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15 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of organisms and the interactions that determine distribution and abundance
proximate causation
the present distribution and abundance of a species based on the "here and now," the environment and what it eats
ultimate causation
the present distibution and abundance of a species based on the ecological experience of its ancestors (evolutionary history)
levels of organization
the biological hierarchy that deals with individual organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems
individual organisms
at this level, ecology deals with how individuals are affected (and how they affect) their environments
at this level, ecology deals with the presence or absence of particular species, with abundance or rarity, and with trends and fluctuations in their numbers
at this level, ecology deals with the composition or structure of ecological communities (different species in the same habitat)
comprises the community together with its physical environment (biotic + abiotic)
natural field experiment
experiments that are made without altering the natural environment of a species, in order to make observations
manipulative field experiment
unnatural acts in which some aspect of the environment is altered
relative magnitude: time scales, spatial scales, and biological scales
trophic cascade
the patterns and effects at the ecosystem level caused by different trophic level interactions
the land surface that catches precipitation
the variability in number and species within ecosystems
species richness
a measure of biodiversity, the number of species in an ecosystem