All the individuals of a species that occupy a geographic area at a certain time.
Ex: 100,000 people in a city, 1000 trees in a forest, 100 birds on a beach, etc.
Accelerating growth that produces a J-shaped curve when the population is graphed against time.
A factor that limits growth, distribution, or amount of a population in a ecosystem.
Ex: the amount of space in a cave, the amount of sunlight on the forest floor, the amount of prey in a given area, etc.
The size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by the available resources and services of an ecosystem.
The way that an organism occupies a position in an ecosystem, including all the necessary biotic and abiotic factors.
Ex: Some biotic niche factors of a brown-nosed bat include the insects it eats, its competitors, and its predators. Some abiotic niche factors of the brown-nosed bat would be the cave in which it roosts, the time of night it hunts during, and the temperature in can tolerate.
An organism that kills and consumes other organisms.
Ex: A coyote is that predator of a rabbit.
An organism that is eaten as food by a predator.
Ex: A rabbit is the prey of a coyote.
A symbiotic relationship between two species in which both species benefit from the relationship.
Ex: Special photosynthetic algae live inside the tissues of most tropical reef-building coral. The algae provide the host coral with up to 90% of the coral's energy requirements. The coral provide the algae with protection, nutrients, and a constant supply of carbon dioxide.
An organism whose niche is dependant on a close association with a larger host organism. The parasite benefits from the relationship but the host does not benefit and in most cases is harmed from the relationship.
Ex: The brainworm is a common parasite of the white-tailed deer. The brainworm lays its eggs inside the blood vessels of the brain and then the eggs travel through the circulatory system to the lungs where they are then hatched and eventually they are excreted out of the deer.
When two or more organisms compete for the same resource, such as food or space, in the same place at the same time. This can limit the size of a population because more energy is spent on getting resources than reproducing.
Ex: When the female song sparrows population increased, the number of eggs laid declined.
Use that does not lead to a long-term depletion of a resource or affect the diversity of the ecosystem from which the resource is obtained.
The period of time required for a population to double in size.
Ex: The current doubling time of the human race is 60 years.
A measure of the impact of an individual or a population on the environment in terms of energy consumption, land use, and waste production.
A pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem.
Our current use of finite resources such as fossil fuels is unsustainable.
Use of the Earth's resources, including land and water, at levels that can continue forever.
Ways to be more sustainable include: using fewer resources or using existing resources more efficiently through technological innovation, energy efficiency, and recycling.
The benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems.
Ex: the provision of food and clean water, the cycling of nutrients, the conversion of carbon to biomass, etc.
The change of non-desert land into a desert; desertification may result from climate change and unsustainable farming or water use.
Ex: Cutting down many trees can result in desertification because trees extract water from the ground and on hot days water vapour escapes through the stomata which results in more precipitation. When you cut down the trees this stops and results in less precipitation which leads to desertification.
A form of tourism that is sensitive to the health of an ecosystem and involves recreational activities provided by sustainable ecosystems.
Ex: whale watching, bird watching, hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, kayaking, etc.