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Ecology Exam 1
Terms in this set (195)
The scientific study of the abundance and distribution of organisms in relation to other organisms and environmental conditions.
Biological entities that have their own internal processes and interact with their external surroundings.
A living being; the most fundamental unit of ecology.
A group of organisms that interbreed with each other and produce fertile offspring.
Individuals of the same species living in a particular area.
All populations of species living together in a particular area.
One or more communities of living organisms interacting with their nonliving physical and chemical environments.
All the ecosystems on Earth.
Emphasizes the way in which an individual's morphology, physiology, and behavior enable it to survive in its environment.
A characteristic of an organism that makes it well suited to its environment.
Emphasizes variation over time and space in the number, the density, and the composition of individuals.
Emphasizes the diversity and relative abundances of different kinds of organisms living together in the same place.
Emphasizes the storage and transfer of energy and matter, including the various chemical elements essential to life.
Concerned with the largest scale, including movements of air and water—and the energy and chemical elements they contain—over Earth's surface.
Law of conservation of matter
Matter cannot be created or destroyed; it can only change form.
Law of conservation of energy
— Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only change form.
Also known as the first law of thermodynamics.
Dynamic steady state
When the gains and losses of ecological systems are in balance.
An attribute of an organism, such as its behavior, morphology, or physiology.
The set of genes an organism carries.
Change in the genetic composition of a population over time.
The frequency of genes in a population can change because some phenotypes increase the chances for survival and reproduction.
The survival and reproduction of an individual
rapid increase in the growth of algae in aquatic habitats, typically due to an influx of nutrients.
An organism that uses photosynthesis to convert solar energy into organic compounds or uses chemosynthesis to convert chemical energy into organic compounds. Also known as Autotroph.
An organism that obtains its energy from other organisms. Also known as Heterotroph.
An organism that obtains its energy from more than one source.
An organism that kills and partially or entirely consumes another individual.
An organism that lives within and consumes the tissues of a living host, eventually killing it.
Organisms that live and feed in or on another organism, while rarely killing their hosts.
Parasite that causes disease in its host.
An organism that consumes producers such as plants and algae.
An interaction resulting in negative effects between two species that depend on the same limiting resource to survive, grow, and reproduce.
An interaction between two species in which each species receives benefits from the other.
•The outcome of interactions between two species
An interaction in which two species live in close association and one species receives a benefit, while the other experiences neither a benefit nor a cost.
When two different types of organisms live in a close physical relationship.
An organism that consumes dead animals.
An organism that feeds on dead organic matter and waste products that are collectively known as detritus.
Organisms that break down dead organic material into simpler elements and compounds that can be recycled through the ecosystem.
The place, or physical setting, in which an organism lives.
The range of abiotic and biotic conditions an organism can tolerate.
No two species have the same niche because each has unique phenotypes that determine the conditions it can tolerate.
The Scientific Method
An approach to hypothesis testing that relies on natural variation in the environment.
A representation of a system with a set of equations that correspond to hypothesized relationships among the system's components.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
A molecule composed of two strands of nucleotides that are wound together into a shape known as a double helix.
Compact structures consisting of long strands of DNA that are wound around proteins.
Different forms of a particular gene.
When a single trait is affected by several genes.
When a single gene affects multiple traits.
When the expression of one gene is controlled by another gene.
When an individual has two different alleles of a particular gene.
When an individual has two identical alleles of a particular gene.
When two alleles both contribute to the phenotype.
An allele that masks the expression of the other allele of given gene.
An allele whose expression is masked by the presence of another allele.
The collection of alleles from all individuals in a population.
The combination of alleles in a given gamete could be any combination of those possessed by the diploid parent.
A random change in the sequence of nucleotides in regions of DNA that either comprise a gene or control the expression of a gene.
The reshuffling of genes that can occur as DNA is copied during meiosis and chromosomes exchange genetic material.
A process that occurs when genetic variation is lost because of random variation in mating, mortality, fecundity, and inheritance.
A reduction of genetic diversity in a population due to a large reduction in population size.
When a small number of individuals leave a large population to colonize a new area and bring with them only a small amount of genetic variation.
The process by which certain phenotypes are favored to survive and reproduce over other phenotypes.
When individuals with intermediate phenotypes have higher survival and reproductive success than those with extreme phenotypes.
When individuals with an extreme phenotype experience higher fitness than the average phenotype of the population.
When individuals with either extreme phenotype experience higher fitness than individuals with an intermediate phenotype.
Strength of selection
The difference between the mean of the phenotypic distribution before selection and the mean after selection, measure in units of standard deviations.
The proportion of the total phenotypic variation that is caused by genetic variation.
The evolution of populations.
