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215 Cards in this Set

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What is Ecology?
Ecology studies how organisms interact with their environment.
What are the two central goals of ecology?
1. Understand the distribution and abundance of species.
2. Recognize and explain the patterns in nature.
What is the most basic division of the environment?
Abiotic & biotic factors.
What are biotic interactions?
Interactions between species.
What are abiotic interactions?
Interactions between species and the environment they live in.
What are the four scales of ecological study?
1. Organismal Ecology
2. Population Ecology
3. Community Ecology
4. Ecosystem Ecology
What is the focus of Organismal Ecology?
Organismal ecology focuses on the interaction between the individual and its environment.
Which field of ecological study considers the morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations?
Organismal ecology.
Define behavior.
Behavior is how organisms react to stimuli.
What is the focus of Population Ecology?
Population ecology focuses on the population as the main unit of study.
What is the basic goal of Population Ecology?
The basic goal of population ecology is to understand change in the number over time.
Define community.
A community is all of the organisms that interact within a particular area (same geographic boundary).
Is a community limited to one species?
Population ecology can focus on _____ interaction, whereas community ecology focuses on _____ interaction.
intra-specific; inter-specific
Describe inter-specific interactions.
Inter-specific interactions are how things directly or indirectly affect one another.
Which field of ecological study focuses on how communities are structured?
Community Ecology
Which field of ecological study is an extension of community ecology?
Ecosystem Ecology
Which field of ecological study includes both biotic and abiotic interactions?
Ecosystem Ecology
What is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem is all of the organisms in an area (community) in addition to the abiotic components.
Which field of ecological study focuses on nutrient cycles and the flow of energy?
Ecosystem Ecology
Define conservation biology.
Conservation biology is the effort to study, preserve, and/or restore threatened populations, communities, and/or ecosystems. (ecology + policy)
What are the defining characteristics of habitats (4)?
Habitats are characterized by temperature, moisture, wind, and sunlight.
Define climate.
Climate is the prevailing, long-term weather conditions.
Define weather.
Weather is the short-term atmospheric/aquatic conditions (temperature, moisture, wind, and sunlight.
How does temperature affect organisms?
Temperature can affect organisms' metabolic activity and water content.
How does moisture affect organisms?
Moisture can affect organisms' hydration.
How does wind affect organisms?
Wind can increase moisture loss, and cause physical disruption.
How does sunlight affect organisms?
Sunlight determines the temperature and the amount of photosynthesis.
Why is it warmer at the equator and cooler at the poles?
The sunlight hits the earth at a 90 degree angle at the equator, very direct exposure. Up at the poles, the sunlight has a longer distance to travel and it gets spread out.
Describe the Hadley Cell.
The Hadley Cell shows how warm air at the equator holds more water and rises, cools and releases water. This explains why the tropics are hot and wet and the higher latitudes are cooler and drier.
Where are most of the earth's deserts located?
Most of the earth's major deserts lie in a band at 30 degrees.
What are two examples of abiotic factors that have affect on aquatic ecosystems?
1. Water depth
2. Rate of movement
What impact does the depth of the water have on an aquatic ecosystem?
Water depth determines the amount of light available for temperature and photosynthesis.
What are the two types of fresh water ecosystems?
1. Lentic
2. Lotic
Describe a lentic ecosystem.
A lentic ecosystem is a body of standing or very slow moving water. eg: lakes, ponds, wetlands
Describe a lotic ecosystem.
A lotic ecosystem represents any body of (fast) moving water. eg: streams, rivers, creeks
What are the two main horizontal zones in the context of lakes and ponds?
1. Littoral zone
2. Limnetic zone
What defines the the littoral zone of a lake or pond?
The littoral zone is where rooted vegetation occurs.
What defines the limnetic zone of a lake or pond?
The limnetic zone is where no rooted vegetation occurs.
What are the three main vertical zones in the context of lakes and ponds?
1. Photic zone
2. Aphotic zone
3. Benthic zone
What defines the photic zone of a lake or pond?
The photic zone is where there is enough light for photosynthesis to occur.
What defines the aphotic zone of a lake or pond?
The aphotic zone is where there is not enough light for photosynthesis to occur.
What defines the benthic zone of a lake or pond?
The benthic zone is the bottom of the body of water.
What characterizes a marsh?
A marsh lacks trees, has reedy plants, bushes, and shrubs.
