Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

124 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Matter includes all

-gases, liquids, and solids in both living and nonliving systems.
Atoms are the

-basic building blocks of matter.
Elements refer to the

-94 different atoms that occur in nature.
A Molecule consists of

-two or more atoms bonded together in a specific way. May be two of the same kinds of atoms.
A Compound consists of

-two or more different kinds of atoms bonded together
The Biosphere is the

-part of the Earth's crust occupied by living things.
The Lithosphere is the

-Earth's crust and is made up of rocks and minerals.
The Hydrosphere is

-water in all of its liquid and solid compartments: oceans, rivers, ice, and groundwater.
The Atmosphere is the

-thin layer of gases (including water vapor) that seperates the Earth from outer space.
Living things are characterized by six key elements:


-Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sulfur.
The Hydrosphere is a major source of

-carbon and oxygne for all organisms and is the source of hydrogen in the world.
Hydrogen Bonding is the

-weak attraction that exists between water molecules. At freezing temps, this bond causes ice to form.
Lithosphere includes all

-the other elements required by living organisms in the form of rock and soil minerals.
A Mineral is any

-hard, crystalline, inorganic material of a given chemical composition.
Organic Compunds are

-the chemical compounds making up the tissues of living organisms.
The key chemical elements in living organisms

-bond to form very large, complex organic molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.
Organic Molecules consist of

-the carbon based molecules that make up the tissues of living organisms
Inorganic refers to

-all the other molecules or compounds that are not carbon-carbon or carbon-hydrogen bonds.
Natural Organic Compouds are the

-compounds making up living organisms.
Synthetic Organic Compounds are the

-human made compounds making up living organisms.
Atoms are made up of

-protons, neutrons, and electrons and are unchanged in chemical reactions.
Light, Heat, Movement, and Electricity do not

-have matter, mass, or occupy space.
Varios forms of energy affect

-matter, causing changes in its position or state.
Energy can be defined as the

-ability to move matter.
Kinetic Energy is energy

-in action or motion

ex. light, heat energy, physical motion, and electrical current
Potential Energy is energy

-in storage.
Chemical Energy is the potential

-energy contained in certain chemicals and fuels.
Energy is measured in

a unit known as the calorie. 1 calorie is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temp of 1 gram/milliliter of water 1 degree Celsius.

-1 Kilocalorie = 1000 calories
Entropy is a measure of

-the degree of disorder in a system.

-Increasing Entropy means increasing disorder. Without energy inputs, everything goes in one direction only--toward increasing entropy.
Heat energy is the result of

-random vibrational motion of atoms and molecules
The Law of Conservation of Energy (First Law of Thermodynamics)

-says when all inputs and outputs of energy are carefully measured, they are found to be equal.

-There is no net gain or loss of total energy.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that

-systems will go spontaneously in one direction--towards increasing entropy.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics also says

-systems will go spontaneously only towards lower potential energy, a direction that releases heat from the systems.
All organic molecules that make up the tissues of living organisms

-contain high potential energy.
Enzymes contain proteins that

-promote the synthesis or breaking of chemical bonds.
Heat energy is the result of

-the random vibrational motion of atoms and molecules.
Primary Production is the process by which

-producers, when given suitable conditions and resources, are able to maintain photosynthetic activity over time.
Gross Primary Production is the

-total amount of synthetic activity in producers
Percentage of our food used for energy

-60 to 90 percent.

