Ecolgy Unit Chapter 2 Glossary Terms

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  1. Population
    A group of individuals belonging to a species living in the same region at the same time, and able to successfully reproduce.

    • Tend to increase when individuals reproduce at rates faster than what is needed to replace individuals that have left or died
    • Example : Elephants
    • The size of the population is based on the ecosystems carrying capacity
  2. Exponential Growth
    Very quick and accelerating growth of a species.

    • Exponential growth occurs when a species has a lot of resources
    • Produces a j-shaped curve when graphed against time
    • Examples : algae growing in a new pond, and pressure being removed from elephants
    • Cannot be sustained in nature

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  3. Limiting Factors
    Environmental restrictions that limit population growth.

    • Exponential growth cannot continue forever because no ecosystem has an infinite amount of resources
    • As a population increases, each animal has access to less resources, thus limiting their growth
    • Includes biotic factors like food and abiotic factors like light and oxygen
  4. Carrying Capacity
    The size of the population that can be supported by an ecosystem

    • Is decided by the amount of resources
    • When a population is maintained at carrying capacity it is at an equilibrium 
    • When a necessary resource is being used at a rate faster than the carrying capacity of the ecosystem, the population will drop to a natural equilibrium
    • the limiting resource may also be an abiotic factor

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  5. Ecological Niche
    The function/place of an organism in its ecosystem

    • Every living thing on Earth has a role to play in its environment
    • Niche includes how resources are obtained and how an organism survives
    • A job in the sense of providing benefits to an ecosystem
    • Made up of : the resources used by an organism, abiotic limiting factors and bitotic relationships with other species
    • Example: The space a bat takes up while sleeping a part of its ecological niche
  6. Predator
    An animal that preys on/eats others

    • A carnivore or meat-eater 
    • An animal on a higher trophic level
    • Example: a lion is a predator of a zebra
  7. Prey
    An animal that is hunted by another for food

    • Usually a herbivore or secondary predator
    • An animal on a lower trophic level
    • Example: a rat is snake's prey
  8. Mutualism
    A symbiotic relationship between two species that both species benefit from

    • The animals "work together" in a sense
    • Organisms in a mutualistic relationship evolved together
    • A species may be so dependent that it cannot live without its mutualistic partner
    • Examples of mutualisim: coral and algae, bees and flowers, humans and bacteria
  9. Parasite
    Organisms that live on or in host organisms from which they leech nutrients and give nothing in return

    • Parasites don't try to kill their hosts because they need the host to survive
    • Sometimes the host is harmed and sometimes not
    • The impact on the host is always negative
    • Examples of parasites: tapeworms, fleas, and barnacles
  10. Competition
    When two or more organisms compete for the same resource in the same place at the same time

    • Can limit the size of a population
    • The more energy spent competing is less energy spent growing and reproducing
    • When there is now competition a species can occupy a broad niche but when there is competition the niche is narrower 
    • Example: When the sparrow population increased, the amount of eggs laid decreased
  11. Sustainable Use
    The use of a resource that doesn't lead to long term depletion or affect the diversity of an ecosystem

    • Allows the resource to meet the needs of present and future generations.
    • If something is used sustainably it should last forever
  12. Doubling Time
    The amount of time it takes for a population's size to double.
  13. Ecological Footprint
    A measure of the impact an individual or population on the environment

    • Measured in terms of energy consumption, land use, and waste production 
    • Reflects the behavior of individuals and the communities they live in 
    • A measure of land and water that are needed to support an individuals living standard 
    • Our ecological footprint shows that 1.5 earths would be needed to meet humanity's demands
    • usually measured in hectares
  14. Unsustainable
    A pattern of activity that leads to a decline on resources and function in the ecosystem

    • Not able to be maintained forever
    • The opposite of sustainable
    • Non-renewable
  15. Sustainability
    Using Earth's resources in a sustainable way in which they can last forever

    • Involves meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations
    • Includes land and water being used sustainably as well
    • Opposite of unsustainable
  16. Ecosystem services
    The Benefits provided to organisms(including humans) from sustainable ecosystems

    • Includes many things like: the provision of food and clean water, the cycling of nutrients. the conversion of atmospheric carbon into biomass,etc.
    • A natural result of all the activities in the biosphere
    • Ecosystem services allow ecosystems to function
  17. Desertification
    The change of a place that is not a desert into a desert

    • May result from climate change and unsustainable farming and water use
    • Usually occurs when large forests are cleared and annual precipitation is lowered
    • Example: When European settlers clear cut forests the are became deserts
  18. Ecotourism
    A form of tourism that is sensitive to the ecosystem and involved activities provided by sustainable ecosystems

    • A sustainable form of tourism that is now a multi-billion industry
    • Focuses on local cultures and wilderness adventures
    • Examples: Hiking, snowshoeing,fishing and kayaking
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Ecolgy Unit Chapter 2 Glossary Terms
2015-09-29 15:31:08
Chapter glossary terms ms day

CH 2 glossary terms for ms day
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