Ecology Glossary Terms - Chapter 2

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ReneeF
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283758
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Ecology Glossary Terms - Chapter 2
Updated:
2014-09-24 16:30:07
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Ecology
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Grade 9 Science Ecology Terms - Chapter 2 of 3
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  1. Population
    • def: a group of organisms of one species that live in the same place at the same time
    • e.g: brown bears living in a forest, angelfish living in a coral reef
  2. Exponential Growth
    • def: accelerating growth that produces a J-shaped curve when the population is graphed against time
    • populations tend to grow exponentially if resources (food, water, space, shelter) are unlimited.
  3. Limiting Factors
    • def: factors that limit the growth, distribution, or amount of a population in an ecosystem
    • e.g: some limiting factors include: food, water, nutrients, shelter, space, competition, etc
    • As a population increases, each organism has less access to resources and space. Also, when one population lives in close relation to another population, they often compete for the resources they need, which creates limiting factors for both.
  4. Carrying Capacity
    • def: size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by the resources and conditions of a given ecosystem.
    • population size is at equilibrium at carrying capacity
    • when resources are used unsustainably, the population size will decrease to a new equilibrium
  5. Ecological Niche
    • def: includes resources they use, abiotic limiting factors that restrict how it can survive, and biotic relationships that it has with other species
    • e.g: brown bat:
    • resources used: insects, cave, competitors (common nighthawk), temperature, time it hunts, places for roosting and hibernation
    • abiotic relationships: places it uses for roosting and hibernation, time of night it hunts for food, temperature range it can tolerate
    • biotic relationships: insects it eats, its competitors and its predators
  6. Predator
    • def: an organism that kills and consumes other organisms
    • e.g: a predator of a mouse would be and owl
  7. Prey
    • def: a organism that is eaten as food by a predator
    • e.g: prey of a wolf would be a caribou, or a moose
  8. Mutualism
    • def: a symbiotic relationship between 2 species in which both species benefit from the relationship
    • e.g: photosynthetic algae live inside most typical reef-building corals.  The algae provides the coral with up to 90% of the coral's energy and the coral provides the algae with protection, nutrients, and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.
  9. Parasite
    • def: an organism whose niche is dependent on a close association with a larger host organism
    • e.g: brain worms lay eggs in the blood vessels of a deer's brain and travel through the circulatory system until they hatch, which is when they are eventually excreted.  There is minimal impact on a deer, but the worms greatly depend on them to complete their life cycle successfully.
  10. Competition
    • def: 2 or more organisms compete for the same resources such as food, space, and water
    • e.g: if 2 organisms consume the same prey for food, they will have to compete for it, and if one organism is stronger or has more control over the other, it could eliminate the whole population of that species due to lack of food.
  11. Sustainable Use
    • def: use that does not lead to long term depletion of resources or affect the diversity of of the ecosystem from which the resources are obtained
    • allows the resource to meet the needs of present and future generations
    • e.g: if humans do not use resources in a sustainable way, our niche may shrink over time
  12. Doubling Time
    • def: the period of time that is required for a population to double in size
    • e.g: the world's doubling time used to be about 650 years, but now the doubling time for humans is about 60 years
  13. Ecological Footprint
    • def: a measure of the impact of an individual or a population on the environment
    • data used to measure an ecological footprint includes, energy consumption, land use, and waste production
  14. Unsustainable
    • def: a pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem
    • e.g: if an organism consumes food in an unsustainable way, there will eventually be a shortage of food and the organisms will begin to die off
  15. Sustainability
    • def: use of Earth's resources, including land and water, at levels that can continue forever
    • e.g: forests can have sustainability if humans replenish and control the amount of trees they cut down
  16. Ecosystem Services
    • def: benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems (natural result of all the activities that occur in the biosphere)
    • e.g: some ecosystem services that forests perform are, influencing climate, reducing erosion in watersheds, and providing a habitat for thousands of species
  17. Desertification
    def: the change of non-desert land into a desert; it may result from climate change and unsustainable farming or water use
  18. Ecotourism
    • def: a form of tourism that is sensitive to the health of an ecosystem and involves recreational activities provided by sustainable ecosystems
    • some tourists plan holidays that include boat trips to view whales and dolphins OR trips to watch birds and butterflies migrate.  Also, they provide opportunities for ecotourism by allowing humans to go hiking,snowshoeing, fishing, kayaking, etc

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