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Glossary of Biology 197 First Exam

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Abiogenesis
The concept of life emerging from no life. How life on Earth is presumed to have begun.
Protobiont
Systems that pre-dated prokaryotic organisms. Essentially early organic material in a membrane-like structure.
Cyanobacteria
The first dominant life form on Earth. Used photosynthesis for survival. Responsible for the oxygen-rich atmosphere we have today.
Stromatolites
Huge mats of cyanobacteria.
Eukaryote
Any organism whose cell or cells contain a nucleus with DNA within.
Prokaryote
An organism without a nucleus. Largely single-celled, and are almost certainly the first organisms on Earth.
Bacteria
Unicellular, prokaryotic organisms that dominated the early "living" Earth.
Archaea
Single-celled organisms with no nucleus or organelles that make up their own domain along with prokarya and eukarya.
Endosymbiosis
A process by which one organism lives within another, the interaction benefiting both organism. The internal organism are passed on as the external organism replicates.
Precambrian
The period of time stretching from the formation of the Earth until the Cambrian Period during which an abundance of life was formed.
Ediacaran Fauna
Organisms, specifically animals, which lived during the Precambrian Eon. Mostly soft(and flat)-bodied, no skeletons. Primarily Annelids, Cnidarians and possibly some Arthropods.
Mass Extinction
An event in which there is widespread death across many species. There are 5 "official" mass extinctions in history.
Archean
Eon that occurred after Hadean Eon. Cyanobacteria dominated life on Earth during this period.
Proterozoic
Occurred after Archean Eon. Endosymbiosis first "caught on" during this time, though there was still an abundance of cyanobacteria.
Phanerozoic Eon
Our current eon. Only one where abundant animal life has existed.
Paleozoic Era
First era of the Phanerozoic eon. Subdivided into Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian periods.
Mesozoic Era
Second era of the Phanerozoic eon during which many lifeforms radiated. Divided into Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Cenozoic Era
Current era, the beginning of which was marked by the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event.
Cambrian Explosion
Massive growth in diversity and radiation of life occurring in the Cambrian Period.
Hallucigenia
Extinct genus of animal that evolved and thrived during the Cambrian Explosion.
Trilobite
Well known extinct marine arthropods that thrived during the Cambrian Explosion.
Alimentary Canal
The "tube within a tube" that runs through an organism from mouth to anus.
Burgess Shale
A shale rock formation in British Columbia that contains millions of years of fossils.
Hox Genes
Genes that specify the anterior-posterior axis and the segments of an organism. Developed prior to the Cambrian and is the reason for the widespread growth of animal life.
Adaptive Radiation
The evolution of diversely-adapted species that share a common ancestor when exposed to new environments.
Node
A split in a "tree of life."
Heterochrony
The development of similar structures in different unrelated organisms over (often) very different time spans.
Principle of Parsimony
The preference for the least complex explanation for an observation.
Catastrophism
The belief that ancient, short-lived events rocked the world (typically in a negative way).
Uniformitarianism
Slow, gradual processes shaped the world into what it is today. The dominant theory as of today.
Natural Selection
Through one way or another, nature weeding out the less-fit organisms.
Population
A group of interbreeding organisms (of the same species) that live in a particular area.
Genetic Variation
The relative differences in genetic information. Evolution and natural selection favors genetic variation.
Relative Fitness
The extent to which an organism is fit to survive in an environment relative to another.
Allele Frequency
The "popularity" of an allele in a group of organisms.
Positive Selection
A mechanism of natural selection in which one phenotype is favored.
Adaptive Evolution
Evolution driven by a number of adaptations that make the organism more fit to survive and/or reproduce.
Sexual Selection
A process by which intraspecific competition for mates favors a particular trait or behavior.
Balancing Selection
A number of processes by which multiple alleles are maintained in a population ABOVE THE MUTATION RATE.
Speciation
The process by which species are formed.
Biological Species Concept
A population or group of populations that can produce fertile offspring, but cannot produce fertile offspring with other species.
Morphospecies Concept
Emphasizes physical appearance, assuming that a different physical appearance indicates a different species.
Phylogenetic Species Concept
Use modern statistical analysis to compare the genetic codes of several organisms to determine a pattern of shared ancestry.
Anagenesis
A widespread number of mutations in an entire population to the point that the population can be considered a new species.
Cladogenesis
An evolutionary splitting event where several small branches form a "clade."
Allopatric Speciation
Physical division of a gene pool (ex. by a new river)
Sympatric Speciation
Division of a gene pool without physical separation.
Vicariance Event
When a continuous population is divided by a new physical barrier (eg. a new river).
Dispersal Event
An event in which a population splits, and its members migrate from each other.
Prezygotic Barrier
Barrier that prevents fertilization (eg. specific sperm receptors)
Postzygotic Barrier
Limitation that prevents the further survival/reproduction of a hybrid.
Osmosis
Diffusion of water across a selectively permeable membrane.
Diffusion
Movement of materials across a semi-permeable membrane.
Osmotic Pressure
Pressure on a semi-permeable membrane.
Active Transport
Movement of molecules across a semi-permeable membrane. Requires energy.
Open Circulatory System
System where fluid (called hemolymph) bathes the organs with nutrients and oxygen. No distinction between blood and interstitial fluid.
Hemolymph
Fluid found in open circulatory system that contains blood and interstitial fluid.
Systolic Pressure
Blood pressure at maximum level.
Diastolic Pressure
Pressure at lowest point in blood pressure.
Transpiration
Process similar to evaporation. Loss of water through stoma. Allows for diffusion of carbon dioxide into the plant.
Xylem
Tubes that transport water (and some nutrients) into the plant from the roots.

