Ecology Test 1 Vocabulary

a biological community plus all or the abiotic factors incluencing that community 
the study of the realtionships between organisms and the environment; Focuses on the capturea and cycling of energy and matter
a plant, such as an aorchid, that grows on the surface of another plant but is not parasitic

collections of communities, patches; focus on how the distribution of plants in patches affect ecosystems or community processes

organisms that interact with each other; populations of 2 or more interacting species
population ecology
this looks at the groups of individuals that interbreed in a community
this looks at the interaction of individuals with their environment
hiearchy theory

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  This is a theory of looking at things on the same spatial and temporal scale; Was spearheaded by Tim Allen who improved this experimental side of ecology

holism and reductionism

  this concerns the idea of building from the bottom up

experimental ecology

 this looks at the interactions of living organisms with the real world environment and compare treatments ( usually a control), manipulating one or more variables, have a testable hypothesis, have randomization as well as be repeatable


          the dry weight of dead tissues

the dry weight of all the living tissues
standing dead

          trees or plants that are dead but still standing in an area

a nesting site for birds

          the settling of dust particles from the air


          population in a particular habitat that grows best in that particular habitat

debris dams
dam across a stream channel that is built by retaining sand, gravel, driftwood or other debris
a gradual change in one or more variables across space and time

          the flow of water down the trunk or stem of plant

photic zone

          the furthest layer of water that light can penetrate


          decomposed material

emergent macrophyte
a water plants that sticks halfway out of the water
LTER site
(long term ecological research): sites where large-scale ecological experiments are preformed
area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place
standing crops

          all of the live material, like in a forest, in biomass excluding the roots


          nutrient rich bodies of water

nutrient poor bodies of water
a cycle where one individual goes through its lifecycle and is replaced with another; can be used with nutrients

          materials that are captures and or used up by one organism


          something like humidity, temperature, etc.; is a factor in the environment

primary production

          the accumulation of biomass by autotrophs

secondary production
the accumulation of biomass by heterotrophs
Limiting Factors
a resource such as water, nitrogen or sunlight that inhibits/ controls the developments of a population or organism.
nitrogen-fixing bacteria
bacteria that live in the roots of most legumes that pull nitrogen out the air and turn it into usable nitrates
Haber Process

          a man-made process that uses high voltage to convert N2 into NO3 as opposed to the natural way which uses lightning thermocline

where cold water at the bottom of the ocean swells up and moves and mixes with the warmer water at the top
a biome that is associated with a Mediterranean climate; it is dry and has shrubs/bushes but more trees than a savanna
bedrock tight
the underlying rock under a watershed that is sealed tight
a v-shaped object placed in the earth to measure the flow of water out of a given area
high-line logging
a version of logging where trees are selectively cut down and then attached to cable to be removed

          a cyclical movement motivated by seasonal or weather conditions

ForET Model
by Hank Sugart, Mac Post, Bob O’Neil and Darryl West which used computer simulations to see how the forest would change and look over time while focusing on canopy gaps
stand models

          a computer simulation of a forest

canopy gaps
when a tree dies, it no longer shades the ground beneath it and thus there is a gap; this is a disturbance because it allow sunlight to reach the forest floor
Dynamic Mosaic
individual patches that change over time but the distribution of patch type stays the same
no-till agriculture
a type of agriculture where the oil is not stirred up and plants are harvested by cutting down the stalks and letting the rest decompose into the soil
a legume and common weed that occurs in no-till areas that also fixes nigtrogen
an aquatic fern that fixes nitrogen ( takes N2 out of the air and makes it into NO2)
Traditional Harvesting
logging where bare tree trunks are taken form the site whereas limbs and leftovers remain
Whole Tree Harvesting

          logging where the whole tree is removed from the site which allows for easier soil erosion and less nutrients from the dead leaves and branches

these connect patches with sub-standard habitats
zones vs. patches
patches are contained whereas zones are in strips where they is more movement side to side.
rocky intertidal
an area between high and low tide where organisms that mussels and barnacles can live
the existence of habitat zones along elevational gradients
an “island” of peat that becomes a real island when threes grow through the water and take root in the ground below
an area out of the water but used to water being splashed in it