Ecology Definitions

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  1. Ecosystem
    A group of living organisms that, along with their abiotic environment,forms a self-regulating system through which energy and materials are transferred.
  2. sustainable ecosystem
    An ecosystem capable of enduring pressure and supporting a variety of organisms.
  3. Biotic
    Living part of the environment (e.g. plant and animal organisms)
  4. abiotic
    This is a factor in an ecosystem created by non-living agents, for example,amount of sunlight, temperature, and strength and direction of the wind. (Non-living parts of an environment)
  5. lithosphere
    Hard part of the Earth's surface (rock)
  6. hydrosphere
    All the water found on Earth including lakes, rivers, and oceans
  7. atmosphere
    A layer of gases above Earth's surface.
  8. biosphere
    Regions of Earth where living organisms exist
  9. nutrients
    A chemical essential to living things and that's cycled through living things
  10. eutrophication
    A process in which nutrient levels in aquatic ecosystems increase, leading to the increase in populations of primary producers
  11. photosynthesis
    A process that changes solar energy into chemical energy
  12. trophic level
    any class of organisms that occupy the same position in a food chain, as primary consumers, secondary consumers, and tertiary consumers.
  13. biomass
    the amount of living matter in a given habitat, expressed either as the weight of organisms per unit area or as the volume of organisms per unit volume of habitat.
  14. trophic efficiency
    A measure of the amount of the energy or biomass transferred from one trophic level to the next higher trophic level.
  15. bioaccumulation
    A process in which an organism ingests materials, especially toxins, faster than it eliminates them
  16. biomagnification
    a process in which the concentration of ingested toxins increases as it moves from one trophic level to the next
  17. cellular respiration
    A process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the presence of oxygen
  18. fermentation
    A process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the absence of oxygen
  19. greenhouse gases
    An atmospheric gas that prevent heats from leaving the atmosphere, thus, increasing the temperature of the atmosphere
  20. greenhouse effect
    The warming of the earth as a result of greenhouse gas emissions, which trap some of the energy that would otherwise leave the earth
  21. acid precipitation
    Rain, snow, or fog that's unnaturally acidic (pH less than 5.6) due to gases in the atmosphere that react with water to form acids
  22. population
    All the individuals of a species that occupy a particular geographic area at a certain time.
  23. exponential growth
    Accelerating growth that produces a J-shaped curve when the population is graphed against time.
  24. limiting factors
    A factor that limits the growth, distribution, or amount of a population in an ecosystem.
  25. carrying capacity
    The size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by the available resources and services of an ecosystem.  
  26. equilibrium
    state of balance in a system in which there is no net change over time
  27. urban sprawl
    The growth of relatively low-density development on the edges of urban areas. 
  28. ecological niche
    The role that members of a population play in a community, including the resources that members need and the way in which members interact with other members of the population and the community.
  29. bog
    A type of wetland in which the water is acidic and low in nutrients
  30. predator
    organism that kills and consumes other organisms.
  31. mutualism
    a type of symbiotic relationship in which both partners benefi t from the relationship, or depend on it in order to survive
  32. parasite
    An organism who's niche is dependent on a close association with a larger host organism.
  33. sustainable use
    Use that doesn't lead to long-term depletion of a resource or affect the diversity of the ecosystem from which the resource is obtained. 
  34. doubling time
    The period of time that's required for a population to double in size
  35. ecological footprint
    A measure of the impact of an individual or population on the environment in terms or energy consumption, land use, and waste production
  36. unsustainable
    A pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem
  37. ecosystem services
    The benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems.
  38. desertification
    The change of non-desert land into a desert, which may result from climate change or from unsustainable farming or water use.
  39. watershed
    An area of land over which run-off drains into a body of water.
  40. connectivity
    A collection of links and relationships between ecosystems that are separated geographically
  41. ecotourism
    Form of tourism which incorporates the practice of sustainability to recreational activities.
  42. Biodiversity
    The number and variety of organisms found in a specific region.
  43. Protect
    To legally gaurd from harm a species that js listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern.
  44. Biodiversity Hotspot
    A place where there is an exceptionally large number of species in a relatively snall area.
  45. Community
    All the populations of the different species that interact in a specific area or ecosystem
  46. Dominant Species
    A species that is so abundant that it has the biggest biomass of any community member
  47. keystone species
    A species that can greatly affect population numbers and the health of an ecosystem.
  48. Captive Breeding
    The breeding of rare or endangered wildlife in controlled settings to increase the population size.
  49. Ecosystem Engineer
    A species that causes such dramatic changes to landscapes that it creates a new ecosystem.
  50. Succession
    The series of changes in ecosystems thy occurs over time following a disturbance
  51. Habitat Loss
    The destruction of habitats, which usually results from human activies.
  52. Deforestation
    The practive of clearing forests for logging or other human uses, and never replanting them.
  53. Alien Species
    A species that's accidentally or deliberately introduced to a new location, usually as a result of human activity.
  54. Overexploitation
    The use or extraction of a resource until it is depleted.
  55. Extinction
    The death of all the indivoduals of a species.
  56. Biodiversity Crisis
    The current accelerated rate of extinctions on earth.
  57. Stewardship
    The active assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the environment.
  58. Restoration Ecology
    The renewal of degraded or destroyed ecosystems through active human intervention.
  59. Reforestation
    The regrowth of a forest, either through the planting of seeds or trees in an area where a forest was cut down.
  60. Biocontrol
    The use of a species to control the population growth or spread of an undesirable species.
  61. Bioremediation
    The use of living organisms to clean up contaminated areas naturally.
  62. Bioaugmentation
    The use of organisms to add essential nutrients to depleated soils.
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Ecology Definitions
2013-06-19 22:25:17

Grade nine Ecology Definitions
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