27 terms

Chapter Two - Ecosystems: What They Are

a dynamic complex of plant, animal and microogranism communities and the nonliving environmental interacting as a functional unit within an explicit space.
of or relating to living organisms
nonliving, chemical and physical factors
formation of ecosystems
The abiotic factors predict the climate, which affects the biotic factors that live in the ecosystem
biomass pyramid
structure obtained when comparing biomass of producers, herbivores & carnivores
ecological footprint
concept for measuring demand on earth's resources to satisfy human consumption and waster absorption - measured in acreage
food chain
transfer of energy and nutrients through organisms as they feed on each other
the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole)
tropic categories
producers, consumers and detritus feeders/decomposers
capture energy from the sun
consume their energy. primary consumers feed on producers, secondary consumers feed on primary consumers
detritus feeders & decomposers
dead plant or animal material that certain animals feed on.
range of tolerance
the entire span that allows any growth at all
optimum condition
a certain level at which the organisms do best
limits of tolerance
the points at the high and low ends of the range of tolerance
zones of stress
between the optimal range and the high or low limit of tolerance
limiting factor
a factor that limits growth
tundra, coniferous forests, temperate forests, grassland, tropical rainforests, desert
little rainfall, extensive root system, animals adapt to having less water, extreme temperature changes
plants have little time to grow, large mammals, low temperatures, small roots, low rainfall
seasonal low rainfall, rich soils, height of grass depends on plants, good farmland
Coniferous Forest
low temperature, low rainfall, needle trees able to handle cold
Tropical Rainforest
High rainfall, warm weather, canopies (no life on forest floor), species live in the trees
Temperate Forest
trees have broad leaves, rainfall depends, low sunlight, fog
Two Laws of Sustainability
energy flow & nutrient recycling
Energy flows & efficiency
energy in ecosystems flow in one direction (need renewable resources). Higher up the biomass pyramid the more energy needed
Nutrient Recycling
recycling matter prevents accumulation of wastes & guarantees ecosystems will not run out of essential elements