The Inhabitants of Earth and Their Relationships

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The Inhabitants of Earth and Their Relationships
2011-04-30 16:50:22
AP Environmental Science

Princeton Review
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  1. Ammonification
    The production of ammonia or ammonium compounds in the decomposition of organic matter, especially through the action of bacteria.
  2. Assimilation
    The process in which plants absorb ammonium (NH3), ammonia ions (NH4+), and nitrate ions (NO3) through their roots.
  3. Autotroph
    • An organism that obtains organic food molecules without eating other organisms or substances derived from other organisms.
    • Autotrophs use energy from the sun or from the oxidation of inorganic substances to make organic molecules from inorganic ones.
  4. Bioaccumulation
    The accumulation of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in various tissues of a living organism.
  5. Biomagnification
    The process by which the concentration of toxic substances increases in each succcessive link in the food chain.
  6. Chemotroph
    An organism, sucn as a bacterium or protozoan, that obtains its nourishment through the oxidation of inorganic chemical compounds, as opposed to photosynthesis.
  7. Climax Community
    A stable, mature community in a successive seereies that has reached wquilibrium after having evolved through stages and adapted to its environment.
  8. Community
    Formed from populations of different species occupying the same geographic area.
  9. Competitive Exclusion
    The process that occurs when two different species in a region compete and the better adapted species wins.
  10. Denitrifrication
    The process by which speicalized bacteria (mostly anaerobic bacteria) converty ammonia to NO3, NO2, and N2 and release it back into the atmospere.
  11. Detritivore
    Organisms that derive energy from consuming nonliving organic matter.
  12. Ecological Succession
    Transition in species composition of a biological community, often following ecological disturbance of the community; the establishment of a biological community in any area virtually barren of life.
  13. Edge Effect
    The condition in which, at ecosystem boundaries, there is greater species diversity and biological density than there is in the heart of ecological communities.
  14. Gause's Principle
    States that no two species can occupy that same niche at the same time, and that the species that is less fit to live in teh environment will either relocate, die out , or occupy a smaller niche.
  15. Gross Primary Productivity
    The amount of sugar that the plants produce in photosynthesis, and subtracting from it the amount of energy the plants need for growth, maintenance, repair, and reproduction.
  16. Heterotroph
    An organism that cannot synthesize its own food and is dependent on complex organic substances for nutrition.
  17. Keystone Species
    A species whose very presence contributes to an ecosystem's diversity and whose extinction would inevitably lead to the extinction of other forms of life.
  18. Net Primary Productivity
    The amount of energy that plants pass on to the community of herbivores in an ecosystem.
  19. Nitrification
    The process in which soil bacteria convert ammonium (NH4+) to a form that can be used by plant; nitrate, or NO3.
  20. Nitrogen Fixation
    The conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into compounds, such as ammonia, by natural agencies or various industrial processes.
  21. Pioneer Species
    Organisms in the first stages of succession.
  22. Primary Succession
    When ecological succession begins in a virtually lifeless area, such as the area behind a moving glacier.
  23. Realized Niche
    When species occupies a smaller niche than it would in the absence of competition.
  24. Residency Time
    The amount of time a resource spends in a reservoir or an exchange pool.
  25. Transpiration
    The act or process of transpiring, or releasing water vapor, especially through the stomata of plant tissue or the pores of the skin.
  26. The Water Cycle
  27. The Carbon Cycle
  28. The Nitrogen Cycle
  29. The Phosphorus Cycle
  30. Ecotones
    Boundary where two ecosystems meet.
  31. Law of Tolerance
    Every organism exhibit a range of tolerance.
  32. Law of the Minimum
    Living organisms will continue to live, consuming available materials until the supply of these materials is exhausted.
  33. Fudamental Niche
    Niche an organism would have if there was no competition and unlimited resources.
  34. Biomagnification
  35. Trophic Level
    • feeding levels in a food chain.
    • because only 10% of energy is transferred from one trophic level to the next, there are rarely more than 4 trophic levels most food chains.
  36. Phylogenetic Tree
    Diagram used to model evolution.