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71 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the total amount of organic matter on Earth or in any ecosystem or area
(measured as an amount per surface unit area)
Biological Production
the capture of usable energy from the environment to produce organic compounds in which that energy is stored
Energy Fixation
the "capture" of usable energy for biological production
What are the 2 kind of biological production?
primary production
secondary production
Primary Production
the production carried out by autotrophs (organisms that make their own food)
Most autotrophs function through __________
6CO2 + 6H20 = C6H12O6 + 6O2
autotrophic bacteria that can derive energy from inorganic sulfur compounds instead of photosynthesis
Secondary Production
production carried out by heterotrophs (organisms that can't make their own food) that depends on the production of autotrophic organisms
Most heterotrophs function through __________
C6H12O6 + 6O2 = 6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP
Respiration is the use of _______ to release energy that can be used to do work
the production and use of biomass includes 3 steps:
1. organism produces organic matter--> GROSS PRODUCTION
2. uses new organic matter as fuel in RESPIRATION
3. stores some of the newly produced organic matter for future use (what is left is net production)
Equation for net production
gross production - respiration
the ability to do work, move matter
Ecosystem energy flow
the movement of energy through an ecosystem from the external environment through a series of organisms and back to the external environment
How energy enter enters an ecosystem (2 ways)
1. energy fixed by organisms
2. heat energy is transferred through soils and warms living things
1st Law Of Thermodynamics
AKA Law of Conservation of Energy:
in any physical or chemical change, energy is neither created nor destroyed but merely changed from one form to another
2nd Law of Thermodynamics
addresses how energy changes in form-always from a more useful, more organized form to a less useful, disorganized form. Energy can't be recycled to its original state.
The measure of decrease in order (as stated by the 2nd law of thermodynamics) is called ___________
The net flow of energy through an ecosystem is a __________ flow
Why is an ecosystem said to be an Intermediate System?
it lies between a source of usable energy and a sink for degraded (heat) energy
Thermodynamic System
the energy source, sink, and ecosystem together
No system can be 100% _________

Energy is degraded as it flows through the food web.
Energy Efficiency
the ratio of output to input, and further, the amt. of useful work obtained from some amt. of available energy
Trophic-level Efficiency
the ratio of production of one trophic level to the production of the next lower trophic level. It's a common ecological measure of energy efficiency
More than 90% of all energy transferred between trophic levels is ____ ___ ______
lost as heat
What is the approximate rate of transfer in trophic-level efficiency?
approx. 10%
Balance of nature
an environmental myth that states that the natural environment, when not influenced by human activities, will reach a constant status, unchanging over time, referred to as a balance or equilibrium state
Climax state
a steady-state stage that would persist indefinitely and have maximum organic matter, maximum storage of chemical elements, and maximum biological diversity
Prairie Restoration
they were the most common ecosystem in the US

2 kinds:
unplowed, intact prairies--> restoration is simpler
plowed land--> harder to restore
ecological succession
the process of the development of an ecological community or ecosystem, usually viewed as a series of stages
Primary succession
an original establishmant of an ecosystem
Secondary succession
a reestablishment of an ecosystem (contains remnants of the last biological community)
The general pattern of succession aka successional stages include:
1. an initial kind of vegetation specifically adapted to unstable conditions takes root, and help stabilize the environment
2. small plants, that grow rapidly, with rapidly spreading seeds start to grow
3. larger plants, like trees, enter and begin to dominate
4. a mature forest develops
early-successional species
the pioneer species are characteristic of early successional stages. They have evolved and adapted to environmental conditions early on
late-successional species
plant species that dominate late stages of succession. they tend to be slower growing and longer lived
The amount of chemical elements stored in soil depends on soil __________
particle size:
larger, coarser particles have a small total surface area--> stores smaller amount of chemicals
How species in successional stages react (3 ways)
1. facilitation
2. interference
3. life history difference
during succession, one species prepares the way for the next
early successional species can, for a time, prevent the entrance of later successional species
life history differences
one species may not affect the time of entrance of another; 2 species may appear at different times during succession b/c of differences in transport, germination, growth, etc.
Chronic Patchiness
when species dont interact and succession doesn't take place
4 kinds of species

(hint: think about our field trip)
1. native/ endemic
2. non-native/introduced/exotic
3. invasive (aka generalist-hardy w/o specific requirements)
Changes caused by succession
biodiversity increases
biomass increases
gross production increases
net production DECREASES (b/c of a huge increase in respiration)
soil organic content and storage of chemical elements start off by increasing then they decrease)
large global patterns of life
Wallace's Realms
biogeographic areas based on fundamental plants and animals found in a region
how we group/classify all plants and animals
biotic provinces
characteristic set of organisms-bounded by barriers...
a particular kind of ecosystem (17 of them!)
convergent evolution
different genes, look similar, adapted to similar environments
divergent evolution
(ex/ finches)
common ancestor, separated, occupy different habitats and niches
island biogeography
the smaller an island and the further away from a mainland, the lower the biodiversity
adaptive radiation
adapting to fill a certain unoccupied niche
humans alter biodiversity in 3 ways
hunting, disrupting habitats, species introduction
Biodiversity increases when _______ and/or _________ decrease
latitude; altitude
arctic or alpine--> cold, permafrost, harsh
vegetation=mostly grassy plants
humans drill for oil
aka boreal forest
high lats and alts. cold. little rain.
moose, rabbits, wolves, birds.
humans use for lumber
temperate deciduous forest
north america, eurasia, japan
moderate rain and temp.
tall deciduous trees
small mammals
humans use for hardwood--> one of the most changed by humans
temperate rain forests
some parts of S, Canada, New Zealand
high rain, moderate temp.
evergreen conifers
used for lumber
called "giant forests"
temperate woodlands
USA east coast
moderate to low rain, moderate temp.
small pines + evergreen oaks
squirrels, birds
humans use for recreation
temperate shrublands
california coast, chile, south africa, mediterranean
low rain, cool season
aromatic vegetation
reptiles, small mammals
human impacts= watersheds, erosion control, settlement
chapparal= mini woodland dominated by dense shrubs
temperate grasslands
US prairies, Eurasian steppes, plains, etc.
low rain, moderate temp.
grasses, flowering plants
wild horses, antelope, bison
humans hunt
tropical rainforests
south and central america, hawaii, etc.
high rain, high temp.
ferns, palm trees, vines
insects and other invertebrates
humans clearcut and burn forests
tropical seasonal forests +savannas
india, africa
high but seasonal rain
grasses, scattered trees
large mammals
human impact= grazing
mexico, north africa, SW US
low low rain
cactus, mesquite
snakes and other reptiles
humans = global warming
swamps, marshes, bogs
mangroves, mosses, floating plants
insects, birds, amphibians, snakes

humans= coal mining, shellfish industry
fresh water
lakes, ponds, rivers, streams
floating algae
invertebrates (zooplankton), shellfish
human: water supply, recreation, transport
areas exposed alternately to air and ocean water water (tide-based)
large algae (coral)
shellfish, birds
humans fish
open ocean
vast areas
low productivity and diversity of algae and animals
aka pelagic region
bottom portion of oceans (too dark for photosynthesis)
areas where upward flow of deep ocean waters brings nutrients (from dead organisms) to surface = allowing abundant algae growth
hydrothermal vents
plate tectonics create vents of hot water w/ high concentration of sulfur compounds