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Gullett-Bio-Unit9

Bio-Unit 9-Ecology

TermDefinition
ecology the study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their environment
ecosystem the community of organisms and their abiotic environment
community a group of various species that live in the same habitat and interact with each other
population a group of organisms of the same species that live in a specific geographical area and interbreed
biotic describes living factors in the environment
abiotic describes nonliving factors in the environment
ecological niche all of the physical, chemical, and biological factors that a species needs to survive, stay healthy, and reproduce in an ecosystem
migration in general, any movement of individuals or populations from one location to another; specifically, a periodic group movement that is characteristic of a given population or species
producer an organism that can make organic molecules from inorganic molecules; a photosynthetic or chemosynthetic autotroph that serves as the basic food source in an ecosystem
consumer an organism that eats other organisms or organic matter instead of producing its own nutrients or obtaining nutrients from inorganic sources
chemosynthesis process by which ATP is synthesized by using chemicals as an energy source instead of light
biomass total dry mass of all organisms in a given area
herbivore an organism that eats only plants
carnivore an organism that eats animals
omnivore an organism that eats a variety of other organisms, including animals and plants
detritivore organism that eats dead organic mater
decomposer an organism that feeds by breaking down organic matter from organic matter; examples include bacteria and fungi
trophic level one of the steps in a food chain or food pyramid; examples include produces and primary, secondary, and teriary consumers
food chain the pathway of energy transfer through various stages as a result of the feeding patterns of a series of organisms
food web a diagram that shows the feeding relationships among organisms in an ecosystem
biogeochemical cycle the circulation of substances through living organisms form or to the environment
groundwater the water that is beneath the Earth's surface
hydrologic cycle pathway of water from the atomosphere to Earth's surface, below ground, and back
carbon cycle the movement of carbon from the nonliving environment into living things and back
nitrogen cycle the process in which nitrogen circulates among the air, soil, water, plants, and animals in an ecosystem
nitrogen fixation the process by which gaseous nitrogen is converted into ammonia, a compound that organisms can use to make amino acids and other nitrogen-containing organic molecules
phosphorus cycle the cyclic movement of phosphorus in different chemical forms from the environment to organisms and then back to the environment
biome a large region characterized by a speicfic type of climate and certain types of plant and animal communities
biodiversity the variety of organisms in a given area, the genetic variation within a population, the variety of species in a community, or the variety of communities in an ecosystem
keystone species a species that is critical to the functioning of the ecosystem in which it lives because it affects the survival and abundance of many other species in its community
autotroph an organism that produces its own nutriens from inorganic susbstances or from the environment instead of consuming other organisms
heterotroph an organism that obtains organic food molecules by eating other organisms or their byproducts and that cannot synthesize organic compounds from inorganic materials
specialist consumer that eats only one type of organism
generalist species that does not rely on a single souce of prey
energy pyramid triangular diagarm that shows an ecosystem's loss of energy, which results as energy passed through the ecosystem's food chain; each row represents a trophic leel in an ecosystem, and the area of a row represents the energy stored in that trophic level
ecological equivalent organisms that share a similar niche but live in different geographical regions
competition ecological relationship in which two organisms attempt to obtain the same resource
symbiosis a relationship in which two different organisms live in close association with each other
mutualism a relationship between two species in which both species benefit
commensalism a relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits and ther is unaffected
population density measure of individuals living in a defined area
survivorship curve graph showing the surviving members of each age group of a population over time.
exponential growth logarithmic growth, or growth by which numbers increase by a certain factor in each successive time period; described by a J-shaped curve
logistic growth population growth that starts with a minimum number of individuals and reaches a maximum depending on carrying capacity of the region; described by an S-shaped curve
carrying capacity the largest population that an environment can support at any given time
limiting factor environmental factor that limits the growth and size of a population
density-dependent limiting factor environmental resistance that affects a population that has become overly crowded
density-independent limiting factor environmental resistance that affects a population regardless of population density
succession the replacement of one type of community by another at a single location over a period of time
primary succession establisment and development of an ecosystem in an area that was previously unihabited
secondary succession reesablisment of a damaged ecosystem in an area where the soil was left intact
indicator species species whose presence in an ecosystem gives clues about the condition of that ecosystem
biomagnification condition of toxic substances being more concentrated in tissues of organisms higher on the food chain than ones lower in th food chain
habitat fragmentation process by which part of an organism's preferred habitat range becomes inaccessible
introduced species species that is not native and was brought to an area as a result of human activities
umbrella species species whose being protected under the Endangered Species Act leads to the preservation of its habitat and all of the other organisms in its community
Created by: lpgullett