Ecosystem Ecology Flashcards

trophic level
Terms Definitions
"worn away"
Extinction, emigration
biodiversity losses
Local Cycle
Phosphorus, potassium, calcium
decomposers that eat detritus
gross primary productivity: amount converted to chemical energy
Position of landmasses
influenced by climate
Food web
the interconnected feeding relationships in an ecosystem
bacteria and fungi that chemically break down tissues of dead organisms as an energy source
2nd trophic level
first level consumers (heterotrophs)
Herbivores, parasites, detritivores, decomposers
organism that makes organic carbon molecules from carbon dioxide using energy from chemical reactions. Not all life is based on light.
Trophic efficiency
the percentage of production transferred from one trophic level to the next (usually around 10%)
area where an organism lives (address)
community of organisms along with non living components in a definable area
consumers that get their energy from detritus
Salt Marshes
marine wetlands that are like freshwater but with saltwater with trees and are highly productive
Long time scales= carbon stays in rocks and sediments for eons.
B and C
subsurface horizons, have lower organic and high mineral content. (B= subsolt) (C=Weatherd parent material)
Phosphorus cycle reservoirs
the largest accumulations of phosphorus are in sedimentary rocks of marine origin; there are also large quantities of phosphorus in soils, in the oceans (in dissolved form), and in organisms; because humus and soil particles bind phosphate, the recycling of phosphorus tends to be quite localized in ecosystems
consumers that eat both plants and aminals
Ex. Cows
Primary producers
an autotroph, usually a photosynthetic organism. Autotrophs make up the trophic level of an ecosystem that ultimately supports all other levels.
ability to survive and reproduce under conditions that aren't optimal
Population Sampling
population estimate based on a small sample out of a whole
Use energy to generate body heat and so
have less energy to channel into new biomass.
Energy and nutrient dynamics
Energy flows through ecosystem, nutrients cycle within ecosystem, energy is conserved but degraded to heat
Kelp forest
Shallow-water forest of kelp that is also a rich habitat that is found in the neritic zone
Secondary production
the amount of chemical energy in consumers' food that is converted to their own new biomass during a given time period
day to day condition of the earth's atmosphere at a particular time and place
net primary production
The amount of energy accumulated in plant biomass that is available to the consumers in an ecosystem
Pyramids of production:
the amount of energy passing through each trophic level decreases as it moves up the food web.
Tropical rainforest
Cool, foggy areas can have a similarly "green" but otherwise distink biome
Carbon cycle reservoirs
the major reservoirs of carbon include fossil fuels, soils, the sediments of aquatic ecosystems, the oceans (dissolved carbon compounds), plant and animal biomass, and the atmosphere (CO2); the largest reservoir is sedimentary rocks such as liimestone; however, this pool turns over very slowly
If the producers in a particular ecosystem contain 10 000 kilocalories of energy, how much energy would be transferred to secondary consumers?
10% so 100 kilocalories
1)Nutrient availability 2) Suspended matter 3)depth 4) temperature 5)currents 6)Bottoms(substrate) characteristics 7)Connectons(or lack there of) to other aquatic or terrestrial systems
Keys factors determining lakes and ponds
Energetic hypothesis
the concept that the lenght of a food chain is limited by the inefficency of energy transfer along the chain
how do fossil fuels form?
some organic matter is buried and becomes fossil fuels.
Terrestrial nitrogen cycle key processes
the major pathway for nitrogen to enter an ecosystem is via nitrogen fixation, the conversion of N2 by bacteria to forms that can be used to synthesize nitrogenous organic compounds; some nitrogen is also fixed by lightning; nitrogen fertilizer, precipitation, and blowing dust can also provide substantial imputs of NH4+ and NO3- to ecosystems; ammonification decomposes organic nitrogen to NH4+; in nitrification, nH4+ is converted to NO3- by nitrifying bacteria; under anaerobic conditions, denitrifying bacteria use NO3- in their metabolism instead of O2, releasing N1 in a process knoon as denitrification
Effects of pollutants in aquatic habitats:
excess fertilizer can be carried in water communities cause rapid plant growth. When the plants die bacteria use up the oxygen levels in the water and many organisms can't survive.
