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Elements of Ecology1

Test 1

Name the order of the climates in ascending order from the equator (there are 6) Tropical Rainforest, Tropical seasonal forest/woodland/savanna, Desert, Temperate Deciduous, Conifer/boreal forest, Tundra
What is permafrost and where is it found? Soil that is permanently frozen and in the Tunda.
Define temperature A number that is related to the average kinetic energy of the molecules of a substance
Why is solar radiation striking above the equator less intense? Arrives at an oblique angle (bc of Earth's tilt) and thus is spread over a wide area and also less intense than radiation arriving at the equator.
Does air temperature increase or decrease with increasing altitude above sea-level? DECREASE
What is the lapse rate? A decrease in air temperature with an increase in altitude
What is buoyancy? The tendency of an object to float in a fluid. It is controlled by differences in density between the object and the fluid.
Define pressure gradient (wind does this going from high-low) the magnitude of the pressure difference over distance
Does a descending air mass result in lower or higher pressure aloft, what about the surface? Aloft=lower pressure surface=high pressure
Coriolis effect? Clockwise in northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in southern hemisphere
What is saturation vapor pressure? the max amount of water that can be held in a given volume of air
What is the dew point? when saturation vapor pressure is equal to actual vapor pressure
What is the condensation level? When the declining temperature of the rising air mass converges on the dew point temp, condensation and cloud formation occur
Define Adiabetic Cooling As warm air rises it expands, as air expands it cools
Wet, hot conditions give you what type of leaves? Broadleaf evergreen
Hot, dryer conditions give you what type of leaves? Drought deciduous
Cooler, wet conditions give you what type of leaves? Winter deciduous
Cold, wet conditions give you what type of leaves? Needle-leaf evergreen
Extreme conditions (hot/cold, wet/dry) give you? Shrubs and grasses
What affect does an increase in soil nutrients have on net primary productivity above ground? INCREASES IT
What conditions are ideal for high net primary activity? Warm and wet
On average, how much of net primary productivity is consumed by herbivores? Where does the rest go? Only about 10% of NPP is consumed by herbivores. The rest goes directly to dead organic matter where it is consumed by decomposers.
What two factors affect the rate of decomposition? 1. The type of dead organic matter (food resource) 2. The physical environment (climate)
What part of dead organic matter is hardest to break down and takes the longest? Lignin
How does excess water and temperature affect the rate of decomposition? Too much water decreases the availability of 02 and extreme temperature also has a negative impact.
What conditions are ideal for decomposition? Warm and Wet
Net Ecosystem Productivity= Photosynthesis (of autotrophs)- Respiration (of autotrophs and heterotrophs)
what is the compensation depth (in water) it is where gross productivity is equal to respiration (net photosynthesis=0)
What is nutrient cycling? nutrients taken up by plants and incorporated into living tissues. As tissues die, they form part of the dead organic matter (food for decomposers) During decomposition, these nutrients are released into the soil/water + are once more taken up by plants
What is thermocline? the depth at which water temperature drastically drops (in comparison to the layers above it)
What happens to thermocline when surface waters cool? Thermocline breaks down and vertical mixing occurs. This mixing brings nutrients from the deep waters to the surface.