Selection in which humans decide which individuals will breed and the breeding is done with a preconceived goal for the traits of the population.
Industrial activities cause habitats to become darker due to pollution and, as a result, individuals possessing darker phenotypes are favored by selection.
Evolution at higher levels of organization, including species, genera, families, orders, and phyla.
The evolution of new species.
Hypothesized patterns of relatedness among different groups such as populations, species, or genera.
The evolution of new species through the process of geographic isolation.
The evolution of new species without geographic isolation.
A species that contains three or more sets of chromosomes.
A measure of water's potential energy.
The potential energy generated by the attractive forces between water molecules and soil particles. Also known as Matrix potential
The maximum amount of water held by soil particles against the force of gravity.
The water potential at which most plants can no longer retrieve water from the soil, which is about -1.5 MPa.
The process of repeated irrigation, which causes increased soil salinity.
The mutual attraction among water molecules.
When osmotic potential in the roots of a plant draws in water from the soil and forces it into the xylem elements.
The process by which leaves can generate water potential as water evaporates from the surfaces of leaf cells into the air spaces within the leaves.
The mechanism of water movement from roots to leaves due to water cohesion and water tension.
Small openings on the surface of leaves, which serve as the points of entry for CO2 and exit points for water vapor.
Water Movement in Plants by Cohesion and Tension
Energy from the Sun, packaged in small particle-like units called photons.
Wavelengths in between infrared and ultraviolet radiation that are visible to the human eye.
Photosynthetically active region
Wavelengths of light that are suitable for photosynthesis.
Specialized cell organelles found in photosynthetic organisms.
Rubisco = RuBp carboxylase-oxidase
An enzyme involved in photosynthesis that catalyzes the reaction of RuBP and CO2 to form two molecules of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (G3P). Also known as rubisco.
The most common photosynthetic pathway, in which CO2 is initially assimilated into a three-carbon compound, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (G3P).
The oxidation of carbohydrates to CO2 and H2O by rubisco, which reverses the light reactions of photosynthesis.
A photosynthetic pathway in which CO2 is initially assimilated into a four-carbon compound, oxaloacetic acid (OAA).
High light and dry conditions
Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM)
A photosynthetic pathway in which the initial assimilation of carbon into a four-carbon compound occurs at night.
An organism's ability to maintain constant internal conditions in the face of a varying external environment.
The action of internal response mechanisms that restores a system to a desired state, or set point, when the system deviates from that state.
A factor that causes other variables to change.
A factor that is being changed.
A variable that can take on any numeric value, including values that are not whole numbers.
A variable that falls into a distinct category or grouping. Also known as nominal variable.
The emission of electromagnetic energy by a surface.
The transfer of the kinetic energy of heat between substances that are in contact with one another.
The transfer of heat by the movement of liquids and gases.
Sources of Heat Gain and Loss
The transformation of water from a liquid to a gaseous state with the input of heat energy.
The resistance to a change in temperature due to a large body volume.
The ability of an organism to control the temperature of its body.
An organism that maintains constant temperature conditions within its cells.
An organism that does not have constant body temperatures.
An organism with a body temperature that is largely determined by its external environment.
An organism that can generate sufficient metabolic heat to raise its body temperature higher than the external environment.
An adaptation that allows specific blood vessels to shut off so less of an animal's warm blood flows to the cold extremities.
The thickness of a fluid that causes objects to encounter resistance as they move through it.
Atoms or groups of atoms that carry an electrically charge.
The upper limit of solubility in water.
The concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution.
A measure of acidity or alkalinity; defined as pH = -log [H+].
Acids deposited as rain and snow or as gases and particles that attach to the surfaces of plants, soil, and water.
Also known as Acid rain
A dissolved substance
A membrane that allows only particular molecules to pass through.
The movement of ions and small molecules through a membrane along a concentration gradient, from a location with many solutes to a location with few solutes.
The movement of molecules or ions through a membrane against a concentration gradient.
The movement of water across a semi permeable membrane.
The force with which an aqueous solution attracts water by osmosis.
The mechanisms that organisms use to maintain proper solute balance.
When an organism has a higher solute concentration in its tissues than the surrounding water.
When an organism has a lower solute concentration in its tissues than the surrounding water.
Sample standard deviation
A statistic that provides a standardized way of measuring how widely data are spread from the mean.
Standard error of the mean
A measurement of variation in data that takes into account the number of replicates that were used to measure the standard deviation.
Bicarbonate ion (HCO3-)
An anion formed by the dissociation of carbonic acid.
Carbonate ion (CO32-)
An anion formed by the dissociation of carbonic acid.
A region of unstirred air or water that surrounds the surface of an object.
