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Topic 4 - Ecology
Terms in this set (83)
The non-living physical and chemical attributes of a system, for example light or temperature in an environment
An organism that uses solar energy or chemical energy to manufacture the organic compounds it needs as nutrients from simple inorganic compounds obtained from its environment
Attributes to an ecosystem that refer to living organisms
A statistical test of of the fit between a theoretical frequency distribution and a frequency distribution of observed data for which each of observation may fall into one of the several classes
Formed by populations of different species living together and interacting with each other
Heterotrophs that feed on living organisms by digestion
When members of different species breed together
Heterotrophs that obtain organic nutrients from detritus by external digestion.
Community of different species interacting with each other and with the chemical and physical factors making up the non-living environment.
An organism that gets its organic nutrients by feeding on autotrophs or other heterotrophs.
Inorganic nutrients chemical elements, compounds, and other substances necessary to sustain life processes that are not chemically carbon-based.
When two members of the same species mate and produce offspring
An experimental tool that brings a small part of the natural environment under controlled conditions.
A group of organisms of the same species who live in the same area at the same time.
Square or rectangular plot of land, a quadrant, marked off at random to isolate a sample and determine the percentage of vegetation and animals occurring within the marked area.
A number chosen by a random sampling from a table or generated by a computer.
Heterotrophs that obtain organic nutrients from dead organisms by external digestion.
Groups of organisms that can potentially interbreed to produce fertile offspring.
Communities that are capable of being maintained at a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage.
Also know as producer its an organism that is able to form nutritional organic substances from simple inorganic substances such as carbon dioxide.
The total mass of living matter within a given unit of environmental area, expressed in terms of living or dry weight per unit area.
A series of metabolic processes that take place within a cell in which biochemical energy is produced from organic substances and stored as energy carriers (ATP) for use in the energy-requiring activities
of the cell.
Energy released from a substance, or absorbed in the formation of a chemical compound, during a chemical reaction.
A system that includes all biotic factors (living organisms) in an area as well as its abiotic factors (physical environment) functioning together as a unit.
the movement of energy around an ecosystem by biotic and abiotic means.
The name given to an organism that feeds on the producer in a food chain. For example, a goat is considered a first order consumer since it eats green plants.
A feeding hierarchy in which organisms in an ecosystem are grouped into trophic (nutritional) levels and are shown in a succession to represent the flow of food energy and the feeding relationships between them.
An organism that obtains carbon by feeding on the organic material present in other organisms, living or dead.
The energy produced or given off directly from the sun causing the growth of plants and the existence of most life forms.
The process in green plants and certain other organisms by which carbohydrates are synthesised from carbon dioxide and water using light as an energy source.
Also known as autotroph is an organism that is able to form nutritional organic substances from simple inorganic substances such as carbon dioxide.
Pyramids of energy
a graphical model to show how the energy flows through a food chain, how the amount of energy is decreasing and becoming less available for organisms as it enters each trophic level, and how much of the energy in the ecosystem is lost to the atmosphere as heat.
an organism that feeds on primary consumers
the position in a food chain occupied by a group of organisms with similar feeding modes.
occur in the absence of oxygen or do not require oxygen to live. For example, anaerobic bacteria produce energy from food molecules without the presence of oxygen.
organisms that use solar energy or chemical energy to manufacture the organic compounds they need as nutrients from simple inorganic compounds obtained from their environment.
the total mass of living matter within a given unit of environmental area.
any of a large group of organic compounds, including sugars and polysaccharides, such as cellulose, glycogen, and starch, that contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with the general formula (CH2O)n. They are an important source of food and energy for animals.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
a colourless, odourless, incombustible gas present in the atmosphere and formed during respiration, the decomposition and combustion of organic compounds, and in the reaction of acids with carbonates.
the flow of carbon from one carbon pool to another.
a series of metabolic processes that take place within a cell in which biochemical energy is produced from organic substances and stored in ATP for use in the energy-requiring activities of the cell.