What characterizes a swamp.
A swamp is like a marsh, but with trees.
What do marshes and swamps have in common?
1. A slow, steady flow of water (ebb & flow)
2. Some connection to a lake or stream
3. High productivity
What characterizes a bog?
Bogs are stagnant with low oxygen, shallow bodies of water with no connection to an outside water source.
Why do bogs have low productivity?
Bogs have low productivity because organic acids lower pH
Why are bogs known as "dead-end" habitats?
Bogs are sometimes called dead end habitats because the carbon given off by decaying organic matter is trapped, and therefore it is very difficult for things to break down.
What characterizes lotic systems such as streams?
Lotic systems constantly move in one direction.
What characterizes the early portion of the linear progression of a stream?
The early portion of the linear progression of a stream is the water is cold with high oxygen content and low amount of nutrients.
What characterizes the mid portion of the linear progression of a stream?
The mid portion of the linear progression of a stream is the water has a moderature temperature due to solar radiation and lower altitude, nutrients are gained through biological systems, become lower in oxygen.
What characterizes the late portion of the linear progression of a stream?
The late portion of the linear progression of a stream are temperature and nutrients are high, oxygen is low.
What characterizes estuaries?
Estuaries are formed where rivers meet oceans.
"Dead-end habitats" are to _____ as "nursery habitats" are to _____.
bogs; estuaries
What are the three horizontal zones of marine environments?
1. Intertidal
2. Neritic
3. Oceanic
Describe the intertidal zone.
The intertidal zone is the portion of the beach covered and uncovered by tides.
Describe the neritic zone.
The neritic zone is the region over the continental shelf, or littoral.
Describe the oceanic zone.
The oceanic zone is the region off of the continental shelf.
What are the four vertical zones of marine environments?
1. Photic zone
2. Aphotic zone
3. Twilight zone
4. Benthic zone
Describe the twilight zone.
The twilight zone has enough light to barely make out shapes, but not enough to execute photosynthesis.
Describe the benthic zone.
The benthic zone is the bottom, known as "benthos"
What are the focuses of behavioral ecology?
Behavioral ecology focuses on the morphological, physiological, and behavioral aspects of individual organisms.
Define behavior?
Behavior is response to a stimulus.
What are the two "causes" of behavior?
Proximate cause (how behavior occurs) and ultimate cause (why behavior occurs)
What are the two types of behavior?
1. Innate
2. Learned
Define "learning" in the context of behavior.
Learning is a change in behavior resulting from specific life experiences.
What does FAPS stand for and what are they?
Fixed Action Patterns which are highly stereotyped behaviors.
What are the three characteristics of FAPS?
1. Once initiated, they run to completion.
2. There is almost no variation.
3. They are species specific.
What are the two spectra of behavior?
1. Learned to innate.
2. Flexible to inflexible
What causes a FAP to start?
"releaser" stimuli - consist of simple information.
Where are FAPS thought to have originated from?
They are thought of to be an evolutionary response to highly threatening situations where failure to respond might mean fatality.
What are the two types of simple learning?
1. Non-associative
2. Associative
What is non-associative learning?
Habituation, eg: scarecrow no longer scaring crows.
What are the two types of associative learning?
1. Classical conditioning - (un)conditioned response/stimulus
2. Operant conditioning - behavior is reinforced by consequence
Define "imprinting."
Imprinting is the adoption of an individual as a mother.
What are the characteristics of imprinting? (3)
1. Imprinting occurs during a critical/sensitive period.
2. It happens fast.
3. It's irreversible.
Is birdsong an innate or learned behavior?
Both. A chicken's clucking is innate. A sparrow's song is learned at two critical periods throughout its life. A parrot is constantly learning and altering its song.
What is the highest form of learning?
Cognition is the highest form of learning.
Define "cognition."
Cognition is the recognition and manipulation of facts about the world and the application of them in new ways.
What were the three examples of cognition given in class?
1. New Caledonia crows bending wires
2. Chimpanzee using boxes as stairs to get food.
3. Octopus getting crab out of stoppered bottle and then showed others how to do it.
How does an innate behavior come into being?
Innate behaviors develop in situations where mistakes are costly.
What is characteristic of organisms that learn? (2)
1. They are long lived
2. They live in unpredictable environments
Define "communication."
Communication is when a signal from one individual modifies the behavior of another individual.