Phloem
Tubes that transport nutrients throughout a plant.
Sieve Elements
Tube of living cells that transport nutrients.
Cohesion
The way that molecules bind to one another (eg. water molecules binding in xylem)
Adhesion
Tendency of dissimilar molecules to be attracted to one another.
Bulk Flow
Movement of sugar molecules in a plant from a sugar source to a sugar sink.
Apoplast
Free diffusional space between plant cells.
Symplastic
The inner side of the plasma membrane in which water (and low-molecular solutes) can freely diffuse between plant cells.
Plasmodesmada
Microscopic channels that traverse the cell walls of plant cells.
Casparian Strip
A band of [cell wall] material that block the passive flow of materials, such as water and solutes into the Stele of a plant
Nitrifying Bacteria
Bacteria that feed on inorganic nitrogen compounds. Feed on ammonia compounds.
Mycorrhizae
Fungi that live symbiotically on the roots of plants. Often sold to farmers for healthier plants.
Epiphytes
A plant that grows (non-parasitically) on another plant.
Mutualism
A relationship between two different species that results in a gain of Darwinian fitness for both organisms.
Parasitism
Relationship where one organism lives at the expense of its host.
Symbiosis
Close and long-term positive relationships between organisms from two different species.
Dissociation Curve
Curve that relates oxygen saturation with the partial pressure of the oxygen in the blood.
Hemoglobin
Molecule that is found on red blood cells that binds oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Hemocyanin
Copper-based molecule that is found in most mollusks and some arthropods.
Partial Pressure
The pressure of a given dissolved gas relative to the makeup of the air.
Solubility
The ability of something to be dissolved into a liquid.
Gills
Breathing organ in aquatic animals that absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide.
Counter-Current Exchange
Method of transport between two flowing fluids through a semipermeable membrane.
Nernst Equation
Calculation that determines the membrane voltage for a particular ion at equilibrium.
Potential Energy
Stored energy that can be converted to kinetic energy, thermal energy, sound energy, etc.
Work
Energy transferred from a source to something else.
Volts
Units of electrostatic potential.
Joules
Units used to measure work.
Ion-Gated Channels
Channels that respond to electrical stimuli.
Action Potential
The electrochemical surge through a nerve cell.
Hyperpolarization
The gradient of a nerve cell becoming more and more negative as a part of an action potential.
Depolarization
Only sodium enters channel, gradient returns to normal.
Dopamine
Neurotransmitter that increases heart rate and blood pressure.
Serotonin
Neurotransmitter. Affects muscular system (excitatory).
GABA
Neurotransmitter. Affects the CNS (inhibitory).
Muscle Fiber
Consists of actin and myosin.
Neuromuscular Junction
Junction where a nerve and muscle connect.
T-Tubule
Tubule through the sarcolema that facilitates depolarization.
Sarcoplasmic Reticulum
Endoplasmic reticulum found in smooth and striated muscle. Stores/pumps calcium ions.
Sarcomere
Multi-protein complexes that are composed of filaments.
Thick Filament
Myosin filament (part of sarcomere).
Thin Filament
Actin filaments (part of sarcomere).
Cephalization
Evolutionary process where nervous tissue becomes concentrated on one end of an organism.
Seta
Bristles that are extremely sensitive and located on the skin.
Long-Term Potentiation
An increase in synaptic transmission strength due to repeated use of that synapse.
Mechanoreceptors
A nervous receptor that picks up on pressure.
Nociceptors
Sensors that feel pain.
Transduction
The transportation of stimuli to the nervous system.
Sensory Transduction
The conversion of stimulus energy into a change in membrane potential of a sensory receptor.
Tympanic Membrane
Eardrum. Located at the end of the external auditory canal.
Photoreceptor
Sensory receptors that pick up light (rods for brightness, cones for color).
Hormone
Chemical signal that is transmitted through the bloodstream.
Endocrine System
The system that regulates hormone levels in the body.
Lipid Solubility
The ability of a lipid to dissolve and be transported across a cell membrane.
Epinephrine
Excitatory hormone that is released as part of the "fight or flight" response.
Arabidopsis
A genus of small flowering plants that are model organisms for the manipulation of signal transduction pathways.
Ethylene
Hormone that has been extensively researched in the study of Arabidopsis.
Positive Feedback
