Flashcards in Ecology Test Deck (58)
the scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, or surroundings
the combined portions of the planet in which all life exists, including land, water, and air
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
a group of organisms so similar to one another that they can breed and produce fertile offspring
groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area
assemblages of different populations that live together in a defined area
a collection of all organisms that live in a particular place together with their nonliving environment
a group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities
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.
the main energy source for life on earth
what do organisms who don't obtain their energy from sunlight use?
they rely on the energy stored in inorganic chemical compounds
plants, some algae, and certain bacteria. They can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use that energy to produce food
make their own food
carbon dioxide + Water, (light energy) = carbohydrates + oxygen
6CO2 + 6H2O , (light energy) = 6CH12O6 + 6O2
when organisms use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates
organisms that rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply
obtain energy by only eating plants
obtain energy by eating meat/animals
eat both plants and animals
feed on plant and animal remains and other dead animal matter, called detritus
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)
a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
links all the food chains in an ecosystem together
each step in a food chain or food web
a diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained in each trophic level in a food chain or web
how much energy is available at each trophic level?
only 10 percent is transferred to organisms at the next level
the total amount of living tissue within each given trophic level
pyramid of numbers
shows the relative number of individual organisms at each trophic level
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