What are the major stores of Carbon?
Organic molecules in living and dead organisms, the gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, organic matter in soil, fossil fuels and sedimentary rock, and the oceans as dissolved atmospheric carbon dioxide and calcium carbonate shells in marine organisms.
trophic level
Speciation, immigration
Biodiversity gains
(thermodynamics) a thermodynamic quantity representing the amount of energy in a system that is no longer available for doing mechanical work. loss of heat
Drought-adapted evergreen shurbs, trees, grass
Uneven heating
Causes air pressure differences=wind
accumulation of pollutants at successive levels of the food chain
secondary consumer
carnivores that eat herbivores
Secondary Succession
natural disaster wipes an ecosystem
the amount of accumulated organic matter found in an area at a given time (g/m^2).
Production efficiency
Net Secondary Production / Assimilation of NPP
Heat redistribution
Alters ocean circulation (gulf stream)
percent of solar radiation reflected by a surface (reflected by clouds or gas) (25% heat reflected)
all the different populations that live together in an area
Water Cycle
circulation of earth's water water evaporates from sea into air, then condenses and falls as rain or snow returning to sea, or returning to air
The evaporation of water from soil plus the transpiration of water from plants.
Nitrogen fixation:
gaseous Nitrogen in converted to ammonium ions that can be used by plants.
biogeochemical cycles
large cycles which cycle nutrients through both biotic and abiotic factors
Global Cycle
gaseous forms of carbon, oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen in the atmosphere
Regions of most intense heating + evaporation shifts north and south of the eequator.
Boreal forest/ Taiga
adapted to very cold winters
quarts, dimaond, ice, and metals are examples of what?
Trophic structure
the different feeding relationshipsi n an ecosystem, which determine the route of energy flow and the pattern of chemical cycling
a group of organisms that are phsically similar and can reproduce with each other to produce off spring
pioneer species
first species to populate an area
the scientific study of how organisms interact with their environment and the other organisms in that environment.
Conservation of energy
a fundamental principle stating energy cannot be created nor destroyed but only changed from one form to another
Littoral zone
Region in marine ecosystem where water is coming in and out
Chemical weathering
Removal and or alteration of specific minerals in rock
Biological magnification
a process in which retained substances become more concentrated at each higher trophic level in a food chain (toxins become more concentrated at higher trophic levels)
primary succession
succession that occurs where no soil exists (volcanic rock and ash or bare rock)
ammonia not taken up by plants may be converted to nitrite ions, which are toxic to plants, and then converted to nitrate ions, which can be taken up by plants.
Factors limiting NPP in aquatic ecosystems
light, nutrients, eutrophication (reduction of o2 conc.)
Low albedo
Reason more energy is allowed in and it gets warmer.
What are three other important fluxes in the Nitrogen cycle?
Assimilation, decomposition, and ammonification.
Pressure zones shift
What happens when the hadley cells are reduced?
Phosphorus cycle key processes
weathering of rocks gradually add PO4 3- tosoil; some leaches into groundwater and surface water and may eventually reach the sea; phosphate taken up by producers and incorporated into biological molecules may be eaten by consumers and distributed through the food web; phosphate is returned to soil or water through eitehr decomposition of biomass or excretion by consumers; because there are no significant phosphorus-containing gases, only relatively small amounts of phosphorus move thorugh teh atmostphere, usually in teh forms of dust and sea spray
Nitrogen pollution and the effects on humans:
blue baby syndrome, possible connections to birth defects and miscarriages, and may cause some cancers.
Effect of distance from mainland
near islands tend to have larger equilibrium numbers of species than far islands because immigration rates to near islands are higher and extinction rates lower
What do plants do with energy?
