Ecology- Chapter 2

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Author:
soveighbrasseur
ID:
307829
Filename:
Ecology- Chapter 2
Updated:
2015-09-28 18:45:57
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eco
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science
Description:
18 Glossary Terms for Ecology
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  1. Population
    • a group of organisms of one species that lives in the same area at the same time
    • many factors affect the growth of the population- one being unlimited resources(food, water and shelter) causing a population to grow exponentially
  2. Exponential Growth
    • accelerating growth that produces a J-shaped curve when the population is graphed against time
    • usually occurs only under special conditions, such as introduction to a new habitat with unlimited resources, and only lasts for a short time in nature
    • Diagram of J-shaped curve graph:
  3. Limiting Factors
    • a factor that limits the growth, distribution, or amount of a population in an ecosystem
    • comes into affect when a population increases and each individual has access to less resources
  4. Carrying Capacity
    • the size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by the available resources and services of an ecosystem
    • population size is at equilibrium(the balance between opposing forces) at carrying capacity
    • when a resource is used at a pace exceeding the ecosystem's carrying capacity, the population size will decrease to a new equilibrium
    • carrying capacity can be increased by altering the ecosystem allowing for more energy to be consumer or altering the behaviour instead of the ecosystem
    • Diagram of carrying capacity on J-curve graph:
  5. Ecological Niche
    the way that an organism occupies a position in an ecosystem, including all the necessary resources, biotic relationships with other species and abiotic limiting factors
  6. Predator
    • an organism that kills and consumes other organisms
    • ex. bald eagles are predators to fish
  7. Prey
    • an organism that is eaten as food by a predator
    • ex. fish are prey to bald eagles
  8. Mutualism
    • a symbiotic relationship between two species in which both species benefit from the relationship
    • ex. algae and coral- coral provides a host, protection, nutrients and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis- algae provides coral with 90% energy requirement;without algae coral would turn white(known as bleaching)algae provides the coral with it's colour
    • Image of healthy and bleached coral:
  9. Parasite
    • an organism whose niche is dependent on a close association with a larger host organism
    • ex. brainworm and white-tailed deer- brainworms use white-tailed deer bodies to mature their eggs
    • Diagram of brainworms using the white-tailed deer:
  10. Competition
    • two or more organisms compete for the same resources such as food, water, space- still considered competition within the same species
    • ex. male birds have colourful feathers to attract females; the males that have more colourful feathers are more likely to attracted a mate and reproduce
  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
    • sustainable use of a resource allows the resource to be available and capable of meeting the needs for future generations
    • ex. humans must use resources in a more sustainable way or risk the shrinkage or loss of their niche over time
  12. Doubling Time
    • the period of time that is required for a population to double in size
    • ex. present doubling time for humans is ˜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
    • reflects the behaviour of individuals and the communities they live in
    • measure amount of land and water that is needed in order to support the standard of an individual in the case that they live forever
    • ex. average ecological footprint in Canada(developed country) is one of largest due to materialistic wishes that require large amounts of energy produced by burning fossil fuels
    • Graph of Ecological Footprints Around the World:
  14. Unsustainable
    • a pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem
    • ex. increasing world population is unsustainable to the earth and puts stress on ecological support systems- ecological footprint of developed countries increase, multiplying the stress on ecological support
    • Graph of the Worlds Human Population Increase Over 2000 Years:
  15. Sustainability
    • use of Earth's resources, including land and water, at levels that can continue forever
    • can be achieved in human niches by only using resources when needed and in a way that limits the amount of non-renewable resources being expended
  16. Ecosystem Services
    • the benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems
    • natural result of all the activities that occur in the biosphere including:
    • provisions of food and clean water
    • cycling of nutrients(water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus)
    • conversion of atmospheric carbon into biomass(influence on climate/weather)
    • balance processes such as growth and decomposition
    • provisions of beauty and spirituality
    • theses services allow ecosystems to function, which is a requirement of sustainability
    • ex. forests influence the climate by producing rain clouds that form over the forest, keeping the climate cool and wet
    • Image of Forest Rain Clouds:
  17. Desertification
    • the change of non-desert land into desert; desertification may result from climate change and unsustainable farming or water use
    • ex. clear cutting large forests leads to desertification due to the decline in annual precipitation causing the climate to become hot/dry
    • the loss of rain clouds in large forested areas that have been affected by clear-cutting is partially the reason for desertification due to the fact more than half the moisture above tropical rain forests comes from the trees
    • Image of Rain Clouds Above Forest:
  18. Ecotourism
    • a form of tourism that is sensitive to the health of an ecosystem and involves recreational activities provided by sustainable ecosystems
    • ex. hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, kayaking, etc.

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