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21 Cards in this Set

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Evolution
inherited changes in populations of organisms over a period of time; which leads to differences among them.
Natural Selection
mechanism for evolution; environmental pressures cause certain genetic combinations in a population to become more abundant; organisms with certain traits are selected for (and will survive/reproduce); while other organisms with different traits are selected against (and will not survive/reproduce).
Species
all organisms genetically similar enough to breed and produce live; fertile offspring in nature.
Community
the populations of all species in a particular area/habitat
Population
subgroup of a species (all members of a population belong to one species); a group of organisms; of the same species; which are found in a specific area at a specific time.
Habitat
the physical and chemical features of an area where you normally observe certain organisms.
Niche
the total of all activities and relationships in which individuals of one species deal with as they go about their daily lives (i.e.; survival and reproduction).
Predation
interaction between two species; a predator (the organism in pursuit of a food source) and the prey (the food source); predators are any organism that hunts and kills its food (i.e.; the prey).
Competition
interaction between organisms of the same or different species; in which they “compete” or fight for a share of the limited resources.
Camouflage
“hiding out in the open”; an organism blends in with its surroundings making it harder to be seen.
Warning Coloration
prey exhibit this display of bright colors (red; orange; yellow; etc.) which warn the predator that the prey is toxic and could either kill or seriously harm the predator.
Mimicry
the display of warning colors by prey that are not toxic/harmful if eaten by predators.
Symbiosis
a close interaction generally between two species; this interaction may produce neutral; positive; or negative effects on each organism. The three types of symbiosis include: parasitism; commensalism; and mutualism. With parasitism; a parasite is attached to a host organism and feeds off of the body fluids of the host. With commensalism; one species benefits while the other is neither harmed nor helped. With mutualism; both species benefit from the relationship.
Keystone Species
a species or group of species whose impact on its community is much larger and more influential than would be expected from mere abundance.
Exponential Population Growth
growth at a constant rate of increase per unit of time. (NOTE: No populations can exhibit exponential growth indefinitely. They can exhibit this type of growth for a short period; followed by a crash/dieback; where the population sharply decreases.)
Logistic Population Growth
growth rates regulated by internal and external factors that establish an equilibrium with environmental resources. (Logistic begins just like exponential; but there is a slowing in the increase in population; and then upon reaching the carrying capacity it will oscillate around this level.)
Carrying Capacity
the maximum number of individuals of any species that can be supported by a particular ecosystem on a long-term basis.
Productivity
the rate of biomass produced (the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy stored in living/once-living organisms.
Abundance
the number of individuals of a species in an area.
Diversity
the number of different species in an area.
Spatial Distribution
the distribution/arrangement of members of a population in a given space; which can be a) random; b) ordered/uniform; or c) clustered/clumped.