Ecology Glossary Terms 2

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Ecology Glossary Terms 2
2014-06-01 14:56:55
Ecology Glossary

Chapter 2 terms
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  1. Population:
    • All of the species that occupy a particular geographic area at a certain time.
    • Examples: Elephants, Humans, etc.
  2. Exponential growth:
    • Accelerating growth that produces a J-shaped curve when the population is graphed against time.
    • Example: A new organism enters an ecosystem that has a lot of resources such as algae.
  3. Limiting factors:
    • A factor that limits the growth, distribution, or amount of a population in an ecosystem.
    • Example: Perch not getting enough oxygen, light and hiding places so that they can live.
  4. Carrying capacity:
    The size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by available resources and services by the ecosystem.
  5. Ecological niche:
    • The way that an organism occupies a position in the ecosystem, including all the necessary biotic and abiotic factors.
    • Example: Cave-dwelling bats regulate insect populations and support other cave-dwelling organisms.
  6. Predator:
    • An organism that kills to and consume other organisms.
    • Examples: Wolves, Lions, Bears, etc.

  7. Prey:
    • An organism that's eaten as food by a predator.
    • Examples: Deer, Rabbit, Moose, etc.
  8. Mutualism:
    • A symbiotic relationship between two species which both are benefited from it.
    • Example: Algae and Coral, algae benefits the coral with its colour while the coral provides the algae with protection, nutrients and a constant supply of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.
  9. Parasite:
    • An organism whose niche is dependent on a close association with a larger host organism.
    • Example: Larval worms that are laid in blood vessels of a white-tailed deer's brain.
  10. Competition:
    • When two or more organisms compete for the same resource.
    • Example: Competition between female sparrows for resources to lay eggs.
  11. 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.
    • Example: Humans sustaining our resources so that we don't use them too quickly.
  12. Doubling time:
    • The period of time that's required for a population to double in size.
    • Example: The human doubling time is 60 years
  13. Ecological footprint:
    • A measure of the impact that an individual or population makes on the environment in terms of energy consumption, land use and waste production.
    • Example: The ecological footprint of each Canadian person is approximately 8 hectares/person
  14. Unsustainable:
    • A pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of a ecosystem.
    • Example: Since our world has a big ecological footprint and depend on non-renewable fossil fuels, our world is likely to be unsustainable.
  15. Sustainability:
    • Use of Earth's resources, including land and water, at levels that can continue on forever.
    • Examples: Consuming fewer resources, Use of existing resources efficiently, energy efficiency, etc.
  16. Ecosystem services:
    • The benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems.
    • Example: Natural results of all activities that occur in the biosphere.
  17. Desertification:
    • The change of non-desert land into a desert.
    • Example: European settlers cutting down trees for lumber and cleared the land for agriculture but created desert like conditions.
  18. Ecotourism:
    • A form of tourism that's sensitive to the health of an ecosystem and involves recreational activities produced by a sustainable ecosystem.
    • Example: Skiing, Hiking, Fishing, etc.