Ecology Chapter 2 Glossary terms

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ConnorC
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Ecology Chapter 2 Glossary terms
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2015-09-26 09:19:39
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  1. Population
    • A group of organisms in the same species that live in the same place at the same time
    • Many factors affect population growth
    • Factors include: populations will tend to grow exponentially if resources (food, water, shelter) are unlimited
  2. Exponential Growth
    • Usually occurs under special conditions, such as introduction to a new habitat with unlimited resources, and only for a short period of time in nature
    • Limiting factors restrict exponential growth
    • An example of economic growth is:When bunnies were introduced into Australia, they had a lot of food, resources, and they were unknown to the predators causing them to be left alone, resulting in an exponential growth of bunnies
  3. Limiting Factors
    • Limiting factors are things that limit the growth, distribution, or amount of population in an ecosystem
    • Things such as water, food, oxygen, and a stable environment are limiting factors
    • These things make sure the ecosystems stay in check with not too many of one species in a single place
    • For example: A yellow perch can produce about 23 000 eggs a year but because of limiting factors like predators and limited food; not all of them survive
  4. Carrying Capacity
    • Size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by the resources and conditions of the environment
    • Population is at equilibrium at carrying capacity
    • When a resource is used at a rate greater than the ecosystems carrying capacity, the population will decrease to a new equilibrium
  5. Ecological niche
    • The way that an organism occupies a position in an ecosystem, including all the necessary biotic and abiotic factors
    • Their niches include resources used, abiotic factors, and biotic relationships it has with other species
    • For example: The brown bat
    • Resources used: Insects it eats, habitats it uses, oxygen and water
    • Abiotic Limiting Factors: Places for roosting and hibernation, time of night when hunting, temperature it can tolerate, airspace for hunting/flying
    • Biotic Relationships: Insects it eats, competition from nighthawks, predators
    • Species provide different services including regulation of population size and services related to the cycling of matter or energy flow
    • No two species have the same niche because no two species live the same way
    • Humans are special in the way that we are able to change our niche to suit our own needs
  6. Predator
    • An organism that kills and consumes another organisms
    • For example: cougar to a deer or a bear to a fish
  7. Prey
    • An organism that is eaten as food by a predator
    • For example: deer to a cougar or fish to a bear
  8. Mutualism
    • The symbiotic relationship between two species in which both species benefit from the relationship
    • For example: algae and coral both benefit from each other. The algae provides the coral with 90% of its energy needs and the coral provides protection, nutrients, and oxygen
  9. Parasite
    • A parasite is an organism whose niche is dependent on a close association with a larger host organism
    • Example: A tapeworm that takes nutrients it needs to live from bigger animals intestines like cows or humans
  10. Competition
    • Competition is when two organisms of different species compete for resources such as food, water, or shelter
    • For example: dandelions and grass living in the same lawn
  11. Sustainable Use
    • Sustainable use is use of a resource that does not lead to long term depletion  or affect the diversity of the environment around it
    • With humans being able to occupy such a large spot in the ecosystem it makes using our resources at a sustainable rate all that more important
  12. Doubling Time
    • Doubling time is the amount of time it takes for a species to double its population
    • Humans doubling time has decreased to almost 23 years (60 years by the textbook but 23 by http://www.prb.org/Publications/Lesson-Plans/HumanPopulation/PopulationGrowth.aspx ) as before it took about 650 years from 400 years
  13. Ecological Footprint
    • The measure of impact a species or individual has on the environment in terms of energy consumption, land use, and waste production
    • It reflects the behavior of the individuals and species living there
  14. Unsustainable
    • A pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem
    • For example: An example of unsustainability is our use and dependence on fossil fuels
    • Unsustainable patterns puts strain on the worlds ecological support systems (carbon sinks)
  15. Sustainability
    • Sustainability is the use of resources (water, land) at levels that can last forever
    • If we can reach a sustainable pattern through smarter technological innovation, energy efficiency, and recycling than we will release the strain on the ecological support systems
  16. Ecosystem Services
    • Ecosystem services are the benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems
    • Ecosystem services are byproducts of normal activities that occur in the biosphere
    • Ecosystems  services include: the provision of clean food and clean water, the cycling of nutrients, the conversion of atmospheric carbon into biomass (which influences climate and weather) the pollination of crops and natural vegetation, the balance of processes such as growth and decomposition, and the provision of beauty and spirituality
    • Ecosystem services allow ecosystems to function, which is a requirement of sustainability
  17. Desertification
    • The change of non-desert land into a desert
    • Desertification can occur from climate change and unsustainable farming or water use
    • For example: when we deforest land we put that land at risk of becoming a desert through dehumidification
  18. Ecotourism
    • A form of tourism sensitive to he health of an ecosystem and involves recreational activities provided by sustainable ecosystems
    • For example: Watching birds perform their journey back and forth through Canada and wintering grounds

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