size, density
•Birth and death rates
•Growth and dispersal
Community: assemblage of species in a defined area or ecosystem
Ecosystem: all biotic and abiotic components of a system
•Movement and cycling of energy and matter (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus)
•Trophic dynamics and food webs
-source of ecosystem services (and thus changes in biodiversity can affect ecosystem service supply)
-key to sustaining services despite environmental fluctuations by maintaining multiple species that can perform the same functions (i.e. species redundancy)
Mechanisms that influence genetic diversity?
1. Non-random mating patterns in which one organism chooses to mate with another based on certain traits (sexual reproduction only)
2. Genetic drift in which random fluctuations occur in the number of alleles in a population
3. Distribution in which populations in one area of an organism's range experience different climatic or environmental conditions, shifting allele frequency
4. Migration, the movement of individuals into or out of a population, can change relative allele frequencies
number of unique species you come across
number of different species and relative abundance (even-ness) of each species
- sum up number of species / by proportional abundance
within a particular area or ecosystem, usually expressed by the number of species (i.e., species richness)
Beta - diversity between systems (# species unique to one or more different ecosystems within a region)
multiple species that can perform the same functions
What maintains biodiversity?
-Competitive exclusion: principle predicts that all but the best competitor will eventually be eliminated
-Niche differences: can cause a species to limit the number of individuals of its own species more than it limits individuals of its competitor
Body Size and Metabolic Rate
-Smaller body = lower metabolic rate
-Small-bodied organisms have higher mass specific metabolic rates than larger animals
-This controls their population sizes, growth rates, ranges, size of colonies etc.
temp and metabolic rate
-is a bell curve, low temp is bad for metabolism, then there is optimum, and then it is too hot and you cant maintain metabolic rate
Production of organic compounds (biomass) from inorganic C
Biomass generation by heterotrophs (assimilation of organic carbon)
Conversion of bio-chemical energy from nutrients to ATP + waste (amount of CO2 lost)
Gross Primary Production (GPP)
CO2 fixed during photosynthesis. fixed by autotrophs
Net Primary Production (NPP)
•CO2 fixed by autotrophs - CO2 respired by autotrophs (plant cellular respiration)
•NPP = GPP - R (autotrophs)
Net Ecosystem Production (NEP)
•CO2 fixed by autotrophs - CO2 respired by all organisms
•NEP = GPP - (R (autotrophs) + R (heterotrophs))
Decomposition is the process of...
organic --> inorganic matter (mineralization)
who are decomposers?
-Microfauna & microflora: bacteria and fungi; nematodes, protozoa
-Mesofauna: mites, potworms
-Megafauna: earthworms, snails, crabs
How are alleles related to biodiversity?
Alleles are what determine genetic diversity. An allele is an alternative form of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on the chromosome. If the allele is different on a chromosome, this creates a different trait in the organism
List the 6 possible hydrologic inflows and outflows of a system's water budget
in flow: precipitation, surface water, runoff, groundwater, outflow: evapotranspiration, surface water, ground water
Why are autotrophs also referred to as primary producers?
An autotroph is an organism that can produce its own food using light, water, carbon dioxide, etc. Since they produce their own foods at the start of the cycle, they are also referred to as primary producers. Primary producers are critical to holding up the cycles
Distinguish between the surficial aquifer, confined aquifer, and unsaturated (vadose) zone.
a. Surficial Aquifer: shallow aquifer that consist of unconsolidated sand enclosed by layers of limestone, sandstone or clay. Water is commonly extracted for urban use. Replenished from streams and from precipitation. Susceptible to contamination. Groundwater continuously moves along the hydraulic gradient
b.Confined Aquifer: deeper under the ground than unconfined aquifers. They are overlain by relatively impermeable rock or clay that limits groundwater movement into or out of the confined aquifer.
c.Unsaturated zone: portion of the subsurface above the groundwater table. Not a source of readily available water for human consumption but has water and nutrients that are vital to the biosphere. Strongly affects the rate of aquifer recharge
T/F: Decomposers are heterotrophs
-heterotrophs are consumers
T/F: The phosphorus cycle is consider a mineral cycle.
T/F: Vegetation can affect soil nutrient availability.
T/F: Autotrophs produce but do not need oxygen.
T/F: There is a gaseous process in the nitrogen cycle but not in the phosphorus cycle.
T/F: Net ecosystem productivity is equivalent to net carbon accumulation.
T/F: Water security in Florida is very high
Distinguish between PET and actual ET.
-ET: Is water transferred from soil or open water by evaporation plus water removed from the soil by plant transpiration
-PET: is the potential evapotranspiration- the amount of evaporation that would occur if a sufficient water source were available.
-The difference is the that actual evapotranspiration is the quantity of water that is actually removed from a surface due to the processes of evaporation and transpiration.
What below ecosystem has the lowest NPP per area?
a. Tropical rainforest
b. Open Ocean
c. Coral Reef
Soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) is key water quality parameter because it is often the limiting nutrient in inland water bodies. What does SRP refer to?
