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43 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Trophic level
grouping of species based on feeding relationships
Primary producers
ultimately supports all other in an ecosystem and make their own food
Primary Consumers
directly or indirectly depend on primary producers for food (herbivores)
Secondary consumers
carnivores that eat herbivores
Tertiary consumers
carnivores that eat other carnivores
decomposers, consumers that get their energy from detritus (dead organisms)
connects all trophic levels together
What are the services offered by decomposers?
they break down organic materials and recycles inorganic chemicals back into the ecosystem so that producers can put it back into organic form
Primary production
amount of light energy converted to energy by an ecosystems autotrophs
How much of the light that hits earth is converted to chemical energy through photosynthesis
Gross primary production
total primary production or the amount of light energy converted to chemical energy per unit of time. Some of it is used for cellular respiration in plants
Net primary production
gross primary production minus energy used for respiration. What is left over for consumers to use
What are the two greatest limiting factors in aquatic ecosystems
light only penetrates so far and limiting nutrients (usually nitrogen or phosphorus
Limiting nutrient
must be added for productivity to increase
Freshwater ecosystems
light cycle limits production on a daily basis
shift from photoplankon communities of green algae to those of cyanobacteria. Caused by runoff from farms/yards adding nutrients. Causes a loss of fish
What three things controls primary production in a terrestrial ecosystem
temperature, moisture and nutrient deficiency (if they are taken faster than replaced)
Secondary production
amount of chemical energy in a consumer’s food that is converted to their own new biomass
Production efficiency formula
net secondary production/assimilation of primary production
Net secondary production
energy stored as biomass through growth and reproduction
total energy taken in and used for growth, respiration and reproduction
Production efficiency
the fraction of food energy not used for respiration, lost as heat
Trophic efficiency
percentage of production transferred from one tropic level to the next
Pyramid of production
shows loss of energy from a food chain as you move up trophic levels
pyramid of biomass
total dry weight
how are pyramids of biomass set up?
usually big on the bottom but can be temporarily inverted in aquadic ecosystems
which important chemicals need to be cycled? 4
water, nitrogen, phospherus, carbon
is the water cycle more physical or chemical?
chemical because it doesn't change chemicly
what three ways does n itrogen use to enter the ecysystem?
1. atmospheric deposition: comes to soil through rain or as dust
2. nitrogen fixation: certain prokaryhotes can cnvert N2 to minerals that cna be used to make organic compopunds liek anio acids
3. industrial fixation; fertillizer made with nitrogen contributes to nitrogen in the soil
atmospheric deposition
comes to soil through rain or as dust
nitrogen fixation
certain prokaryhotes can cnvert N2 to minerals that cna be used to make organic compopunds liek anio acids
industrial fixation
fertillizer made with nitrogen contributes to nitrogen in the soil
what is phosphorus used for? 3
making nucleic acids, phospholipids and ATP
what happens in the phosphorus cycle? 4
1. phosphorus enters the cycle from weathe rof rocks
2. plnats incorporate the phosphorus into biological molecules
3. animals eat teh plants
4. phosphorus returns to soil by excretion
how does carbon cycle?
platns put carbon in teh air through respiration and take it back through photosynthisis
what 7 ways have humans impacted the chemical cycles
1. agriculture
2. critical load
3. excessive eutrophication
4. cumbustion of fossil fules
5. toxic chemicals
6. global warming
7. ozone depletion
food is eaten and doens't decompose like it would in nature
critical load
excessive use of fertilizers adds too many nitrogenous materials to an ecosystem adn they can contaminate water through run-off
excessive eutrophication
due to sewagea dn runoff of animal waste. results in an increase in photosynthetic oragnisms that deplete oxygen in lakes
combustion of fossil fues
burning fossil fues from cars and factories creates acid rain (low pH). this causes nutrient deficiencies in plants and freswhater ecosystems.
toxic chemicles
many synthetic products are dumped into ecosystem that can't be broken down by micro organisms. toxins can be magnified as they travel through the food chain because they accumulate in certain tissues
global warming
human activites may be causing global changes in temperature
ozone depletion
ozone protects earth from UV radiation. use of CFC's breaks down ozone and may be contributing to a hole in the ozone layer.