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Name: ______________________

Ecology Review Sheet

1. Define ecology:
Interaction between abiotic and biotic factors.
2. Explain the difference between abiotic and biotic factors.
Biotic: living factors
Abiotic: nonliving factors (minerals, sunlight, water)
3. A group of the same species in a given area is known as a population.
4. All of the different biotic factors in a given area is known as a
5. State the requirements for a stable ecosystem :
a. Energy present
b. Must be autotrophs, consumers, decomposers
c. Materials must be recycled
d. Biodiversity
6. A common ecosystem that forms in a geographic region with a specific
climate refers to a biome
7. Any region on earth that contains life is part of the biosphere.
8. Explain what is meant by limiting factor and give an example. Limits
the growth of a population (ex: food, oxygen, water, co2, temp)
9. Define the following:
a. Producer: carries out autotrophic nutrition
b. Consumer: consumes other organisms for energy
c. Herbivore: plant eaters
d. Carnivore: animal eaters
e. Scavenger: consume the remains of dead organisms

Decomposer: breaks down the remains of dead organisms and

converts them into a form that is usable (by plants)

g. Omnivore: plant and animal eater

h. Predator: hunts, kills and consumes prey
10.Define niche: the role that the organism plays in its environment .

11. Base your answer on the diagram below. What is the advantage of
these different feeding niches for these
birds? There is no competition
12. What type of organism is found a level
A? autotrophs
a. What type of organism is found at
level B? primary consumers
b. What type of organism is found a
level C? secondary consumers
c. What type of organism is found at level D?
third level consumers (decomposers)
d. Which level contains the greatest number
of organisms? a
e. Which level contains the least number of organisms? d

What is the relationship between the energy available and the

number of organisms? The more energy that is found, there are
more organisms found.

11.What is the role of decomposers in the environment, where do they

obtain their energy from? Provide an example of a decomposer. See
previous answer; bacteria and fungi
12.What best explain Section X of this graph? Population is at carrying
capacity. Limiting factors
prevent the population from
reaching its biotic potential.
Prereproductive becomes
reproductive population
number increases, leading to
competition for resources,
population numbers declines.
13.Describe the three types of symbiotic relationships and give an
example of each one.
a. Mutualism is the way two organisms of different species exist
in a relationship in which each individual benefits.
b. commensalism, a relation between individuals of two species
in which one species obtains food or other benefits from the
other without either harming or benefiting the latter

c. Parasitism describes a relationship between two organisms

where one benefits, and the other is harmed. The parasite is the
organism that benefits from the relationship, while the host is
harmed by the relationship. Parasites can be a number of
things including plants, animals, and even viruses and bacteria.
d. Competition is an interaction between organisms or species, in
which the fitness of one is lowered by the presence of another.
Limited supply of at least one resource (such as food, water, and
territory) used by both can be a factor.

14. Energy is never recycled and matter is recycled_.

15. List two ways in which producers contribute to the carbon cycle.
e. Plants remove CO2 from the troposphere.

Plants convert carbon from a gaseous form into a energy rich

molecule of glucose.

16. How do decomposers use waste products in a carbon cycle? The role
decomposers play in the carbon cycle is breaking down the
remains of dead plants and animals. Through this process, they
release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere via respiration, which is the
second step in the carbon cycle. Decomposers thrive in soil and water,
and they play an important role in the carbon cycle. Aside from breaking
down dead matter, they also remove and recycle living organisms waste
products that are considered as natures garbage. They degrade complex
organic molecules, which permanently take in carbon and keep it from
being useful to organisms, and release inorganic molecules. The nutrients
they produce are consumed by green plants, which are eaten by animals.
Eventually, the products of plants and animals are broken down again by
17. Besides carbon, what other material is recycled by decomposers? Amino
acids, Proteins, Nucleic Acids
18. Label the diagram below.

19. How are humans impacting this water cycle?

1) they are polluting water with toxic metals and pestidicides
2) Humans are withdrawing water at a faster rate than it is being
20. What are the 5 steps of the nitrogen cycle. 1) Nitrogen Fixation 2)
Ammonification 3)Nitrification 4) Assimilation 5) Denitrification
21. Why is the nitrogen cycle important to living organisms. Nitrogen is
necessary for all known forms of life on Earth. It is a component in
all amino acids, as incorporated into proteins, and is present in the bases
that make up nucleic acids such as RNA andDNA
22. In what form is Nitrogen taken in by most plants? Nitrates
23. Define ecological succession. Ecological succession is the observed
process of change in the species structure of an ecological community
over time. The community begins with relatively few pioneering plants
and animals and develops through increasing complexity until it
becomes stable or self-perpetuating as a climax community.

24. The climax community in the area of Arkansas is an oak-hickory forest.

After the ponds are filled in, the area will undergo another series of stages

of succession. This is illustrated below. Briefly explain what is happening

in the diagram.


Base the following question 13-17 on the diagram


What is an example of a producer in this

diagram? algae

3. What is an example of a 2ndary consumer in

the diagram? snail
4. Provide an example of a food chain.
5. What do the arrows represent? Transfer of
6. Which organism is a secondary consumer and
a decomposer? Bacteria