Fossilised organic matter
when remains of organisms of a past geologic age have been preserved in a fossil form.
equivalent to a one billion tonnes.
a sedimentary rock consisting mainly of calcium carbonate, deposited as the calcareous remains of marine animals or chemically precipitated from the sea.
an odourless, colourless, flammable gas. It is the major constituent of natural gas, which is used as a fuel, and is an important source of hydrogen and a wide variety of organic compounds.
a compact, brownish deposit of partially decomposed vegetable matter saturated with water, it found in uplands and bogs in temperate and cold regions and used as a fuel.
a soil that is soaked or saturated with water.
a collection of tiny solid or liquid particles in the atmosphere that can come from natural sources (such as wildfires) or people's activities (such as burning fossil fuels). Some aerosols make the atmosphere warmer because they absorb energy. Others have a cooling effect because they reflect sunlight back into space.
a type of fuel produced from plants or other forms of biomass. Examples of biofuels include ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas.
material that comes from living things, including trees, crops, grasses, and animals and animal waste. Some kinds of biomass, such as wood and biofuels, can be burned to produce energy.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
a colourless, odourless greenhouse gas produced naturally when dead animals or plants decay. It is used by plants during photosynthesis. People are adding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, mostly by burning fossil fuels.
a significant change in the Earth's climate, including changes in weather patterns, the oceans, ice and snow, and ecosystems around the world.
the average weather conditions in a particular location or region at a particular time of the year. Climate is usually measured over a period of 30 years or more.
a marine ridge or reef consisting of coral and other organic material consolidated into limestone.
a type of fuel created over millions of years as dead plant and animal material becomes trapped and buried in layers of rock, and then heat and pressure transform this material into a fuel deep within the Earth. Examples of fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas.
the increase in temperature near the surface of the Earth as a result of natural causes. However, the term is most often used to refer to recent and on-going warming caused by people's activities.
natural or man-made gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases.
a type of electromagnetic radiation. The Earth gives off energy in the form of infrared radiation, which is not visible to the naked eye and feels like heat to the human body.
Long wave radiation
(infrared light) radiation emitted in the spectral wavelength greater than 4 µm corresponding to the radiation emitted from the Earth and atmosphere.
a colourless, odourless greenhouse gas that occurs both naturally and as a result of people's activities. Methane is produced by the decay of plants, animals, and waste, as well as other processes.
Nitrous oxide (NOx)
a colourless, odourless greenhouse gas that occurs both naturally and as a result of people's activities. Major sources include farming practices (such as using fertilizers) that add extra nitrogen to the soil, burning fossil fuels, and certain industrial processes.
a gas made up of three atoms of oxygen bonded together. High in the atmosphere, ozone naturally shields the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation and closer to the Earth's surface is a pollutant that is formed by other pollutants that react with each other. Ozone is also a greenhouse gas.
energy that travels in the form of a particle or a wave and exists in many different forms, such as electromagnetic radiation, X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, infrared radiation, and visible light.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
a type of electromagnetic radiation, not visible to the naked eye that is produced by the sun. Most UV radiation is blocked by ozone high in the Earth's atmosphere, but some of it reaches the Earth's surface and can lead to skin cancer and eye damage.
Water vapour (H2O)
water that is present in the atmosphere as a gas, and as a greenhouse gas it plays an important role in the natural greenhouse effect
Species are groups of organisms that can potentially interbreed to produce fertile offspring
- species: a group of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring
- Interbreed: when two members of the same specie produce offspring
-Crossbreed: members of different species breed often producing an infertile offspring
Members of a species may be reproductively isolated in separate population.
-Population: a group of organisms of the same species who live in the same area at the same time.
- If they can interbreed and produce fertile offspring but are founding two different populations they are still considered to be part of the same specie
Species have either an autotrophic or heterotrophic method of nutrition (a few species have both methods)
-autotrophic: are organisms that synthesize their organic molecules from simple inorganic substances in order to make their own nutrient --> self feeding (plants)
-heterotrophic: are organisms that obtain organic molecules from other organisms --> feeding from others (animals such as bats)
-In only few instances there are cases in which both are used such as Euglena Gracilis that is able when provided with enough light to carry out photosynthesis but can also feed on small organisms
Consumers are heterotrophs that feed on living organisms by ingestion
- Consumers are animals that feed off other organisms that are either alive or have been dead for a relatively short time
- this organisms need to ingest their food: multicellular organisms do it through the digestive system, unicellular through endocytosis
-They are divided into trophic groups: primary consumers eat autotroph, secondary eat primary and so on
Saprotrophs are heterotrophs that obtain organic nutrients from dead organic matter by external digestion
Also known as decomposers as they digest their nutrition externally by breaking carbon compounds and then absorbing it.
