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AP BIOLOGY
ECOLOGY VOCABULARY TERMS
260
Biology
08/02/2013

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Term
ecology
Definition
the scientific study of how organisms interact with one another and with their environment
Term
demographics
Definition
a population's vital statistics
Term
population size
Definition
the number of individuals that make up the gene pool of a population
Term
age structure
Definition
number of individuals in each age category for a population
Term
reproductive base
Definition
the number of actually and potentially reproducing individuals in a population
Term
population density
Definition
count of individuals of a population in a habitat (by area or volume)
Term
habitat
Definition
place where an organism or species lives; characterized by its physical and chemical features and its species
Term
population distribution
Definition
dispersal pattern for individuals of a population through a habitat
Term
crude density
Definition
the number of individuals in an area; it does not tell how the individuals are dispersed throughout the habitat
Term
clumped dispersion
Definition
a distribution pattern in which members of society form clumps
Term
nearly uniform dispersion
Definition
a distribution pattern in which members of society are in fierce competition for limited resources
Term
random dispersion
Definition
a distribution pattern in which members of society are neither attracting nor repelling each other
Term
births
Definition
a factor of population size that describes reproduction in society
Term
immigration
Definition
a factor of population size that describes incoming of members from another society
Term
deaths
Definition
a factor of population size that describes members dying in society
Term
emigration
Definition
a factor of population size that describes outgoing of members into another society
Term
migration
Definition
recurring pattern of movement between two or more regions in response to environmental rhythms
Term
zero population growth
Definition
of a population, no overall increase or decrease during a specified interval; population size is stabilized
Term
per capita
Definition
of population studies, a term used when making head counts
Term
"r" net reproduction per individual per unit time
Definition
variable in population growth equations that signifies net population growth rate; birth and death rates are assumed to remain constant and are combined into this one variable
Term
exponential growth
Definition
pattern of population growth; a quantity increasing by a fixed percentage in a given interval
Term
doubling time
Definition
time it takes for a population to double in size
Term
J-shaped curve
Definition
type of diagrammatic curve that emerges when unrestricted exponential growth of a population is plotted against time
Term
biotic potential
Definition
of population growth for given species, the maximum rate of increase per individual under ideal conditions
Term
limiting factor
Definition
any essential resource which in short supply, limits population growth
Term
carrying capacity
Definition
the maximum number of individuals in a population (or species) that a given environment can sustain indefinitely
Term
logistic growth
Definition
a population growth pattern; a low-density population slowly increases in size, enters a phase of rapid growth, then levels off in size once the carrying capacity ahs been reached
Term
S-shaped curve
Definition
type of diagrammatic curve that emerges when logistic population growth is plotted against time
Term
density-dependent control
Definition
factor that limits population growth by reducing the birth rate or increasing death and dispersal rates
Term
density-independent factor
Definition
factor that causes a population's death rate to rise independently of density
Term
life history pattern
Definition
of a species, a set of adaptations that influence survival, fertility, and age at first reproduction
Term
cohort
Definition
group of individuals being studied
Term
life table
Definition
a table of statistics relating to life expectancy and mortality for a population of animals divided into cohorts of given age
Term
survivorship curve
Definition
plot of age-specific survival of a group of individuals in the environment, from the time of birth until the last one dies
Term
family planning program
Definition
allows individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births
Term
total fertility rate
Definition
average number of children born to women of a population during their reproductive years
Term
demographic transition model
Definition
model that correlates changes in population growth with four stages of economic development
Term
preindustrial stage
Definition
birth and death rates high, population grows slowly, infant mortality high
Term
transitional stage
Definition
death rate (infant mortality)lower, birth rates remain high, better health care, population grows fast
Term
industrial stage
Definition
decline in birth rate, population growth slows
Term
post-industrial stage
Definition
low birth and death rates
Term
animal behavior
Definition
