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128 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Suface water comes from?
Precipation, part of hydrologic cycle & result of exogenic energy
Water can be "Intercepted"
water (precipitaion)strikes vegetation or ground cover
water that flows from leaves downplant stems to ground
water gets below the surface
water (precipition) percolating below the surface
Amount of water that would evaporate and transpire under optimal conditions
Potentianl evapotranspiration
POTET is related to
Amount of solar radiationan area receives and yearly temp patterns
Actual evapotransipiration
The actual amount of evaporation and transpiration that occurs
what indicates if there is adequate water in the soil for plants
the relationship between POTET and ACTET
/when do deficits in water supply occur
When POTET exceeds ACTET
Ecosystem is
fuctional unit of biosphere
Ecosystem is composed of
Plants animals & microbes interacting with each other and their enviroment
How are ecosystems defined
based on the specific spatial extent area
to better understand ecosystems
understand the hierarchy found in them in terms of organisms
ecosystems maintain their viability through
energy flow and nutrient cycling
an organism that has the ability to interbreed successfully
number of individuals of a particular species in a defined area
groups of populations interacting at a specific location
is composed of distinct/interacting communities
largest classification of ecosystems
Specific physical environment where a species lives
function or occupation of a given species in a community
Number of species in an area
boundry between ecosystems
two broad classifications for organisms
Generalist & Specialists
Have wide tolerances for abiotic conditions, habitats or diverse food sources
Have narrow tolerances for abiotic conditions, habitats, or specific food sources
what controls where a species can live and its niche
abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystem
Abiotic (non-living) componnets of the environment consists of?
solar radiation(temperture/seasonality), precipitaion(surface and soil moisture/seasonality
solar radiation
changes in temperature, precipitation and seasonality are controlled by
latitudinal location

*page 50 top
In general elevational changes in abiotic conditions are similar to
latitudinal changes in abiotic conditions
biotic components of the environment include two types of interactions
Competition and symbiotic interactions
Competions in the form of competitive exclusion is
the idea that when two species with the same resource requirements co-occur one survies the other dies out
symbiotic interations can be classified as
the act of feeding on other organisms
and interaction where both species receive positive benefits
organisms that use solar energy and CO2 to create sugar(plants)
self feeders are also known as
Photosynthesis is performed by
Solar energy plus 6H2O plus6CO2=
C6H12O6 + 6O2
Where does photosynthesis happen
in Chlorophyll located in cells of plants (usually leaves)
Photosynthesis process does what
stores glucose as as starch for later use
what is the glucose used for and how
to build cells through respiration
C6H12O + 6O2 =
6H2O + 6CO2 +energy
what makes energy available from glucose and release water and carbon dioxide
who preforms photosynthesis
ONLY producers
Use organic material as a source of energyand nutrients
Consumers are also known as
Heterotrophes Meaning they feed on each other
Heterotrophes means
they feed on each other
how do consumers us glucose(starch)and extract energy
through respiration giving off water and CO2
there are 4 types of consumers
Primary Consumers
Secondary Consumers
Tertiary Consumers
Primary Consumers feeds on
Producers (herbivores-plant eaters) cows, rabbits mice
Herbivores plant eaters
cow, rabbits mice
Secondary consumer feeds on
Primary consumers (carnivores) birds that eat plant eating insects, spiders
Tertiary consumers feeds on
secondary and primary
consumers (carnivores)hawks, sharks
Omnivores feed on
producers or consumers rats pigs cockroaches humans
Dead plant and animal material
Decoposers and detritus
fungi, bacteria, detritus (dead) feeders, crab, earthworms, ants vultures
Half of all plant material is created each year is consumed by
decomposers and detritus feeders
two factors that determine if ecosystems are funtioning properly
Energy flow and
Nutrient cycling
Energy Flow is
Movement of usable energy from one category of organism or trophic level to another
90% of energy is used up through

