Ecology exam 1 study guide

Ecology
The study of interactions between organisms and their environment

Irritability
Organisms responding to interactions in their environment

Autecology
Study of interactions between an individual and it’s environment

Population
All the individuals of the same species living in the same place at the same time

Population ecology
Study of environmental factors that affect population growth , stability or decline

Community
All individuals of all species living in one place at the same time

Community ecology
Study of how different species affect each other in a community

Ecosystem
All the interacting organisms living in an area and their physical environment

Ecosystem ecology
Study of how organisms affect and are affected by their physical environment

Physiological ecology
Study of physiological responses of organisms to environmental factors such as temperature, moisture, light, nutrients etc.

Behavioral ecology
Interested in behavioral aspects of interactions between organisms and environment

Evolutionary ecology
Interested in how organisms have evolved in their interactions with the environment.

Basic science
Accumulation of knowledge for its own sake to help explain the world around us

Applied science
Uses the laws of basic science to solve specific problems

Landscape ecology
Study of human impacts and disturbance on spacial patterns across the landscape

Restoration ecology
Concerned with restoration of highly disturbed ecosystems

Conservation biology
Concerned with global reduction in biological diversity

Characteristics of ecosystems
-Do not have definite boundaries
-Do not stand alone

Components of an ecosystem
-autotrophs
-heterotrophs
-dead organic matter

Autotrophs
Capture energy from solar radiation and store it in chemical bonds of organic substances

Heterotrophs
-consumers and decomposers
– consumers feed on living organisms
– decomposers feed on dead remains or detritus

C3 pathway
-Involves 3-carbon PGA intermediate compound
-requires high CO2
– stomata opened
– temperate climates

C4 Pathway
-Involves 4-carbon intermediate compound
-lower CO2 required
-stomata partially closed

Stages of decomposition
-leaching
-fragmentation
-catabolism
-mineralization
-anabolism

Leaching
Loss of soluble compounds carried away by water

Fragmentation
Physical break up of leaves and other organic matter into smaller particles

Catabolism
Chemical breakdown of large organic compounds into smaller compounds

Mineralization
Conversion of organic compounds to inorganic

Anabolism
Immobilization of inorganic nutrients in living tissues of decomposers

Adaptation
Any heritable trait that increases the fitness of an organism to live under a given set of environmental conditions

Fitness
Contribution an individual makes to the general pool of future generations

Phenotypic plasticity
Phenotypic variation in individuals with the same genotype

Limiting factors
Subset of environmental factors that determines where an organism can survive and reproduce

Acclimization
Seasonal changes in an organisms physiology or morphology resulting from long-term exposure to different environmental conditions

Homeostasis
Ability of organisms to maiantain constant conditions within their bodies

Negative feedback
Occurs when an increase in a substance or activity stops or reverses the process that lead to that increase

Climate
Long term pattern of all the weather info that describes a region

Weather
State of the atmosphere at a given place and time

Wind
The movement of air masses resulting from unequal heating of earths surface

Coriolis effect
Deflection of free moving objects, including air currents, due to earths rotation

Climate control factors
-latitude
-land vs water
-position relative to prevailing winds
-mountains
-ocean currents
-pressure belts

Orographic lifting
Air forced upward on windward slopes of mountains

Intercontinental convergence
Causes rainy climate near equatorial

Xeric microclimate
Warm, dry conditions with large temperature fluctuations

Mesic microclimate
Cool, moisture conditions with lower

Biome
Unique association of plants and animals that covers a large geographic area

Holdridge life zone
Similar to biomedical but based on climate as opposed to dominant vegetation

Capillarity
Cohesion of water molecules allows water to move up narrow tubes

Euro-transpiration
Total amount of water put back into the atmosphere due to transpiration and evaporation

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