Movement of two fluids in opposite directions on either side of a barrier through which heat or dissolved substances are exchanged.
Movement of two fluids in the same direction on either side of a barrier through which heat or dissolved substances are exchanged.
Without oxygen. Also known as Anoxic
The ratio of the rate of a physiological process at one temperature to its rate at a temperature 10°C cooler.
Discharging water that is too hot to sustain aquatic species.
A chemical that prevents the hydrogen bonds of water from coming together to form ice unless the temperatures are well below freezing.
A group of compounds that can be used to lower the freezing temperature of water.
A process in which glycoproteins in the blood impede ice formation by coating any ice crystals that begin to form.
The narrow range of environmental conditions to which an organism is best suited.
The range of temperatures within which organisms perform best.
Different forms of an enzyme that catalyze a given reaction.
Loss of color in corals as a result of the corals expelling their symbiotic algae.
Temporal environmental variation
The description of how environmental conditions change over time.
The variation in temperature and precipitation over periods of hours or days.
The typical atmospheric conditions that occur throughout the year, measured over many years.
A situation in which a given phenotype experiences higher fitness in one environment, whereas other phenotypes experience higher fitness in other environments.
The ability of a single genotype to produce multiple phenotypes.
An environmentally induced change in an individual's physiology.
An individual that produces both male and female gametes.
The decrease in fitness caused by mattings between close relatives due to offspring inheriting deleterious (harmful) alleles from both the egg and the sperm.
A specific location within a habitat that typically differs in environmental conditions from other parts of the habitat.
The seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.
A condition in which organisms dramatically reduce their metabolic processes.
A type of dormancy that occurs in mammals in which individuals reduce the energetic costs of being active by lowering their heart rate and decreasing their body temperature.
A brief period of dormancy that occurs in birds and mammals in which individuals reduce their activity and their body temperature.
A type of dormancy in insects that is associated with a period of unfavorable environmental conditions.
A statistical description of how one variable changes in relation to another variable.
The shutting down of metabolic processes during the summer in response to hot or dry conditions.
Optimal foraging theory
A model describing foraging behavior that provides the best balance between the costs and benefits of different foraging strategies.
Central place foraging
Foraging behavior in which acquired food is brought to a central place, such as a nest with young.
Foraging behavior that is influenced by the presence of predators.
The amount of time that a predator takes to consume a captured prey.
The process of solar radiation striking Earth, being converted to infrared radiation, and being absorbed and re-emitted by atmospheric gases.
The fraction of solar energy reflected by an object.
The latitude receiving the most direct rays of the Sun.
A statistical tool that determines whether there is a relationship between two variables and that also describes the nature of that relationship.
Atmospheric convection currents
The circulations of air between the surface of Earth and the atmosphere.
The limit of the amount of water vapor the air can contain.
Latent heat release
When water vapor is converted back to liquid, water releases energy in the form of heat
Adiabatic cooling and heating
The cooling effect of reduced pressure on air as it rises higher in the atmosphere and expands.
The heating effect of increased pressure on air as it sinks toward the surface of Earth and decreases in volume.
The deflection of an object's path due to the rotation of Earth.
A region with dry conditions found on the leeward side of a mountain range as a result of humid winds from the ocean, causing precipitation on the windward side.
A climate characterized by warm temperatures and high precipitation, occurring in regions near the equator.
A climate characterized by low precipitation and a wide range of temperatures, commonly found at approximately 30° N and 30° S latitudes.
Moist subtropical mid-latitude climate
A climate characterized by warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters.
Moist continental mid-latitude climate
A climate that exists at the interior of continents and is typically characterized by warm summers, cold winters, and moderate amounts of precipitation.
a climate that experiences very cold temperatures and relatively little precipitation.
The layer of chemically and biologically altered material that overlies bedrock or other unaltered material at Earth's surface.
Soil Horizons order
O, A, E, B, C, R
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The layer of bedrock that underlies soil and plays a major role in determining the type of soil that will form above it.
A distinct layer of soil.
A process in which groundwater removes some substances by dissolving them and moving them down through the soil to lower layers
The physical and chemical alteration of rock material near Earth's surface
Cation exchange capacity
The ability of a soil to retain cations.
A process occurring in acidic soils typical of cool, moist regions, where clay particles break down in the E horizon, and their soluble ions are transported down to the lower B horizon
The breakdown of clay particles, which results in the leaching of silicon from the soil, leaving oxides of iron and aluminum to predominate throughout the soil profile.
Global climate change
A phenomenon that refers to changes in Earth's climates, including global warming, changes in the global distribution of precipitation and temperature, changes in the intensity of storms, and altered ocean circulation.
A phenomenon whereby layers of soil are permanently frozen
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