Ecology Glossary Terms Chapter 2

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Ecology Glossary Terms Chapter 2
2014-09-23 18:31:57
Chapter 2 Ecology Glossary Terms
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  1. Population
    -all the individuals of one species that occupy a particular geographic area at a certain time

    EXAMPLE: a population of giraffes, a population of humans, a population of hammerhead sharks
  2. Exponential Growth
    -accelerating growth that produces a J-shaped curve when the population is graphed against time

    NOTE: only occurs under certain conditions and for a short amount of time in nature

    • EXAMPLE: in South Africa when elephants became protected after being hunted to obtain ivory from their tusks they grew exponentially until reaching their carrying capacity
  3. Limiting Factors
    -a factor that limits the growth, distribution, or amount of a population in an ecosystem

    NOTE: a restriction such as having less resources to regulate the growth of a population
  4. Carrying Capacity
    -the size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by the available resources and services of an ecosystem

    • NOTE: beyond carrying capacity no additional individuals can be supported for very long
  5. Ecological Niche
    -the way that an organism occupies a position in an ecosystem, including all the necessary biotic and abiotic factors

    FACTORS: the resources used by an organism, the abiotic limiting factors that restrict how it can survive, the biotic niche factors

    EXAMPLE: the big brown bats resources was the cave and insects, its abiotic limiting factors was places it uses for roosting and the time it hunts for food, its biotic niche factors was the insects it eats and its competitors such as the common nighthawk
  6. Predator
    -an organism that kills and consumes other organisms

    • EXAMPLE: owls (the predator) consume mice (the prey)
  7. Prey
    -an organism that is eaten as food by  a predator

    • EXAMPLE: mice (the prey) are consumed by owls (the predator)
  8. Mutualism
    -a symbiotic relationship between two species in which both species benefit from the relationship

    EXAMPLE: algae provides the coral host 90 percent of the coral's energy requirements and, 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: tape worm, brain worm

    NOTE: brain worms can be tolerated by white-tailed deer however other members of the deer family such as moose cannot and will suffer from moose disease
  10. Competition
    -occurs when two or more organisms compete for the same resources such as food or space, in the same place, at the same time

    EXAMPLE 1: male birds have colourful feathers to attract the females and the males that have more colourful feathers are more likely to attract a mate and reproduce

    EXAMPLE 2: crops and weeds fight for space
  11. Sustainable Use
    -use that does not lead to long term depletion of a resource or affect the diversity of the ecosystem from which the resource is obtained

    NOTE: allows the resource to meet the needs of the present and future generations
  12. Doubling Time
    -the period of time that is required for a population to double in size

    NOTE: the present doubling time is about 60 years
  13. Ecological Footprint
    • -a measure of the impact of an individual or a population on the environment in terms of energy consumption, land use, and waste production
  14. Unsustainable
    -a pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem

    EXAMPLE: humans are continuing to make a negative impact on Earth and that way of life is likely to be unsustainable as our world has finite resources and energy
  15. Sustainability
    -use of Earth's resources, including land and water, at levels that can continue forever

    EXAMPLE: by recycling, consuming fewer resources and being energy efficient humans can reduce their ecological footprint
  16. Ecosystem Services
    -the benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems

    INCLUDING: the provision of food and clean water, the cycling of nutrients, the conversion of atmospheric carbon into biomass(climate/weather), pollination of crops and natural vegetation, balance of growth and decomposition, provision of spirituality and beauty

    • NOTE: these services can be provided by forests(regulate climate),insects(pollination) and migratory birds(balance insect growth)
  17. Desertification
    -the change of non-desert land into a desert; desertification may result from climate change and unsustainable farming or water use

    • EXAMPLE: when European settlers came to Norfolk in southern Ontario they cleared up the forests for lumber and for agricultural needs which led to desert like conditions (less rain and hot humid weather)
  18. Ecotourism
    -a form of tourism that is sensitive to the health of an ecosystem and involves recreational activities provided by sustainable ecosystems

    • EXAMPLE: hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, kayaking, sightseeing