Chapter One Ecology Terms

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FaisalNadeem
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Chapter One Ecology Terms
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2015-09-23 11:34:46
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chapter 1 glossary terms for ms.day
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  1. Ecosystem
    A biological community where living organisms interact with each other and their environment(vice-versa)

    • Almost everything interacts with each other directly or indirectly
    • All vary in levels of sustainability
    • Ecosystems can vary greatly in size
    • Example : deserts, forests, bodies of water, tundra
  2. Sustainable Ecosystem
    An ecosystem that can thrive and provide for itself without outside influences/assistance

    • Harder to find because of human activities
    • Food chains are balanced, nitrogen and phosphate cycles are balanced
  3. Biotic
    Living or related to living organisms

    • The opposite of Abiotic
    • Includes animals, plants, bacteria, fungi
    • Are classified into 3 groups : producers, consumers and decomposers
    • Basically ALL life
  4. Abiotic
    Not living, usually physical things in  an ecosystem

    • Things like rocks, rain, wind, temperature, pH, oxygen, CO2 etc.
    • Biotic factors interact with abiotic things
  5. Lithosphere
    • The outer solid(hard) part  of the earth's surface(crust and upper mantle)
    • The most rigid and also the coolest
    • Also called geo-sphere(the "skin" of the rock on the outer layer)
    • The movement of the lithosphere is known as plate tectonics(causes earthquakes)

  6. Hydrosphere
    All the water found on the earth(lakes, oceans, ground water, ponds, rivers, streams)

    • The hydrosphere covers about 70% of the earth's surface
    • home to many animals
    • Frozen water IS NOT in the hydro sphere, it has it's own sphere, the cryosphere
    • Water moves through the hydrosphere in a cycle
  7. Atmosphere
    All the gasses surrounding(enveloping) the Earth

    • Basically the air and the sky
    • Has some animals
    • Most of it is nitrogen and oxygen
    • Is very spread out and has a layered structure
    • Lot's of gases including argon, carbon, dioxide, helium, neon
  8. Biosphere
    All the regions on Earth where living organisms exist

    • The global sum of all ecosystems
    • Also known as the zone of life on earth
    • In all of the spheres
    • Humans disrupt the flow of energy in the biosphere
    • There are 563 biosphere reserves over the world
    • has existed for about 3.5 billion years
  9. Nutrients
    Any chemical that is essential to living things

    • Cycled through ecosystems
    • provides energy for growth and maintains life
    • mineral substances absorbed by roots
  10. Eutrophication
    When an aquatic water system has too much nutrients 

    • Naturally a slow process, but is excessively increased because of human activities.
    • Usually happens in water bodies near heavily fertilized areas
    • Algae absorb run off fertilizer and bloom, absorbing the oxygen in the water
    • This causes widespread death for many species
  11. Photosynthesis
    A process where plants use the energy of the sun to create sugar

    • Is associated with the actions of the green pigment chlorophyll
    • Uses water, and creates oxygen
    • Occurs in the leaves 





    6H2O + 6CO2 ----------> C6H12O6+ 6O2
  12. Trophic Level
    A trophic level is the position an animal takes on a food chain

    Trophic levels are positions on the food chain.

    The positions are things like producers, herbivores,carnivores, primary carnivores, etc.
  13. Biomass
    The total mass of organisms in a defined group or area that has been assembled using solar energy
  14. Trophic Efficiency
    A measure of the amount of energy transferred from one trophic level to the next

    • Only 10% of the energy is transferred between levels
    • Measured in energy units or J`s

    Energy is lost for many reasons

    • Herbivore may not eat whole plant
    • Not everything eaten is digested
    • Energy is lost as heat from organisms

  15. Bioaccumulation
    The ingestion of toxins at a rate faster than they are eliminated

    • A monarch butterfly eat's milkweed, which has a toxin that does not harm it but can kill another animal if the butterfly is eaten
    • This is to the advantage of the species

    Bioaccumulation caused by humans however, can be devastating to a species
  16. Biomagnification
    The increase of the concentration of a toxin as it moves through a food chain

    • This happens because the animal on the higher trophic level needs to eat more of the lower level animals, who have absorbed toxins
    • This gives the upper trophic level a lot more concentration of toxins
    • has happened in the past with DDT and PCB's
  17. Cellular Respiration
    A process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the presence of oxygen

    • Used by almost every living organisms(humans, animals, bacteria, plants,)
    • Necessary for life

    • glucose + oxygen ------> carbon dioxide + water
  18. Fermentation
    The process when organic compounds are broken down in the absence of oxygen to release energy (anaerobic)

    • Used in muscles when oxygen is absent
    • Less efficient than cellular respiration but much quicker
    • Mostly carbohydrates
    • Some bacteria and fungi use fermentation
    • Related to alcohol production
  19. Green House Gases
    Atmospheric gases that stop prevent heat from leaving the atmosphere. This results in the temperature being increased 

    • Traps heat within Earth's atmosphere the same way glass traps heat in a green house
    • Any gas capable of trapping heat is considered a green house gas
    • Examples : water vapor,carbon dioxide, and methane


  20. Greenhouse effect
    The warming of Earth caused by greenhouse gases trapping heat that should've left Earth

    • Is necessary for life, or else Earth would be very cold
    • Human pollution has intensified the effect resulting in what is commonly known as "global warming"

  21. Acid Precipitation
    Rain or snow that is unnaturally acidic because of gases in the atmosphere that react with water to form acids

    • Mainly caused buy sulfur dioxide(SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NOx) 
    • Has a huge negative impact on aquatic environments 
    • Some species tolerate acidity better than others but the bottom of the food chain is more sensitive and can result in less food for the higher animals that can tolerate
    • Also harms trees making them more vulnerable to cold temperatures and disease

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