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Ecology

Basic, Beyond Basic and Lab Terms

TermDefinition
species organisms that can mate with each other and produce fertile offspring [B]
population a group of organisms of one species living in one area at one time [B]
community multiple populations living in one area [B]
ecosystem a community and the abiotic factors in the area [B]
niche the role a species plays in an ecosystem, including where it lives and what it eats [B]
food web a model, using arrows, of the consumer interactions in a community [B]
producer impact change in the producer (mainly plants) level can affect the # and size of other trophic levels [B]
biotic and abiotic 1) living (or once living) factors 2) non-living (were never alive) factors [B]
dynamic homeostasis constant movement (change) of a factor toward a stable target point [B]
symbiosis interactions between organism of two species, including mutualism and parasitism [B]
energy pyramid a model of 10% energy flow through consecutive trophic levels [B]
exponential and logistic population growth 1) reproduction without restraints 2) population exceeds resource availability (carrying capacity) [B]
free energy this available energy (G) is used to maintain organization, growth and reproduction which can effect individuals, populations and ecosystems [BB]
matter cycles various nutrient (carbon, water, nitrogen, etc.) circuits in which matter is converted between biotic and abiotic aspects of an ecosystem [BB]
keystone species A species that is of exceptional importance in maintaining the species diversity of a community since many members of a food web rely on the species [BB]
predator-prey relationships the interaction between a predator and prey population cause their population sizes to increase and decrease in response to each other [BB]
stability (ecological) the ability of a food web to remain relatively unchanged is affected by interactions with biotic and abiotic factors (and biodiversity) [BB]
biodiversity variation in life (including variation in species, ecosystems and genetics) [BB]
communication exchange of information (sound, visual, chemical, etc.) in response to internal and external stimuli [BB]
innate behavior actions that are not learned by a behavior, but are inherited (instinctual) [BB]
environmental cues signals that trigger changes in behavior (hibernation, migration, courtship, etc.) [BB]
cooperative behavior interactions within or between populations that contribute to the survival of the populations (mutualism, resource partitioning, etc.) [BB]
human impact the influence that human population growth and actions has led to habitat destruction, reduced population and, in some cases, extinction for other species [BB]
species distribution the geographical areas that a species lives (changes over time as influenced by many factors) -- also consider abundance [BB]
primary productivity the rate at which light energy (captured during photosynthesis) is converted into chemical energy by plants (and other autotrophs) in an ecosystem (can also include chemosynthesis) [Lab: Energy Dynamics]
secondary productivity the rate at which consumed food is converted into new chemical energy by consumers in an ecosystem [Lab: Energy Dynamics]
gross productivity the rate at which energy is taken in and converted to ALL forms of chemical energy, including biomass, cellular respiration and waste [Lab: Energy Dynamics]
net productivity the rate at which energy is taken in and converted to the chemical energy found in biomass, excluding cellular respiration and waste [Lab: Energy Dynamics]
wet and dry mass 1) the mass of an organism including its biomass and water 2) the biomass of an organism, taken after the organism has been dehydrated [Lab: Energy Dynamics]
biomass the part of gross productivity that includes the dry mass of an organism which (when divided by time) can be used to calculate net productivity [Lab: Energy Dynamics]
kcal of respiration the part of gross productivity that is used to convert organic compounds into ATP for movement, growth and reproduction [Lab: Energy Dynamics]
kcal of waste the part of gross productivity that is released from the body without being utilized [Lab: Energy Dynamics]
taxis a movement directly toward or away from a stimulus [Lab: Behavior]
kinesis a change in the rate of movement in response to a stimulus [Lab: Behavior]
chi-square test a statistical test for categorical data which can determine if there is a significant difference between the expected and observed results [Lab: Behavior]
null hypothesis a hypothesis that states there is NOT a significant difference between the expected and observed results [Lab: Behavior]
behavior All of the acts an organism performs including, seeking a suitable habitat, obtaining food, avoiding predators, and seeking a mate and reproducing. [Lab: Behavior]
degrees of freedom used in the chi-square test, it is the number of categories minus 1 [Lab: Behavior]
choice chamber A device that offers organisms two or more contrasting environments and allows them to move freely into the one they prefer [Lab: Behavior]
significant difference a large difference between the expected and observed results which can not be attributed to random chance as determined by the chi-square test [Lab: Behavior]
endotherm animal that uses metabolic energy to maintain a constant body temperature, such as a bird or mammal [BB]
ectotherm animal such as a reptile, fish, or amphibian, that must use environmental energy and behavioral adaptations to regulate its body temperature [BB]
phototropism growth of a plant shoot toward (or away from) light [BB
photoperiodism physiological response to day length, such as flowering in plants [BB]
Created by: cfigueiredo
 

 



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