Ecology Study Guide

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Define ecology
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Study of interactions that take place between organisms and their environments.
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organisms
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lowest form of speisification
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populations
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made of organiams
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communities
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made of populations
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biosphere
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made of ecosystems
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ecosystems
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made of communities
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Producers
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Autotrophs make own food
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Consumers
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An organism that obtains energy and nutrients by feeding on other organisms or their remains. Heterotrophs
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Chemotrophs
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Organisms that get energy from chemicals taken from the environment
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Decomposers
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Break down organic matter
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Predator vs. Prey
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predator eats the prey; prey gets eaten by predator
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Original source of all energy
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sun
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Omnivore
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A consumer that eats both plants and animals.
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Carnivore
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A consumer that eats only animals.
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Herbivore
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A consumer that eats only plants.
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Food Webs
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A complex diagram representing the many energy pathways in an ecosystem
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Food Chains
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Energy links between different organisms in an ecosystem based on feeding habits.
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Trophic Levels
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producer, primary, seconday, turshary, quadranary
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Water cycle
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shows the circular pathway of water; includes evaporation & transpiration, condensation, & precipitation
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carbon cycle
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since carbon is the key building block for organic matter, it is critical that it gets recycled; constantly moves from the environment to organisms & back again
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nitrogen cycle
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organisms can usually only use nitrogen in a form other than nitrogen gas; therefore, nitrogen must be converted into ammonia or nitrate through a process called nitrogen fixation
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Energy is not cycled!
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Energy is not cycled!
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Greenhouse effect
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warming that results when solar radiation is trapped by the atmosphere
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Niche vs. Habitat
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Niche refers to WHAT they do whereas habitat refers to WHERE they are found.
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Symbiosis
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A close relationship between two species that benefits at least one of the species
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Primary Succession
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An ecological succession that begins in an area where no biotic community previously existed
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Secondary Succession
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Succession on a site where an existing community has been disrupted.
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Photic Zones
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portion of the marine biome that is shallow enough for sunlight to penetrate
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Aphotic Zones
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portion of the marine biome that is too deep for sunlight to penetrate
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Population density formula
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Number of individuals / unit area.
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Immigration vs. Emigration
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Immigration occurs when individuals enter a population, increasing the size of the population. Emigration occurs when individuals leave a population, therefore decreasing the population’s size.
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Logistic Growth
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Population growth that is controlled by limited resources
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Exponential Growth
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Population growth that is unhindered because of the resources for an ever-increasing population.
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Biotic Factors
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All the living or once living things that inhabit an environment
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Abiotic Factors
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Abiotic factors are the non-living parts of an organism’s habitat.
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Limiting Factors
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any biotic or abiotic factor that restricts the existence, numbers, reproduction, or distribution of organisms
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Carrying Capacity
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Largest number of individuals of a population that a environment can support
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Density-Dependent Limiting Factor
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Limiting factor that depends on population size.
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Density-Independent Limiting Factors
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limiting factor that affects all populations in similar ways, regardless of population size
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Biodiverstity
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the variety of plants and animals living in one area, or on Earth
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Conservation
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Carefull use of resources.
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DDT
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A pesticide used which bioaccumulates.
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bioaccumulates
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accumulates in the tissues of an organism

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