coordinated response to stimuli involving sensory, neural, endocrine, and effector components; has a genetic basis, can evolve, and can be modified by learning
Term
hormone
Definition
a signaling molecule secreted by one cell that stimulates or inhibits activities of any cell with receptors for it; animal hormones are picked up and transported by the bloodstream
Term
melatonin
Definition
a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that inhibits melanin formation and may regulate the reproductive cycle
Term
pineal gland
Definition
a light-sensitive pigment; its controlled activation and inactivation affect plant hormone activities that govern leaf expansion, stem branching, stem lengthening, and often seed germination and flowering
Term
song system
Definition
several brain structures that control muscles of a bird's vocal organ
Term
instinctive behavior
Definition
a behavior performed without having been learned by experience
Term
sign stimuli
Definition
simple environmental cues that trigger a response to a stimulus, which the nervous system is prewired to recognize
Term
fixed action pattern
Definition
program of coordinated, stereotypes muscle activity that is completed independently of feedback from environment
Term
learned behavior
Definition
lasting modification of a behavior as a result of experience or practice
Term
imprinting
Definition
time-dependent form of learning, usually during a sensitive period for a young animal, triggered by exposure to sign stimuli
Term
classical conditioning
Definition
a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired: a response that is at first elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone
Term
operant conditioning
Definition
conditioning in which an operant response is brought under stimulus control by virtue of presenting reinforcement contingent upon the occurrence of the operant response
Term
habituation
Definition
the diminishing of a physiological or emotional response to a frequently repeated stimulus
Term
spatial or latent learning
Definition
a form of learning that is not immediately expressed in an overt response; it occurs without obvious reinforcement to be applied later
Term
insight learning
Definition
reasoning is the cognitive process of looking for reasons, beliefs, conclusions, actions or feelings
Term
natural selection
Definition
microevolutionary process; the outcome of differences in survival and reproduction among individuals in survival and reproduction among individuals that differ in details of heritable traits
Term
reproductive success
Definition
of individuals, production of viable, fertile offspring
Term
adaptive behavior
Definition
behavior that contributes to the individual's reproductive success
Term
social behavior
Definition
diverse interactions among individuals of a species, which display, send, and respond to shared forms of communication that have genetic and learned components
Term
selfish behavior
Definition
an individual protects or increases its own chance to produce offspring regardless of consequences to its social group
Term
altruistic behavior
Definition
behavior benefits other organisms, at a cost to itself
Term
territory
Definition
an area that an animal is defending against competitors for mates, food, water, living space, and other resources
Term
communication signals
Definition
social cue encoded in stimuli such as specific body coloration, body patterning, odors, sounds, and postures
Term
signaler
Definition
sender of a communication signal
Term
signal receiver
Definition
the individual responding to a communication signal
Term
signaler
Definition
sender of a communication signal
Term
signal receiver
Definition
the individual responding to a communication signal
Term
pheromone
Definition
hormone-like, nearly odorless exocrine gland secretion; a signaling molecule between individuals of the same species that integrates social behavior
Term
composite signal
Definition
communication signal with information encoded in more than one cue
Term
communication display
Definition
social signal, often ritualized with intended changes in functions of common patterns
Term
threat display
Definition
ritualized intraspecific signal conveying intent to attack
Term
courtship display
Definition
pattern of ritualized social behavior between potential mates; commonly incorporates frozen postures, exaggerated yet simplified movements, and visual signals
Term
tactile display
Definition
in intraspecific communication; a ritualized contact between individuals
Term
illegitimate receiver
Definition
animal that intercepts signals between members of another species
Term
illegitimate signaler
Definition
predator that lures prey by simulating an intraspecific signal
Term
sexual selection
Definition
a microevolutionary process; a type of selection that favors a trait giving an individual a competitive edge in attracting or keeping a mate (favors reproductive success)
Term
lek
Definition
communal display ground for courtship behavior by some animals, including birds
Term
cost-benefit approach
Definition
rests on the proposition that we should
provide services only if their benefits outweigh their costs; considers the individual's success in contributing genes to the next generation
Term
cooperative predator avoidance
Definition
