How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

46 terms

Biology Vocab/Overview

STUDY
PLAY
Ecology
The scientific study of the interactions of organisms with their environment
Biotic Factors
all living things operating directly or indirectly to influence the lives of each other
Abiotic Factors
Non living, physical, and chemical conditions in an environment (winds, temperature, availability of water, solar energy, natural disturbances)
Population
A group of individual organisms of the same species living in a particular area
Community
The total amount of organisms that inhabit a particular area
Ecosystem
A community that includes living communities and nonliving communities living together
Biosphere
All the parts of the planet that are inhabited by living things; sum of all earth's ecosystems
Habitat
Specific environments in which organisms live (both biotic and abiotic factors included)
What are the levels of organization in the size of an ecosystem?
organism, population, community, ecosystem, biosphere
*Population Density
The number of individuals of a particular species within a population in a certain area
*Quadrat
Pop density sampling technique-
1.mark off a particular area
2.count # of a particular species within this boundary
3.repeat the procedure in several locations
4.average results to estimate pop density
*Indirect counting
sampling technique for organisms that move around-count nests, burrows, or tracks rather than the organisms themselves
*mark-recapture
1.capture animals in area and mark them
2.animals are released
3.ecologists then capture them again(1 yr later) from the population and counts the marked and unmarked individuals in the 2nd sample
Limiting Factor
physical, chemical, and biological characteristics that restrict a populations growth (space, availability of food, disease)
Exponential Growth
The population multiplies by a constant factor at constant time intervals= every number of mins, population grows at the same time without stopping. Unrealistic. a pop. increases by a fixed percent (j-shaped curve)
Population Distribution
special arrangement of organisms in one area (clumped, close, spread apart from one another)(random, uniformed, clumped)
Logistic Growth
A rapid increase for a time, followed by stabilized growth when the population reaches the carrying capacity of the environment
Carrying Capacity
The number of organisms in a population that the environment can maintain with no net increase or decrease(s-shaped curve)
Density-Dependent Factor
A factor that limits a population more as population density increases (food availability, water, space, disease, predators)
Density-Independent Factor
A factor that limits populations but are unrelated to population density (extreme weather events, hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, droughts)
Producer
Organisms that take in light energy from sunlight to make its own food and then produce chemical energy that serve as food for other organisms in an ecosystem (photosynthesis, base of food chain) PRODUCE energy
Consumer
Organisms that make its own energy by eating producers or other consumers
Decomposer
Organisms that break down wastes and dead organisms in their environment (role important for constant recycling of chemicals)
Trophic Level
The feeding level in an ecosystem
Food Chain
The pathway of food from one trophic level to another
Herbivore
A consumer that only eats producers (horse)
Carnivore
A consumer that only eats other consumers (lion)
Omnivore
A consumer that eats consumers and producers (bear)
Primary Consumer
A consumer that feeds directly on producers (insects, antelope, deer, birds that eat seeds and fruit)
Secondary Consumer
Consumer that eat primary consumers (small mammals that eat insects)
Teritary Consumers
Consumers that eat secondary consumers (snake eating mouse)
Detrius
The wastes and remains of dead organisms
Food Web
Combined food chains within ecosystems to create a pattern of feeding
Sampling Techniques
Quadrats, mark and recapture, indirect counting
Interspecific Competition
occurs between 2 species if they both require the same limited resource (food, space, mates)
Parasitism
Helpful for parasite but harmful for the host
Mutualism
When both species benefit from a relationship
Commensalism
When one organism benefits while the other is neither helped nor harmed
Competitive Exclusion
two species cannot coexist in a community if their niches are identical(if they do, they adapt different niches)
Symbiotic Relationship
A close interaction when one thing lives in or on another species
Niche
A unique living arrangement of an organism defined by its habitat, food sources, time of day its most active, and other factors
Energy Flow
not all sunlight is taken in by producers and other parts of the trophic level. they take in what they need and give back what they dont
transpiration
water loss from the leaves of trees after it precipitates and is absorbed into the ground
*food chain
stepwise flow of energy and nutrients- to herbivores, carnivores, decomposers
*food web
network of interconnecting and branching food chains-more realistic structure of ecosystem
*detritivores
decomposers(animal scavenger, fungi, prokaryotes) *all decomposers=detritvores but not all detritvores=decomposers...decomposers break stuff down, detritvores break down waste