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Flashcards in Biodiversity 2 Deck (12):

Urban Sprawl?

Is a city's growth as its population increases. The city is developing on the edges of urban areas usually on undeveloped land. It is the growth of a low density development on edges on urban areas.


Exponential growth?

Is accelerated growth of a population of organisms that produces a J-shaped curve when graphed over time.


What controls exponential growth?

Limiting factors: a factor that limits the growth of a population. Ex: resources


Carrying capacity?

When there are limiting factors, a population reaches it's carrying capacity. This means that the services and resources in the ecosystem can support the population indefinitely. The size of the population remains at equilibrium and there is an even amount of organisms added and removed from the population.


What controls Carrying capacity?

Urban sprawl (humans) and limiting factors.


What effect do humans have on sustainability?

Humans actions destroy ecosystems such as wetlands, rain forests, and causing global warming. This may lead to many organisms becoming extinct, which threatens biodiversity. Ecosystems must sustainable in order to survive.


Ecological niche

A way an organism occupies a position in an ecosystem, including all the necessary abiotic and biotic factors. They control population numbers through their niches. The niches are like jobs and the habitat is provided in the ecosystem. No two species can have the exact same ecological niche. These niches may be regulating other population sizes or cycling energy flow.


Top-down population regulation (predator and prey relationship)

An increase in prey lower on the food chain causes the predators higher on the food chain to increase. However, eventually the prey will decrease due to the increase in numbers from the predators therefore the predators will decrease in size as well.


Bottom-up population regulation

A shortage in the plant resource at the bottom of the food chain causes a decrease in population numbers at the top of the trophic levels.


Ecological footprint

Measures the impact an individual or population has on the environment.



A group of one species that can successfully reproduce, grow at the same time.


Biodiversity crisis

current accelerated extinction rates. Our current rate of extinction is 100 to 1000x (times) greater than normal. This is because of human activities such as pollution, deforestation, habitat destruction, and the change in the abiotic and biotic conditions.