Define "signal" and list four different kinds.
A signal is information containing behavior.
1. Visual
2. Auditory
3. Olfactory
4. Tactile
Deception in organisms has to be a _____ occurance for it to persist.
Give an interspecific and an intraspecific example of deception.
Interspecific: Anglerfish and lures

Intraspecific: female mimic fish to get past other males
Define "orientation."
Orientation is movement that results in change of position.
What is the simplest type of orientation?
Taxis is the simplest form of orientation.
What are four types of taxis?
1. Phototaxis
2. Chemtaxis
3. Phonotaxis
4. Geotaxis
Define "kinesis."
Kinesis determines the intensity of activity, but not direction.
Define "migration."
Migration is long distance movement associated with the change of seasons.
What are the three types of navigation for migration?
1. Piloting
2. Compass navigation
3. True navigation
Define "piloting navigation."
Piloting is the use of visual references.
Define "compass navigation."
Compass navigation is the use of stars, magnetic fields, and the sun.
Define "true navigation."
True navigation is compass navigation plus knowing where you are.
Define "altruism."
Altruism is the behavior that imparts a cost to self and a benefit to another (lowering your fitness).
What are the two types of altruism?
1. Kin selection
2. Reciprocal altruism
What is Hamilton's Rule?
Br > C

B = benefit
r = coefficient of relatedness
C = cost

This is for calculating kin selection.
When does altruism occur in terms of kin selection?
Altruism occurs if cost is less than the benefit due to relatedness of alleles.
Define "eusociality."
Eusociality is when a very concentrated population is more related to each other (siblings) than their offspring. eg; bees, termites, etc.
Define "reciprocal altruism."
Reciprocal altruism happens between organisms that aren't related, but have had a history of altruism.
Define "population."
A population is a group of individuals of the same species that live in the same area and utilize a common pool of resources.
What does population ecology study?
Population ecology studies the change in population size over time and what are the factors that affect this. It also studies the change in a population's geographic distribution.
What are the basic properties of populations? (3)
1. Density
2. Dispersion
3. Reproductive strategies
What are the three types of dispersion of a population?
1. clumped
2. uniform
3. random
List and define the two types of reproductive strategy?
1. semelparity - breed once and die
2. iteroparity - repeated breeding (seasonal or aseasonal)
What are the influences on a population's size? (4)
1. births
2. deaths
3. immigration
4. emigration
What is demography?
Demography is the study of factors that determine size and structure of a population.
What are the factors needed to predict population growth? (6)
1. The number of individuals alive.
2. Survivorship
3. Mortality
4. Fecundity
5. Rate of immigration/emigration
6. Generation time
Define "survivorship."
Survivorship is the proportion or cohorts that survived in the next time increment.
Define "fecundity."
Fecundity is the number of female offspring produced by each female in a population.
What is a cohort?
Cohorts are individuals born in the same time period.
What is typical of a type I survivorship species?
They put a lot of energy into producing not a lot of offspring. They generally die later in life (lots of mammals).
What is typical of a type II survivorship species?
They have offspring throughout life and have a constant rate of death, irrelevant to age.
What is typical of a type III survivorship species?
They have many offspring that die off quickly; few make it to late age.
What are life tables?
Life tables are tools that are used for demographic analyses of populations.
lxmx = ?
lxmx = number of female offspring produced by year class x

lx = age specific survivorship (proportion alive @ start of year vs. initial number in cohort)

mx = age specific fecundity
What is net reproductive rate and what is the formula?
Net reproductive rate is the growth rate per generation.

R0 = Elxmx
What is the intrinsic rate of increase?
Intrinsic rate of increase is the maximum possible rate of increase. (rmax)
What is discrete growth?
Discrete growth is when a population that reproduces during a specific times of the year.
What is the formula for both continuous and discrete growth?
Nt = N0ert
What is a characteristic of exponential growth?
A constant r over time; r is not affected by density.
What is a characteristic of logistic growth.
r changes as a function of density (inversely proportional).
What is the carrying capacity?
Carrying capacity (K) refers to the number of individuals that can be supported over a sustained time.
What is characteristic of density-independent factors?
Density-independent factors are usually triggered by abiotic environment.
What is characteristic of density-dependent factors?
Density-dependent factors change in intensity as a function of population size - causes logistic population growth.
What is an r selected species?
