Glossary

What is ecology?

The scientific study of relationships between organisms and their environment.

Glossary, p. 336

What causes anemia?

A shortage of dietary iron.

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Glossary, p. 379

What is selection pressure?

Limited resources or adverse environmental conditions that tend to favor certain adaptations in a population. Over many generations, this can lead to genetic change, or evolution. For example, in birds’ interaction with caterpillars, birds are predators and caterpillars are the prey. The caterpillar wants to avoid predation, and adaptations help avoid predation. Caterpillars do not pressure birds, inasmuch as birds pressure caterpillars.

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Glossary, p. 386

What are endemic species?

Habitat specialists that may occupy a very narrow niche.

Glossary, p. 381; CHAPTER 3, pp. 52&53

What is a biome?

General areas with similar climate, growth patterns, and plants.

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Glossary, p. 379; CHAPTER 5, p. 96

What is Batesian mimicry?

Certain species that are harmless resemble poisonous or distasteful ones, gaining protection against predators who remember a bad experience with the actual toxic organism. For example, the monarch and viceroy butterflies.

Glossary, p. 379; CHAPTER 3, pp. 58&59

What is the competitive exclusion principle?

No two species can occupy the same niche indefinitely.

Glossary, p. 380; CHAPTER 3, p. 53

What farming techniques prevent water and soil loss?

Contour plowing and strip farming.

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Glossary, p. 380; CHAPTER 7, p. 169

What is a demographic transition?

A typical pattern of falling death rates and birth rates due to improved living conditions usually accompanying economic development and stabilization.

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Glossary, p. 381; CHAPTER 4, pp. 85&86

Why does the existence of the human species in the universe contradict entropy?

According to the second law of thermodynamics, disorder–or entropy–tends to increase in all natural systems. Because of this loss, everything in the universe tends to fall apart, slow down, and get more disorganized. Humans are organized.

Glossary, p. 381; CHAPTER 2, p. 34

What is environmental science?

The systematic study of our environment.

CHAPTER 1, p. 4; Glossary, p. 382

What does habitat fragmentation do to biodiversity?

Fragmentation decreases biodiversity.

Glossary, p. 382; CHAPTER 5, p. 113

What is inductive reasoning?

Reasoning from many observations to produce a general rule. We observe, for example, that birds appear and disappear as a year goes by. Through many repeated observations in different places, we can infer that the birds move from place to place. We can develop a general rule that birds migrate seasonally.

Glossary, p. 383; CHAPTER 1, p. 12

What is an invasive species?

A generalist or pioneering species that is moved into a new ecosystem. For example, the kudzu, water hyacinth, and walking catfish are all invasive species in the U.S.

Glossary, p. 383; CHAPTER 3, pp. 52&60; CHAPTER 5, p. 115

What is a J curve?

The mathematical expression or graph of exponential population growth.

Glossary, p. 383; CHAPTER 3, pp. 61-62

What are keystone species?

A keystone species plays has complex ties to the foundations of the ecosystem that is out of proportion to its abundance. For example, salmon in the Northwest.

Glossary, p. 383; CHAPTER 3, p. 60

What are organic compounds?

Complex molecules organized around carbon backbones.

Glossary, p. 384; CHAPTER 2, p. 31

What is resource partitioning?

No two species can occupy the same ecological niche for long. The one that is more efficient in using available resources will exclude the other, reducing intraspecific competition.

Glossary, p. 386; CHAPTER 3, pp. 52, 53, & 57

According to our textbook, the normal six-step sequence for the scientific method includes:

1. Identify question

2. Form testable hypothesis

3. Collect data to test hypothesis

4. Interpret results

5. Report for peer review

6. Publish findings

Glossary, p. 386; CHAPTER 1, p. 12

What is speciation?

The process by which new species arise or develop.

Glossary, p. 387; CHAPTER 3, p. 54

What is symbiosis?

The intimate living together of members of two species. For example, in lichens, a fungus and a photosynthetic partner (either an alga or a cyanobacterium) combine tissues to mutual benefit.

Glossary, p. 387; CHAPTER 3, p. 59

What causes waterlogging?

Excessive irrigation.

Glossary, p. 388; CHAPTER 7, p. 163