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Biology Review


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A nonliving component of an ecosystem, such as air, water, or temperature.
Abiotic Factor
The part of an ecosystem where a chemical, such as carbon or nitrogen, accumulates or is stockpiled outside of living organisms.
Abiotic Reservoir
The attraction between different kinds of molecules.
The relative number of individuals of each age in a population.
Age Structure
Confrontational behavior involving a contest waged by threats, displays, or actual combat, which settles disputes over limited resources, such as food or mates.
Agonistic Behavior
An alternative version of a gene.
Behavior that reduces an individual\'s fitness while increasing the fitness of another individual.
The similarity between two species that is due to convergent evolution rather than to descent from a common ancestor with the same trait.
The region of an aquatic ecosystem beneath the photic zone, where light does not penetrate enough for photosynthesis to take place.
Aphotic Zone
Learning that a particular stimulus or response is linked to a reward or punishment; includes classical conditioning and trial-and-error learning.
Associative Learning
Natural selection that maintains stable frequencies of two or more phenotypic forms in a population.
Balancing Selection
Individually, an action carried out by the muscles or glands under control of the nervous system in response to a stimulus; collectively, the sum of an animal\'s responses to external and internal stimuli.
The scientific field concerned with behavior in an evolutionary context.
Behavioral Ecology
A seafloor, or the bottom of a freshwater lake, pond, river, or stream.
Benthic Realm
A two-part, latinized name of a species.
The variety of living things, encompassing genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity.
The current rapid decline in the variety of life on Earth, largely due to the effects of human culture.
Biodiversity Crisis
A small geographic area with an exceptional concentration of endangered and threatened species, especially endemic species (those found nowhere else).
Biodiversity Hot Spot
Any of the various chemical circuits that involve both biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem.
Biogeochemical Cycle
The intentional release of a natural enemy to attack a pest population.
Biological Control
The accumulation of persistent chemicals in the living tissues of consumers in food chains.
Biological Magnification
The amount, or mass, of organic material in an ecosystem.
Major types of ecological associations that occupy broad geographic regions of land or water and are characterized by organisms adapted to the particular environments.
A living component of a biological community; an organism, or a factor pertaining to one or more organisms.
Biotic Factor
Genetic drift resulting from a drastic reduction in population size; typically, the surviving population is no longer genetically representative of the original population.
Bottleneck Effect
In a population, the number of individuals that an environment can sustain.
Carrying Capacity
A waxy barrier in the walls of endodermal cells in a plant root that prevents water and ions from entering the xylem without crossing one or more cell membranes.
Casparian Strip
A process in which positively charged minerals are made available to a plant when hydrogen ions in the soil displace mineral ions from the clay particles.
Cation Exchange
A biome dominated by spiny evergreen shrubs adapted to periodic drought and fires; found where cold ocean currents circulate offshore, creating mild, rainy winters and long, hot, dry summers.
The use and reuse of chemical elements such as carbon within an ecosystem.
Chemical Cycling
In classification, the taxonomic category above order.
Describing a dispersion pattern in which individuals are aggregated in patches.
Evolutionary change in which adaptations in one species act as a selective force on a second species, inducing adaptation that in turn act as a selective force on the first species; mutual influence on the evolution of two different interactive species.
The process carried out by an animal\'s nervous system, which includes perceiving, storing, integrating and using information obtained by its sensory receptors.
A representation within the nervous system of spatial relations among objects in an animal\'s environment.
Cognitive Map
The bonding together of like molecules, often by hydrogen bonds.
Animal behavior including transmission of, reception of, and response to signals.
An assemblage of all the organisms living together and potentially interacting in a particular area.
Decomposing organic material that can be used to add nutrients to soil.

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