You are on page 1of 4

Andy Mercer Biology-7th Pd.

October 7, 2007 Hawkins

Unit 2 – Survey of Ecology

1. Biosphere: all of the areas around the Earth where life exists- land, water, air, and
2. a) biome- group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant
b) ecosystem- a collection of biotic (organisms) and abiotic (physical features)
within a particular place
c) biotic- the living parts of an ecosystem
-community- all the various populations that inhabit an area
-population- members of the same species occupying an area
d) abiotic- physical features of an ecosystem
-climate- overall pattern of temperature and precipitation in a region
-habitat- place where an organism lives
-resources- all environment things that tend to support an organism’s
3. The primary methods of ecological study are observing, experimenting, and
4. The major source of energy for the Earth is the sun.
5. An alternate energy source available to life on Earth is from chemical bonds.
6. a) photosynthesis: organisms take the energy of sunlight and convert it to chemical
b) chemosynthesis: organisms use inorganic compounds and convert these to a new
7. a) food chain- series of steps in which organisms transfer energy
b) autotroph- organisms that use energy from sunlight or chemicals and use that to
produce food
c) producer- organism that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it
to produce food from inorganic compounds; also called an autotroph
d) heterotroph- organism that obtains energy from the foods it consumes; also called
e) consumer- organism that relies on other organisms for its energy and food
supply; also called heterotroph
f) food web- a network of the feeding relationships within an ecosystem
g) trophic level- step in a food chain or food web
8. a) herbivore: consumes plants
b) carnivore: consumes flesh
c) omnivore: consumes plants and flesh
d) detritivore: consumes dead organic matter
e) decomposer: breaks down and uses organic matter
9. The amount of energy as it moved from one trophic level to the next decreased, only
about 10% of the energy is transferred to the next level.
10. a) Water Cycle: cycle in which water moves between ocean, atmosphere, and land;
water evaporates from the ocean or transpires from plants, condenses to form clouds,
when the clouds contain too much moisture, the water falls to the earth as precipitation
where it becomes runoff and goes back into streams, lakes, rivers, oceans, or it seeps
into the ground as groundwater.
b) Carbon Cycle: cycle in which carbon is recycled; carbon is moved through
biological processes (photosynthesis, respiration, and decomposition) that take up and
release carbon and oxygen; geochemical processes (erosion and volcanic activity) that
release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and oceans; mixed biogeochemical processes
(burial and decomposition of dead organisms and their conversion under pressure in
coal and petroleum-fossil fuels) that store carbon underground; human activities
(mining, cutting, and burning forests, and burning fossil fuels) that release carbon
dioxide into the atmosphere
c) Nitrogen Cycle: cycle through which nitrogen is recycled; nitrogen gas (N2)
makes up 78% of Earth’s atmosphere; nitrogen-containing substances such as ammonia
(NH3), nitrate ions (NH3-) and nitrite ions (NO2-) are found in the wastes produced by
many organisms and in dead and decaying organic matter; exists in several forms in the
ocean and other large bodies of water; human activity adds nitrogen in the form of
nitrate (major component of plant fertilizers).
d) Phosphorus Cycle: phosphorus is mainly found on land in rock and soil
minerals, and in ocean sediments- here it exists in form of inorganic phosphate; as the
rocks and sediments gradually wear down, phosphate is released; on land some of this
released phosphate washes into rivers and streams where it dissolves; the dissolved
phosphate eventually makes its way to the oceans, where marine organisms use it;
some phosphate (that stays on land) cycles between organisms and the soil; when
plants absorb phosphate from soil or from water, the plant binds the phosphate into
organic compounds; the organic phosphate moves through the food web, from
producers to consumers, and to the rest of the ecosystem.
11. Climate- the average year-after-year conditions of temperature and precipitation in
a particular region; it’s caused by the interplay of many factors including the trapping
of heat by the atmosphere, the latitude, the transport of heat by winds and ocean
currents, and the amount of precipitation that results; the shape and elevation of
landmasses also contributes to global climate patterns.
12. The Greenhouse Effect is when gases in the atmosphere (carbon dioxide, methane,
water vapor and a few others) trap heat energy of sunlight inside Earth’s atmosphere;
the natural situation in which heat is retained by this layer of greenhouse gases is called
the Greenhouse Effect.
13. a) Biotic factors: include the entire living cast of characters with which an organism
might interact including birds, trees, mushrooms, and bacteria- ecological community
b) Abiotic factors: physical or nonliving factors that shape ecosystems; climate of
an area includes these factors (temperature, precipitation, and humidity; others are
