Ecology 1 (1)
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What is ecology?
It is the study of relationships of organisms to their environments (biotic and abiotic).
What does the environment (habitat) consist of?
All surroundings of an organism, both abiotic and biotic.
Give an example of a microhabitat?
The Sand Darter is an aquatic fish, but is found only in flowing water over sand.
What is the law of tolerance?
Species will survive within a range of the variation of environmental factors.
What can happen if there are several shifts outside the range of tolerance?
- Organisms may die so go extinct from the area until it can re-invade.
- Survive if a life history stage can withstand the change.
- Survive if it moves to protected microhabitats.
- Survive if it migrates.
- Survive if it can acclimate.
What is acclimation?
is a gradual change into new environmental conditions.
Describe limiting factors.
When several variables are important and present, the success of the organisms will depend on the variable present as "too little" or "too much".
What is synergism?
combined effects of 2 factors is greater than their sum.
What is an ecological indicator?
an organism with a narrow tolerance range for some factor of interest is found in an environment.
What is a valid indicator?
Is one that occurs only within the condition it is meant to indicate (it has good fidelity)
What is a significant indicator?
is one that is very likely to occur (it is not rare) if the conditions it indicates are present (it has good constancy)
What is an autotroph?
animals that produce their own food from inorganic materials.
List and describe the two types of autotrophs.
- Photosynthetic: use light energy to store chemical energy.
- Chemosynthetic: use chemical reactions.
What is a heterotroph?
An organism that depends on autotrophs for their food (directly or indirectly).
What is the formula for photosynthesis?
6CO2 + 6H2O --> C6H12O6 + 6O2
What is respiration?
process in which complex molecules are reduced to simple ones, releasing energy tied up in molecular bonds.
C6H12O6 + 6O2 --> 6CO2 + 6H2O
Why must there be fewer heterotrophs than autotrophs?
Due to the second law of thermodynamics.
What is assimilated energy?
Energy that is available to do work in the body.
What is standard metabolism?
Energy used just to stay alive.
What is the main factor that affects standard metabolic rate?
What is Birdman's rule?
Northern animals of same species are larger than southern.
What are energy subsidies?
Uses of outside energy to aid an organism.
What is a proximate factor?
One that deals with the immediate cause: it is within the organism that you might seek an explanation.
What is an ultimate factor?
Deals with the greater cause: it is within the environment or population that the answer might be found.
What are ecotypes?
Different populations of species which have genetic differences related to ecological constraints.
What is dispersal?
Movement of individuals from their place of birth.
What are the methods of plant dispersal?
- Explosive projections
Describe water dispersal in plants.
Seeds or fruits are buoyant and waterproof.
Describe wind dispersal in plants.
Fruits have long hair-like, wing-like, ballon-like, small size, or tumbleweed like makeup.
Describe animal dispersal in plants.
- Flesh fruits with hard seeds are defecated by animals.
- Sticky seeds stick to animals and are rubbed off later.
- Storage without recovery.
- Stick-tights hook to passing animal's hair, skin, ect.
Describe explosive projection dispersal in plants.
Upon maturity or touch a quick snap of the seed pod throws the seeds.
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