During which season are nutrients the most abundant in surface waters? WINTER
What parts of a plant carry out respiration? Photosynthesis? All living tissues carry out the process of respiration (loss of carbon) and only leaves carry out the process of photosynthesis (gain carbon)
The carbon gain of the plant will be a function of the: 1. rate of photosynthesis per unit of leaf 2. the total amount of leaves
the carbon loss of a plant will be a function of the: total plant mass (leaves+stem+roots)
Net Carbon Gain= Carbon Gain (Photosynthesis) - Carbon Loss (Respiration)
Leaves take in CO2 and light
Stem transport water and nutrients, elevates leaves
roots uptake of water and nutrients
Why would a plant have an increased allocation of carbon to root production? Because the plant was from a dry and/or low nutrient environment (this also reduces allocation to leaves) and the increased root tissues allow the plant greater access to water in the soil
What is the shift in the predominant plant life-forms as environmental conditions become adverse? Trees to shrubs/grasses
What are deciduous leaves? leaves that die after a SINGLE growing season
What are evergreen leaves? leaves are maintained for MORE THAN A SINGLE growing season
Broadleaf Evergreen large, fleshy leaves that remain year-round 1. enviro conditions favorable for plant growth (photosynthesis) 2. not able to tolerate freezing temps or low water
Deciduous 1. distinct period of conditions that do NOT allow for photosynthesis 2. conditions during growing season allow for "pay back" of carbon to produce leaves
Winter Deciduous 1. Dormant period function of cold winter temps
Drought Deciduous 1. Dormant period is defined by a dry season
Needle-Leaf Evergreen 1. cost can NOT be paid back over single growing season 2. able to withstand adverse conditions (freezing) *these leaves are more costly
If environmental conditions are favorable for plant growth then you would have _____ leaves broad-leaf evergreen
If environmental conditions result in low rates of photosynthesis (longer period needed to pay back the cost of leaf production) you would have _____ leaves Needle-leaf evergreen (such as pine trees)
Define Ecology the study of the interaction of organisms with their environment, includes abiotic (non-living or physical) and biotic (living)
How many people on planet as of Oct 31, 2011? 7 BILLION!
Carrying capacity? when the rate of population growth approaches zero and the population reaches an equilibrium with the limiting resource(s)
the 3 stages of human population growth Hunter gatherer Agricultural Industrial
Photosynthesis process by which plants use light energy to make food molecules from carbon dioxide and water. Oxygen is produced as a by-product 6CO2+6H2O= C6H12O6 + 6O2
Respiration C6H12O6+6H2O+6O2= 6CO2+12H2O
What is Rubisco? the enzyme that catalyzes (speeds up) the transformation of CO2 to simple sugars in the process of photosynthesis -also must abundant enzyme on earth -together with chlorophyll accounts for >50% of total nitrogen in leaf
define stomata poors (openings) in the leaf's surface through which CO2 moves from the atmosphere into the leaf
define diffusion the tendency for particles of any kind to spread out spontaneously from where they are more concentrated to where they are less concentrated
Why is equilibrium not achieved as CO2 diffuses from the outside air into the leaf through the stomata? An equilibrium is not achieved b/c as CO2 enters the leaf it is converted into simple sugars in the process of photosynthesis. This acts to draw down the concentration of CO2 inside the leaf
define transpiration loss of water from the inside of the leaf to the atmosphere through the stomata
rate of transpiration (water loss) is a function of: -number and opening of stomata -how dry the air is
saturation vapor pressure the maximum amount of water that can be held in a given volume of air
relative humidity= actual vapor pressure ------------------ x100 saturation vapor pressure
How do underwater plants get CO2? (they don't have stomata) the CO2 diffuses directly across the leaf surface into the leaf interior
4 Key Environmental Factors Influencing the Rate of Photosynthesis 1. Light 2. Nitrogen (nutrients) 3. Temperature 4. Water
Heterotroph An organism that obtains food (carbon) by eating other organisms or their by-products.
Consumers An organism that obtains its energy by feeding on other organisms
Decomposers An organism that obtains energy from the breakdown of dead organic matter to more simple substances
Herbivore organism that feeds on plant tissue
Carnivore organism that feeds on animal tissue
omnivore an animal that feeds on both plant and animal tissue
Autotroph an organism that obtains food (carbon) without consuming other organisms. Utilize carbon dioxide as a source of carbon, using energy from the sun to convert CO2 (and other inorganic compounds) into organic compounds. (primary producers)
stream is characterized by flowing water also known as... Iotic
lake is characterized by standing water also known as... lentic
How are differences in aquatic ecosystems determined? Physical characteristics: depth, flow, salinity
How are differences in terrestrial ecosystems determined? Largely by vegetation
Intertropical Convergence Zone is the area encircling the earth near the equator where winds originating in the northern and southern hemispheres come together.
Created by: paw2vg