Biology vocabulary Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Unicellular
Having or consisting of only one cell.
Multicellular
Having or consisting of many cells or more than one cell to perform all vital functions.
Asexual Reproduction
A form of reproduction that does not involve meiosis, ploidy reduction or fertilization, and the offspring is a clone of the parent organism;because of no exchange of genetic material.
Sexual Reproduction
A mode of reproduction involving the fusion of female gamete (ovum) and male gamete (spermatozoon), which forms a zygote that potentially develops into genetically distinct offspring.
Homeostasis
The tendency of an organism or a cell to regulate its internal conditions, usually by a system of feedback controls, so as to stabilize health and functioning, regardless of the outside changing conditions
Evolution
The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations, which may be caused by natural selection, inbreeding, hybridization, or mutation.
Ecology
A branch of biology that deals with the distribution, abundance and interactions of living organisms at the level of communities, populations, and ecosystems, as well as at the global scale.
Decomposer
An organism whose ecological function involves the recycling of nutrients by performing the natural process of decomposition as it feeds on dead or decaying organisms.
Energy Pyramid
A graphical model that is shaped like a pyramid 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.
Trophic Levels
Positions of organisms in a food chain.
Food Chain
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.
Food Web
Many food chains linked together to show a more accurate model of all possible feeding relationships of organisms in an ecosystem.
Conservation of Matter
The principle that the total amount of energy in a closed system remains always the same, none being lost or created in any chemical or physical process or in the conversion of one kind of energy into another, within that system.
Nitrogen Fixation
The incorporation of atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia by various bacteria, catalysed by nitrogenase.
Nutrient Cycles
The circulation of nitrogen; nitrates from the soil are absorbed by plants which are eaten by animals that die and decay returning the nitrogen back to the soil.The environmental circulation of [[nitrogen, which passes through the food chain, the soil and the open air environment.
Denitrification
The conversion of nitrates into nitrogen gas which is then released into the atmosphere. This is caused by bacteria and how they obtain their energy. A small amount is converted to usable forms by lightning in a process called stmospheric nitrogen fixation.
Species
The lowest taxonomic rank, and the most basic unit or category of biological classification.
Population
A group of organisms of one species that interbreed and live in the same place at the same time (e.g. deer population).
Biotic Potential
The potential growth a population of living things can expect if it were living under ideal environmental circumstances. It is when the population just keeps on growing and growing.
Exponential Growth
A growth in which the rate is proportional to the increasing number or size in an exponential (rather than arithmetical) or logarithmic progression
Logistic Growth
Population growth in which the growth rate decreases with increasing number of individuals until it becomes zero when the population reaches a maximum.
Limiting Factors
A factor present in an environment that controls a process, particularly the growth, abundance or distribution of a population of organisms in an ecosystem.
Predation
A form of symbiotic relationship between two organisms of unlike species in which one of them acts as predator that captures and feeds on the other organism that serves as the prey.
Carrying Capacity
largest number of individuals of a particular species that can survive over long periods of time in a given enviroment, this level depends on the effect of the limiting factors
Intraspecific Competition
Competition for resources between members of the same species, compare to interspecific Competition.
Interspecific Competition
Competition for resources between members of the same species, compare to interspecific Competition.
Immigration
Migration into a place (especially migration to a country of which you are not a native in order to settle there).The body of immigrants arriving during a specified interval; the increased immigration strengthened the colony.The movement of organisms to a specific area, perhaps, for example, an upstream aquatic environment to further downstream.
Emigration
An organism or plant that leaves an environment, where it is native.
Invasive Species
An organism or plant that is introduced into a new environment, where it is not native.
Niche
1.The specific area where an organism inhabits.
2.The role or function of an organism or species in an ecosystem.
3.The interrelationship of a species with all the biotic and abiotic factors affecting it.
Mutualism
A symbiotic relationship between individuals of different species in which both individuals benefit from the association.
Symbiosis
The relationship between two different species of organisms that are interdependent; each gains benefits from the other. A relationship between different species where both of the organisms in question benefit from the presence of the other. An example is the hermit crab whose shell offers a niche for anemones to exist in which the anemone can defend the crab with its stinging capabilities.