Response to a physiological change that increases the initial response.
Negative Feedback
Response to a physiological change decreases the initial response.
Malpighian Tubes
Mechanism by which insects excrete waste.
Ultrafiltration
A variety of membrane filtration in which hydrostatic pressure forces a liquid against a semipermeable membrane.
Reabsorption
Re-uptake of water from Malpighian tubes.
Protonephridia
Kidney-like organs found in nearly all flatworms.
Metanephridia
Kidney-like organs found in annelids, arthropods and mollusks.
Nephron
The basic structural and fuctional unit of the kidney.
Glomerulus
A tuft of capillaries that functions as the initial stage of excretion.
Loop of Henle
Long tube through which water and ions are reabsorbed into the kidneys.
Antidiuretic Hormone
Hormone that stimulates the reabsorption of water into the interstitial fluid.
Immunity
the ability to resist disease
Innate immunity
the kind of defense that is mediated by phagocytic cells antimicrobial proteins, the inflammatory repsonce and natural killer cells. It is present before exposure to pathogens and is effective from the time of birth
Acquired immunity
the kind of defense that is mediated by B cells and T cells. it exhibits specificity, memory, and self-nonself recognition
Cell-mediated immune response
Immune cells (lymphocytes T) kill directly infected cells
Humoral immune response
immune cells (lymphocytes B) release immune agents (antibody) in body fluid that will neutralize pathogens
Antigens
molecules recognized by the immune system
Antibody
a protein secreted by plasma cells that binds to a particular antigen and marks it for elimination
Phagocytosis
a type of endocytosis involving large, particulate substances, accomplished mainly by macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells
thermoregulation
the maintence of internal body temperature within a tolerable range
ectotherm
gain heat from external sources or through internal muscle contractions to warm the body.
endotherm
generate heat by metabolism
climate envelope modeling
examine shifts in species distributions based on existing distributions and projected distributions given changed climate
microhabitat
"The species that have evolved the greatest tolerance to high temperatures have done so at the expense of the acclimation capacity CTmax, and it is these species that will be the most susceptible to the smallest increases in microhabitat temperatures"
stomata
a microscopic pore surrounded by gaurd cells in the epidermis of leaves and stems that allows gas exchange between the environment and the interior of the plant
C4 and CAM plant strategies
keep CO2 separately to allow plant to close stomata in high temperatures, can sequester CO2 if stomata are closed
thermal tolerance
Ability to tolerate temperature change (temperate species were able to acclimate over a greater temperature difference whereas the tropical species had compromised its ability to adapt to temperature change when it evolved adaptions to extreme temperatures)
Sexual reproduction
a type of reproduction in which two parents give rise to offspring that have unique combinations of genes inherited from the gametes of the two parents
Asexual reproduction
a type of reproduction involving only one parent that produces genetically identical offspring by buddying or by the division of a single cell or the entire organism into two or more parts
Two-fold cost of sex
unless the sexual couple produces twice as many offsprings as the asexual individual, there will be a cost of sex, fewer offspring per sexual parent thatn per asexual parent
Fission
the separation of a parent into two or more individuals or approximately equal size
Fragmentation
a means of asexual reproduction whereby a single parent breaks into parts that regenerate into whole new individuals
Pathenogenesis
eggs develop w/out sperm/fertilization, offspring are descendants of mother but not clones (pathogenic - capable of causing disease)
Conjugation
in prokaryotes, the direct transfer of DNA between two cells that are temorarily joined. In cilates, a sexual process in which two cells exchange haploid micronuclei
Transformation
incorporation of DNA obtained driectly from the environment into the genome. Occurs naturally in some bacteria; can be induced in the lab by certain processes
Gametes
a haploid cell such as an egg or sperm. Gametes unite during sexual reproduction to produce a diploid zygote
Spores
a single cell produced by mitosis or meiosis that is capable of developing into an adult organism
Gonads
the male and female sex organs the gamete-producing organs in most animals

