Ecology Chapter 3 Glossary Terms-Connor

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Ecology Chapter 3 Glossary Terms-Connor
2015-10-06 18:14:13
Ecology Connor Glossary Terms

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  1. Biodiversity
    • The number and variety of living organisms, found within a specific area or region as well as all the number and variety of species beyond that region
    • High biodiversity requires requires sustainable ecosystems
    • We can measure biodiversity by canopy fogging, quadrant sampling, transect sampling, and netting
  2. Protect
    To guard legally from harm a species that is listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern
  3. Biodiversity Hotspot
    • A place where there is an exceptionally large number of species in a relatively small area
    • Hotspots are generally given special treatment meaning that they are usually no allowed o be built upon
    • An example of a biodiversity hotspot is: The Leitrem Wetlands near Ottawa
  4. Community
    • All the populations of the different species that interact in a specific area or an ecosystem
    • Because species depend on these interactions it is extremely important that we maintain the biodiversity of communities in order to protect the individual species involved
    • If you remove a single species from a community it can have dangerous repercussions because you don't know what relationships that species might have with other animals
  5. Dominant Species
    • Species that are so abundant that the have largest biomass of any community member
    • In terrestrial environments, primary producers are always the dominant producers
    • The removal of a dominant species can cause a decrease in biodiversity within an ecosystem
    • For example: the american chestnut tree was wiped out by a fungus that was accidentally introduced. As a result, 7 types of insects went extinct
  6. Keystone Species
    • A keystone species is a species that can greatly affect the population numbers and the health of an ecosystem
    • Keystone species are much less abundant than dominant species, but they affect the environment just as much as dominant species do
    • Keystone species can be plants or animals
    • For example: the sea otter is a keystone species. It eats sea urchins that eat the kelp that kills fish. When the otter population decreased, the urchin population increased, and when the urchin population increased the kelp population decreased killing fishes.
  7. Captive Breeding
    • The breeding of rare or endangered wildlife in controlled settings to increase population
    • Captive breeding is used to bring endangered species back from the brink
    • For example: the black footed ferrets needed to be brought back from near extinction and so they bred them in captivity and released them when there was a stable food source for them to eat
  8. Ecosystem Engineer
    • A species that causes such dramatic changes to a landscape that it causes it to become a new ecosystem
    • For example: The beaver when building a dam creates such a major change that it causes it to become a new ecosystem. What was once a free flowing flowing river turns into a calm pond for insects, juvenile fish, and migrating birds
  9. Succession
    • Is the series of changes that occurs in an environment over time, after following a disturbance
    • For example: After the beaver builds its dam the area changes from a forest, to a flooded forest (due to the dam), then to sunny pond, than a abandoned pond that turns into a beaver meadow
  10. Habitat Loss
    • The destruction of habitats, usually from human activities
    • Habitat loss can occur naturally through natural disasters such as earthquakes or tornadoes, or more often through human activities like urbanization, deforestation, or river draining
    • Habitat loss can cause loss of species and causes biodiversity to be threatened
  11. Deforestation
    • The practice of cutting down forests for logging or other human purposes
    • Doing this can cause many different biodiversity hotspots to be lost because forests usually contain a lot of species
  12. Alien Species
    • A species that is accidentally or deliberately introduced into a new location
    • Most alien species are introduced accidentally through food shipments or other goods
    • Many alien species are harmless or even beneficial to the new environments
    • For example: the grey squirrel was accidentally introduced to Europe fro North America
  13. Invasive Species
    • A alien species that can take over the habitat of native species
    • Many invasive species invade aquatic systems through ballast water
    • Invasive species like the zebra mussels, out compete native mussels and other indigenous creature causing a decline in the native creatures
  14. Overexploitation
    • The use or extraction of a resource until it's depleted
    • Overexploitation can lead to a major decline in the population of a species if not complete extinction
    • For example: Hunting of the dodo birds caused them to completely die out
  15. Extinction
    • The death of all the individuals of a species
    • Extinction happens when the death rate of a species is larger than the birth rate of a species for a long period of time
    • Extinction usually happens through human change but it can occur naturally if a significant biotic or abiotic feature is changed
    • Natural extinction can happen 2 different in 2 different patterns: background and mass extinction
    • Background extinction is when ecosystems change gradually and existing species become extinct while other species appear through evolution
    • Mass extinction is when there is a relatively sudden change to the ecosystem causing them to be unsustainable
    • An example of mass extinction is the death of all the dinosaurs
  16. Biodiversity Crisis
    • A biodiversity crisis is an accelerated rate of extinctions
    • We have a biodiversity crisis on our hands right now most likely because of humans
    • Human activities like deforestation, habitat destruction and air and water pollution can change the environment so much that it turns unlivable for some organisms
  17. Restoration Ecology
    • The renewal of degraded or destroyed ecosystems through active human intervention
    • Restoration ecology can reverse the impact that humans have had on the ecosystems
    • Restoration ecology hopes to stimulate natural regenerative processes to produce a sustainable, if not identical, ecosystem
    • A few ways that ecosystems can be restored are through reforestation and wetlands restoration
  18. Reforestation
    • The regrowth of a forest, either through natural processes or through the planting of seeds, plants, and reintroduction of abiotic and biotic sources, in an area where a forest was cut down
    • Reforestation can take a while, but with care and planning, it can be done well
    • An example of reforestation is the replanting of red pine trees in the 1900s
  19. Biocontrol
    • Biocontrol is the use of a species to control the population growth or spread of an undesirable creature
    • Both biocontrol and chemicals are ways to get rid of invasive species
    • Biocontrol is when ecologists introduce an alien species in order to kill an undesirable creature
    • Biocontrol can work but it can also lead to repercussions when the alien species introduced does not die out as quickly as they should, or breed with native species, or even become the invasive species myself
    • For example: The Asian ladybug was introduced to Canada in the hopes that they would eat aphids and cause the population to decline. That did work but then the ladybugs who were thought to die when winter struck didn't. They then bred with the native Canadian ladybugs and created a hybrid species.
  20. Bioremediation
    • The use of living organisms to clean up contaminated areas naturally
    • Examples: Use of plants to absorb heavy metals from toxic soil or the use of bacteria to clean up oil spills on the coast
  21. Bioaugumentation
    • The use of living to add essential nutrients to depleted soils
    • Example: Use of clover to add nitrogen to depleted soils