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non-living components of an ecosystem - soil, water, minerals, weather, temperature, wind, soil, rocks, light, radiation etc.


living features of an ecosystem

biotic producers

able to capture sun's energy through photosynthesis and absorbs nutrients through the soil,

biotic consumers

unable to capture sun's energy, so they consume the producers, and
decomposers - break down organic layer to provide nutrients for growing plants ex. insects, fungi, algae, bacteria


- a biological environment consisting of all of the organisms living in a particular area. As well as all of the nonliving, physical components with which the organisms interact, such as air, water, soil, and sunlight; community of animals and plants interacting with one another & with their physical environment

ecosystem services

Benefits provided by resources and processes supplied by an ecosystem. As human population expands, these resources are becoming violated.
ex: Clean drinking water, decomposition of waste

nutrient cycle

Starts with the nutrients (producer), How nutrients move from environment to living animal, and back to environment. Producer --> Consumer --> Decomposer --> Soil --> Producer....


a group of interacting organisms sharing a populated environment.


all the organisms that both belong to the same species and live in the same geographical area.

populations producers

organisms such as plants that make their own food through photosynthesis and absorbing nutrients through the soil

populations consumers

Organisms that eat producers and cannot create their own food.


- break down dead plants/animals and their waste (ie bacteria and insects)

energy flow

- break down dead plants/animals and their waste (ie bacteria and insects)

water cycling

rain, evaporation - that whole cycle from sky to earth, etc.

direct benefits

- healthy ecosystems provide a variety of resources directly to people. Ex: Fish that are caught, plants that provide medicine, forests & trees that provide shelter and furniture.

indirect benefits

- Indirectly, ecosystems help us too. Climate regulation from shade and windbreaks, also, forests return water to the atmosphere through transpiration. Additionally, plant roots stabilize soil and increase the ability to hold water ( See powerpoint Ecosystem Services) Flood protection, controls erosion, waste breakdown in soil, recycles nutrients, water filtration (Catskill Mountain Range), air filtration


- indirect benefit, Tree's roots along riverbed hold soil together, and prevent erosion.

flood control

indirect benefit - Hurricane Katrina

climate regulation

- indirect benefit, high mountains (protecting from rain clouds, etc.) - no Trees = increased heat

supporting services

- (foundational) Producers, nutrient cycling, pollination, water cycle, SUN
They are foundational services- producers, pollinators, and cycles

provisioning services

- food, medicine, fiber, fuel, shelter - DIRECT BENEFITS

regulating services

clean air, purifying water, controlling erosion, modifying climate, detoxifying soil - INDIRECT BENEFITS

cultural services

aesthetics, sense of place, belonging, intellectual stimulation, feelings about things


- a proposed explanation for an observable phenomenon. (ex. maybe car is out of gas)


ex. Car won't start


An educated estimate of a result or reaction from an experiment.

scientific method

observation, question, hypothesis (educated guess), prediction, experiment, results (data), and conclusion (If it's wrong = create a new hypothesis, and if it's right = create a new experiment)


should be able to reproduce observations in an experiment.

predictive power

explanations can predict new observations that can be tested
Lord Kelvin estimated the temp of the earth. Very wrong. He didn't take into account radioactivity. So it threw off his prediction.


explanation doesn't appeal to supernatural. Only naturalistic explanations allowed


- things that happened in the past happen in the same way they do today.


any alteration in an organism by which it becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment. Process takes many generations, also refers to a feature which is especially important for an organism's survival.


when you get down to this classification, then nothing else is like it (very individualized). New species are created through the process of macro-evolution.

natural phenomena

- a non-artificial event in the physical sense, and therefore not produced by humans, although it may affect humans- volcanic eruptions, weather.


a scientifically acceptable principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena. Not the same thing as a scientific law, theories are only valid until proven otherwise.

genealogical classification

culturally, summary of relationship of groups of organisms, distinguishing by obvious physical traits. Family trees.

folk classification

taxonomic, eating creatures with cloven hooves or shells, those with shells, those with cloven hooves for example, all parts of the world have their own systems of naming local plants and animals, extends as far back as leviticus

modern-evolutionary classification

all based on evolution


the science of heredity w/genes

Carl Linnaeus

- set the groundwork for modern biological classification. Began grouping species according to their shared physical characteristics. He is most known for binomial nomenclature


tying them all together


simply one species

Linnaean hierarchy

Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species (acronym - King Phillip Cleaned Our Filthy Gym Shorts OR King Phillip Came Over For Great Spaghetti)


genealogy/lineage study used by the Maori people of New Zealand. Example: story of the "Sweet Potato" (kumara) Gods sent Caterpillars to destroy sweet potatoes, but this is just nature. Passed down orally.
Knowledge is encoded in a mental construct called whakapaka. Helped them understand the stories of tying together the thing in the ecosystem Used to make sense of the surrounding envir


- taking evolution out of the classroom, and only teach religion (Genesis, etc.) From Canada

intelligent design

- everything happened just like it did in Genesis. Strictly Biblical

ex nihilo creation

The idea that the universe was created from absolutely nothing, by a supreme being. Creationists believed in ex-nihilo creation.

biblical literalism

The idea that everything in the Bible was meant to be literal. i.e. Jesus, the Bread of Life, was actually a loaf of bread.

biblical exclusivity

If it ain't in the Bible, it don't exist and didn't never happen.

natural selection

- the process by which traits become more or less common in a population due to consistent effects upon the survival or reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution.


selections will act against extremes, thus average traits will have higher survival rates


one phenotype is the fittest and the population will have averages closer to that trait


: average phenotype is selected against and extreme phenotypes become more common


The process by which populations of species adapt to increase their fitness (fitness = an individuals ability to produce offspring) - this idea is generally accepted and not very controversial, small changes that occur during a smaller period of time that do not lead to a new species. this could include height or color or something like that.


- The collective result of microevolution which leads to the origin of a new species - this idea is controversial


evolution of species


(traditional ecological knowledge) the way in which native people acquire and utilize knowledge related to the ecosystem in which they live.


data collected over a period of years.


data collected at one point in time; how data is collected in Western Science

environmental assessment

assessment of the effects that a project will have on the environment. These must include the native people as they will be able to tell what the long term as well as short term effects may be.

Blog 1 Greener revolution

food, fertilization (making agricultural practices better), crop rotation, legumes, helps get nutrients back into the soil

Blog 2 Madagascar

people are destroying "protected" areas-> no money to keep those areas protected= destruction of unique biodiversity. Proposed solution= eduction to teach how to help the economy and the ecology at the same time. - ROSEWOOD - taken away, not keep a whole lot and sent out, farm land, effects of deforestation, how to fix problem = education?

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