density
the number of individuals per unit area or volume
dispersion
the pattern of spacing among individuals within the boundaries of the population
demographics
the study of vital statistics of population and how they change over time
Carrying Capacity
the maximum population size the environment can support

Life tables
age specific summaries o the survival pattern of a population
Survivorship curves
a plot of the number of members of a cohort that are still alive at each age, one way to represent age-specific mortality
Population regulation
the control of population size
Population dynamics
the study of populations in relation to the environment, including environmental influence variations in population size
Age structure
the relative number of individuals of each age in a population
community
an assemblage of populations of various species living close enough for potential interaction
Species diversity
the variety of organisms that make up the community
species richness
the total number of different species in the community
relative abundance
the proportion each species represents of the total individuals in the community
Interspecific interactions
relationships between species in a community
competitive exclusion
local elimination of a competing species
competitive exclusion principle
two species competing for the same limiting resources cannot coexist in the same place
predation
interaction where one species, the predator, kills and eats the other, the prey
commensalism
one species benefits andthe other is apparently unaffected
herbivory
an interaction in which an herbivore eats parts of a plant or alga
Trophic structure
the feeding hierarchy between organisms in a community
food chains
link trophic levels from producers to top carnivores
Keystone species
exert strong control on acommunity by their ecological roles or niches
Fertilization
union of sperm and egg, sets development in motion
Cleavage
a period of rapid cell division without growth
Blastula
a ball of cells with a fluid filled cavity
Bastomeres
small cells produced in cleavage
Blastocoel
the fluid filled cavity in a blastula
Gastrulation
cells are rearranged into a three layered gastrula
gastrula
three-layered embryo, has primitive gut
organogenesis
the specialization of cell function and organization of cells into specific tissues and organs
blastomeres
cleavage partitions the cytoplasm of one large cell into many smaller cells

polarity
distribution of stored nutrients in an embryo
yolk
the nutrient-rich cytoplasm inside an egg cell, used as food for the growing embryo
vegetal pole
the lower half of an amphibian egg cell, containing most of the yolk. this portion eventually becomes part of the gut
animal pole
the portion of an egg that is opposite of the vegetal pole and that contains the nucleus and most of the cytoplasm
cortical rotation
the orientation of the grey crescent so that it is opposite of the entry point of the sperm, important for spatial orientation and polarity
grey crescent
a region of an amphibian zygote that becomes visible shortly after fertilization, opposite that point of sperm entry
Blastocyst
and embryonic stage in mamals, a hollow ball of cells produced one week after fertilization in humans
embryoblast
inner cell mass of a developing embryo
blastocyst cavity
same as blastocoel, the fluid filled cavity
trophoblast
an outer layer of cells of the blastocyst, attaches to the wall of the uterus, forming the placenta
embryo
a new, developing individual
amniotic sac
a membrane filled with amniotic fluid that helps cushion the embryo and keeps it at a constant temperature
yolk sac
in an amniotic egg, the membrane-bound sac that contains the yolk
germ layers
the three layers produced by gastrulation