in a large group, a prey animal is less likely to become a victim; social animals are better able to repel a predator through group defense
Term
selfish herd
Definition
social group held together simply by reproductive self-interest
Term
dominance hierarchy
Definition
social organization in which some individuals of the group have adopted a subordinate status to others
Term
altruism
Definition
behavior that lowers an individual's chance of reproductive success but helps others of its species
Term
theory of indirect selection
Definition
the theory of inclusive fitness holds that individuals can indirectly pass on their genes by helping relatives survive and reproduce; all individuals of the insect colonies are members of an extended family
Term
adoption
Definition
permanent acceptance of and caring of or offspring of other individuals as one's own
Term
community structure
Definition
five factors shape the structure of the community: interaction between climate and topography dictate rainfall, temperature, soil composition, and so on - availability of food and resources affects inhabitants - adaptive traits enable individuals to exploit specific s=resources - interactions of various kinds occur among the inhabitants; these include competition, predation, and mutualism - physical disturbances, immigration, and episodes of extinction affect the habitat
Term
habitat
Definition
place where an organism or species lives; characterized by its physical and chemical features and its species
Term
community
Definition
all populations in a habitat; also, a group of organisms with similar life-styles
Term
niche
Definition
sum total of all activites and relationships in which individuals of a species engage as they secure and use the resources required to survive and reproduce
Term
neutral relationship
Definition
species interaction in which neither species directly affects the other
Term
commensalism
Definition
ecological interaction between two (or more) species in which one benefits directly and the other is affected little, if at all
Term
mutualism
Definition
symbiotic interaction that benefits both participants
Term
predation
Definition
ecological interaction in which a predator feeds on a prey organism
Term
parasitism
Definition
symbiotic interaction in which a parasitic species benefits as it feeds on tissues of a host species, which it harms
Term
symbiosis
Definition
individuals of one species live near, in, or on individuals of a different species for t least part of life cycle
Term
intraspecific competition
Definition
type of ecological interaction in which individuals of the same population compete for a share of resources
Term
interspecific competition
Definition
type of ecological interaction in which individuals of the different population compete for a share of resources; species interaction in which both species are harmed by the interaction
Term
exploitative competition
Definition
in exploitation competition, all individuals have equal access to a resource but differ in their ability (speed or efficiency) to exploit that resource
Term
interference competition
Definition
in interference competition, some individuals limit others' access to the resource
Term
competitive exclusion
Definition
theory that two or more species requiring identical resources cannot coexist indefinitely
Term
resource partitioning
Definition
similar species share the same resource in different ways; resource partitioning arises in two ways: ecological differences between established and competing populations may increase through natural selection - only species that are dissimilar from established once san succeed in joining an existing community
Term
predator
Definition
a heterotroph that eats other living organisms, does not live in or one them (as parasites do), and may or may not kill them
Term
prey
Definition
organism that another organism captures as a food source
Term
coevolution
Definition
joint evolution of two closely interacting species by changes in the selection pressures operating between the two
Term
carrying capacity
Definition
the maximum umber of individuals in a population (or species) that a given environment can sustain indefinitely
Term
camouflage
Definition
coloration, form, patterning, or behavior that helps predators or prey blend with the surroundings and escape detection
Term
warning coloration
Definition
of many toxic species and their mimics, avoidance signals (strong colors and patterns) that predators learn to recognize
Term
mimicry
Definition
close resemblance in form, behavior, or both between one species (the mimic) and another (its model); serves in deception, as when an orchid mimics a female insect and attracts males, which pollinate it
Term
parasite
Definition
organism that lives in or on a host for at least part of its life cycle; it feeds on specific tissues and usually does not kill its host outright
Term
host
Definition
living organism exploited by a parasite; a definitive host harbors the mature stage of a parasite's life cycle; one or more intermediate hosts harbor immature stages
Term
micro parasite
Definition
micro parasites include bacteria, viruses, and protistans
Term
macro parasite
Definition
macro parasites include flatworms, nematodes, and small arthropods