wind, nutrient availability, soil type, and sunlight)
* Together, biotic and abiotic factors determine the survival and growth of an
organism and the productivity of the ecosystem in which the organism lives.
14. Ecological niche: the full range of physical and biological conditions in which an
organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions; part of the
description of this includes its place in the food web, range of temperatures that the
organism needs to survive;
* The combination of biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem often determines
the number of different niches in that ecosystem
15. a) Niche: the full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism
lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions
b) Habitat: area where an organism lives; includes both biotic and abiotic factors
16. Ecological niches allow several species to occupy the same habitat by the species
using different parts of the habitat- they don’t use the same parts.
17. The major types of interaction observed within a community are competition,
predation, and symbiosis.
18. a) Competition- occurs when organisms of the same or different species attempt to
use an ecological resource in the same place at the same time; resource refers to any
necessity of life, such as water, nutrients, light, food, or space; direct competition in
nature often results in a winner and a loser- w/ the losing organism failing to survive; a
fundamental rule in ecology- the competitive exclusion principle states that no two
species can occupy the same niche in the same habitat at the same time;
b) Predation- an interaction in which one organism captures and feeds on another
organism; the organism that does the killing and eating is called the predator and the
food organism is the prey;
c) Symbiosis- any relationship in which 2 species live closely together; means
living together; biologists recognize 3 main classes of relationships in nature-
mutualism, commensalisms, and parasitism;
19. a) Mutualism- both species benefit from the relationship; flowers and insects-
flowers provide food: nectar, pollen; insects help flowers reproduce
b) Commensalism- one member of the association benefits and the other is neither
helped nor harmed; barnacles (small marine animals) attach themselves to whale’s skin
where they get food particles from the water because of the swimming of the whale
c) Parasitism- one organism lives on or inside another organism and harms it; the
parasite obtains all or part of its nutritional needs from the other organism, called the
host; generally parasites weaken but do not kill their host, which is usually larger than
the parasite; fleas live on the bodies of mammals and feed on the blood and skin of the
20. a) Primary succession: on land, succession that occurs on surfaces where no soil
exists; occurs on the surfaces formed as volcanic eruptions build new islands or cover
the land with lava rock or volcanic ash; also occurs on bare rock exposed when glaciers
* Pioneer species: these are the first species to populate an area during primary
b) Secondary succession: when a disturbance of some kind changes an existing
community without removing the soil then this can follow; occurs when land cleared
and plowed for farming is abandoned; also occurs when wildfires burn woodlands;
* Ecosystems are constantly changing in response to natural and human
disturbances; as an ecosystem changes, older inhabitants gradually die out and new
organisms move in, causing further changes in the community;
* Ecological succession: series of predictable changes that occurs in a
community over time; sometimes it results from slow changes in the physical
21. The 3 main characteristics of a population are its geographic distribution, density,
and growth rate.
* Geographic distribution- term that describes the area inhabited by a
* Population density- the number of individuals per unit area; can vary
tremendously depending on the species and its ecosystem
22. a) Exponential: occurs when the individuals in a population reproduce at a constant
rate; at first the number of individuals increases slowly; over time, the population
becomes larger and larger until it approaches an infinitely large size
* Under ideal conditions with unlimited resources, a population will grow
b) Logistic: occurs when a population’s growth slows or stops following a period
of exponential growth;
* As resources become less available, the growth of a population slows or
23. Limiting factor- factor that causes population growth to decrease; examples are
competition, predation, parasitism and disease, drought and other climate extremes, and
human disturbances.
24. a) Density-Dependent Factors: limiting factor that depends on population size;
become limiting only when the population density reaches a certain level; these factors
operate most strongly when a population is large and dense; don’t affect small,
scattered populations as greatly
* includes competition, parasitism, predation, and disease
b) Density-Independent Factors: affect all populations in similar ways, regardless
of the population size
* unusual weather, natural disasters, seasonal cycles, and certain human
activities (damming rivers, and clear-cutting forests) are all examples of density-
independent factors.