Ecology exam 1 study guide

Ecology
The study of interactions between organisms and their environment
Irritability
Organisms responding to interactions in their environment
Autecology
Study of interactions between an individual and it’s environment
Population
All the individuals of the same species living in the same place at the same time
Population ecology
Study of environmental factors that affect population growth , stability or decline
Community
All individuals of all species living in one place at the same time
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Community ecology
Study of how different species affect each other in a community
Ecosystem
All the interacting organisms living in an area and their physical environment
Ecosystem ecology
Study of how organisms affect and are affected by their physical environment
Physiological ecology
Study of physiological responses of organisms to environmental factors such as temperature, moisture, light, nutrients etc.
Behavioral ecology
Interested in behavioral aspects of interactions between organisms and environment
Evolutionary ecology
Interested in how organisms have evolved in their interactions with the environment.
Basic science
Accumulation of knowledge for its own sake to help explain the world around us
Applied science
Uses the laws of basic science to solve specific problems
Landscape ecology
Study of human impacts and disturbance on spacial patterns across the landscape
Restoration ecology
Concerned with restoration of highly disturbed ecosystems
Conservation biology
Concerned with global reduction in biological diversity
Characteristics of ecosystems
-Do not have definite boundaries
-Do not stand alone
Components of an ecosystem
-autotrophs
-heterotrophs
-dead organic matter
Autotrophs
Capture energy from solar radiation and store it in chemical bonds of organic substances
Heterotrophs
-consumers and decomposers
– consumers feed on living organisms
– decomposers feed on dead remains or detritus
C3 pathway
-Involves 3-carbon PGA intermediate compound
-requires high CO2
– stomata opened
– temperate climates
C4 Pathway
-Involves 4-carbon intermediate compound
-lower CO2 required
-stomata partially closed
Stages of decomposition
-leaching
-fragmentation
-catabolism
-mineralization
-anabolism
Leaching
Loss of soluble compounds carried away by water
Fragmentation
Physical break up of leaves and other organic matter into smaller particles
Catabolism
Chemical breakdown of large organic compounds into smaller compounds
Mineralization
Conversion of organic compounds to inorganic
Anabolism
Immobilization of inorganic nutrients in living tissues of decomposers
Adaptation
Any heritable trait that increases the fitness of an organism to live under a given set of environmental conditions
Fitness
Contribution an individual makes to the general pool of future generations
Phenotypic plasticity
Phenotypic variation in individuals with the same genotype
Limiting factors
Subset of environmental factors that determines where an organism can survive and reproduce
Acclimization
Seasonal changes in an organisms physiology or morphology resulting from long-term exposure to different environmental conditions
Homeostasis
Ability of organisms to maiantain constant conditions within their bodies
Negative feedback
Occurs when an increase in a substance or activity stops or reverses the process that lead to that increase
Climate
Long term pattern of all the weather info that describes a region
Weather
State of the atmosphere at a given place and time
Wind
The movement of air masses resulting from unequal heating of earths surface
Coriolis effect
Deflection of free moving objects, including air currents, due to earths rotation
Climate control factors
-latitude
-land vs water
-position relative to prevailing winds
-mountains
-ocean currents
-pressure belts
Orographic lifting
Air forced upward on windward slopes of mountains
Intercontinental convergence
Causes rainy climate near equatorial
Xeric microclimate
Warm, dry conditions with large temperature fluctuations
Mesic microclimate
Cool, moisture conditions with lower
Biome
Unique association of plants and animals that covers a large geographic area
Holdridge life zone
Similar to biomedical but based on climate as opposed to dominant vegetation
Capillarity
Cohesion of water molecules allows water to move up narrow tubes
Euro-transpiration
Total amount of water put back into the atmosphere due to transpiration and evaporation