Term
holoparasitic
Definition
holoparasitic plants are nonphotosynthetic; they withdraw nutrients and water from young roots
Term
hemiparasite
Definition
hemiparasites retain a capacity for photosynthesis, but they withdraw nutrients and water from host plants
Term
social parasites
Definition
social parasites alter the social behavior of another species to complete their life cycle
Term
parasitoid
Definition
type of insect larva that grown and develops in a host organism (usually another insect), consumes its soft tissues, and kills it
Term
ecological succession
Definition
processes by which a community develops in sequence, from pioneer species to an end array of species that remain in equilibrium over a given region
Term
pioneer species
Definition
any opportunistic colonizer of barren or disturbed habitats; adapted for rapid growth and dispersal
Term
climax community
Definition
array of species that has stabilized under prevailing habitat conditions
Term
primary succession
Definition
development of climax community through a series of species that replace one another, starting with pioneers
Term
secondary succession
Definition
a disturbed area recovers and moves toward a climax state
Term
climax-pattern model
Definition
idea that environmental factors may have different effects in a large region, so stable communities other than the climax stage may also persist in that region
Term
restoration
Definition
[restoration ecology] attempts to reestablish biodiversity in ecosystem severely altered by mining, agriculture, and other disturbances
Term
keystone species
Definition
a species with a dominant role in shaping community structure
Term
geographic dispersal
Definition
an organism moves out of its home range and becomes established in a new community as an exotic species
Term
jump dispersal
Definition
during the course of a lifetime, individuals may be rapidly transported across great distance (jump dispersal), as in bilge water of large ships
Term
distance effect
Definition
idea that only species adapted for long-distance dispersal can be potential colonists of islands far from their home range
Term
area effect
Definition
idea that larger islands support more species than smaller ones at equivalent distances from sources of colonizer species
Term
trophic level
Definition
all organisms the same number of transfer steps away from the energy input into an ecosystem
Term
food chain
Definition
straight-line sequence of steps by which energy stored in autotroph tissues passes on to higher trophic levels
Term
food web
Definition
of ecosystems, cross-connecting food chains consisting of producers, consumers, and decomposers, detritivores, or both
Term
grazing food web
Definition
network of food chains in which energy flows from plants to an array of herbivores, then to carnivores
Term
detrital food web
Definition
network of food chains in which energy flows mainly from plants through arrays of detritivores and decomposers
Term
primary productivity
Definition
of ecosystems, the rate at which primary producers capture and store energy in tissues during a specified interval
Term
net ecosystem production
Definition
of ecosystems, all the energy plants have accumulated through their growth, reproduction in a given interval (net primary production), minus the energy that the plants and soil organisms have used
Term
ecological pyramid
Definition
trophic structures can be diagrammed as a pyramid in which producers form a base for successive tiers of consumers above them
Term
biomass pyramid
Definition
makes provision for differences in size of organisms by using the weight of the members in each trophic level
Term
energy pyramid
Definition
reflects trophic structure most accurately because it is based on energy losses at each level
Term
biogeochemical cycle
Definition
slow movement of an element from environmental reservoirs, through food webs, then back to the environment
Term
hydrologic cycle
Definition
biogeochemical cycle driven by solar energy; water is moved through the atmosphere, on or through land, to the ocean, and back to the atmosphere
Term
atmospheric cycle
Definition
Carbon Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle
Term
sedimentary cycle
Definition
biogeochemical cycle; an element having no gaseous phase moves form land, through food webs, to the seafloor, then returns to land through long-term uplifting
Term
watershed
Definition
any specific region in which all precipitation drains into one stream or river
Term
carbon cycle
Definition
an atmospheric cycle; carbon moves from reservoirs (sediments, rocks, the ocean), through the atmosphere (mostly as CO2), food webs, and back to the reservoirs
Term
greenhouse effect
Definition
atmospheric gases impede escape of infrared wavelengths (heat) from Earth's sun-warmed surface, absorb them, and radiate much of the heat back toward Earth
Term
nitrogen cycle
Definition
atmospheric cycle; nitrogen moves from its largest reservoir (atmosphere), through the ocean, ocean sediments, soils, and food webs, then back to the atmosphere
Term
nitrogen fixation
Definition
major nitrogen cycle process; certain bacteria convert gaseous nitrogen to ammonia, which dissolves in their cytoplasm to form ammonium (used in biosynthesis