-starches, fats, and proteins are digested.
Cell Respiration is

-the process of breaking down organic molecules for the sake of releasing the energy required for the work done by that cell.
Weight Gain is caused by

-consuming more calories than your body needs. This excess in calories is converted to fat and stored.
Oxidation is the

breakdown of molecules for energy.
10-40 percent of what a consumer eats is

-converted to the body tissues of the consumer
For Consumers that eat plants

-some of what is eaten is never digested and passes out simply as fecal wastes. This Fecal Waste is cellulose
Cellulose is the

-material of plant cell walls.
Fermentation is the

-ability of some decomposers to meet their energy meeds through the partial breakdown of glucose that can occur in the absence of oxygen.
Fermentation results in the production of

-ethyl alcohol, methane gas, and acetic acid.
Anerobic Environments are

-oxygen free environments that exist in the sediments of lakes, marshes, or swamps and in the guts of animals.
Standing Crop Biomass is,

-the actual biomass of primary producers at any given time.
Energy flow from one trophic level to the next is limited due to

(90 percent loss of energy)

1. Much of the preceeding trophic level standing in biomass

2. Much of what is consumed is used for energy

3. some of what is consumed is undigested and passes through the organism.
The Two Fundamental Processes that make ecosystems work are

-Energy Flow and the cycling of nutrients and other elements.
Recycling is fundamental to sustainability because it

-prevents the accumulation of wastes that would cause problems and it guarantees that the ecosystem will not run out of essential elements.
Biogeochemical Cycles are

-cycles that lead in circles and involve biological, geological, and chemical processes.
The Carbon Cycle involves

-geological sedimentation and burial on the land and under the ocean and limestone formation of carbon in the ocean.

The weathering of calcium carbonate and combustion of fossil-fuel carbon laid down millions of years ago by biological systems.
A Carbon atom moves through one or more living things every

-6 years
Phosphorous exists in various rock and soil minerals as


(Phosphorous Cycle)
-the inorganic ion phosphate
As rock gradually breaks down,

(Phosphorous Cycle)

phosphate and other ions are released.

-This slow process is the normal means of replenishing phosphorous that is lost to runoff.
Organic Phosphate is

-phosphate that is incoroporated into organic compounds by the plant.
Phosphorous is recycled only

-the wastes containing it are deposited in the ecosystem from which it came.
Eutrophication is a

-severe water pollution problem that results form water having extraordinarily high phosphorous content.
Nitrogen Fixation involves

-a number of bacteria and cyanobacteria converting nitrogen gas to the ammonium form.

-bacterium that exists in nitrogen-fixing organisms
Legumes are

-nitrogen-fixing organisms that fertilize ecosystems.
Atmospheric Nitrogen Fixation is the

-conversion of nitrogen gas to the ammonium form by discharges of lighting.
Denitrification is a

-microbial process that occurs in soils and sediments where oxygen is unavailable for normal bacterial decomposition.
Nitrogen Saturation is the

Nitrogen Saturation is the saturation of nitrogen in natural areas. This results in nitrogen no longer being released into the soil and leaches calcium and magnesium from the soil--which leads to mineral deficiencies in the soil.

When this nitrogen is washed into estuaries and coastal oceans, it promotes blooms of algae which are toxic to fish and shellfish.
Ecosystems are sustainable due to

the disposing of wastes and the recycling of nutrients by recycling the elements.
Over the next 50 years, the world's population is

-expected to grow by 2.5 billion people.

The balance between births and deaths is

-the balances between births and deaths is called the population equilibrium.
Exponential Increase is when

-a population grows by a factor of 10 each generation.

-Exponential Growth results in a population explosion and is plotted as a J-Curve.
If condtitions return to normal after an exponential growth--

-the population may increase exponentially over time but will be leveled off by natural causes.
2 Natural Causes that cause Exponential growth to be
leveled off--

(1) Natural Mechanisms may cause the population to level and continue in a dynamic equilibrium. Known as an S-Curve

(2) In the absence of natural enemies, the population keeps growing until it exhausts essential resources and suffers a mjaor loss in numbers.
Biotic Potential is known as

Biotic Potential is known as the number of offspring (live birth, eggs laid, or seeds or spores set in plants) that a species may produce under ideal conditions.
There are 2 Reproductive Strategies in the natural world--

The first reproductive strategy is to produce massive numbers of young but then leave survival to the whims of nature. Results in high mortality for the young.

