Ecology Exam Flashcards

Terms Definitions
cold blooded
MutualismCommensalismParasitism 2 organisms work together
Largest of natures "houses"
vast, distinct, recognizable associations of life - it is an array of plants and animals within a broad geographic area brought about by distinctive climatic conditions (i.e. tropical rain forest)
Unconsolidated geological material that has undergone physical, chemical, and biological weathering, and is a medium for plant growth.50-90% of material of plants comes from the soil; plant matter 99% of living mass on earth
relationship where both organisms benefit
assemblages of different populations that live together in a defined area
asymbiotic relationship where one species benefits and the other is unaffected
from the order chiroptera-bats
155 species
larger bats that feed on fruits, nectar
Population Survival
Size, Density and Dispersion
environmental heterogeneity
refuges, hazards, stresses, opportunities for organisms depend on its body size
hold leaves up toward the sun
What's a first level consumer?
omnivores, herbivores
the practical application of science to commerce or industry
Biotic factor
biological influence on organisms within an ecosystem.
an environment in which organisms adapt to and make nesting sites
Those in the same age class
Obtain engergy by only eating plants.(Cows, deer, caterpillars.)
organisms whose shortest dimension is greater than or equal to 0.5 mm
Territorial males without territory is without a mate
A symbiotic relationship between two organisms of different species in which one derives some benefit while the other is unaffected
organisms that take energy from the sun and use it to make complex organic molecules (carbohydrates)
Secondary Succession
Where there has been previous growth.
wide rage (tiger occupies all of asia)
more even = more diverse, combine richness and evenness
energy, biomass, and numbers
three ecological pyramids include
tropic level
each step of the food chain
looking at individuals across all age classes at one time
geographic distribution
the natural arrangements of animals and plants in particular regions or districts.
Food Web
Network of complex interactions formed by the feeding relationships among the various organisms in an ecosystems.
Super organism View(Clement)
Relative permanent harmonious and stable climax community
The major reservoir for phosphorus is ___
expansive areas of the Artic
20% of Earth's land surface
precipitation averages 20-60 cm/year
long cold winters and short cool summers
mosses, grasses, forbs, dwarf shrubs, lichens
climate change, mineral and oil extraction
Numerical data for which only certain values are possible.
What caused population to skyrocket-
Agriculture Industry More reliable food supply Better sanitation Advances in medication
periodic cycles
-the period between successive highs or lows is remarkably regular in some populations
-variation in population dynamics tends to leave its ark on the age structure of a population... and changing age structure can affect the rate of population growth.
-can be caused by time delays
localized group of individuals of the same species that can interbreed producing fertile offspring
cultural K
The carrying capacity of an environment for a species, taking into account interactions with humans. Could also be called the species density which the human population will tolerate.
A group of interacting individuals of a single species inhabiting a specific area
Gene Pool
the frequency or % of different alleles
animals that feed on animals that have already died
pyramids of energy
show relative amounts of energy available at different trophic levels
change of the physical state of matter from gaseous into liquid
Ecology -
study of interaction of living and non-living world
logistic growth
growth pattern in which a population's growth rate slows or stops following a period of exponential growth
What is countershading?
When organisms have light undersides and dark backs.
a group of orginisms so similar they can breed
Abiotic factors
non living things that affect the environment
ex) climate, soil type, periodic disturbances, etc.
Primary production
The amount of solar energy converted to chemical energyCarried out by producersProduces biomass
solar equator
-area of earth that lies directly benearth sun's zenith
-reaches 23.5N on June 21(summer solstice) and 23.5S on Dec21 (winter solstice)
The amount of water drawn from the soil by plant transpiration and by direct evaporation.
Why does succession occur?
Changing conditions favor different species that alter the environment for other species and the changing environment affects the organisms competitive abilities.
food chains
a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
what are the three primary methods that move water though the water cycle?
evaporation, condensation, transpiration
population distribution
how a population is spread over an area
How much of the potential energy in an organism is passed to the next trophic level?
Trophic Level
Each step in food chain or food web.
Carrying Capacity
the limit to the number of individuals that can occupy a habitat
littoral zone
area of coastal zone affected by wave action
Landscape model
-a population model that goes a step beyond the metapopulation model by considering the effects of differences in habitat quality within the habitat matrix.
-habitat matrix also influences the movement of individuals from one subpopulation to another. Clearly, some travel routes are more attractive that others because of the habitat types encountered along the way
-also considers high/low quality habitat (as does source-sink model)
Density / Resource Relationship
Decrease in diversity the more resources
Presence of Herbivores
Can lower overall nitrogen content in soil
an animal or plant that lives in or on a host (another animal or plant)

What is ammensalism? Provide example and describe effects on the interacting species.

