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Ecology Lab

Spring 2011

Habitat the location an organism inhabits. Its study usually involves a description of the biotic and abiotic structure of the environment
Growth Form the physical structure of an organism; eg tree, shrub, vine, herb
Life History refers to the reproduction, growth, longevity, and seasonal or age-specific behavior of organisms
Annual Plant lives less than one year, and tends to put most of its resources into seed production
Winter Annual an annual which germinates in the late fall, grows during warm spells in the winter and early spring, blooms in the early spring, sets seeds and then dies
Summer Annual an annual that germinates in the spring or summer, and blooms in or before fall. Many agricultural weeds fall into this category
Seed Bank all viable seeds that remain in the soil. Many annual species have a long seed bank
Biennial The plant lives two years: a seed germinates, the plant devotes a year to to vegetative growth, the second year to reproduction; it then dies
Perennial the plant lives more than two years. Some perennials reproduce all at once and then die, while others spread their reproduction throughout their lifetime
Ruderal refers to a plant, usually an annual or biennial, which requires disturbed soil. Ruderals are often informally referred to as weeds
Deciduous leaves fall off at the end of the growing season (in Oklahoma, the growing season is the warm period of the year-in many tropical regions, the growing season corresponds with the rainy season.
Evergreen leaves are retrained throughout the year. Most temperate evergreen species are sclerophyllous (hard leafed). Leaves of sclerophyllous species may last several years. For many evergreen species (especially conifers), leaves are needles or scales
Herb a plant with no woody stem above ground
Graminoid an herb that is or resembles a grass; includes grasses, sedges, and rushes
Forb A non-graminiod herb; includes wildflowers. Although some consider forbs to be weeds, they are very important in grasslands and forests.
Shrub a woody perennial, smaller than a tree, usually without a dominate trunk
Tree perennial woody plant with an evident trunk
Vine a plant that climbs on other plants by means of tendrils or other structures
Liana a perennial and woody vine
Self-pollination pollen is transferred from anther to stigma of the same flower (or less commonly, another flower on the same plant), often by direct contact
Apomixis Seed is produced without pollination (similar to parthenogenesis in animals)
Outcrossing Pollination with pollen from a different individual (and therefore with a different genotype) of the same species
Animal Pollination animals transfer pollen; flowers are often "showy" (bright colored, scented, etc.). Plants usually provide rewards for the animal such as nectar or extra pollen
Wind Pollination Wind transfers pollen; flowers are often "reduced" (lacking showy parts such as petal sepals).
Water Pollination (rare) pollen floats on water between flowers in some aquatic plants.
Perfect Flowers Both male and female parts are present within the same flower
Monoecious individual flowers are either male or female, but both are present on the same plant
Dioecious Male and Female flowers are on different plants. Thus in Dioecious species, we can speak of male plants and female plants
Stolons (runners) specialized above ground stems that spread from the parent plant and root at the nodes
Rhizomes specialized belowground stems that spread from the parent plant and sends up shoots.
Fragmentation establishment of new plants from bits broken off of a parent; common in aquatic plants, cacti, grasses, and many rhizomatous (rhizome-possessing) plants
Gemma (plural:gemmae) a specialized vegetative dispersal organ common in mosses and liverworts, may consists of only one or two cells
Wind Dispersal either external or internal. Externally dispersed seeds sticks to animal by means of hooks, prickles, or mucilage (sticks substance), or they may be intentionality carried (nuts by squirrels). Internally dispersed seeds pass unharmed through the GI-tract
Water Dispersal seeds float about on the water; most plant species are capable of this, but some shoreline and aquatic species are especially adapted to this mode of dispersal
Indigenous native to the area; having arrived and become established without human assistance.
Naturalized growing and reproducing without assistance after being introduced to the area by humans; includes many weeds, escaped crops, and ornamentals
Exotic (introduced)species not indigenous to the area; may or may not naturalized
Ornamentals cultivated for esthetic purposes in a specific place; includes both indigenous and exotic species
Natural History a study of the evolutionary origin of organismas, as well as the study of adaptations possessed by organisms
Ecology is distant from of natural history in that it seeks to discover patterns in and causes of, natural phenomena
Why might trees have deciduous leaves?
Evergreen species commonly grow in acidic, nutrient poor soils. Why might this be?
In the Oklahoma tallgrass prairie, both C3 grasses and C4 grasses are common. Why don't the C4 grasses outcompete all the C3 grasses?
Every year, the number of exotic species in the US increases dramatically. What might be the cause of this?
What are the possible consequences of the invasion of more exotic species?
Why are more nurseries encouraging people to plant indigenous ornamentals instead of exotic ornamentals?
Many plants are capable of only sexual reproduction. Others are capable of only vegetative reproduction. Some species can do both. Under what circumstances are each adaptive?
Most wind-pollinated forest trees are Dioecious. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of dioecy?
Are winter annuals likely to be C3, C3, CAM? Why?
What tradeoffs are faced by wind and animal pollinated species, respectively? How are these tradeoffs Different? How are they the same?
What life history is most common in areas with constant soil disturbance? Why?
Created by: beth11015