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114 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
study of interaction between abiotic and biotic components
hypothetico-deductive approach using observations, mathematical models, and experiments to test hypothesis
includes abiotic and biotic components
ecological time translates into evolutionary time
Charles Darwin
one of the first ecologists
descriptive to experimental
Simberloff and Wilson eliminate all the insects at Florida Keys to study recolonization
organismal ecology
studies the behavioral, physiological, and morphological ways in which organisms adapt to abiotic challenges
studies size and composition of a group of the same species living in a particular area
studies interactions, such as predation, competition, and disease, between all the organisms in particular area
studies energy flow, chemical cyclings, and all the abiotic and biotic factors in a certain area
ecologists face challenges because...
the complexity of questions, diversity of subjects, expanses of time and space, and multidisciplinary nature
the first most significant interaction on earth occurred when...
photosynthetic bacteria began utilizaing sunlight for energy and gave off oxygen
Silent Spring
written by Rachel Carson in 1962, it pointed out the widespread use of pesticides such as DDT
environmental concerns
acid precipitation, local famine aggravated by land misuses, overpopulation, toxic wastes, species extinction, and habitat destruction
global ecosystem
affect biological or physiological processes of organisms
water balance and affect intracellular osmolarity for aquatic organisms and dessication for land organisms
provides energy for all ecosystems and affects the development and behavior of plants and animals that are sensitive to photoperiod
most photosynthesis in aquatic environments occurs where?
near the surface because every meter of water depth absorbs half of light
relative lengths of daytime and nighttime, an indicator for cueing seasonal events, such as flowering or migration
increases heat and water loss due to evaporation, transpiration, and convection (wind-chill factor)
rocks and soil
limit the distribution of plants, contributes to the patchiness, and affects water chemistry
periodic disturbances
fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and volcanic eruptions allow recolonization
temperatures, water, light, and wind
major types of ecosystems
which biome accounts for the largest part of the biosphere?
freshwater biomes
less than 1% salt concentration
marine biomes
3% salt concentration
ocean's 3 enormous impact on the biosphere
1. evaporation of seawater provides most of rainfall
2. temperatures have a major effect on climate and wind patters
3. marine algae consume huge amounts of carbon dioxide
brings oxygenated water from the surface of lakes to the bottom and nutrient rich water from the bottom to the surface in both spring and autumn
december solstice
northern hemisphere tilts away from the sun, day length reduced
june solstice
northern hemisphere tilts toward sun, day length increased
march and september equinox
equator faces sun directly with 12 hour daylight
lie between 23.5 north and south latitudes, receive sunlight directly, experience the greatest annual input and the least seasonal variation
high temperatures, intense sunshine, lush vegetation, and ample rainfall are characteristic of what?
tropical forests and coral reefs
photic zone
sufficient light for photosynthesis
aphotic zone
little light penetrates
water temperature stratified during which seasons?
summer and winter
a narrow stratum of rapid temperature change, separates warm upper layer from cold deeper waters
benthic zone
bottom of all aquatic biomes made up of sand and organic and inorganic sediments, occupied by benthos
organisms in benthic zone, feed on detritus
dead organic matter rains down from the productive surface waters of the photic zone
what are two general categories of freshwater biomes?
standing bodies (lakes and ponds) and moving types (rivers and streams)
in aquatic biome, communities of plants and animals are distributed according to what 2 factors?
depth and distance
littoral zone
shallow and close to shore where floating aquatic plants flourish
limnetic zone
farther from shore occupied by phytoplankton consisting of algae and cyanobacteria
profundal zone
deep aphotic region where detritus sink down
microbes in profundal and benthic zones...
use oxygen for cellular respiration as they decompose detritus
deep and nutrient poor, phytoplankton in the limnetic zone not productive
shallow and nutrient rich, phytoplankton are very productive, waters are murky
moderate amount of nutrients and phytoplankton productivity, between the oligotrophic and eutrophic extremes
runoff from fertilized lawns and agricultural fields and the dumping of wastes do what to the lakes?
"cultural eutrophication", enrich lakes with excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus with algae population explosion and depletion of oxygen supplies
littoral community consist of...
attached algae, grazing snails, arthropods, fishes, and amphibians
photosynthesis occurs which lake zone?
limnetic zone
deep waters are unsuitable for most organisms because...
decomposers deplete the oxygen supply in the profundal zone
biannual turnover
brings oxygen to the profundal zone and nutrients to the limnetic zone
clear water and oxygen rich supporting diverse populations of fish and invertebrates
oligotrophic lakes
high organic content in the benthos leading to high decomposition rates and low oxygen supplies
eutrophic lakes
rivers and streams
nutrient content determined by the terrain and vegetation nearby, fallen leaves add amounts of organic matter, weathering of rocks increase the concentration of inorganic nutrients, the turbulent flow oxygenates the water
area covered with water that supports aquatic plants, range from periodically flooded regions to soil that is permanently saturated during the growing season
types of wetlands
marshes, swamps, bogs, pools
hydrophytes ("water plants")
floating pond lilies, emergent cattails, sedges, tamarack, and black spruce grow in water or in soil that is periodically anaerobic due to the presence of water
basin wetlands
develop in shallow basins, ranging from upland depressions to filled-in lakes
riverine wetlands
develop along shallow and periodically flooded banks of rivers and streams
fringe wetlands
occur along the coasts of large lakes and seas where water flows back and forth because of rising lake levels or tidal actions
3 topographic wetlands
basin, riverine, and fringe wetlands
area where a freshwater stream or river merges with the ocean, bordered by coastal wetlands called mudflats and saltmarshes
major producers in esturaries are...
