A personalized and smart learning plan
Take a test on your terms and definitions
Scientifically backed study method
See how quickly you can match all your cards
Study terms and definitions
What is ecology?
Tags & Description
View all (62)
New cards (62)
the study of relationships between organisms
What do ecologists do?
Ecologists study the relationship between plants, animals and the environment
What things do ecologists study?
Population ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, behavioral ecology
Example of an interaction that took place during the seed investigation
Seeds with apple juice grew mold that fed off of the juice
Hierarchy of Ecological Organization
The number, and variety of living organisms in a given area, during a specific period of time; total genetic based variety of organisms
Trophic Levels of Consumers
the number of species in an area (ex. 3 types of grass in a field)
the number of individuals per species (ex. 1 million oak trees)
the range of different inherited traits within a species (ex. different dog breeds)
the range of habitats present in a region (ex. desert, grasslands, oceans)
how organisms are classified
single-celled, no organelles (ex. E. coli, salmonella)
1+ cells, have organelles (ex. fish, trees, dolphin)
single-celled, unique biochemistry, extremophiles (ex. cyanobacteria)
NOT ALIVE - protein, not a domain (ex. COVID, flu)
2-system identifying name used worldwide, "Genus species" (italicized)
diagram that depicts the lines of evolutionary descent of different species, organisms, or genes from a common ancestor
organisms that use glucose (ex. yeast, molds, mushrooms, and toadstools; separate from green plants)
organisms that create glucose through photosynthesis (ex. grass, trees)
organisms that use glucose (ex. humans, bears, tigers)
organisms that both make and use glucose; single-celled (ex. sea lettuce, kelp)
A group of organisms that are closely related, who can mate to produce fertile offspring. All of the cats are feline, but each cat is a different species. "Genus species" name
A group of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area.
Species life history
the pattern of survival and reproduction events typical for a member of the species (aka life cycle)
Place where an organism lives
An organism's particular role in an ecosystem, or how it makes its living
Intrinsic rate of growth "r"
maximum rate of annual growth under ideal physical conditions
Population limiting factors
The reason why organisms don't reach "r" : biotic (predation, parasites/disease, competition) abiotic (weather, viruses)
within the same species (ex. 2 wolves fighting over a dead fox)
between different species (ex. an alligator and a lion fighting over a buffalo)
J-curve, rate of growth is constantly increasing over time
S-curve, rate of growth grows then shrinks because of carrying capacity
Carrying Capacity "k"
maximum number of individuals an environment can support over a period of time; limits a population (over k = die off)
A group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other.
A close relationship between two species that benefits at least one of the species
A relationship between two species in which both species benefit (ex. birds cleaning hippo's teeth)
A relationship between two organisms of different species where one benefits and the other is harmed (ex. tick on a dog)
A relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits and the other is unaffected (ex. burrs) - rarest!
the division of resources to avoid interspecific competition for limited resources in an ecosystem; each organism occupies a different niche
populations rise and fall over a predictable period of time
predator population is usually less than prey population
lag time due to reproduction delay
Why are nutrients recycled in an ecosystem?
Decomposers break down dead organisms into nutrients and gases so that they can be used by other organisms
most of carbon is stored in the atmosphere (CO2), plants absorb it and turn carbon into glucose
Why is carbon important?
Carbon has 4 valence electrons, so it’s good at bonding to make other molecules. In other words, Carbon is the building blocks for many different chemicals.
Phosphorous is used to make genetic material, and help make ATP, which allows organisms to store and release energy.
Sulfur gives proteins structure, and the proteins make us the way we are.
Nitrogen is required to make amino acids, proteins, and genetic material, which are essential to life.
low temperatures, little precipitation
little rainfall, extremely cold or hot
dominated by trees; temperate forests, tropical forests, and boreal forests
dominated by grass; warm, dry climate
freshwater and marine biomes
1st Law of Energy (Conservation)
regarding quantity/amount of energy energy is neither created nor destroyed
2nd Law of Energy
regarding quality/type of energy energy changes form over time and eventually becomes unusable
the measure of the quality of the energy in the universe any exchange of energy=waste heat and increase in entropy
Energy Flow in an Ecosystem
A diagram that shows the amount of energy that moves from one trophic level to another in an ecosystem.
Plant Chemical Reactions
plants capture solar E
transform solar energy -> chemical energy (glucose)
Animal Chemical Reactions
transform glucose -> ATP
transform ATP -> kinetic energy (ability to move around and function)
hierarchical series of organisms each dependent on the next as a source of food.
combination of all of the food chains in an ecosystem
Total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level