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53 Cards in this Set

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ecology
the study of the relationships of organisms to their environment and to other organisms / helps us understand why animals live where they do and eat certain foods
habitat
animal's environment / includes all living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) characteristics of an area
abiotic components
availability of oxygen and inorganic ions, light, temperature, current/wind
tolerance range
a certain range of values that animals live in
range of optimimum
the conditions under which an animal is most successful
limiting factor
an abiotic factor that is out of an animal's tolerance range
taxis
when an animal orients itself relative to an abiotic factor / Example: if an animal favors well-lighted environments and moves toward a light source
energy
the ability to do work
hetrotrophic energy
the type of nutrition in which organisms derive energy from the oxidation of organic compounds either by consumption or absorption of other organisms
autotrophic energy
organisms(plants and algae) carry on photosynthesis or oother carbon-fixing activites that supply their food source
energy budget
an accouting of an animal's total energy intake and a description of how that energy is used and lost
temperature
most of animal's is existance is spent regulating body temperature
torpor
a time of decreated metabolism and lower body temperature that occurs daily in bats, hummingbirds and some small birds who must feed constantly when they are active
hibernation
a time of decreased metabolism and lower body temerature that may last for weeks or months
winter sleep
occurs in some larger animals, no lower body temperature / large energy reserves sustain animals through out inactivity
aestivation
a period of inactivity in some animals that must withstand extended periods of drying / common to many invertebrates, reptitles, amphibans
surviorship curves
plots of the number of survivors versus age
surviorship curves type I
applies to poplulations in which invidividuals are likely to live out their potential life span
surviorship curves type II
applies to poplulations in which imortality rates are constant throughout age classes
surviorship curves type III
applies to population in which mortality rates are highest for the youngest cohorts
population growth
the population increases by the same ratio per unit of time
exponential growth
the population increases by the same ratio, cannot happen indefintely
environmental resistance
constraints that climate, food, space, and other environmental facotrs place on a population
carrying capacity
the population size that a particular environment can support
density-independent factors
inflence the number of animals ina population without regard to the number of individuals per unit space (density) / Example: weather conditions often limit population and human activities - constructions/deforest
density-dependant factors
more severe when population denisty is high / animals use territorial behavior to tell other animals to look somewhere else
competition
occurs when animals utilize similar resources and in some way interfere with each other's procurrement of those resources
intraspecific competition
competition among members of the same species
interspecific competition
when members of different species compete for resources / may force the other to go extinct
interspecific interactions
includes herbivory, predation, competition, coevolution, and symbiosis
herbivory
animals that feed on plants by cropping portions of the plant, but usually not killing the plant
predation
predators feed by killing and eating other organisms
coevolution
the evolution of ecologically related species is sometimes coordinated such that each species exerts a strong selective influence on each other
symbiosis
"together life" two different species living in continuting, intimate assoications
parasitism
common form of symbiosis in which one organism lives in or on a second organism called a host
commensalism
a symbiotic relationship in which one member of the relationship benefits and the second is neither helped nor harmed
mutualism
a symbiotic relationship that benefits both members
camouflage
occurs when an animal's color patterns help hide the animal from another animal
countershading
a kind of camouflage common in frog and toad eggs - eggs dardly pigmented on top and lightly pigmented on the bottom
aposematic coloration
"away from sign" - coral snakes, skunks
mimicry
"to imitate" occurs when a species resembles one or sometimes more than one other species and gains protection by the resemblance
community
all populations living in an area
ecological niche
the niche of any species includes all the attributes of animal's lifestyple: where it looks for food, what it eats, where it nests, etc.
ecological succession
the sequence of community types during the maturation of an ecosystem
pioneer species
the first species to inhabit an area
seral stage
a successional stage in an ecosystem
climax community
a final, relatively stable stage in an ecological succesion
ecosystem
communities and their physical environment
food chain
the sequence of organisms through which energy moves in an ecosystem
food web
complexly interconnected food chains
autotrophs
producers that obtain nutrition from inorganic materials and an energy source / they form the first level
pyramid of energy
how energy is passed from sun to producers - herbivores - carnivores
first trophic level
plants / producers / autotrophs