R-selected refers to intrinsic rate of growth. Organisms are usually small in size, grow rapidly and have short life spans.
What is a K-selected species?
K-selected refers to carrying capacity. Orgnaisns are usually larger in size, grow slower and have longer life spans.
What is an age structure?
An age structure is the proportion of total individuals in each age class.
What is a metapopulation?
A metapopulation is a collection of populations of species that are isolated in same way, but are still unified by some dynamic/some interaction between them.
What is a biological community?
A biological community is a set of interacting species in a defined area.
What are the four broad categories of species interactions?
1. Commensalism
2. Competition
3. Consumption
4. Mutualism
Define commensalism.
Commensalism is when one species benefits at no cost to another (+/-)
The _____ is the fundamental concept in community and competition. It is the range of resources utilized by a species.
Explain the competitive exclusion principle.
The competitive exclusion principle was formulated by G.F. Gause and it says that no two species can occupy the exact same niche/utilize the same amount of resources because one must have some advantage and eventually drive the other out.
What is asymmetric competition?
Asymmetric competition is when one species suffers a greater fitness impact than the other.
What is symmetric competition?
Symmetric competition is when both competing species suffer the same fitness impact.
What is a fundamental niche?
A fundamental niche is the total possible use of the environment by an organism.
What is a realized niche?
A realized niche is the actual observed use of the environment by an organism.
List the different mechanisms for competition. (6)
1. Consumptive
2. Preemptive
3. Overgrowth
4. Chemical
5. Territorial
6. Encounter
What is consumptive competition?
Consumptive competition is when two species compete for the same food resource.
What is preemptive competition?
Preemptive competition is when one species makes it unavailable for other species to compete.
What is overgrowth competition?
Overgrowth competition is when one species grows and covers other species.
What is chemical competition?
Chemical competition is when one species produces toxins that negatively affect others.
What is territorial competition?
Territorial competition is when one mobile species defends the area from other species.
What is encounter competition?
Encounter competition is when two species interfere directly for access to resources.
What are the three types of consumption? (+/-)
1. Herbivory
2. Parasitism
3. Predation
What are the two fashions of defense against consumption?
1. Standing/constitutive defense
2. Inducible defenses
What are some constitutive defenses?
Speed, schooling, armor, spines, toxins, camouflage, intimidation, aposematic coloration
What are the two types of mimicry under aposematic coloration?
1. Mullerian
2. Batesian
What is Mullerian mimicry?
Mullerian mimicry is when organisms with similar defenses resemble each other. This can be dubbed as the "universal code," where all organisms with warning signs have subsequent danger. (eg poison dart frogs)
What is Batesian mimicry?
Batesian mimicry is when organisms without defenses resemble those with defenses.
What are inducible defenses?
Inducible defenses are variable responses triggered by the presence of predators - not in defense mode all the time because it takes too much energy.
What is top down control?
Top down control is when the predator (top of the food chain) in a community keeps prey population in check.
What is bottom up control?
Bottom up control is when other factors as food availability can limit the abundance of predators/upper parts of the food chain.
Mutualism is actually a form of _____, but both species benefit.
Explain the organismic model.
The organismic model was proposed by Frederick Clements in 1905 and it said that ecological communities are like superorganisms where every species played its role and contributed to a greater good for the community. It also said that competition caused sharp boundaries to occur between species.
Explain the individualistic model.
The individualistic model was proposed by Henry Gleason in 1926 and it contradicted Clements' view, saying that species do not work together, but every species is fighting and clawing to get to the top. It also said that species are distributed independently along environmental gradients.
What is species richness?
Species richness is the total number of species in an area - this does not take into account the abundance.
What is a biome?
A biome is a major type of habitat that's greatly distributed and has certain types of vegetation.
What are biomes characterized by?
Average temperature and precipitation.
What are the 7 biomes Baldo wants us to know?
1. Arctic Tundra
2. Boreal Forest//Taiga
3. Temperate forest
4. Temperate grassland
5. Subtropical desert
6. Tropical wet forest
7. Ocean
Tropical wet forests have _____ average temperature with _____ variation and _____ precipiation with _____ variation.
high, low
high, high
Temperate grasslands have _____ average temperature with _____ variation and _____ precipiation with _____ variation.
moderate, moderate
moderate, low
What is characteristic of temperate grasslands?