It is used for cellular respiration (maintenance), and stored as plant biomass (growth and reproduction).
biomass pyramid
Very shallow pond/lake
total weight of organisms
Cool air
water droplets (condensation)
competition between species= example: zebra and gazelles both compete for grass
Environment with low productivity, diversity, and resilience
Mixing so water is warm
seafloor in a marine ecosystem
organisms who produce their own food
_______ are needed in large amounts.
secondary consumers
a carnivore that eats herbivores
Soil horizons
distinctive horizontal layes that differ in physical composition, chemical composition or organic content or structure
Lakes and Podns
Bodies of permanent water
Adaptations to survive lille moisture, extreme heat and/or cold and highly episodic access to water
Vertically stratified open ocean zone with major barriers of temperature and currents . The main photosyntheetic organisms are single-celled protist
A solid, cohesive aggregate of minerals, the way it forms determines the minerals within it.
orgamisms that obtain energy by feeding on other organisms
cant make their own food
energy pyrimad
the show of energy between organisms
a breathing process in which plants and animals consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide
Trophic levels:
Primary producers >> primary consumers >> secondary consumers >>third and higher levels of consumers >> decomposer ,
actual evapotranspiration
refers to millimeters of water evaporated from an ecosystem. higher in areas of high precipitation and sunlight exposure
tertiary consumers
a carnivore that eats other carnivores
Hadley cells
convection currents 0-30 degrees north and south of the equator
Broad-leaved deciduous forest
Mid-latitude areas with plentiful rainfall but clear seasonality
Ecosystem/ecological services
goods and services provided by ecosystems, having practical benefits and economic value to humans
Species-area curve
the biodiversity pattern, first noted by alexander von humboldt, that shows that the larger the geographic area of a community is, the more species it has
a living part of the ecosystem
Ex. Prarrie Dog
way in which an organism lives interacts
process by which plants and some other organisms use light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and high-energy carbohydrates such as sugars and starches
greenhouse effect
gases trap reflected light and retain the energy
primary consumers
an herbivore; an organism that eats plants or other autotrophs
Mangrove wetlands
marine wetlands that have intrusion of mangrove trees into costal waters. (greatly reduce errossion and helps reduce energy from hurricanes)
Biological activity
Will Alter the physical environment on mylttiple scales.
temperate zone
between the polar and tropical zones; more affected by the changing angle of the sun over the course of a year
Depeletion of earths ozone layer
caused by increase in chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's)
Ecosystem ecology
the study of energy flow and the cycling of chemicals among the various biotic and abiotic components in an ecosystem
Food chain
the pathway along which food energy is transferred from trophic level to trophic level.
green world hypothesis
herbivores are held in check by a variety of producer mechanisms. Herbivores must also consume a lot of producers to sustain themselves. Explains why there's so much plant life
Water cycle key processes
the main processes driving the water cycle are evaporation of liquid water by solar energy, condensation of water vapor into clouds, and precipitation; transpiration by terrestrial plants also moves significant volumes of water into teh atmosphere; surface and groundwater flow can return wter to the oceans, completing the water cycle
1) photosynthesis consumes Co2, respiration produces it. 2)phytoplankton produce DMS 3) Ogranisms produce methane
Ways on how biology influences climate (Co2 increases in winter because plants are respiring cause they are dieing)
Terrestrial nitrogen cycle reservoirs
the main reservoir of nitrogen is the atmostphere, which is 80% nitrogen gas (N2); the otehr reservoirs are soils and the sediments of lakes, rivers, and oceans (bound nitrogen); surface water and groundwater (dissolved nitrogen); and the biomass of living organisms
Terrestrial nitrogen cycle forms available to life
plants can use two inorganic forms of nitrogen..ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-) and some organic forms, such as amino acids; various bacteria can use all these forms as well as nitrite (NO2-); animals can use only organic forms of nitrogen
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