Term
decomposition
Definition
in general, processes by which prokaryotic cells and fungi degrade organic matter (e.g., nitrogenous wastes of organisms)
Term
ammonification
Definition
of nitrogen cycle, process by which soil fungi and bacteria break down nitrogenous wastes or remains to forms that plants can take up
Term
nitrification
Definition
major nitrogen cycle process; certain bacteria in soil break down ammonia or ammonium to nitrite, then other bacteria break, down the nitrite to nitrate (a form that plants can take up)
Term
denitrification
Definition
conversion of nitrate or nitrite by certain soil bacteria to gaseous nitrogen and a small amount of nitrous oxide
Term
ion exchange
Definition
the pH-dependent process by which ions dissociate from soil particles, and other ions dissolved in soil water replace them
Term
phosphorus cycle
Definition
a sedimentary cycle; the movement of phosphorus (mainly phosphate ions) from land, through food webs, to ocean sediments, then back to land
Term
eutrophication
Definition
nutrient enrichment of a body of water; typically causes reduced transparency and a phytoplankton-dominated community
Term
biogeography
Definition
scientific study of the world distribution of species
Term
biosphere
Definition
all regions of the Earth's waters, crust, and atmosphere in which organisms live
Term
hydrosphere
Definition
all water on or near the earth's surface
Term
lithosphere
Definition
the earth's outer, rocky layer
Term
atmosphere
Definition
gases, particles, and water vapor enveloping the earth
Term
climate
Definition
for a specified region, the prevailing weather conditions (e.g., temperature, cloud cover, wind sped, rainfall, and humidity
Term
ozone layer
Definition
a layer in the earth's stratosphere at an altitude of about 10 km (6.2 miles) containing a high concentration of ozone, which absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth from the sun
Term
temperature zones
Definition
globe-spanning bands of temperature defined by latitude (e.g., cool temperature, warm temperate, equatorial)
Term
ocean
Definition
a continuous body of water that covers more than 71 percent of the Earth; its currents distribute nutrients and marine ecosystems and influence regional climates
Term
topography
Definition
refers to physical features of a region, such as elevation; mountain, valleys, and other features influence regional climates
Term
rain shadow
Definition
a reduction in rainfall on leeward side of a high mountain range that results in arid or semiarid conditions
Term
leeward
Definition
on or toward the side sheltered from the wind or toward which the wind is blowing; downwind
Term
windward
Definition
facing the wind or on the side facing the wind
Term
monsoons
Definition
air circulation pattern that moves moisture-laden air arising from warm oceans to continents north or south of them
Term
biogeographic realm
Definition
one of six cast land areas with distinctive species
Term
biome
Definition
subdivision of a biogeographic realm
Term
ecoregions
Definition
broad land or ocean region defined by climate, geography, producer species
Term
soil
Definition
mixture of mineral particles of variable sizes and decomposing organic material; air and water occupy spaces between particles
Term
humus
Definition
decomposing organic matter in soil
Term
profile
Definition
the composition of soil from the surface downward: topsoil has the most humus and is the most vulnerable to weathering - loam topsoil have the best mix of sand, silt, and clay for agriculture
Term
desert
Definition
biome that forms where the potential for evaporation greatly exceeds rainfall, and where soil is thin and vegetation sparse
Term
desertification
Definition
the conversion of grassland or irrigated or rain-fed cropland to a desert-like condition
Term
dry shrub-land
Definition
biome that forms when annual rainfall is less than 25 to 60 centimeters; short, multi-branched woody shrubs dominate
Term
dry woodland
Definition
biome that forms when annual rainfall is about 40 to 100 centimeters; it may have many tall trees but no dense canopy
Term
grasslands
Definition
biome that has flat or rolling land, 25-100 centimeters of annual rainfall, warm summers, and a distinct array of grazers; fires recur and regenerate dominant plant species
Term
short-grass prairie
Definition
of the American Midwest; short, drought-resistant grasses that have been replaced by grains that require irrigation
Term
tall-grass prairie
Definition
originally found in the American West where water was more plentiful
Term
savanna
Definition
broad belt of warm grassland with a smattering of shrubs and trees
Term
monsoon grasslands
Definition
of southern Asia; experience seasons of torrential rain alternating with near drought
Term
evergreen broadleaf forest
Definition
tropical forest in regions of heavy rainfall; rapid decomposition
Term
tropical rain forest
Definition
a biome characterized by regular, heavy rainfall, an annual mean temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, humidity of 80+ percent, and stunning but threatened biodiversity
Term
deciduous broadleaf forest
Definition
lie farther from the equator; the regions are more mild in temperature with moderate rain fall
