Living Environment Ecology

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  1. What is the difference between an environment and an ecosystem?
    The environment is all things living and non-living that surrounds an organism and the ecosystem is the interaction of them.
  2. What is an abiotic factor?
    A non-living thing in an ecosystem
  3. What is a biotic factor?
    A living thing in the ecosystem
  4. How can abiotic factors influence organisms?
    Temperature and sunlight affect how the organisms live
  5. What is a habitat?
    A home of a species, like a field, forest, ocean, stream, or desert.
  6. What is the difference between a population and a community?
    A population is the number of organisms of a single species and a community is the number of organisms of all species
  7. How do finite resources cause competition between species.
    Organisms need to fight for the resources because they will run out and there won't be any left for the losing organism.
  8. What is a limiting factor?
    A factor in the environment that limits the size of a population,
  9. What is carrying capacity?
    The maximum population an ecosystem can support
  10. What are some examples of limiting factors that affect the size of a carrying capacity
    Water Availability, Mineral Availability, and Interactions of Organisms.
  11. What is an ecological niche?
    The role of a species in an ecosystem
  12. Why would two species that occupy the same niche compete?
    Only one species can occupy the niche at the same time.
  13. What is the difference between a food web and a food chain?
    A food chain shows a single pattern of energy flow, and the food web shows all of the predator prey relationships in an ecosystem.
  14. What is the difference between an autotroph and a heterotroph?
    An autotroph makes its own food and a heterotroph feeds on others.
  15. What is an autotroph or a producer?
    An organism that makes its own food. It provides energy for the whole ecosystem
  16. What is a herbivore?
    A consumer/heterotroph that eats plants only.
  17. What is a carnivore?
    A consumer/heterotroph that eats other animals only.
  18. What is the main function of decomposers?
    Recycle materials back into the environment
  19. What makes a scavenger different than a predator?
    A scavenger eats dead animals
  20. What happens if the host dies in a parasite/host relationship?
    The parasite usually dies also.
  21. What happens to energy as it is passed on through the environment?
    • Energy is used by organisms through ATP, the ATP is used and released back into the world as heat. As you go to the top of the food chain, there is less energy because the energy is used and lost to the environment as heat.
  22. What is an energy pyramid? Why do they all start with plants? If energy is lost, where is energy gained to make up for the loss at the top?
    An energy pyramid is a diagram that shows the flow of energy. The sun provides energy for the plants, which then gets passed on through the pyramid. The sun continues to provide energy every day.
  23. What is a decomposer?
    An organism that recycles the nutrients and energy in dead organisms as well as the energy in their products back into the environment.
  24. What is decomposition?
    Breaking down organisms and waste into raw materials
  25. What two species decompose things?
    Bacteria and fungi
  26. What is biodiversity?
    The variance of species in an ecosystem
  27. Why are bio diverse ecosystems more stable than other ecosystems?
    If a disease attacks one species, other ones will still exist and fulfill its place.
  28. What have humans done to decrease biodiversity?
    People destroy habitats, poach animals, and pollute
  29. What does increased biodiversity provide for us?
    Medicines that we can use and genetic material.
  30. What is ecological succession?
    Series of changes of and ecosystems evolving habitats, growing and becoming more diverse and stable.
  31. How do changes in an environment benefit a species?
    A new species can compete for niches.
  32. How can change harm an organism?
    It may not adapt to the changes very well.
  33. How do humans influence ecological succession?
    Humans can deforest areas and prevent growth of plant growth. There are also forest fires that may occur.
  34. What is being Environmentally literate
    You need to be aware of your impact on the environment and what to do to make a positive change.
  35. What is a renewable Energy Source?
    An unlimited source, like food supply, and solar energy
  36. What is a nonrenewable energy source?
    A source that will run out, or it is limited, like fossil fuels and minerals.
  37. Why are fish a renewable energy source, and how can they become nonrenewable?
    Fish reproduce, so there can always be more, but if the death and poaching rate of fish increase past the rate of reproduction, then the species will disappear and will be gone.
  38. How can you maintain a supply of sources?
    Reduce, reuse, and recycle
  39. What is pollution?
    A harmful change in the chemical make up of air, soil, or water.
  40. How have humans ruined atmospheric quality?
    • Deforestation
    • Driving cars
    • Using aerosols
  41. How have human ruined soil formation?
  42. How have humans destroyed the water cycle?
    • Dumping into the water
    • Thermal pollution
  43. How can humans help the natural recycling process with regards to yard waste?
    It will naturally put nutrients back into the environment.
  44. Is energy recyclable?
  45. Why can preserving ecosystems help humans too?
    People are in every ecosystem in the world, and are both directly and indirectly affected by it.
  46. What is direct harvesting?
    Removing a species from their natural habitat
  47. How does the increase of human population, land use, and habitat destruction lead to the endangerment of species?
    There is a greater need for space and humans take it up by destroying habitats
  48. How can biodiversity negatively affect an ecosystem?
    People become less healthy, disruption to the food chain, and no new medicines can be discovered.
  49. How can destroying a natural ecosystem and converting it to a corn field decrease biodiversity?
    They are replacing one diverse species with a single species, so it there is a problem, the crops may not survive.
  50. What is a biological control?
    A non-native species introduced into an ecosystem to help control a pest.
  51. How can the introduction of a non-native species
    The species don't have predators so their population gets out of control and they eat other native species.
  52. Why do we not always used pesticides to control a pest?
    It may kill other organisms and pollute the soil.
  53. What techniques could be used for a pest.
    Use a chemical trap.
  54. What if the main problem of burning coal?
    • It pollutes the air and/or the water.
  55. What is bio magnification?
    A substance increases in amount as it goes up to the top of the food chain.
  56. Why is warm water a pollutant?
    It removes cold water and affects the area of the organisms they are in.
  57. What fossil fuel is released into the are when burning for energy?
    Carbon dioxide and other gases like nitrogen.
  58. Why does acid rain form?
    Rain with a low pH level from air pollution and water pollution of things like nitrogen
  59. Why is acid rain deadly to ecosystems?
    It disrupts certain organisms and can get attacked by fungi and insects.
  60. What do green house gasses do?
    Trap and absorb radiation
  61. What are some environmental problems that could be created from the increase in global temperatures?
    Melting Ice caps and climate changes
  62. What does the ozone shield do?
    Protect the atmosphere from the suns radiation.
  63. What type of gasses thin the ozone shield?
  64. What problems can result if too much radiation reaches earth?
    Genetic mutations, kill cells, skin cancer
  65. What are trade offs?
    Compromising between advancing technology and environmental solutions, like driving a large truck carries loads far distances, but has mad fuel mileage.
Card Set
Living Environment Ecology
An outline of things to know for the Ecology unit for the Regents Exam
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