Ammensalism : occurs when one species hurts another, but does not benefit from this interaction. (-/0 relationship)
E.g. as wild pigs forage they often disturb the upper layer of soil and many organisms may be taken from their burrows and exposed to predation by the action of the pigs.  The harm that the burrowers suffer does not improve the pig’s situation at all
maximum sustainable yield:
Species harvested at a rate equal to the annual growth rate Ñ production of new individuals just offsets the mortality represented by harvest
ion exchange capacity
ability of ions to bind to soil particles

What is resource partitioning and how does this relate to the realized niche?

Resource partitioning is when two species partition [divide] a resource based on behavioral or morphological variation.  In this way, one species does not out-compete the other and coexistence is obtained through the differentiation of their realized ecological niches.
A population at its equilibrium point will remain there until perturbed by ..
some outside influence.. either a 
1)change int he carrying cpaacity (K)
2)a catastrophic change in population size

Be able to define the concept of community

An association of interacting populations usually defined by the nature of their interaction or by the place in which they live. E.g. Sagebrush community, pond community.  Community structure and function are manifestations of a complex array of interactions directly or indirectly tying all members of a community together into intricate web
What is the formula for Population Growth?
(Births - Deaths) + (Immigration - emigration)
What's the geographic mosaic of coevolution?
The same spp. can be coevolving in fundamentally different ways in different places
What happens to energy as it moves from level in the food chain to the next?
Energy is lost as it moves from level in teh food chain to the next.Only abuot 10% of the energy from one level moves onto the next.
Figure 9.5
Oxygen depleted waters.
plants and algae
pop is shrinking
morphological adaptations
changes of form
no longer in existence
a community and its abiotic
Aphotic (benthic) Zone
Below light penetration.
Several interacting populations that inhabit a common environment and are interdependent
other living factors are called:
le feu de forêt
forest fire
___________ and mosquito habitat control were used to mass reduce YF
are microscopic, single celled organisms that usually have cell walls and reproduce by dividing in half
large geographic areas that have similar climates and ecosystems.
biotic factors
living parts of an ecosystem
type of trees that produce seed-bearing cones
climate regions with too little rainfall to support a forest. have grasses as the main vegetation
What is another words for homeotherms?
Exploitative Competition
Deprive others of resources, consumptive and preemptive
migration from a place (especially migration from your native country in order to settle in another)
gives green color to plants leaves
the most common pattern of dispersal
aspects of surroundings which affect an organism
density independent
limiting factor that occurs independently of the population denisty; natural disasters and extremes of climate
Scientific Study of how organisms interact with one another and the environment
Tertiary Consumer
An organism that eats secondary consumers
animal that hunts and eats other animals
genetic drift
random changes in allele frequencies due to random variation in survival/ reproductive success. happens in small populations
secondary consumers
eat primary consumer; are carnivores; ex: frogs and small fish
Clumped Distribution
Individuals are aggregated in patches or groups; ex. school of fish or pride of lions
What conditions are necessary for natural selection to take place?
Individual Variation
organism that get energy by breaking down the wastes or remains of other organisms
(ecology) the status of an organism within its environment and community (affecting its survival as a species)
Organism that obtains energy by eating both plants and animals
An organism which gets its nutrients and energy by ingesting other organisms or parts of them.
- change in any attribute of population over time
- adaptive characteristcs, phenotypes
- changes in frequency of individual genes in population from generation to generation
- occurs in demes
- caused by random events in the environment (flood, drought)
An organism that obtains energy by consuming energy-rich organic compounds from other organisms.
change in gene frequencies in a population over time
body temp varies directly with envio temp
The likelihood of an area being required to achieve specified conservation targets or, conversely, the likelihood of one or more targets not being achieved if the area is not included.
Biogeochemical cycle
process in which elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to another
levels off
at higher densities growth slows and
local extinction, which occurs when a species ceases to exist in one area but still exists elsewhere in the world
a mixture of gases (especially oxygen) required for breathing; the region above the ground.
Water Cycle
the continuous process by which water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere and back
any animal that feeds chiefly on grass and other plants
global ecology
Examines how the regional exchange of energy and material influences the functioning and distribution of organisms across the biosphere.