saltmarsh grasses, algae, and phytoplankton
importance of wetlands
rich biome, diverse community of invertebrates supporting variety of birds, provide water-storage basins that reduce the intensity of flooding, improve water quality by filtering pollutants
importance of estuary
supports worms, oysters, crabs, and fish species that human consume, breeding and migration ground
phytoplankton, zooplankton, and many fish species occur in which zone?
most of the ocean volume is virtually devoid of what?
light because water absorbs light well and the ocean is deep
intertidal zone
the zone where land meets water
neritic zone
beyond intertidal zone, the shallow regions over the continental shelves
oceanic zone
past the continental shelf, reach great depths
with twice-daily cycle of tides, this zone is subject to huge daily variations in the availability of seawater, nutrients, and temperature
intertidal zone
rocky intertidal zone
vertically stratified and organisms have structural adaptations that enable them to attach to the hard substrate
sandy and mudflat intertidal zone
wave action moves the particles of mud and sand, animals (worms, clams, crustaceans) bury in sand or mud and feed when tides bring sources of food, crabs and shorebirds scavenge and predate
coral reefs
located in the neritic zone, waves renew nutrient supplies and sunlight provides photosynthesis
the structure of the coral reefs is formed by...
cnidarians that secrete hard external skeletons made of calcium carbonate
coral reefs feed on...
microscopic organisms and particles of organic debris
dinoflagellate algae
symbiotic algae living in tissues of coral reefs, increase the rate of calcium carbonate deposition in reefs
oceanic pelagic biome
far from shore, low nutrient concentrations, remains of organisms sink below the photic region into benthic zone
in tropical areas, surface waters are lower in nutrients than the surface waters of temperate oceans because...
thermal stratification prevents an exchange of nutrients between the surface and the deep
protozoans, worms, copepods, krill, and jellies feed on phytoplankton
pelagic birds
petrels, terns, and albatrosses catch nektons in the surface waters
abyssal zone
deep benthic communities where organisms adapt to cold, water pressure, low nutrients, and absence of light, but oxygen is present
chemoautotrophic prokaryotes
food producers in abbysal zone
terrestrial biomes are distinguished by what factors?
physical or climactic features and predominant vegetation
vertical stratification in terrestrial biomes is defined by...
the shapes and sizes of plants, such as upper canopy, low-tree stratum, shrub understory, ground layer, forest floor, root layer
permanently frozen stratum in arctic tundra
separate biome recognized if the area of intergradation is large
fire is an integral component of which biomes?
grasslands, savannas, chaparral, and many coniferous forests
biomes exhibit patchiness due to...
disturbances, hurricanes create openings, snowfall break branches, dominant plants depend on disturbances
the maintenance of a steady-state internal environment in the face of variations in the external environment
use behavioral and physiological mechanisms to achieve homeostasis against fluctuations in temperature, moisture, light intensity, and concentrations of a variety of chemical factors
usually live in stable environments, allow conditions within bodies to vary with external changes
regulator or conformer? Pacific salmon
regulator, maintain a constant solute concentration in blood by osmoregulation
regulator or conformer? spider crabs
conformer, do not osmoregulate and lose or gain water to conform to the external environment
few organisms are perfect regulators or conformers. for example...
pacific salmon osmoregulate but conform to external temperatures
regulator or conformer? lizard Anolis cristatellus
both, sometimes the cost of regulation may outweigh the benefits of homeostasis due to long distances
principle of allocation
assessing the responses of organisms to their complex environments
according to the principle of allocation, each organism has a limited amount of energy that can be allocated for...
obtaining nutrients, escaping from predators, coping with environmental fluctuations, growth, and reproduction
proximate questions
concern mechanisms operating in ecological time
ultimate questions
concern mechanisms operating in evolutionary time
tropical forests
pronounced vertical stratification, closed canopy prevent light penetration, large woody vines grow on fallen trees, epiphytes grow on other trees, rainfall is the cause of lush vegetation, tropical dry forests present in lowland areas with prolonged dry season or scarce rainfall
ants and termites are dominant, fire is an important abiotic component, plants are fire-adapted, grasses during rainy season provides food for animals, grazing mammals migrate during seasonal drought
sparse rainfall, cacti and rooted shrubs, CAM photosynthesis of storing water
shrubs dominate, midlatitude coastal areas with mild and rainy winters and long, hot, dry summers, plants are dependent on periodic fires, fire-resistant roots, some germinate only after fire
temperate grassland
seasonal drought, occasional fires, and grazing by mammals prevent establishment of woody shrubs and trees, soil is deep and rich in nutrients
temperate deciduous forests
deciduous trees, occur in midlatitudes where there is sufficient moisture to support the growth of large trees, distinct vertical layers, drop leaves before winter, hibernation and migration
coniferous forests
cone-bearing trees such as pine, spruce, fir, and hemlock dominate, warm and moist air, dominated by a few tree species, known as taiga, largest terrestrial biome, heavy snowfall, conical shaped trees prevent too much snow from accumulating on branches
permafrost, cold temperatures, high winds cause absence of trees, little rainfall, alpine tundra on high mountaintops
involves substantial but reversible changes that shift an organism's tolerance curve in the direction of the environmental change