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28 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
How is ecology defined?

how organisms act with and in the natural world

Who coined the term “ecology”?

Ernst haeckel

How is ecological system defined?

regularly interacting biological enteties forming a unified whole that functions in ecological context

Why do scientists and conservation managers need to know how ecological systems function?

information flows in both directions

How is the field of ecology distinct from the fields of environmental science and conservation ecology?

ecological concepts are applied to solve environmental problems

What are the five levels of ecological systems?
organism, populations, communities, ecosystems, biosphere

What is the smallest unit of ecology?

Why are organs, cells, etc. not units of ecology?

Describe how organisms modify their environments.


no separate life in environment

exchange of energy nutrient and wastes

What is the organism approach?

form physiology and behavior allow to survive and reproduce

What is a population?
many organism of same kind living together

-births and deaths of new individuals

What is the population approach?
# indidvdiuals

sex ratio

What is a community?

What is the community approach?

many populations of different species living in same place

diversity and abundances of different organisms in same place, focus on interactions that promote and limit species

How is ecosystem defined?

What is the ecosystem approach?

assemblages of organism together with physical and chemical environment

-ogganism and activites and every/chemical elements

What is the biosphere approach?
studies air and water move over earths surface

Why is an understanding of evolutionary relationships important to the field of ecology?

-foot print of evolution,

What is a fundamental ecological niche?

where one species specializes and thrives

What is a habitat? How are habitats distinguished from one another?
-place of physical setting in which organism lives

-niche is functional role

How is an organism’s habitat different from its niche?

niche is funtional role

What are herbivores?

What are predators?

What are decomposers?

What are photosynthetic organisms?

plant eaters




Describe how increases and decreases in sea otter population numbers influence sea urchin and kelp.

sea otters eat sea urchins. sea urchins are kelp and kelp protects fish larva.

How did killer whales influence the sea otter/sea urchin/kelp interactions in Alaska?

killer whales eating sea otters destroys kelp forests because sea otters can eat urchins

How did humans influence the food web in Lake Victoria?

Nile perch wiped out native species, then nile perch population collapsed because no food

Why is energy important to organisms, populations, and food webs?

only exist by gathering energy, system needs constant source of energy

How does the movement of water, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen differ from the movement of energy through food webs?

they are recycled

What is the definition of scale? Why is the correct scale of measurement important to scientific studies?
dimension in time or space over which variation is perceived

What is temporal variation?

Describe examples of events that are predictable and unpredictable in time.

environmental changes.... hours or years

-seasons changing are predictable

-drought is unpredictable

How is the plant called green ice adapted to an unpredictable event?

adapted to random fires

What is spatial variation?

difference in environment from place to place

-animals or soil

Describe how spatial and temporal processes are correlated.

speciation requires long time and large amounts of space