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34 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
consists of all organisms living in a community as well as all the abiotic factors with which they interact
trophic structure
structure of ecosystem showing feeding relationships
trophic levels
division of the species in a community or ecosystem on the basis of their main source of nutrition
primary producers
primary consumers
herbivores which eat plants or algae
secondary consumers
carnivores that eat herbivores
tertiary consumers
carnivores consuming other carnivores
consumers that derive their energy from detritus
the non-living organic material such as feces, fallen leaves, and teh remains of dead organisms from all trophic levels
food chain
the pathway along which food is transferred from trophic level to trophic level
food webs
the feeding relationships in an ecosystem woven
the rate of incorporation of energy and materials into the bodies of organisms
the metabolic use for growth and reproduction of assimilated organic materials
the breakdown of organic materials to inorganic ones
primary productivity
the amount of light energy converted to chemical energy (organic compounds) by the autotrophs of an ecosystem during a given time period
gross primary productivity (GPP)
total primary productivity
net primary productivity (NPP)
equal to teh gross primary productivity minus the energy used by the producers for respiration
weight of vegetation added to the ecosystem expressing primary productivity
standing crop biomass
the total biomass of photosynthetic autotrophs present at a given time
limiting nutrient
single nutrient tha tlimits productivity
secondary productivity
the rate at which an ecosystem's consumers convert the chemical energy of the food they eat into their own new biomass
ecological efficiency
the percentage of energy transferred from one trophic level to the next
pyramid of productivity
diagram representing multiplicative loss of energy from a food chain in which the trophic levels are stacked in blocks with primary producers forming the foundation of the pyramid
biomass pyramid
represents a consequence of decreasing energy transfers through a food web in which each tier represents the standing crop biomass in all trophic level
turnover time
standing crop biomass compared to their productivity
pyramid of numbers
the size of each block is proportional to the number of individual organisms present in each trophic level
biogeochemical cycles
nutrient circuits involving both biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems
nitrogen fixation
pathway for nitrogen to enter ecosystem in which certain prokaryotes fix notrogen into minerals that can be used to synthesize nitrogenous organic compounds such as amino acids
process in which certain aerobic bacteria oxidizes ammonium to nitrite and then to nitrate
process in which some nitrate is converted back to nitrogen, returning to the atmosphere
the decomposition of organic nitrogen back to ammonium
long-term ecological research (LTER)
research tracking the dynamics of natural ecosystems over relatively long periods of time
biological magnification
a process in which toxins become more concentrated in successive trophic levels of a food web
greenhouse effect
the long-term effects of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on Earth's heat budget