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the total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level
limiting nutrient
when an ecosystem is limited by a single nutrient that is scarce or cycles very slowly, the substance is called a limiting nutrient
primary productivity
the rate at which organic matter is created by producers
greenhouse effect
carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and a few other atmospheric gases trap heat energy and maintain Earth's temperature range. the natural situation in which heat is retained by this layer of greenhouse gases is called the greenhouse effect
average condition
day-to-day condition
polar zone
climate zone in cold areas where sun's rays strike at very low angle
around North and South poles
tropic zone
near equator-sun is directly overhead
temperate zone
ranges from hot to cold depeneding on angle of sun
the study of interaction between organisms or interactions between organisms and their environment.
living things
non-living things
(hint: ab not living)
the gaseous portion of the biosphere, which extends to about 8 km above the ground
the ground (dirt) portion of the biosphere, which is on the surface of just beneath
the liquid portion of the biosphere that extends 11 km below sea level.
Six examples of abiotic things
1. water
2. oxygen (atmosphere)
3. light
4. temperature
5. soil
6. nutrients
distance north of south of the equator
distance east or west of the prime meridian
strength of sunlight
length of daylight
photic zone
aquatic environment- layer of water that light penetrates- 80% of all photosynthesis occurs here
aphotic zone
aquatic environment- below the photic zone-no light
what affects temperature?
1. altitude- vertical distance above sea level
2. geographic features
the release of water from the atmosphere (rain, snow, sleet, dew, and fog)
What is weathering and what does it do?
Weathering- the geological process that turns rock particles (inorganic) into soil. Alternate freezing and thawing of H20 helps to crack the rock and break off pieces. (water expands when freezing)
Name one organic and one inorganic part of soil.
inorganic- rock particles
organic- remains of dead organisms
dark, rich, organic matter found in topsoil
uppermost layer of soil
below the topsoil
Levels of organization in order from smallest to largest.
Individual organism, population, community, ecosystem, biome, and biosphere.
a group of similar organisms that are able to interbread and produce fertile offspring.
all individuals of a specific species within a certain area
all the populations of different organisms within a given area
biotic and abiotic factors interacting, producing a self-sufficient and stable system (the community and environment interacting)
the combined protions of the Earth where life can be found, including land, water, and air or atmosphere.
-thin layer from ocean bottom to highest point in the atmosphere (length-20 km, 12 mi.)
organisms that obtain energy from the food they consume
feeds only on plants
feeds only on animals (predators)
feed on dead animals
feed on both plants and animals
bacteria and fungi that are decomposers- break down nutrients found in dead plants or animals
five types of heterotrophs
1. herbivores
2. carnivores
3. scavengers
4. omnivores
5. saprobes
sybiotic relationships and the three types
-two difference organisms interact closely with each other to the benefit of at least one of them
- 1. mutualism
2. commensalism
3. parasitism
symbiotic relationship where both organisms benefit
sybiotic relationship where one organism benefits while the other is not affected
symbiotic relationship where one organism benefits while the other is harmed
that part of the environment in which a particular organism lives
the role of a particular species in the ecosystem
Competitive exclusion principle and when does compeition arise?
competition arises when two niches overlap. Principle: no two species can occupy the same niche in the same habitat at the same time.
interspecies competition
between organisms of different species
intraspecies competition
between organisms of the same species
an interaction in which one organism captures and feeds on another organism
self-feeders; make their own food
-autotrophs, green plants
-use inorganic compounds to produce organic compounds (food)
-heterotrophs, animals
-use premade organic compounds as good (ex. plants or animals)
-organisms of decay
-breakdown of dead plants or aniamls for food
first order consumer
herbivores- eats the plants
second order consumer
carnivores- eats the first order consumers~ most organisms have a varied diet
food chain
a series of organisms through which energy of food is passed
food web
multiple food chains linked together
pyramid of energy
the amount of energy available in an ecosystem
Bottom: 1 Top: 4
1. 3rd order consumer
2. 2nd order consumer
3. 1st order consumer
4. producers
each level loses about 90% of the energy that was below it (only get 10% of energy)
pyramid of biomass
shows the relative (total) mass of the organism at each feeding level
ecological succession
-the SLOW process by which an existing community is slowly replaced by another community
-succession works in stages, with a few DOMINANT species having the greatest effect on the environment and each other
-as an ecosystem changes, older inhabitant gradually die out and new organisms move in
What determines a community?
Plants determine a community.
