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Biology Final


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Describing a dispersion pattern in which individuals are aggregate in patches
Dominance hierarchies
A linear "pecking order" of animals, where position dictates characteristic social behaviors
The study of social behavior based on evolutionary theory
Exponential Population Growth
The geometric increase of a population as it grows in an ideal, unlimited environment
Inclusive Fitness
showed that since relatives of an organism are likely to share more genes in common, an organism also may increase its own fitness by keeping its collateral relatives viable so they can pass those genes on to the next generation.
Landscape Ecology
The application of ecological principles to the study of land-use patterns; the scientific study of the biodiversity of interacting ecosystems
Chemical Cycling
The use and reuse of chemical elements such as carbon within an ecosystem
Ozone Layer
The layer of O3 in the upper atmosphere that protects life on Earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays in sunlight
Resource Partitioning
The division of environmental resources by coexisting species such that the niche of each species differs by one or more significant factors from the niches of all coexisting species
Secondary ecological Succession
A type of succession that occurs where an existing community has been cleared by some disturbance that leaves the soil intact
the phenomenon of reproductive specialisation found in some animals, where a large group of sterile colony members carry out specialized tasks and care for the few reproductive members.
All the organisms that are part of the environment
Problem Solving
Inventive behavior that arises in response to a new situation
Trophic Structure
The different feeding relationships in an ecosystem, which determine the route of energy flow and the pattern of chemical cycling
Organisms in a food chain that are heterotrophic, but feed exclusively on other living organisms, i.e. they are predators or herbivores
a biological discipline which studies the adaptation of organism's physiology to environmental conditions.
The mutual influence on the evolution of two different species interacting with each other and reciprocally influencing each other's adaptations
Carrying Capacity
The maximum population size that can be supported by the available resources, symbolized as K
the emergence of discontinuities (fragmentation) in an organism's preferred environment, including reduction in total habitat area, increased edge habitat, isolation of habitat patches, and reduction of the average size of patches
Food Webs
The elaborate, interconnected feeding relationships in an ecosystem
a mating relationship wherein one male and one female mate only with each other
Zoned Reserves
An extensive region of land that includes one or more areas undisturbed by humans surrounded by lands that have been changed by human activity and are used for economic gain
A point of reference for orientation during navigation
The acquired ability to associate one stimulus with another; also called classical conditioning
usually defined as the "average weather", or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of temperature, precipitation, and wind, etc. over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years.
All the organisms in a given area as well as the abiotic factors with which they interact; a community and its physical environment
explanations that focus on the evolutionary rationale for a phenomenon, such as why it might be adaptive
keystone Species
Species that are not usually abundant in a community yet exert strong control on community structure by the nature of their ecological roles or niches
Describing a dispersion pattern in which individuals are spaced in a patternless, unpredictable way
A force that changes a biological community and usually removes organisms from it. Disturbances, such as fire and storms, play pivotal roles in structuring many biological communities
Species that are confined to a specific, relatively small geographic area
Life Tables
A table of data summarizing mortality in a population
Sustainable Development
The long-term prosperity of human societies and the ecosystems that support them
Spatial Learning
Modification of behavior based on expeience of the spatial structure of the environment
The simple count of number of species in an area.
An area that an individual or individuals defend and from which other members of the same species are usually excluded
The ability of an animal's nervous system to perceive, store, process, and use information obtained by its sensory receptors
non-living parts of an ecosystem, such as rocks, soil, water bodies and atmosphere
Learning by observing and mimicking the behavior of others
Kin Selection
A phenomenon of inclusive fitness, used to explain altruistic behavior between related individuals; i.e. an individual's alleles may benefit more from that individual sacrificing itself for its kin than by selfishly saving itself
Chemical Prospecting
the search for new pharmaceuticals, insecticides, or other useful chemicals based on the natural chemicals used by organisms in their environment to deter predators, pathogens, etc.
Optimal Foraging Theory
The basis for analyzing behavior as a compromise of feeding costs versus feeding benefits, anticipating that animals will attempt to maximize energy obtained as a function of time and/or eneergy spent
Search Images
A mechanism that animals use to scan areas for a particular size and color of food, especially use of certain sign stimuli
a mating relationship wherein one partner mates with multiple other partners of the opposite sex, but each of those partners mates only with the one. Polygyny (one male has multiple females) is found more commonly than polyandry (one female has multiple male partners)
the movement, distribution, and quality of water throughout the Earth
The "job" a species plays in a community, e.g. small seed consumer, top predator.
A symbiotic relationship in which both participants benefit
A change in activity or turning rate in response to a stimulus, that does not necessarily correspond to the direction of that stimulus. e.g. turning rate increases, but the direction of each turn is random in direction
Food Chain
The pathway along which food is transferred from trophic level to trophic level, beginning with producers
a subfield of ecology that deals with the dynamics of species populations and how these populations interact with the environment.
Any characteristic that varies according to an increase in population density, e.g. mortality rates that increase with an increase in population size
a mating relationship wherein each individual mates with multiple other individuals, and forms no exclusive pair bond
Ecosystem Ecology
the integrated study of biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems and their interactions within an ecosystem framework. This science examines how ecosystems work and relates this to their components such as chemicals, bedrock, soil, plants, and animals
The area where a freshwater stream or river merges with the ocean
Movement toward or away from a stimulus
sustainable resource management
A management policy in which long term resource viability is emphasized instead of short-term economic gain
Behavior that is largely genetically programmed appears to be performed in virtually the same way by all individuals of a species
Gap Analysis
Research method used to study the distribution of organisms relative to landscpae features and habitat types
A symbiotic relationship in which the symbiont (parasite) benefits at the expense of the host by living either within the host (as an endoparasite) or outside the host (as an ectoparasite)
activity (muscular or otherwise) triggered by a stimulus, governing interactions with the environment or other individuals.
