Enviornmental Studies chapter 5-8

What is the difference between an ecosystem and an ecological community
the non-living components of the env.
An ecological community is
a set of interacting species that occur in the same place
An ecosystem
is the smallest system that includes and sustains life
What does the simplest ecosystem need to function properly
one species that produces its own food, and a second that decomposes the waste of the first one, plus water and air
The most basic processes in an ecosystem are
flow of energy and cyling of chemical elements
Energy, chemical elements, and other compounds are transferred from creature to creature along:
food chains
Autotrophs at the first trophic level get their food from:
inorganic chemicals and sunlight
when a species has a large effect on its community or ecosystem it is called
keystone species
A city park would be an example of:
an artificial ecosystem
Humans are
Omnivores and feed on several trophic levels of a food chain
Three characteristics of Ecosystems
1. Structure2. Processes3. Change
Two basic kinds of processes that must occur in an ecosystem
chemical elements must cycle and energy must flow
what is a food chain
it is the linkage by which energy, chemical elemnts and some compounds are transferred from species to species
organisms in the first trohpic level, which make their own food and inorganic chemicals and a source of energy
on what trohpic level would carnivores that feed directly on herbivores be found
Holistic view
the perception that an ecological commnity is more than the sum of its parts
dominant species
species that are most abundant or otherwise most important in an ecological community
The processes responsible for formation and change of Earth’s materials are collectively known as the
geological cycle
What are the four important subcycles that consicts the geolofic cycle

rock2. hydrologic3. tectonic4. biogeochemical

The hydrologic cycle refers to the recycling of
all water
What element is part of an important biogeochemical cylce?
In the contect of biochemical cycles “flux” refers to:
the transfer of material or energy from one reservoir to another
the world’s richest phosphate mine is located near
tampa, florida
What are the big six macronutrients
nitrogen fixation
the process of converting inorganic, molecular nitrogen in the atmostphere to ammonia or nitrate
the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll, carbon dioxide and water are converted to a simple sugar
People have and have had in the past, great influence on the biological diversity in their surrounding env. as a result of
– hunting- habitat destruction- introduction of non-native species- pollution of the environment
Can result in a new species
Are made of deocyribonucleic acid
Biological evolution
the change of inherited characteristics of a population
the interaction of two species to benefit both
ecological gradient refers to
change in the relative abundance of a species over an area
an association between two organisms, A and B, in which organism A lives on, in or with organism B and depends on B for existence but makes no useful contribution to B
What four processes lead to biological evolution
1. Mutation2.

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natural selection3. migration4. genetic drift

How does migration affect biolocial evolution
the migration of one population of a species into a habitat previously occupied by another population of that species can lead to changes in gene frequency
What three main concept make up biological diversity
1. Genetic diversity2. Habitat diversity3. Species diversity
What two factors influence species diversity

the relative chance of seeing a particular species2. the number of species present

What are the three basic types of species interaction
1. competition2. symbiosis3.


Natural Selection and Mosquitoes
The early fight against malaria, the fact that mosquitoes and plasmodium became resistant to DDT and chloroquine, respectively, is an example of natural selection
Biogeography refers to
geographic distribution of living oranisms
Some things thought to be major biomes of the earth
Ecological island
a small habitat that is separated from the major part of that habitat on a continent or a region
endemic species
a species that is native to a particular location and not native elsewhere
the dominant freshwater plants in the fresh water biome
What is the primary output of food to the benthos
Dead organic matter that falls from above
The two kinds of tundra are