Chapter One Ecology Terms

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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)

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  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 

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    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

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  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
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  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
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  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

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  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"

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  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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Card Set:
Chapter One Ecology Terms
2015-09-23 15:34:46
Faisal Nadeem

chapter 1 glossary terms for
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