Habitat Edges
the portion of a habitat patch that immediately borders another, so that its physical characteristics do not completely match the interior of its own patch.
The bottom surfaces of aquatic environments
Biodiversity Hotspots
A relatively small area with an exceptional concentration of endemic species
Habitat Complexity
a rough measure of the number of unique habitats in an environment, and the range of physical structure among them
the emergence of discontinuities (fragmentation) in an organism's preferred environment, including reduction in total habitat area, increased edge habitat, isolation of habitat patches, and reduction of the average size of patches
narrow strips of intermediate habitat that, while not optimum for residence, allow members of a species to disperse from one patch to another more easily
the study of the distribution, abundance, demography, and interactions between coexisting populations
A species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range
Threatened Species
A species that is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range
All of the variety of life; usually refers to the variety of species that make up a community; concerns both species richness (the total number of different species) and the relative abundance of the different species
Agnostic Behaviors
A type of behavior involving a non-lethal contest of some kind that determines which competitor gains access to some resource, such as food or mates
symbiotic relationships
An ecological relationship between organisms of two different species that live together in direct contact
Logistic Population Growth
A model describing population growth that levels off as population size approaches carrying capacity
Organisms that make organic food molecules from CO2, H2O, and other inorganic raw materials: a plant, alga, or autotrophic bacterium
a zone of the ocean where light penetration is high enough for photosynthesis
a zone of the ocean where light penetration is too low for photosynthesis, but vision is still possible for some species
A behavior that causes a change in behavior in another animal
Behavior that reduces an individual's fitness while increasing the fitness of another individual
A symbiotic relationship in which the symbiont benefits but the host is neither helped nor harmed
An ecosystem intermediate between an aquatic one and a terrestrial one. Wetland soil is saturated with water permanently or periodically
Primary Ecological Succession
A type of ecological succession that occurs in a virtually lifeless area, where there were originally no organisms and where soil has not yet formed
A disease-causing organism
A mathematical measure of how the total number of individuals in an area are divided among the number of species in an area. In even communities, most species have about the same number of individuals present, where in uneven communities almost all individuals present belong to one species.
Biological Magnification
A trophic process in which retained substances become more concentrated with each link in the food chain
A heterotroph that derives its energy from nonliving organic material
An interaction between species in which one species, the predator, eats the other, the prey
Demographic Transition
A shift from zero population growth in which birth rates and death rates are high to zero population growth characterized instead by low birth and death rates
a zone of the ocean where light penetration is effectively zero, and neither vision nor photosynthesis are possible
Declining Population Approach
A proactive approach to species conservation that focuses on detecting, diagnosing and preventing population declines in order to keep the population above a minimum viable size.
A type of learned behavior with a significant innate component, acquired during a limited critical period
A research method that helps set the stage for recolonization by native species which can then overgrow the exotic plant
Social Behavior
Any kind of interaction between two or more animals, usually of the same species
Ecological Succession
Transition in the species composition of a biological community, often following ecological disturbance of the community; the establishment of a biological community in an area virtually barren of life
Small Population Approach
An approach to species conservation concerned with the factors that drive a small population to extinction, such as genetic drift, inbreeding, etc.
The shallow zone of the ocean where land meets water, which is alternately covered or exposed by the tied
A very simple type of learning that involves a loss of responsiveness to stimuli that convey little or no information
Cognitive Maps
A representation within the nervous system of spatial relations among objects in an animal's environment
Competitive Exclusion
The concept that when populations of two similar species compete for the same limited resources, one population will use the resources more efficiently and have a reproductive advantage that will eventually lead to the elimination of the other population
Fixed Action Patterns
(FAP)A sequence of behavioral acts that is essentially unchangeable and usually carried to completion once initiated
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
The pattern of spacing among individuals within geographic population boundaries
The entire portion of Earth inhabited by life; the sum of all the planet's ecosystems
Maximum Sustained Yields
A method of setting harvest limits such that produces a consistent yield is produced without forcing a population into decline
The regular back-and-forth movement of animals between two geographic areas at particular times of the year.
Places where organisms live; environmental situations in which organisms live
food-obtaining behavior
excessive plant growth and decay in aquatic or marine ecosystems, favoring weedy species and then decomposers, that can choke out the natural biological community of an area. Eutrophication is typically caused by increased flow of nutrients, such as nitrogen or phosphorous, above normal levels.
The area of the ocean past the continental shelf, with areas of open water often reaching to very great depths
Any factor affecting a population that has the same effect, regardless of population density, e.g. a tsunami that kills all members of a population in a certain area, regardless of how many of them are present
Primary Production
The amount of light energy converted to chemical energy (organic compounds) by autotrophs in an ecosystem during a given time period
Energy Flow
The passage of energy through the components of an ecosystem
The use of living organisms to detoxify and restore polluted and degraded ecosystems
Describing a dispersion pattern in which individuals are evenly distributed in space, e.g. exactly one per square meter
Sign Stimuli
An external sensory stimulus that triggers a fixed action pattern
modification of behavior in response to experience in the environment; A behavioral change resulting from experience
Invasive Species
a subset of introduced species or non-indigenous species that are rapidly expanding outside of their native range. Invasive species can alter ecological relationships among native species and can affect ecosystem function and human health.

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