Temperate grasslands are dominated by grass species because they are too dry for trees and too cold for desert species.
Subtropical deserts have _____ average temperature with _____ variation and _____ precipiation with _____ variation.
high, moderate
low, low
Temperate forests have _____ average temperature with _____ variation and _____ precipiation with _____ variation.
moderate, moderate
moderate, moderate
What makes temperate forests differ from tropical forests?
Temperate forests have dormant periods, tropical forests do not.
Boreal forests (taiga) have _____ average temperature with _____ variation and _____ precipiation with _____ variation.
low, high
low, low
Which biome has low productivity and diversity, but high above-ground biomass?
Boreal forests (taiga)
Between which latitudes are boreal forests (taiga) found?
Boreal forests (taiga) are found in between the 40-60 latitudes.
Boreal forests (taiga) are only found in the _____ hemisphere.
Which biome has a high amount of productivity and a moderate species diversity?
Temperate forests
Arctic tundra have _____ average temperature with _____ variation and _____ precipiation with _____ variation.
low, high
low, low
Which biome is dominated by shrubs and herbaceous plants?
Arctic tundra
Which biome has low species diversity, primary productivity, and above ground biomass?
Arctic tundra
Which biome happens between the 23.5 latitudes?
The tropics
Which biome happens around 30 latitude?
For many taxa you find that there is a _____ species diversity with _____ latitude.
decreasing, increasing
What is the Net Primary Productivity?
Net Primary Productivity is the amount of primary productivity that becomes biomass.
What are the two qualities for community stability?
1. Resistance to disturbance
2. Resilience to disturbance
What is a disturbance to a community?
A disturbance is any even that removes some individuals or biomass from a community.
What kind of species appear in the early successional stage?
What kind of species appear in the late successional stage?
Habitats with high disturbance favor _____ species.
Habitats with low disturbance favor _____ species.
Habitats with intermediate disturbance have _____ species diversity.
What is succession?
Succession is the development of communities after disturbance.
What are the three different categories of interactions during succession?
1. Facilitation
2. Tolerance
3. Inhibition
What is facilitation in succession?
Facilitation is when early arriving species make conditions more tolerable for later species.
What is inhibition in succession?
Inhibition is where one species inhibits the establishment of another.
What is tolerance in succession?
Tolerance is when existing species do not affect later species.
What is island biogeography?
Island biogeography is the study of spatially isolated communities.
What is a true island?
A true island is a piece of terrestrial habitat surrounded by water.
What is a virtual island?
A virtual island is a fragment of habitat surrounded by inhospitable habitat.
For certain taxa, you find that species diversity _____ with island area.
What is the equilibrium theory in terms of island biogeography?
The equilibrium theory was proposed by MacArthur and Wilson in 1967 and it said that there is a dynamic equilibrium between rates of recolinization and localized extinction.
What is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem is all the organisms in an area AND the abiotic environment of the area.
What are the four important components with respect to energy?
1. Abiotic environment
2. Primary producers
3. Consumers
4. Decomposers
Primary producers are called _____, or "self feeders."
What is a food chain?
A food chain is one possible path of energy flow through an ecosystem.
What is a grazing food web?
A grazing food web is where the primary consumers are herbivores.
What is a decomposer food web?
A decomposer food web is where the primary consumers are primary decomposers.
As trophic level increases, energy transference efficiency _____.
What is the pyramid of numbers?
The pyramid of numbers compares the number of individuals at each trophic level.
What is the pyramid of biomass?
The pyramid of biomass compares the biomass of each trophic level.
What is the pyramid of productivity.
The pyramid of productivity compares the rates of production for each trophic level
Research on food chains reveals about a max length of _____ lengths.
What are the three hypotheses that explain limit on chain length.
1. Energy hypothesis
2. Stability hypothesis
3. Habitat complexity hypothesis
What is the energy hypothesis for chain length?
The energy hypothesis says that since there is only about 10% of the energy being passed on, after too many links, there would be no way to sustain life.
What is the stability hypothesis for chain length?
The stability hypothesis says that ecosystems with more links are more unstable.
What is the habitat complexity hypothesis for chain length?
The habitat complexity hypothesis says that 3-D ecosystems have longer food chains than 2D systems.
What are biogeochemical cycles?
Biogeochemical cycles are biological processes like photosynthesis, the creation of biomass, the degredation + geological processes.