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Chapter 5 APES

Evolution and Biodiversity

QuestionAnswer
theory of evolution scientific idea that all life-forms developed from earlier life-forms.this theory conflicts with the creation stories of many religions, it is the way biologists explain how life has changed over the past 3.6-3.8 billion years
realized niche Parts of the fundamental niche of a species that are actually used by that species. See ecological niche, fundamental niche.
reproductive isolation Long-term geographic separation of members of a particular sexually reproducing species.
specialist species Species with a narrow ecological niche. They may be able to (1) live in only one type of habitat, (2) tolerate only a narrow range of climatic and other environmental conditions, or (3) use only one type or a few types of food. Compare generalist species.
speciation Formation of two species from one species because of divergent natural selection in response to changes in environmental conditions; usually takes thousands of years. Compare extinction.
natural selection Process by which a particular beneficial gene is reproduced in succeeding generations more than other genes. population that contains a greater proportion of organisms better adapted to certain environmental conditions.
macroevolution Long-term, large-scale evolutionary changes among groups of species. Compare microevolution.
mass depletion Period of species loss in which extinction rates are much higher than normal but not high enough to classify as a mass extinction. Compare background, extinction, mass extinction.
mass extinction Catastrophic, widespread, often global event in which major groups of species are wiped out over a short time compared with normal (background) extinctions. Compare background extinction, mass depletion.
microevolution Small genetic changes a population undergoes.
generalist species Species with a broad ecological niche. They can live in many different places, eat a variety of foods, and tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. Examples are flies, cockroaches, mice, rats, and human beings.
genetic adaptation Changes in the genetic makeup of organisms of a species that allow the species to reproduce and gain a competitive advantage under changed environmental conditions.
geographic isolation Separation of populations of a species for long times into different areas.
Fundamental niche The full potential range of the physical, chemical, and biological factors a species can use if there is no competition from other species.
coevolution Evolution in which two or more species interact and exert selective pressures on each other that can lead each species to undergo various adaptations.
differential reproduction Phenomenon in which individuals with adaptive genetic traits produce more living offspring than do individuals without such traits. See natural selection.
ecological niche Total way of life or role of a species in an ecosystem. It includes all physical, chemical, and biological conditions a species needs to live and reproduce in an ecosystem
biological evolution Change in the genetic makeup of a population of a species in successive generations. If continued long enough, it can lead to the formation of a new species. Note that populations--not individuals--evolve.
chemical evolution Formation of the earth and early crust and atmosphere, evolution of the biological molecules necessary for life, and evolution of systems of chemical reactions needed to produce the first living cells.believed to have occurred before biological evolution
artificial selection Process by which humans select one or more desirable genetic traits in the population of a plant or animal and then use selective breeding to end up with populations of the species containing large numbers of individuals with the desired traits
background extinction Normal extinction of various species as a result of changes in local environmental conditions.
adaptive radiation Process in which numerous new species evolve to fill vacant and new ecological niches in changed environments, usually after a mass extinction or mass depletion. Typically, this takes millions of years.
Created by: Emily Kirkpatrick Emily Kirkpatrick on 2010-10-12



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