The second strategy is to produce very few young but then care for and protect the young until they can compete for resources with adult members of the population.
Life History includes

-additional factors that influence population and geographic distribution such as the ability of animals to migrate, or of seeds to disperse, to similar habitants in other regions, the ability to adapt to and invade new habitats, defense mechanisms, and resistance to adverse conditions and disease.
Environmental Resistance is

Enviromental Resistance is the combination of all the biotic and abiotic factors that may limit a population's increase.
If recruitment is at the replacement level,

this means it is at a level just strong enough to replace the adults and the population will remain will remain at a constant equilibrium.
Carrying Capacity is the

Carrying Capacity is the maximum population that a population can support without the habitat being degraded over the long term.
Dynamic Balance means that

Dynamic balance means that births and deaths are occuring continually and the population may fluctuate around a median.
As population density increases,

As population density increases, environmental resistance becomes more intense and causes such an increase in mortality that the population ceases or declines.
Density Independent means that

Density Independent means that the mortality rate can be independent of the density of the population.
Critical Number refers to

Critical Number refers to survival and recovery of a certain minimal population base.
Threatened Species are species whose

Threatened Species are species whose populations are declining rapidly
Endangered Species

If the population of a species is near what scientists believe to be its critical number, the species is classified as endangered.
Top-Down Regulation is

Top-Down regulation is the control of a population or species by predation.
Bottom-Up Regulation is the

Bottom-Up regulation is the most important control of a population that occurs as a result of the scarcity of some resource.
Overgrazing occurs when

Overgrazing is caused when herbivores eat plants faster than the plants can grow. The plants will eventually be depleted and the animals will suffer.
Keystone Species are

Keystone Species are species that perform a crucial role in maintaining an ecosystem's biotic structure.

(Starfish keeping the mussel population out of control so it doesn't crowd everything else out.)
Interspecific Competition is when

Ecological Niches are said to overlap.
Territoriality refers to

Territoriality refers to individuals or groups such as a pack of wolves defending a territory against the encroachment of others of the same species. Territoriality is intraspecific competition.
In Territoriality, what is being protected

In Territoriality, what is being protected by the defender or sought after by the invader is the claim to an area suitable for nesting, for establishing a harem, or for adequate food resources.
Self-thinning of plants is the result of

Self-thinning of plants is the result of resource limitation such as a lack of light, water, or nutrients.
Natural Selection is the

Natural Selection is the belief of Charles Darwin that those individuals of a community with a genetic endowment that enables them to better cope with their surroundings are more likely to survive than other less well equipped individuals.
Riparian Woodlands are

Riparian Woodlands are trees that, due to climate restrictions, are able to grow only along the waterways fo a river.
Epiphytes are

air plants that live on trees in warm, humid climates.
Thousands of Species of Plants, Animals, and Microbes

Thousands of Species of Plants, Animals, and Microbes have been accidentally introduced onto new contintents and islands. US has lost 138 billion per year due to introduced species.

Chinese Chestnut Trees killing American Chestnut trees.
Lessons Learned from the Introduction of Undesirable Species

(1) The regulation of populations is a matter of complex interactions among the members of a biotic community.

(2) The relationships are specific to the organisms in each particular ecosystem.
A naturalized species is

-a foreign species that integrates into an ecosystem without harming it.
An Invasive species is a

-a species that invades an ecosystem and causes great harm to the ecosytem.
One response to an invasive species is to introduce

One response to an ivasive species is to introduce a natural enemy of the species.

Australians introducing foxes to control the rabbit population.
Predation and Competition are

Predation and Competition are two important mechanisms that keep natural populations under control.
Selective Pressures are

Selective Presures are environmental resistance factors such as predators, parasites, and drought.
Convergent Evolution is the

Convergent Evolution is the same trait in different species.
Natural Selection refers to the

Natural Selection refers to the constant selection and modification of a species gene pool toward features that enhance the survival and reproduction within the existing biotic community and environment.
Fitness is the Darwinian Term for

Fitness is the Darwinian Term for all the traits of any organism that can be seen as features that adapt the organism for survival and reproduction.
Adaptations to the Environment

(1)Adaptations for coping with climactic and other abiotic factors

(2)Adaptations for obtaining food and water or for obtaining nutrients, energy, and water for plants.