Term
tropical deciduous forest
Definition
its trees drop all or some of leaves in a pronounced dry season; nutrients in litter accumulate on forest floor
Term
monsoon forest
Definition
located in Southeast Asia; many trees drop some or all of their leaves during the pronounced dry season
Term
temperate deciduous forest
Definition
of North America, conditions of temperature and rainfall do not favor rapid decomposition; thus, nutrients are conserved to provide fertile soil
Term
coniferous forest
Definition
the typical "tree" in these forests I some variety of evergreen cone-bearer with needlelike leaves
Term
boreal forest
Definition
a swamp forest (or taiga) in glaciated regions with cold lakes and streams; found in the cool to cold northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia; spruce and balsam fir are dominant
Term
taiga
Definition
synonymous with boreal forest; the sometimes swampy coniferous forest of high northern latitudes, esp. that between the tundra and steppes of Siberia and North America
Term
montane coniferous forest
Definition
extend southward through the great mountain ranges; fir and pine dominate
Term
temperate rain forest
Definition
parallels the west coast of North America and features sequoias and redwoods
Term
southern pine forest
Definition
dominates coastal plains of south Atlantic and Gulf states; adapted to dry, sandy, nutrient-poor soils, and fires of relatively low heat, which can clear understory
Term
tundra
Definition
biome with poor drainage, extremely low temperatures, short growing season, poor decomposition; artic tundra is a treeless plain between the polar ice cap and belts of northern boreal forests; alpine tundra occurs at high elevations in mountains throughout the world
Term
arctic tundra
Definition
lies to the north of the boreal forests; it sis a vast treeless plain, very cold, with low moisture; it is characterized by permafrost, which prevents growth of large trees
Term
permafrost
Definition
a water-impermeable, perpetually frozen layer, up to 500 meters thick, beneath the soil surface of the arctic tundra
Term
alpine tundra
Definition
occurs at high elevations in mountains throughout the world
Term
lake
Definition
a body of standing freshwater produced by geologic processes, as when an advancing glacier carves a basin in the Earth
Term
littoral zone
Definition
extends from the shore to where rooted plants stop growing
Term
limnetic zone
Definition
includes open, sunlit waters beyond the littoral to a depth where photosynthesis is no longer significant; plankton life is abundant
Term
profundal zone
Definition
the deep, open water below the depth of light penetration; detritus sinks from the limnetic and is acted upon by decomposers
Term
phytoplankton
Definition
aquatic community of floating or weakly swimming photoautotrophs
Term
zooplankton
Definition
a community of suspended or weakly swimming heterotrophs of aquatic habitats; most species are microscopic
Term
spring overturn
Definition
of many bodies of water in spring, a downward movement of oxygenated surface water and an upward movement of nutrient-rich water from mud and sediments below; fans primary productivity
Term
thermocline
Definition
by midsummer a thermocline between the upper layers and lower cooler layers prevents vertical warming
Term
fall overturn
Definition
vertical mix of a body of water in fall; its upper layer cools, gets more dense, sinks, oxygenated surface water moves down, nutrients from bottom sediments move up
Term
oligotrophic
Definition
lakes are deep, nutrient-poor, and low in primary productivity
Term
eutrophic
Definition
lakes are shallow and nutrient-rich often due to agricultural and urban runoff wastes
Term
eutrophication
Definition
nutrient enrichment of a body of water; typically causes reduced transparency and a phytoplankton-dominated community
Term
stream
Definition
a flowing-water ecosystem that starts out as a freshwater spring or seep
Term
benthic province
Definition
includes all the sediments and rocky formations of the ocean bottom; its zones begin with the continental shelf and extend downward to the deep-sea trenches
Term
pelagic province
Definition
includes the entire volume of ocean water and is subdivided into two zones: the neritic zone constitutes the relatively shallow water overlying the continental shelves - the oceanic zone is the water over the ocean basins; photosynthetic activity is restricted to the surface
Term
ultraplankton
Definition
photosynthetic bacteria, no more than 2 um wide, that may account for 70 percent of the ocean's primary productivity
Term
marine snow
Definition
organic matter, drifting down from ultraplankton to mid-oceanic water; the basis of food webs and staggering biodiversity
Term
hydrothermal vent
Definition
a steaming fissure in the deep ocean floor; has unique ecosystem
Term
mangrove wetland
Definition
a nutrient-rich ecosystem of tidal flats at tropical latitudes
Term
estuary
Definition
partly enclosed coast region where seawater mixes with fresh water and runoff from land, as from rivers
Term
intertidal zone
Definition
region between the low and high water marks of a rocky or sandy shore
Term
rocky shore
Definition