Detrivores are heterotrophs that obtain organic matter from detritus by internal digestion
- dead matter can be used as a source of nutrition for both detrivores and saprotrophs.
- they ingest their food and absorb and digest the food internally
A community is formed by populations of different species's living together and interacting with each other
- are used to benefit each other or benefit one special and harm the other for long term survival
A community forums an ecosystem by it's interactions with the abiotic environment
- they depend on non-living surroundings
- organisms and their surrounding have interactions that can benefit the both
Autotrophs and heterotrophs obtain inorganic nutrients from the abiotic environment
- for survival autotrophs and heterotrophs need chemical elements such as carbon hydrogen and oxygen to make carbohydrates, lipids and other carbon compounds on which life is based, nitrogen and phosphorus and fifteen other elements.
The supply of inorganic nutrients is maintained by nutrient cycling
There are limited supplies of nutrients on earth but they have been recycling it as many take them from the environment and then return them unchanged.
Ecosystems have the potential to be sustainable over long periods of time
An ecosystem is sustainable if
- nutrients are available
- if there is a way in which you can get rid of waste products
- and there are always sources of energy available
Most ecosystems rely on a supply of energy from sunlight
- these organisms are often referred to as producers.
-heterotrophs do not directly dependent on but but rather independently. All energy in the carbon compounds are harvested by photosynthesis in producers.
Chemical energy in carbon compounds flows through food chains by means of feeding
- food chain: is a sequence of organisms each of which feeds on the previous one.
-Chemical energy: occurs when sunlight through photosynthesis converts light energy to chemical energy.
- there're usually between 2-5 organisms in a food chain
-producers are always the first organisms as they do not obtain food from other organisms, and Then we have primary consumers secondary consumers and so on.
-arrows in a food chain indicate the direction of energy flow.
Energy losses between trophic levels restrict the length of food chains and the biomass of higher trophic levels
- biomass: is the total mass of a group of organisms it consists of the cells and tissues of those organisms
-there is a trend in which the energy added to biomass by each successive trophic level is less
- most of the energy is lost through the digestion and absorption of nutrients the restoration for activities and released as heat
-at times organisms are not fully eaten and therefore Energy is lost
- not all parts of organisms are digested and absorbed many of them are egested in feces. Energy in feces does not pass on along the food chain.
Carbon dioxide diffuses from the atmosphere or water into autotrophs
- autotrophs use carbon dioxide in the production of carbon compounds by photosynthesis,
-this reduces the concentration of carbon dioxide in autotrophs and set up a concentration gradient between cells in autotrophs and the atmosphere or water around
Environments in which organic matter is not fully decomposed.
- Peat: peat are a dark brown acid material that is found in waterlogged soils ( environments in which the water was't able to drain out) and form when organic matter is not fully decomposed. This environment it becomes anaerobic causing saprotrophs too not be able to thrive in these conditions.
- Coal: It is formed when deposits of peat are buried under sediments.This occurs when the peats are compressed and heated which leads them to gradually turning in to coal.
- Oil and natural gas: are formed in the mud found at the bottom of lakes and oceans due to the fact that conditions are sisal aerobic and so composition is usually incomplete. With the accumulation of more mud and other sediments a climate change occurs which produces a mixture of liquid carbon compounds or gases —> crude oil and natural gases
- Limestone: involves animals that have body parts composed of calcium carbonate such as mollusk cells and hard corals that build reefs. When these animals die the soft part dissolves fairly quick while the hard part when fount in neutral or alkaline conditions it remains stable and forms as a fossil too.
Greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide and water vapor are the most significant greenhouse gases.
- greenhouse gases I guess is that I found in the atmosphere the retain heat causing the earth to be much warmer than it should be
-carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere by cell respiration living organisms as well as combustion of biomass. It is removed by photosynthesis and dissolving in the ocean.
-water vapor is formed by evaporation from the oceans and transpiration in plants. It is removed by rainfall and snow
-methane is emitted by waterlogged habitats and from landfill sites where organic wastes have been dumped. It is released during extraction of fossil fuels and for melting ice in polar regions
- nitrous oxide is released naturally by bacteria and by agriculture and vehicle exhausts
The impact of a gas depends on its ability to absorb long wave radiation as well as on its concentration in the atmosphere
- how are readily gas absorbs long wave radiation
-the concentration of the death in the atmosphere which depends on the rate at which it is released in the atmosphere and how long on average remains there.
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