Chapter 2 Glossary Terms
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What is population?
- A group of organisms of one species that lives in the same place at the same time
- Amount of biotic organisms of the same species in one area at the same time
- Example: Population of Kitchener is 219,153
- Diagram: Typical growth curve
What is exponential growth?
- Usually occurs only under special conditions such as introduction to a new habitat with unlimited resources, and only for a short time in nature
- Happens under special conditions like introduction to a new area with unlimited supplies and only for a short time in nature
- Limiting factors restrict exponential growth
- Example: When bunnies were introduced into Australia, they had a lot of food, resources, and the predators didn't know what they were so they were left unharmed, resulting in an exponential growth of bunnies
What are limiting factors?
- A factor that limits the growth, distribution, or amount of a population in an ecosystem
- Factors that restricts the population in an ecosystem
- Example: A yellow perch can produce about 23 000 eggs a year but because of limiting factors, not all of them survive
What is carrying capacity?
- Size of a population that can be supported indefinitely by the resources and conditions of a given ecosystem
- Example: If rabbit predators die, the rabbits reproduce rapidly and if the rabbits don't stop reproducing, they get to the highest amount of rabbits the community can support and they are at their carrying capacity
What is an ecological niche?
- The way that an organism occupies a position in an ecosystem, including all the necessary biotic and abiotic factors
- Part of the environment that a species fits into, and to which it is adapted
- Example: Bog plants adapted to the bog and catch flies for food instead of absorbing nutrients
What is a predator?
- An organism that kills and consumes other organisms
- Example: Wolf consumes moose
What is a prey?
- An organism that is eaten as food by a predator
- Example: Rabbits are eaten by lynxes
What is mutualism?
- A symbiotic relationship between two species in which both species benefit from the relationship
- Symbiosis in which both organisms benefit
- Example: Plover Bird picks food from the crocodile's teeth eats it, while the crocodile gets a fresh, infection free mouth
What is a parasite?
- An organism whose niche is dependent on a close association with a larger host organism
- Example: A musquito that sucks a human's blood
What is competition?
- Two or more organisms compete for the same resources like food, shelter, water, etc
- Example: A Hyena and Lion competing for territory
What is 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
- Use that doesn't lead to a long-term reduction of a resource or affect the variety of the ecosystem from which the resource came from
- Example: Using wind doesn't lead to a long-term reduction of it
What is double timing?
- The period of time that is required for a population to double in size
- How long it takes for a population to double
- Example: The current double time is 60 years for Earth's population
What is an 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
- The impact of a person or community on the environment, expressed as the amount of land required to sustain their use of natural resources
- A pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem
- Example: The increase in world population is putting stress on ecological support systems
- Use of Earth's resources, including land and water, at levels that can continue forever
- Examples: Recycling is one way of making Earth more sustainable
What are ecosystem services?
- The benefits experienced by organisms, including humans, that are provided by sustainable ecosystems
- Example: Ecosystems provide the conditions for growing food
What is desertification?
- The change of non-desert land into a desert
- May be a result from climate change and unsustainable farming or water use
- Example: Harappan civilization was heavily forested and very fertile but decreasing soil fertility, a changing climate, and other factors changed it to what it is today
- Diagram: Before and after desertification
What is ecotourism?
- A form of tourism that is sensitive to the health of an ecosystem and involves recreational activities provided by sustainable ecosystems
- A sustainable form of tourism
- Example: In Kenya, travelers can walk down white beaches or go diving along coral reefs
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