Chapter 4
Ecology
Field of science that seeks to describe relationships between organisms and their chemical and physical environment.
Biosphere
Skin of life on Earth
Enormous biological system
Photosynthesis
Carbon dioxide captured by plants and made into food molecules
Closed System
System that receives no materials from the outside with the exception of sunlight.
Biome
Terrestrial portion of the biosphere characterized by a distinct climate and a particular assemblage of plants and animals to adapted to it.
Tundra
Long, cold winters
Short growing season
Taiga
Norther Coniferous or Boreal Forest
Milder climate
Longer growing season
Temperate Deciduous Forest Biome
Warmer climate
More abundant rainfall
Grassland Biome
Inadequate rainfall
Periodic droughts
Desert Biome
Less rain
Aridity and heat
Aquatic Life Zones
Distinct regions of the ocean akin to terrestrial biomes
Ecological System
Ecosystem
A community of organisms occupying a given region within a biome
Biotic
Living components
Abiotic
Non-living components
Range of Tolerance
Range of conditions to which an organism is adapted
Optimum range
Organisms do the best
Zones of Physiological Stress
Survival and reproduction are possible but not optimal
Zones of Intolerance
Life for an organism is implausible
Endangered Species
In danger of extintion
Limiting Factors
A chemical or physical factor which determines whether an organism can survive in a given ecosystem.
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