(3) Adaptations for escaping from predation and for resistance to disease-causing or parasitic organisms.
Adaptations Cont.

(4) Adaptations for finding or attracting mates in animal populations or for pollinating and setting seed in plant populations.

(5) Adaptations for Migrating or for dispersing seeds.
When facing a new, powerful selective pressure, species have three choices

(1). Adaptation--the population of survivors may gradually adapt to the new condition through natural selection.

(2.) Migration--Surviving Populations may migrate and find an area where conditions are suitable to them.

(3.) Extinction--If a species cannot migrate or adapt, then it will inevitably become extinct.
4 Keys to Survival

(1) Geographical Distribution

(2) Specilization to a given habitat or food supply

(3) Genetic Variation within the gene pool of species

(4) The Reproductive Rate relative to the rate of environmental change.
For new species to appear

For new species to appear, the original population must seperate into smaller populations that do not interbreed with one another.

(2) The separated Subpopulations must be exposed to different selective pressures.

Arctic Fox and Gray Fox
Equilibrium Theory says that

Equilibrium theory says that ecosystems are stable environments in which species interact constantly in well-balanced predator-prey and competitive relationships.
Ecological Succession or Natural Succession is

Ecological Succesion or Natural Succession is the phenomenon of transition from one biotic community to another
Facilitation refers to

Facilitation refers to pioneer species creating conditions that are favorable to more longer lived colonizers. Changing conditions, in general, start the process that makes it possible for other species to pave the way.
Climax ecosystem is the

Climax Ecosystem is the assemblage of species that continues on in space and time.
Primary Succession is

Primary Succession is the process of the initial invasion of a previously unoccupied area and the progression from one biotic community to the next.

A mat of moss and soil provide a suitable place for seeds of larger plants to lodge.
Secondary Succession is when

Secondary Succession is when an area has been cleared by fire or by humans and then left alone, plants and animals from the surrounding ecosystem may gradually reinvade the area--not at once, but through a series of distinct stages called secondary succession.

The major difference between primary and secondary succession starts with pre-existing soil.
In order for natural succession to occur

In order for succession to occur, the spores and seeds of the various invading plants and the breeding populations of the various invading animals must already be present in the vicinity.
Ecological Succession is not a matter of

Ecological Succession is not a matter of new species developing or even old species adapting to new conditions--it is a matter of populations of existing species taking advantage of a new area as conditions become favorable.
Fire Climax Ecosystems are

Fire Climax Ecosystems depend on the recurrence of fire to maintain their existence.

Crown Fires occur when so much deadwood is built up over so long a time that when a fire does it occur, so much heat is created that it burns live trees.
Disturbances such as fires, floods, windstorms, and droughts

Disturbances such as fires, floods, windstorms, and droughts are important in structuring ecosystems. These disturbances remove organisms, reduce populations, and create opportunities for other species to colonize the ecosystem.
Resilience Mechanisms are

Resilience Mechanisms are the processes of replenishment of nutrients, dispersion by surrounding plants and animals, rapid regrowth of plant cover, and succession to a forest.
Ecosystem Management is comprised of the following

(1) An Integrated View of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

(2) The integration of ecological concepts at a variety of spatial scales

(3) An Incorporation of the perspectives of landscape ecology so that the range of possible landscapes in an ecosystem is recognized and preserved.

(4) An Evolving Paradigm that involves managers being given the opportunity to learn from experiments and to employ new knowledge from forestry and landscape silence in their practice.

(5)An Incorporation of the Human Element--the goods and services of forested ecosystems are recognized, and, through active involvement in monitoring and management, local people are included as important elements in the stewardship of the resources.