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Biology: Ecology GUHS

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ecology
the study of living things and their environments
environment
everything that surrounds a living thing
interact
to act upon each other, action between organisms and/or their environment
community
all populations of different species that live in a certain place
ecosystem
living and nonliving things in an environment, together with their interactions
population
group of the same kind of organism (same species) living in a certain place at the same time
habitat
place where an organism lives
niche
organism's role, or job, in its habitat; what an organism does
carrying capacity
largest amount of a population that can be supported by an area
limiting factors
conditions in the environment that put limits on population size
range
area where a type of animal or plant population is found
cycle
something that happens over and over in the same way; non-ending
nitrogen-fixing bacteria
bacteria that can use nitrogen in the atmosphere to make nitrogen compounds that other organism CAN use
consumer
organisms that obtain food by eating other organisms
decomposer
organism that breaks down the wastes or remains of other organisms
producer
organism that makes its own food using either sunlight energy (photosynthetic) or chemical energy (chemosynthetic)
scavenger
animal that eats only dead organisms - a type of decomposer
energy pyramid
way of showing how energy moves through a food chain. The same pyramid can show biomass.
food chain
a series or chain of organisms showing feeding relationships. Arrow points to belly of receiver ----> going into the belly
food web
way of showing how food chains are related
climax community
last community in a succession
succession
gradual change in organisms that occurs when the environment changes
biome
large region of the earth with particular plant and animal communities and climate
climate
overall long term weather patterns in an area over a long period of time
conservation
wise use of natural resources
natural resource
materials found in nature that are used by living things
nonrenewable resource
materials found in nature that CANNOT be renewed or replaced
renewable resource
natural resouces that CAN be renewed or replaced
endangered species
kinds of living things that are in danger of dying out
pollution
release of harmful materials into the environment
biosphere
thin zone of the earth that supports all life
predator
animal that hunts and eats other animals
prey
animal hunted or caught for food
cell
basic unit of structure and function in living things
organism
any living thing
response
reaction to a change
Adaptation
trait of a living thing that helps it live in its environment
environment
Everything that surrounds a living thing
digestion
process of breaking down food so that it can be used by living things
excretion
process of getting rid of wastes
ingestion
process of taking in food
respiration
process of getting energy from food
transport
process of moving nutrients and wastes in a living thing
homeostasis
the ability of a living thing to keep conditions inside its body constant
biotic
living
abiotic
non-living
Ecosystems
All the living and non-living things that interect in an area.
Biotic Factors
Living things in an ecosystem or things that were once living
Abiotic Factors
Non-living factors including temperature, water, sunlight, wind, rocks and soil
Organisms
Any living thing
Species
Taxonomic group whose members can interbreed - reproducting to produce fertile offsprings
Population
A group of organisms of the same species populating a given area
Communities
Different populations that live together in a defined area
Habitats
Places where animals or plants naturally live and grow
Invasive Species
Species that enter new ecosystems and multiply, harming native species and their habitats. Non-native
Symbiosis
The relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent
Mutualism
A close relationship; both species benefit
Commensalism
A close relationship; one species benefits, the other doesn't benefit but isn't harmed
Parasitism
A close relationship; one species benefits, the other is harmed
Potential Niche
The entire range of resource opportunities an organism is potentially able to occupy within an ecostystem
Fundamental Niche
Niche where an organism is actually able to live
Photosynthesis
Autotrophs convert light energy into chemical energy
CO2 + H2O ---> C6H12O6 + O2
Producer
Organism that can make their own food
Consumer
Organisms that take in food material and are above producers on the energy pyramid
Herbivores
Consumers that eat only plants
Carnivores
Consumers that eat only animals
Omnivores
A consumer that eats both plants and animals
Decomposers
organisms that break down wastes and dead organisms and return raw materials to the environment
Cellular Respiration
Process that releases energy by breaking down food molecules in the presence of oxygen:
Food Chain
A series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten User-
Food Web
Shows how food chains are related within an ecosystem
Trophic Level
Organism in a food chain that represents a feeding step in the passage of energy and materials through an ecosystem
Carbon Cycle
The organic circulation of carbon from the atmosphere into organisms and back again
Nitrogen Cycle
The cycle in which nitrogen gas is changed into forms of nitrogen that plants can use
Phosphorus Cycle
The process by which phosphorus is recycled in the ecosystem
Ecological Succession
The gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem brought about by the progressive replacement of one community by another until a stable climax is established
Primary Succession
The series of changes that occur in an area where no ecosystem previously existed - Starts on bare rock
Secondary Succession
The series of changes that occur after a disturbance of an existing ecosystem - Starts on Soil
Pioneer Species
The first species to live in an area of primary succession; usually lichens (alice algae lichen freedy fungus)
Climax Community
A stable, mature community that undergoes little or no change in species over time.
Growth Rate
Rate of increase or decrease of a population
Generation Time
Average time between one generation of offspring and the next
Exponential Growth
Occurs when the individuals in a population reproduce at a constant rate
Carrying Capacity
Largest number of individuals of a population that a environment can support
Competition
Interaction in which two or more species use the same limited resource
Limiting Resource
A short supply of resources restricting the growth of a population
Reproductive Potential
Rate at which a specices can increase population
Tundra
Cold and largely treeless across northern North America
Permafrost
Permanently frozen layer of soil under the surface
Tropical Forest
Near the equator
Temperate Forest
Distinct seasons and moderate climate
Temperate Deciduous Forest
Trees lose their leaves in fall and regrow in spring
Taiga
A forested biome dominated by coniferous trees
Grasslands
Prairies, steppes, pampas, veldts; near the equator, characterized by treeless areas and tall grasses.
Desert
Rainfall less than 9.9 inches per year
Primary succession
A series of organisms changing their environment that starts on BARE rock.
Secondary succession
A series of organisms changing their environment that starts on soil.
Biomagnification
Occurs when a toxic pollutant that is not excreted accumulation in the body and appears in highist concentration at the top of the food chain. It's pyramid is upside down.
Hydrosphere
All the water on our plant: lakes, oceans, rivers, groundwater, st