an intertidal area of seacoasts where solid rock predominates; are biologically rich environments, and make the ideal natural laboratory for studying intertidal ecology and other biological processes
Term
upper littoral
Definition
is submerged only during the highest possible lunar tide; it is sparsely populated
Term
mid-littoral
Definition
is submerged during the regular tide and exposed at the lowest tide of the day
Term
lower littoral
Definition
exposed only during the lowest lunar tide
Term
sandy shore/ muddy shore
Definition
unstable stretches of loose sediments; detrital food webs occur; invertebrates are plentiful
Term
upwelling
Definition
an upward movement of deep, nutrient-rich water along coasts; it replaces surface waters that move away from shore when the prevailing wind direction shifts
Term
El Nino
Definition
massive eastward movement of warm surface waters of the western equatorial pacific; displaces cool water off South America; recurs and disrupts climates throughout the world
Term
pollutant
Definition
nautral synthetic substance with which an ecosystem has no prior evolutionary experience, in terms of kinds or amounts; it accumulates to disruptive or harmful levels
Term
thermal inversion
Definition
a layer of dense, cool air trapped beneath a layer of warm air; can hold air pollutants close to the ground
Term
industrial smog
Definition
a gray air found in industrial cities that burn fossil fuel
Term
photochemical smog
Definition
brown air found in large cities in warm climates; the key culprit is nitric oxide
Term
PANS
Definition
peroxyacyl nitrate; an oxidant in photochemical smog; sting eyes, irritate lungs, and damage crops
Term
dry acid deposition
Definition
airborne oxides of sulfur, nitrogen fall to Earth during dry weather
Term
acid rain
Definition
wet acid-deposition; falling or rain (or snow_ rich in sulfur and nitrogen oxides
Term
ozone thinning
Definition
a pronounced and seasonal thinning of the atmosphere's ozone layer
Term
chlorofluorocarbon
Definition
CFC; a compound of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon; is contributing to ozone thinning
Term
green revolution
Definition
in developing countries, use of improved crop strains, modern agricultural equipment, and practices to raise crop yields
Term
subsistence agriculture
Definition
farming that provides for the basic needs of the farmer without surpluses for marketing; runs on energy inputs from sunlight and human labor
Term
animal-assisted agriculture
Definition
energy inputs from oxen and other draft animals
Term
mechanized agriculture
Definition
requires massive inputs of fertilizers, pesticides, and ample irrigation to sustain high-yield crops
Term
deforestation
Definition
removal of all the trees from a large tract of land
Term
shifting cultivation
Definition
once called slash-and-burn agriculture; trees are cut, the land used for a few growing seasons and then abandoned as fertility plummets
Term
desertification
Definition
the conversion of grassland or irrigated or rain-fed cropland to a desert-like condition
Term
desalinization
Definition
removing salt from seawater
Term
salinization
Definition
salt buildup in soil through poor drainage, evaporation, and heavy irrigation
Term
water table
Definition
upper limit at which ground in a specified region is fully saturated with water
Term
Ogallala aquifer
Definition
part of the High Plains Aquifer System, is a vast yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States
Term
wastewater treatment
Definition
processing of liquid wastes to remove sludge, organic matter
Term
primary treatment
Definition
removes and then burns sludge before it is dumped in landfills and waste dumps
Term
secondary treatment
Definition
uses microbes to degrade organic matter - nitrates, viruses, toxic substances remain
Term
tertiary treatment
Definition
experimental methods to remove solids, phosphates, organics, etc.; it is used on only about 5% of the nation's wastewater
Term
fossil fuel
Definition
coal, petroleum, or natural gas; a nonrenewable energy source that formed long ago from remains of swamp forests
Term
nuclear reactor
Definition
with nuclear energy, the net energy produced is low and the cost high compared with coal-burning plants; meltdowns may release large amounts of radioactivity to the environment; nuclear waste is so radioactive that it must be isolated for 10,000 years
Term
meltdown
Definition
accidental overheating of the core in a nuclear power plant
Term
photovoltaic cells
Definition
unit in a device designed to convert sunlight energy into electricity
Term
solar-hydrogen energy
Definition
sunlight energy captured, converted to hydrogen as a fuel source
Term
wind energy
Definition
where winds travel faster than 7.5 meters per second, wind turbines are cost-effective producers of electricity; because winds do not blow on a regular schedule, wind turbines cannot be the exclusive source of energy
Term
fusion power
Definition
release of energy from fuel that implodes when compressed to extremely high density
Term
AP BIOLOGY: ECOLOGY VOCABULARY TERMS
Definition
BY LUKE KIM
Term
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Definition
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