Animals' (directly or indirectly) survival is controlled by the plants
Climax community
when a community ends with a mature, stable community and does not undergo furth succession. A climax community will remain until an ecological event occurs (ex. fire, flood, volcanoes, humans clear the land)
primary succession
-No exisiting soil or life exists
-occurs on surfaces formed by volcanic eruptions or bare rock.
secondary succession
existing community is detroyed and land is cleared and forgotten
pioneer organisms
the first organisms to inhavit an area- bacteria, fungi, and lichen
-first species to populate an area of primary succession
organisms that live on the ocean floor
plankton (drifters)
small microscopic organisms that float ear the surface and are carried by currents
phytoplankton- photosynthetic plants
zooplankton- nonphotosynthetic protists and animals
free swimming- fish, turtles
intertidal zone
ocean zone with harsh environment. High tide covers organisms with sea water-low tide exposes organisms to atmosphere
How do ponds and lakes turn to dry land?
sediment and dead materials build up on the bottom-materials slowly fill the body of water
lake-->bog (marsh, fen)-->dry land
organic compounds
contains carbon and hydrogen
what are the effects of altitude on climax vegetation and give examples
from the equator to the Pole (either one) thereis a gradual change of climax community present.
equator (lat. 0) tropical rainforest
lawrence (lat. 40) deciduous forest
canada (lat. 55) coniferous forest
alaska (lat. 70) tundra
Pole (lat. 90) ice/snow
what human activities have had a tremendous impact on the biosphere?
1. hunting and gathering
2. agriculture
3. industry
4. urban development
renewable resources
replaceable- can be regernated by natural process
ex. fresh H2o, trees (as a crop)
nonrenewable resources
not replaceable-cannot be replenished by natural process
ex. fossil fuels (oil), trees (as an ecosystem)
substainable use
using natural resources at a rate that does not deplete them.
ex. stripe bass has a size limit of 36"
land resources
provides living space, farming and raw materials for industry
soil erosion
the removal of soil by wind and water
7 importances of forests
1. helps with the carbon/oxygen cycle
2. stores nutrients
3. provides habitats
4. food
5. moderates climate
6. limits soil erosion
7. protects fresh H2O supplies
clear cutting-very damaging
cutting down all the trees in the forest
-this occured in NYS early in the 20th century
results of deforestation
severe soil erosion-->loss of soil nutrients-->possible change in soil chemistry
ocean resources
fish-tremendous drop in natural fish
fish farming
anything added to the environment or affecting the environment to make it less fit for living organisms
air pollution
solid or liquid droplets that remain suspended in the air
-sulfur dioxide, sulfur acid, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide
-creates acid rain
temperature inversion
layer of warm air traps a layer of cool air. THe cooler air is stationary and mixes all the pollutants. this results in extremely unhealthy air called smog
noise pollution
loud sounds that can cause hearing loss
broken down by bacteria and other decomposers
the accelerated aging process of lakes-succession due to organic wastes (plant or animal materials)
biological magnification
the build-up of toxic substance within the organisms as we move up the food chain
thermal pollution
changes in water temperature due to industrial use
sum total of the genetically cased variety of all organisms in the biosphere
ecosystem diversity
variety of habitats, communities, and ecological processes in the world
species diversity
# of different species in the biosphere
-about 1.5 million
organism disappears for all or part of its range
population goes down so it is in danger of extinction
habitat fragmentation
splitting of an ecosystem into pieces
-usually the result of human development, maybe the result of a natural process
invasive species
human activity allows the introduction of a foreign species
ex. frog-hawaii
asian longhorn beatle-long island
List of ten major biomes
tropical rain forest, trocial dry forest, tropical savanna, desert, temperate grassland, temperate woodland and shrubland, temperate forest, northwestern coniferous forest, boreal forest, and tundra
tropical rainforest
-hot and wet year-round, nutrient-poor soils
-ferns, evergreen trees
tropical dry forest
-generally warm year-round, alternating wet and dry seasons, rich soils
-tall trees used as canopy during wet seasons
tropical savanna
-warm temperatures, seasonal rainfall, compact soil
-tall grasses
-low precipitation, variable temperatures, soil rich in minerals
temperate grassland
-warm to hot summers, cold winders, moderate precipitation, fertile soils
-large grasses and herbs
temperate woodland and shrubland
hot, dry summers, cool moist winters, nurtrient poor soils
-evergreen shrubs
temperate forest
-coniferous trees (seed-bearing cones), cold winters, warm summers, year-round precipitation, fertile soils
northwestern coniferous forest
-mild temperatures, abundant precipitation, acidic soils
-hemlock and redwood trees
boreal forest
-long cold winters, short mild summers, moderate precipitation, acidic, nutrient-poor soil
-coniferous trees
-strong winds, low precipitation, long cold, dark winters, short and soggy summers, developed soils
-mosses, lichens, short grasses
procwhen organisms use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates, performed by several types of bacteria
feed on plant and animal remains and other dead matter
trophic level
what each step in a food chain or food web is known as

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