Municipal solid waste
Waste produced by households and business
Density Dependent
factors whose effects vary as a function of population density
The input of energy and nutrients from outside the ecosystem.
Species Diversity
Number of different species and their relative abundances in a given area.
Carbon Cycle-In
By photosynthesis and plant & animal consumption
Dynamic Equilibrium
Any system with constant change in which the components can adjust to the changes without disturbing the entire system.
Biotic Potential
The maximum growth rate of a population given unlimited resources, unlimited space, and lack of competition or predators.
Exponential growth
Occurs when the individuals in a population reproduce at a constant level
carbon cycle
the basis of this is photosynthesis and respiration
mussels, fish, plants, birds
organisms that disperse at young
Water changes from a liquid to an atmospheric gas(in plants called transpiration)
Results of Acid Rain
-Slows soil decomposition
-leaches Ca from the soil
-less species diversity
-decreases N cycling
-increases solubility of toxic metals
population dynamics
study of short and long-term changes in the size and age composition of populations
an organism that is killed and eaten by another organism
Cold blooded animals use ___ % of their assimilated material for maintenance
eutrophication of lakes
sewage & manuer: ↑ nutrients: ↑ algae → weeds: shallow areas → ↓ photosynthetic organisms → 1) organic material ↑, depth ↓ and 2) detritivores ↑: O₂ ↓ → more fish die: O₂ ↓ →→ LAKE DISAPPEARS!
Lotka-Volterra Competition Model
A modified form of the logistic equation used to model competition.
population density
how many individuals are in a certain area
intertidal zone
an area along ocean shorelines that is repeatedly covered and uncovered by ocean tides
Example of biosphere
all living and nonliving factors on Earth.
Soil erosion
Wearing away of surface soil by water and wind.
polar zones
cold areas where the sun rays strike earth at low angles
Oceanic zone
in the ocean beyond neritic zone and past the continental shelves, deep
diurnal rhythm
changes in schedule based on 24 hour clock; active and resting phases
pure science
study of activity thAT seek answers to questions about how the world works
competitive exclusion principle
if 2 species compete for the same limited resource one will inevitabley be elimited
Primary consumer or 1st consumer( Herbivores)
Eat Producers(plants) Ex: Rabbits, Grasshoppers, Deer. some birds. These animals have a long digestive tract because plants are hard to digest.
"Decision Rules" in Optimal Foraging Theory
-concentrate foraging in most productive patches
-stay with patch until profitability falls where energy gains no longer exceed usage
-leave patch once it has been reduced to a low energy level
-ignore patches of low productivity
What is the bottleneck effect?
drastic reduction in population and gene pool size (survivors only)
death rate
the ratio of deaths in an area to the population of that area
sun rays are low angles
the earths polar zones are cold because
Metabolic rate changes. Examples are: little brown bat, jumping mouse, and woodchuck.
What is hibernation and list examples in Maine.
Assuming that their average population growth rates and all other factors are equal, which of the following populations would most likely be at risk for extinction?
A small population with high variation in its growth rate
dividing the num. of inviduals by unit area
how do we calculate population density
In the non living portion of the water cycle water vapor in the...
atmosphere condenses and falls to the Earth's surface as rain or snow.
Fourier's law
Selective Pressure
eats only animals
most poikilotherms are also..
break down organic matter
Biotic environment
all living organisms
everything in an ecosytem is______________
Heterotrophs, eat things for food
no vascular system, fertilization accomplished externally
secondary compds; essenial for survival
driest biome with nonexsistant plantlife;very hot
reciprocal of resistance. allows energy movement across energy gradient
nonobligatory mutualism
most are nonobligatory and opportunistic
widely involved in seed dispersal, pollination
animals that eat meat of flesh
the gradual, sequential regrowth of species in an area
protective resemblance
to resemble closely, to imitate
organisms that make their own food
j-shaped growth curve indicates what?
exponential growth
Greenhouse Effect
Carbon dioxide, methane, other greenhouse gases trap heat in earth's atmosphere. Burning of fossil fuels has increased carbon dioxide in air - Earth's temperature could rise in the future, melting polar ice caps, changing climate
Ivory Billed Woodpecker
Extinct. Loss of habitat.
the process where autotrophs use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates
Having physical attributes that help you blend into your surroundings so predators overlook you
a nutrient rich, oxygen poor lake having a high rate of biological productivity
The layer of water which covers seventy five percent of the earths surface.
the second trophic level is?
herbivores (primary consumers)
Transition area from river to sea. Salmarsh grasses and algae are major producers. Heterotrophs include worms, claims, predatory crustaceans. Oil pollution has disrupted this area
gross primary production
solar energy assimilated by plants
on occassion, some animals do behave in ways that reduce their individual fitness but increase the fitness of other individuals int eh population
