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Flashcards in Ecology Test Deck (58)
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1

ecology

the scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, or surroundings

2

biosphere

the combined portions of the planet in which all life exists, including land, water, and air

3

How do ecologists understand relationships within the biosphere?

they ask questions about events and organisms that range in complexity from a single individual to the entire biosphere

4

species

a group of organisms so similar to one another that they can breed and produce fertile offspring

5

populations

groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area

6

communities

assemblages of different populations that live together in a defined area

7

ecosystem

a collection of all organisms that live in a particular place together with their nonliving environment

8

biome

a group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities

9

What do scientists use to conduct modern ecological research?

three basic approaches: observing, experimenting, and modeling. All of these approaches rely on the application of scientific methods to guide ecological inquiry.

10

sunlight

the main energy source for life on earth

11

what do organisms who don't obtain their energy from sunlight use?

they rely on the energy stored in inorganic chemical compounds

12

autotrophs

plants, some algae, and certain bacteria. They can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use that energy to produce food

13

producers

make their own food

14

photosynthesis

carbon dioxide + Water, (light energy) = carbohydrates + oxygen
6CO2 + 6H2O , (light energy) = 6CH12O6 + 6O2

15

chemosynthesis

when organisms use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates

16

heterotrophs/consumers

organisms that rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply

17

herbivores

obtain energy by only eating plants

18

carnivores

obtain energy by eating meat/animals

19

omnivores

eat both plants and animals

20

detritivores

feed on plant and animal remains and other dead animal matter, called detritus

21

how does energy flow through an ecosystem?

in one direction, from the sun or inorganic compounds to autotrophs (producers) and then to various heterotrophs (consumers)

22

food chain

a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten

23

food web

links all the food chains in an ecosystem together

24

trophic level

each step in a food chain or food web

25

ecological pyramid

a diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained in each trophic level in a food chain or web

26

how much energy is available at each trophic level?

only 10 percent is transferred to organisms at the next level

27

biomass

the total amount of living tissue within each given trophic level

28

pyramid of numbers

shows the relative number of individual organisms at each trophic level

29

biome

a complex of terrestrial communities that covers a large area and is characterized by certain soil and climate conditions and particular assemblages of plants and animals

30

tolerance

ability to survive and reproduce under conditions that differ from their optimal conditions