not available for the next higher level
the weight of living organisms in a community ecosystem
several ways to measure energy
based on the idea that energy can be stored as glucose otherwise known as Biomass
Gross Primary productivity
Total amount of plant material produced in a given year
Plants respire and use up energy ..better measure of how much biomass (energy) in an ecosystem is
Net Primary Productivity which is amount of biomass in an eco system with respiration and decay subtracted out
yearly net primary productivity is highest
in places where abiotic conditions are best for plants, the tropics
Nutrient cyclying
the process by which elements are supplied to living organisms
the vast majority of elements required for life:
Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen (99%)
Other important elelments required for life
Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Phosphorus
Eco systems (organisms) cannot fuction if
the elements are not recycled
(made available)
A food Chain
relation between specific producers and consumers
Most consumers even specialist
have more than one specific orgnanism that they consume
In Reality
food chains appear as food webs
The nature of ecosystems
there is less energy availble at higher tropic levels,is the mechanism that causes toxin concentrations to increase in higher consumers
Toxins remain and become concentrated
as biomas is used through respiration
Ecosystems are designated by
the major primary producers (vegetation) in them
Having Simple or complex structure
can characterize vegetation
"Simple vegetation structure"
indicates a single layer of vegetation
"Complex vegetation Structure"
indicates mulitple layers of vegetation
does not have diversity of abiotic conditions
simple vegetation structure
Ecosystem health is dependent on
efficient energy flow and adequate nutrient cycling
Some species play a more important role than others in maintaining
the flow of energy or nutrients or maintaining the proper vegetation structure
Keystone species
a species that strongly infulences community structure
To determine if an ecosystem is healthy requires
examining not a keystone species but an "Indicator species"
Often a High trophic level consumer
Indicator Species
If the energy and nutrient pyramid that supports the population is healthy
higher trophic level consumer has healthy population
Succession is
the growth of one community which causes changes in the environment(most often abiotic) makes it favorable fora growth of a second community
Primary Succession
establishment of communities in areas where no communities had previously existed as an area --glacial retreat or top of lava flow
Secondary succession
establishment of communities after some disturbance has disruped the ecosystem but soil remains intact --flood--fire--windstorm
Key difference between primary and secondary succession
secondary succession occcurs in areas where soil remains after disturbance
Pioneer Community
group of populations that initially grow after a disturbance
Aquatic systems (lakes and ponds)
also experience successional processes
Composed of both organic(plant/fish) and inorganic material
Lake sediments
Any discrete event in time that disrupts ecosytems or population structure and changes resources, soil, or the physical environment
4 components of disturbance regime
Spatial extent of event:how much area is affected

Frequency of Event: how often do events occur

Intensity of event: how much energy is associated with the event

Severity of event: how much damage is done
Tree Rings
The tree heals and there is arecord of the fire as a scar
Stand Age
area of high severity fires gives approimate date on the last fire only goes back one or two fires trees keep burning
Check page 58
The largest division of ecosytems
Examination of the earths biomes reveals
the control that abiotic conditions have on their distribution and the net primary productivity (NPP) associated with each one
plants that store water ub keaves abd stems (cactus) limited by freezing temps
plants with deep root networks to tap moisture below surface, occupy stream drainages (arroyos)
Non Phreatophytes
have shallow large root networks to collect rainfall
plants with short life cycles, during dry period exist in seed banks - avoid drought by not living very long
Wisconsin has 4 major ecosystems
swamps and marshes

Midlatitude Broadleaf and Mixed forest

Boreal forests

Temperate grassland
Make signigicant impact on biosphere
Responsible for introducing species into new ecosystems and change communities they have entered
Responsible for altering abiotic conditions at both local and global scale w/long lasting effects on ecosytems
5 mass extinctions over the last 500 millon years
proved by examination of fossils
Mass Extinction
an abrupt loss of the majority of species
Mass Extinction
may take afew millons years but geologic time frame is rapid
Loss of species
Extinctions always happen by
result of minor chages in abiotic conditins or biotic interations such as competition or predation
Mass Extinctions
caused by catastrophic changes in abiotic conditions or biotic interations
late Ordovician age
late Devonian
late Premian
late Triassic
end of Cretaceous
causes for mass extinctions
meteor impact
changing sea levels
exotic species
Introduced species
three reasons introduced spieces out compete naive
1. tend to be generalist can occupy awide variety of habitaits

2.They reproduce quickly

3.They have no natural predators in the new ecosystem
examples of introduced species
zebra mussels
africanized honey bees
Kudzu--ground cover
Eurasion milfoil lives in water plant??
how to slow down biodiversity associated with human activity
stop habitat degradation associated with atmospheric soil and water pollution

habitat destruction and fragmentation which is associated with farming logging mining try to keep species from extinction
succesful natural reserve to conserve biodiverity several issues should be considered
large enough populations of species

appropiate habitat and food resources for species

protection from direct human activity
Major problem of ntural reserves and wildlife parks
have boundaries that were established by political requlation and land ownership not by the environmental conditions that govern ecosytems