Commensalism
A form of symbiosis between two organisms of different species in which one of them benefits from the association whereas the other is largely unaffected or not significantly harmed or benefiting from the relationship.
Parasitism
A form of symbiosis in which one organism (called parasite) benefits at the expense of another organism usually of different species (called host). The association may also lead to the injury of the host.
Community
An ecological unit composed of a group of organisms or a population of different species occupying a particular area, usually interacting with each other and their environment.
Ecosystem
A system that includes all living organisms (biotic factors) in an area as well as its physical environment (abiotic factors) functioning together as a unit.
Biotic
Pertains to a living thing (such as plant, animal, fungus, etc.) as well as its products (e.g. secretions, wastes, and remains).
Abiotic
Nonliving, as in abiotic factor, which is a nonliving physical and chemical attribute of a system, for example light, temperature, wind patterns, rocks, soil, pH, pressure, etc. in an environment.
Succession
The progressive replacement of one dominant type of species or community by another in an ecosystem until a stable climax community is established.
Ecosystem
A system that includes all living organisms (biotic factors) in an area as well as its physical environment (abiotic factors) functioning together as a unit.
Biome
A major ecological community of organisms adapted to a particular climatic or environmental condition on a large geographic area in which they occur.
Climate
The meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region.
Adaptation
The adjustment or changes in behavior, physiology, and structure of an organism to become more suited to an environment.
Tundra
A treeless area between the icecap and the tree line of Arctic regions, having a permanently frozen subsoil and supporting low-growing vegetation such as lichens, mosses, and stunted shrubs.
Biosphere
1.The part of the earth where living things exist.
2.The part of the earth (or planet) that is capable of supporting life.
3.The living things and their environment.
4. All of the ecosystems of the earth.
Biodiversity
The existence of a wide range of different types of organisms in a given place at a given time. The diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole); a high level of biodiversity is desirable.Pertaining to the diversity and frequency of organisms in a given area.
Biomagnification
The increasing concentration of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in the tissues of organisms at successively higher levels in a food chain. Organisms at the top of the food chain generally suffer greater harm from a persistent toxin or pollutant than those at lower levels.
Acid Rain
Precipitation containing acids that form in the atmosphere when industrial gas emissions (especially sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) combine with water.Biologically harmful precipitation, mostly caused by pollutants released by human activity. The pollutants are released into the atmosphere and then return to ground level within the rain droplets, dramatically altering the ph of the land on which it falls upon.This is an example of an abiotic Factor at work, where the dramatic change in ph can have a dramatic effect on some species within the area, which can in turn have a knock on effect on the rest of the ecosystem.
Ozone Depletion
Destruction of the upper atmospheric layer of ozone gas, caused by substances formed from breakdown of ozone depleting substances.
Global Warming
The recent increase in the Earth's average atmospheric temperature due to an increase in the levels of greenhouse gases.
Over-Harvesting
An extreme use of some important areas like wetlands that damages them to the detriment of other animals, including humans. Most wetlands that are destroyed by overuse could potentially be a source of drinking water, as well as housing a thriving and diverse ecosystem that is not always immediately plain to the human eye.
Competitive Exclusion Principle
The principle that when two species compete for the same critical resources within an environment, one of them will eventually outcompete and displace the other. The displaced species may become locally extinct, by either migration or death, or it may adapt to a sufficiently distinct niche within the environment so that it continues to coexist noncompetitively with the displacing species.
Taiga
A subarctic, evergreen coniferous forest of northern Eurasia located just south of the tundra and dominated by firs and spruces.
Desert
A dry, often sandy region of little rainfall, extreme temperatures, and sparse vegetation.
Grassland
An area, such as a prairie or meadow, of grass or grasslike vegetation.
Temperate Forest
Forests in the mild climate zones.
Tropical Rainforest
Dense forest of evergreen trees growing in regions of heavy year-round rainfall in tropical latitudes and warm temperate latitudes.
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