Limiting factors for population
Density-dependent factors influenced by size of population (disease, competition), density-independent factors not influenced by pop (weather, habitat, food)
The movement of individuals away from centers of high population density or from their area of origin
an organism that makes its own food
tropical forest
(1) CLIMATE: variable rainfall, wet and dry seasons, high amounts of light because of equatorial location, (2) FLORA: high number of tree species covered with epiphytes, (3) FAUNA: unusually high number of species compared to other biomes
habitat fragmentation
the separation of wilderness areas from other wilderness areas
random movement in response to a stimuli
a symbiotic relationship in which one member is benefited and the second is neither harmed nor benefited
r max
a species-specific intrinsic rate of increase and reflects the maximum per capita rate of increase under "ideal" conditions
The average number of births per individual in a population, usually tracked through females only.
have a significant effect on; the amount of sunlight reaching an area, local temp, rainfall
animals that are capable of generating sufficient amounts of heat energy to maintain a high core temperature by metabolic means
a stable particle with positive charge equal to the negative charge of an electron
a species that grow exponentially whe environmental conditions allow them to reproduce
Critical Day Length
Photoperiod below which short-day plants flower.
to lose leaves in the Fall seasons
Iteroparity trout/steelhead
offspring are produced multiple times during a lifetime; energy is spred out; timing importantearly reproduction, less growth, lower surviroship, more childrenlate; more growth greater surviroship, less children; favored by unstable non predictable environments
slow but steady rate of water flow (more water than bogs)
dominated by grasses, sedges, reeds
lots of light, oxygen and nutrients- high productivity
Bee orchids
resemble the bees that pollinate them. Male bees think the flower is a female, land on it in an attempt to copulate; the bee then gets covered with the flower's pollen, which he then carries to the next flower. This ensures cross-pollination
When two species use the same resource, they are in:
a Competition
Standing-Water Ecosystems
Lakes and ponds are the most common.
Phosphorus Cycle
The process by which phosphorus is recycled in the ecosystem
dirt, rocks, water, air, soil
Example of non-living things:
primary succession
a type of ecological succession that occurs in a virtually lifeless area, where there were originally no organisms and where soil has not yet formed
O2 concentration
highly dependent on temp, mixing with surface water
the growth of cities and the migration of people into them
Rain shadows
More moisture on windward sides of mountains than leeward
Potential evapotranspiration (PET)
A crude measure of available environmental energy. Measures the amount of water that, under prevailing conditions, would evaporate or be transpired from a saturated surface.
Trophic levels
The hierarchical levels of the food chain through which energy flows from primary producers to primary consumers, secondary consumers and so on.
food chain
series of steps in an ecesystem; organisms tranfer energy by eating and being eaten
Pioneer Organisms
The first organisms to inhabit an area
vapour pressure deficit
The difference between the actual water vapour pressure and the saturation water vapour pressure at a particular temperature.
Level of a landscape
Heterogenous land area composed of interacting ecosystems.
a body of knowledge based on the study of nature
Numerical response
change in size of a population of predators in response to the change of density of prey
Cohort (dynamic)
group of individuals of the same age class (rare)
net primary productivity
the rate at which biomass accumulates in an ecosystem
limiting factor
factor that causes the growth of a population to decrease
Batesian mimicry
the model is distasteful, the mimic is not
hydrologic (water) cycle
pathway of water from the atmosphere to Earth's surface, below ground, and back; how everything gets its water, each biome has its own cycle
Exponential population growth
The increase of quantity (x) with time (t) according to the equation x = ka^t
sink (nutrient cycles)
pool with a net import (pool is increasing)
"take from a SOURCE; fill up a SINK"
net assimilation rate (NAR)
assimilation of new tissuse per unit leaf area
How much c02 is added per year per person
1 ton
1st law of Thermodynamics
-No energy can be created nor destroyed
What are the 3 main types of spatial dispersion?
Clumped, uniform, random
What are three ways to estimate the size of a population?
count all individuals, trap-mark-release, and sample counts
Exponential growth occurs when
the population grows by a fixed % each year; continuous reproduction w/ constant growth rate;
Why do males often not provide parental care even through the survival of their offspring (and assoc. DNA) is at issue?
1. potential loss of offspring is greater for a male than female
2. reliability of paternity
3. extensive investment in securing female
4. females are often in best position to assist the offspring once it is born
what does an energy pyramid show?
how much energy you get from an animal when you eat it
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