Ecology Chapter 2

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Ecology Chapter 2
2014-09-23 20:50:46

chapter 2 glossary terms
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  1. Population
    All the individuals of a species that occupy a particular geographic area at a certain time.

    Eg: A population of humans.
  2. Exponential growth
    Accelerating growth that produces a J-shaped curve when the population is graphed against time.
  3. Limiting factor
    A factor that limits the growth, distribution, or amount of a population in an ecosystem.

    Eg: Space
  4. Carrying capacity
    The size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by the available resources and services of an ecosystem.

    Eg: A population of wolves that has enough prey to feed on.
  5. Equilibrium
    The balance between opposing forces.

    Eg: When a resource is used at a pace exceeding an ecosystems carrying capacity, the population size will decrease to a new equilibrium.
  6. Urban sprawl
    The growth of relatively low-density development on the edges of urban areas.

    Eg: The greater dependence that people have on cars now days.
  7. Intensification
    A policy that requires a lot of new development to take place within city boundaries.

    Eg: Paving a new road.
  8. Ecological niche
    The way that an organism occupies a position in an ecosystem, including all the necessary biotic and abiotic features.

    Eg: A bats biotic niche is it's competitors, such as a night hawk.
  9. Bog
    The wetland in which the water is acidic and low in nutrients.

    Eg: A lake that has a pH level lower than 3.6, and high in aluminium.
  10. Predator
    An organism that kills and consumes other organisms.

    Eg: A cheetah is a predator to an antelope.
  11. Prey
    An organism that is eaten as food by a predator.

    Eg: An antelope is a prey to a cheetah.
  12. Bottom-up population regulation
    A shortage in the plant resource at the bottom of the food chain causes a decline in the animals in the higher trophic levels.

    Eg: If their is a shortage in plants, than there will be a shortage in organisms higher in the trophic level that consume plants.
  13. Top-down population regulation
    An increase in the population of a prey leading to an increase in the population of the predator, eventually the population of the prey will decrease due to uncreased hunting which in turn will decrease the population of the predator.

    Eg: If there is an increase in the population in antelope, than their will be an increase in the population in cheetah's. That will lead to more cheetahs being produced, thus killing more antelope, which will cause a decrease in antelope.
  14. Mutualism
    A symbiotic relationship between two species in which both species benefit from the relationship.

    Eg: Bees cross pollinate for flowers, and flowers give pollen to bees.
  15. Parasite
    An organism whose niche is dependent on a close association with a larger host organism.

    Eg: Brain worm parasite uses a white tailed deer to reproduce.
  16. Parasitism
    An interaction that involves a parasite and a host organism to live in close association with one another; in most cases the parasite harms the host to some extent.

    Eg: Brain worm parasite uses a moose for a home and the moose gets harmed.
  17. 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.

    Eg: Sustainable use of the sun.
  18. Doubling time
    The period of time required for a population to double in size.

    Eg: Human doubling time is 60 years.
  19. 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.

    Eg: The amount of land that is required annually per person.
  20. Unsustainable
    A pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem.

    Eg: Dumping waste into a lake may cause unsustainability for its ecosystem.
  21. Sustainability
    Use of Earth’s resources, including land and water, at levels that can continue forever.
  22. Ecosystem services
    The benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems; a natural result of all the activities that occur in the biosphere.

    Eg: Bees help flowers pollinate.
  23. Desertification
    The change of non-desert land into a desert; desertification may result from climate change and unsustainable farming or water use.

    Eg: Not enough precipitation gets to a part of land, than the land will dry up.
  24. Watershed
    An area of land over which the run-off drains into a body of water.

    Eg: A puddle.
  25. Cross-pollination
    Male pollen from another plant fertilizes the female ovary in another flower with the help of outside forces.
  26. Self-pollination
    When a flower can pollinate itself or another flower from the same plant.
  27. Decomposition
    An interaction and ecosystem service in which decomposers break down the organic waste and dead organism to release nutrients and energy that must be recycled.

    Eg: Bacteria decomposes a dead deer.
  28. Aerial insectivores
    Organisms that consume flying insects.

    Eg: A spider.
  29. Connectivity
    The collection of links and relationships between ecosystems that are separated geographically.
  30. Ecotourism
    A form of tourism that is sensitive to the health of an ecosystem and involves recreational activities provided by sustainable ecosystems.

    Eg: The butterfly conservatory.