Ecology Mid-Term Exam
Ecology
The scientific relationship between organisms and their environment
Ecophysiology
Studies the response of an organism to its abiotic environment
Ex./ temp, moisture, light, nutrient, etc.
Comparative Ecology
Investigates interspecific differences in responses to abiotic environment
Community
Interacting organisms of all species in a given area
Community Ecology
Studies interspecific interactions and the results of these, such as diversity and species composition
Intraspecific
Organisms of the same species
Interspecific
Organisms of different species
Population
Group of individuals of the same species inhabiting a given area
Population Ecologists
Study interactions with conspecific organism and the result of these interactions: numbers of individuals and the underlying processes (ex./ birth rates
Evolutionary Ecology
Study of changes in population genetics in response to evolutionary processes, particularly natural selection
Ecosystem
All organisms and abiotic components of a habitat (Ex./ pond, meadow)
Ecosystem Ecology
Studies the effect of organism on the abiotic component: FLUX OF ENERGY AND MATERIAL CYCLES
Biome
Climatically controlled large-scale biological unit with characteristic vegetation type and associated animal species Ex./ Grassland
Biosphere
The part of Earth’s volume that is occupied by living organisms
Adaptation
Any heritable behavioural, morphological or physiological trait, evolved by natural selection that maintains or increases fitness of the organism
Fitness
Proportionate contribution of an individual to future generation
Convergent Evolution
Describes the process whereby not closely related organisms independently acquire similar characteristics while evolving under similar environmental conditions
Divergent Evolution
occurs when organisms of common ancestry diverge over evolutionary time as they are exposed to different environmental conditions
Ecosystem
biotic community and abiotic environment functioning as a system
Autotrophs
Through photosynthesis the fix the energy of sunlight and CO2 to sugar
Heterotroph
Some organisms require other organism for their energy needs
Net Primary Production
The amount of energy the producers (mostly plants) are able to fix
Autotrophs (CO2 to energy)
Assimilate CO2 into organic molecules and living tissue
Photoautotrophs
Use solar energy to convert CO2 in organic molecules in photosynthesis
Chemoautotrophs
Use energy derived from oxidation of inorganic molecules such as S or Sh2 to convert CO2 into organic molecules in photosynthesis
Midday Depression
a reduction of photosynthesis during the hottest hours of a day caused by closing of stomata in order to save water
Leaf Area Index (LAI)
total leaf area per projected ground area, expresses how well the vegetation uses available sunlight
Phenotypic Plasticity
Helps a given genotype or species to acclimate to certain environmental conditions in a short term (adjustment)
Laccases
Copper-containing oxidase enzyme in many plants, play a role in the formation of lignin
Transpiration
Loss of water vapour from plants, mostly via stomata
Evapotranspiration
Combo of eval. and transpiration
Respiration
Using organic matter as a source for energy (ATP) by all organisms, mostly upon release of CO2
CAM Photosynthesis
Crassulacean Acid Metabolism
Photorespiration
Malfunctioning of the carbon-fixing enzyme RUBSICO, instead of adding CO2 to sugar, an O2 is added (pronounced at high temps and low CO2 concentration)
What is cytosol composed of?
sugars, proteins, lipids
Ecotone
The boundary or transitional zone between adjacent communities or biomes
Sudbury Vegetation
Mixed deuduous, boreal and deuduous hardwood
Biome
a biogeographical region or formation characterized by distinctive life forms
Ex./Tundra, tropical rainforest, etc
Primary Consumers
Feed on plants
Ex./ Fungi
Secondary Consumers
Carnivores
Mammals
mostly protein, fat and hydroxyopatile (Ca3(PO4)2)
Plants
Carbohydrates and lignin
Arthropods
Chitin (Carb)
Grazers: What they eat and example
grasses and herbs (slugs)
Browsers: What they eat and example
Leaves of trees and shrubs (deer)
Frugivores: What they eat and example
fruit, without damaging seed (bees)
Granivores: What they eat and example
seeds, nuts and grains (squirrels)
Sap-Suckers: What they eat and example
Phloem sap (aphids)
Xylophagous Insects
wood (have wood decomposing yeast in their guts)
Gribbles
Marine isopods with ability to digest cellulose
Coprophagy
Fecal matter
Omnivores
Mixed diet (depends on season)
Decomposers
Consumers, heterotrophs
Primary Productivity
Rate at which solar energy is stored by photosynthetic activity (unit dry mass production per area + time)
Grass Primary Productivity
Total rate of photosynthesis
Net Primary Productivity
Energy and matter available for consumers
Mineralization Rate
Rate at which nitrate, ammonium and other nutrient ions are set free from decomposing organic matter
Eutrophic
Productive ecosystem with a high nutrient availability
Mesotrophic
Intermediate nutrient availability
Oligotrophic
Nutrient poor ecosystem with a low productivity
Eutrophication
Nutrient enrichment is caused by humans and plants use this oppurtunity
Carrying Capacity
max number of organisms of a given species (consumers) that be supported in a given area- depends on net primary production
Secondary Production
production of tissue by heterotrophic organisms, including their offspring
Assimilation Efficiency
Assimilation/Ingestion
Net Production Efficiency
Production/Assimilation
Gross Production Efficiency
Production/Ingestion
Ectotherms
Gain heat from the environment (variable body temp)
Endotherms
produce their own heat (constant body temp)
Ecological Pyramid (top to bottom)
Tertiary consumers, secondary consumers, primary consumers, producers
Trophic Cascade
consumer effect in primary producers
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