ectoderm
the outer layer of an embryonic cell, forms the covering and nervous system
endoderm
the inner layer of cells in an embryonic cell, forms the digestive tract and organs
mesoderm
partly fills the space between the endoderm and ectoderm in an embryonic cell, forms the muscle, bones, bloods etc.
Morphogenesis
a process of embryologic development during which cells become organized into recognizable tissues, organs, and other structures

cytoskeleton
a networkof microtubules microfilaments, and intermediate filaments that branch throughout the cytoplasm and serve a variety of mechanical and transport functions
induction
the ability of one group of embryonic cells to influence the development of another
Monogamous
one male mates with one female, they form a pair bond, share task of brood-rearing, similar morphologies

polygamous
an individual of one sex mates with several individuals of the other sex
ploygyny
one male mates with variable number of females
polyandry
a female mates with more than one male
promiscuity
both sexes mated with multiple partners
intersexual selection
members of one sex choose mates on the basis of certain traits

intrasexual selection
involves competition between members of the same sex for mates
female choice
when females choose the males, this provides certain sexual pressures
Transfer effect
(Bower birds) The bowers that the birds build are “displaced plumage” instead of Being pretty, they build a pretty house (this term only applies to the bower birds)
fixed action pattern
a sequence of unlearned, innate behaviors that is unchangeable
kinesis
a simple change in activity or turning rate in response to a stimulus
taxis
a more or less automatic oriented movement towards or away from a stimulus
migration
a regular long-distance change in location
Innate behavior
developmentally fixed and under strong genetic influences

learning
the modification of behavior based on specific experiences
imprinting
a type of rapid irreversible learning in which young animals learn the distinctive appearance of the individual caring for them

sensitive period
a limited developmental phase that is the only time when certain behaviors can be learned
spatial learning
a more complex modification of behavior based on experience with the spatial structure of the environment

landmarks
a point of reference for orientation during navigation
ecosystem
consists of all the organisms living in a community, as will as the abiotice factors with which they interact
energy flow
the flow of energy through a food chain (key part is that it comes and goes)
chemical cycling
the cycling of chemicals through an ecosystem (key part is that it stays in an area)
nutrient cycles
define the connectivity at all levels of biological organization, quantifies the effects of perturbations on multiple levels, assess the paracmeter that limit and promote success of the systems.
Carbon cycle
-carbon is stored in fossil fuels, soils/sediments, solutes in oceans, plant and animalbiomass
taken up by photosynthesis

-released by respiration,

-volcanoes, burning of fossil fuels ***

Greenhouse effect – CO2, water vapor and other greenhouse gases reflect infared radiation back toward the earth (instead of away) and increasing atmospheric CO2 magnify greenhouse effect which causes global warming and climate change






Nitrogen cycle
-nitrogen is stored in amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids
taken up when converted into NH4+ or NO3- by nitrogen fixing bacteria so plants can use it

-released when organic nitrogen is decomposed to NH4+ by ammonification and NH4+ is decomposed to NO3- by nitrification,

-denitrification converts NO3- to N2 (rhizosphere, phytoplankton blooms)




Water cycle
-water is stored in the ocean (97%), 2% in glaciers and polar ice, 1% is freshwater

evaporation → transpiration → condensation → precipitation → movement through surface and groundwater

acid rain is caused by burning wood and fossil fuels, release sulfur and nitrogen oxides that form sulfuric acid and nitric acid when in contact w/ water (rain)



Phosphorous cycle
-stored in nucleic acids, phospholipids and ATP, phosphate is the most important inorganic form of phosphorous, largest reservoirs are sedimentary rocks or marine origin, the oceans, and organisms

-taken up when phosphate binds w/ soil particles, is incorporated into producers and then eaten by consumers

-phosphorous is returned to the soil via excretion and decomposition



biophilia
the human emotional or psychological connection to nature
conservation biology
integrated study at all levels of biology to sustain biodiversity at all levels
restoration ecology
use of ecological approaches to recover degraded ecosystems
biodiversity
the variety and relative abundance of species present in a certain area. genetic, species, ecosystem
ecosystem services
the processes through which natural ecosystems sustain human life
bioremediation
use of organisms to detozify environments
bioaugmentation
use of organisms to add key materials to an ecosystem
sustainable development
meet todays needs without compromising the future generations ability to meet their needs

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