Dissolved inorganic phosphorus
A heterotroph that eats autotrophs is a called
An autotroph that eats other autotrophs is called
-This does not exist
Give two examples of ecosystem impacts (consequences) from human actions and possible actions for restoration.
a.Overpopulation---> introduce new trees/wetlands/replant, recycle
b.Global warming---> carbon sequestration, clean/renewable energy
Put in order from highest to lowest in terms of grams of Carbon/m^2/yr: GPP, NEP, NPP
GPP, NPP, NEP
is the process by which nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium N are taken up by plants.
Are the species of assimilation organic or inorganic
is the process by which ammonia is converted to nitrites and nitrates.
Does nitrification occur in aerobic or anaerobic zones?
is the process by which nitrate is converted to nitrogen gas (N2) by anaerobic bacteria.
Does denitrification occur in aerobic or anaerobic zones?
What is the primary source of nitrogen used in fertilizers used today?
What are the components of ET?
Water transferred from soil or open water by evaporation plus water removed from the soil by plant transpiration
Why do plants transpire?
a. Evaporative cooling
b. Nutrient transport/uptake
c. CO2 uptake
d. Water uptake
What are the climatological driving forces of ET?
b. Temperature--> energy
c. Humidity--> capacity of air to receive ET
d. Wind--> "Flushing Rate"
What factors control runoff?
a.Soils --> infiltration rate
Which produces more runoff (choose one for each line below)?
a.sandy soils or clayey soils?
b.forested watersheds or urban watersheds?
What are the three main drivers of the global Carbon cycle?
a.Biological Processes: P&R
b.CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and oceans
Aerobic respiration produces more or less energy per mole C respired than anaerobic?
Aerobic respiration produces more energy per mole C than anaerobic
How does ocean acidification work? Why is it bad for shell-forming organisms?
ocean acidification is about the carbon cycle, we have more CO2 in the atmosphere in that gaseous state, which is going into the ocean which drives biogeochemical reactions and it releases H ions in the water and it makes it very acidic. The shell's have to pump ionic gradients to maintain their shells.
What are the major sources of anthropogenic CO2?
b.Burning of fossil fuels
Name three things that cause climate change on the order of years to millennia.
a.Changes in greenhouse gases
b.Changes in Earth's orbit
Cite three ways that climate change is likely to affect Florida.
a.Sea level rise
b.Increasing temperatures mean increasing frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme weather events that will affect public health, energy, agriculture, etc
c.Decreased water availability
Explain the species area curve:
As area is increasing in ha, the species is increasing. When the species area curve starts to level out, that is where you have accounted for all the species that will be found in that given area plot.
why do we see more species as we cover more area??? - niche
Give two reasons why the flow coming out of the artesian well (or a spring) would be reduced or stop completely due to human activities.
flow is coming out of the artesian well. Developing or building on the recharge area, over pumping: another well getting water that depletes the ground water
Briefly explain Liebig's Law of the Minimum and how it relates to eutrophication.
-There is a barel, the dfferent slats in the barel represent different elements: nitrogen, phosphorus.... Represents relative concentrations in the ecosystem. The importance of this law is substrates for organisms, the concentration that is the lowest will determine how productive your ecosystem is. In eutrophication: we are adding too many nutrients to the environment. There are too many elements in the barel, you're altering which elements are limiting to productivity to the environment.
How are nutrient limitation and pollution related?
In a prestine situation (maine salt marshes) co limitation by nitrogen and phosphorus, co limiting productivity. when you add a lot of nutrients to the system it can become like a pollutant because of all the cascading effects.
How does the speed of biogeochemical cycles affect ecosystem productivity?
phosphorus, nitrogen, water, oxygen cycles.
how could nitrogen affect productivity: creates uptake for plants, need nitrogen in soil through nitrification, in organic forms(nitrate, nitrite). this controls productivity of ecosystem
phosphorus: need mineral and inorganic forms for ecosystem productivity
carbon cycle: affects productivity by carbon being fixed or released. it is dependent on cycling of carbon (photosynthesis and respiration)
-productivity is mediated by each one of these elements
dissolved in organic forms of phosphorus for plants to pick up, they need these elements in basic forms
Which of the following ecosystem service results from P/R>1 (i.e., NEP>0)?
b. Groundwater Recharge
c. Flood Abatement
d. Carbon Sequestration
P/R= photosynthesis/ respiration
P/R > 1 is carbon cycling
Answer: Carbon Sequestration
Food cycles and pyramid of numbers
Ecosystem is an energy transforming system, energy flux through trophics levels
2 ways systems can be organized are
Rigid top down control and self organization
2 concepts modern ecology is based on
Species of plants/animals form natural association
Organisms are linked directly and indirectly by their feeding relationships
Well defined ecosystem
Strong interactions among its componentes and weak interaction sacrosanct bouderies
Both the production of services from each area and the flow of material between areas
Physical factors that control decomposition
Temp, soil moisture/ water availability, oxygen availability
Primary production of marine systems is limited by ___ while primary production of fresh water systems is limited by ____
Availability of ____ plays a critical role in controlling transformation rates of a nitrogen species
Production of biofuels requires ____ than the productions of fossil fuels
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