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Flashcards in Biodiversity Deck (33):
1

Biodiversity

A variety of different living organisms living in a specific area.

2

Sustainable

Ecosystems must be sustainable. Means to endure and support. Use of earths resources at levels that can be maintained forever.

3

Ecosystem

All the interacting parts of a biological community and its environment.

4

What are the abiotic characteristics of an ecosystem?

Oxygen, water, light, nutrients, soil

5

What are the different biotic interactions (including all for symbiosis)

Symbiosis (Mutualism, parasitism, commensalism), predation, competition

6

Nutrient cycles?

Water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus

7

Photosynthesis

Is the process by which plants use sunlight to convert solar energy into chemical energy in the form of carbohydrates (glucose).

8

Eutrophication

Natural: slow process of algae growth.
Unnatural: Increased algae growth due to an increase in nutrients (phosphorus).
Fertilizer, waste water/detergents.

9

Greenhouse gases

Are atmospheric gases that prevent heat from leaving the atmosphere, thus is increasing the temperature of the atmosphere.

10

What are some examples of greenhouse gases?

Water vapour, methane, CO2

11

What is the greenhouse effect?

The warming of the earth due to greenhouse gases, which trap some of the energy that would otherwise leave the earth.

12

Where does methane originate?

Landfills; product made from bacteria while decaying garbage.

13

Where does extra carbon dioxide come from?

Burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas)

14

What can be done to reduce global warming?

The government (nationally): Kyoto Protocol
Provincially: Protecting existing forests
Locally: Recycling programs
Installing pipes in landfills to collect methane, which are burned to make electricity.

15

How is acid precipitation formed?

Burning of fossil fuels in factories release sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. The SO2 and NOx are in the atmosphere, they are combined with water (nitric acid, sufuric acid) and fall down as acid precipitation.

16

What is sulfur dioxides symbol?

SO2

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What is nitrogen Oxides symbol?

NOx

18

Why is acid precipitation bad?

Damages environment: lowers pH levels in aquatic ecosystems (fish need pH), causes asthma for humans, dissolves nutrients in soil so trees cannot survive, and increases water acidity.

19

Trophic efficiency:

Is the measure of the how much energy is transferred from one trophic level to another. It is usually less than 100% because the organisms need energy for life functions so it is around 10%.

20

Trophic level:

Category of organisms that is defined by how the organism gains energy.

21

Bioaccumulation

When toxins are ingested at a faster rate than they are eliminated.

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Biomagnification

The increase in the toxin concentration as it moves up the trophic levels/food chain.

23

What is DDT?

Is an agricultural insecticide that entered the aquatic ecosystems during the process of run-off. The algae absorbed the DDT at a faster rate than they were expelled and therefore had the DDT. As the toxins went up each trophic level, the concentration increased. Even though 10% is passed on to the next trophic level, the higher level eats many of the previous one therefore gaining 10% of the toxins from all of them. DDT affected the health of the birds that fed on fish.

24

What is PCB?

Were used in factories and entered the water, air, and soil when they were used and disposed of. When it entered the water, the phytoplankton accumulated it at a faster rate than they were being eliminated therefore ingesting the toxins. As the toxin went up each trophic level, the concentration increased. This is because even though 10% of the toxins is transferred to the next trophic level, the next consumer eats many of the previous trophic level making the concentration greater than before. This damaged the health and reproductive systems of the birds that ate the fish.

25

What are ways to decrease eutrophication?

Ways that are implemented already:
Great Lakes Water Quality Control Agreement: Agreement between USA and Canada in 1972. Goal is to "restore and maintain" the chemical, physical, and ecological integrity of water. This lowered the phosphorus levels by 50%.
Environmental farm plans: A group of volunteer farmer examine the impact a family's farm has on the environment. The goal is to try to find a solution and reduce the impact.
Pesticides by laws: Non essential pesticides were banned.

26

What can a normal farmer do to reduce unnatural eutrophication?

- do not use non-essential pesticides, use natural fertilizer like manure and phosphate free, ask environmental farm plans to suggest a solution.

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Biotic

living organisms and parts of an ecosystem that grow, eat, and reproduce Ex: fish, plants, animals etc.

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Abiotic

non-living organisms and parts of an ecosystem that do not grow, eat, and reproduce ex: Rock, sun, water

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Consumer

organism that consumes another organism for food Ex: wolf

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Producer

Organism (autotrophs) that makes their own food through photosynthesis ex: flowers

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Herbivore

organism that eats only plants Ex: deer

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Carnivore

organism that eats only meats ex: Tiger

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Omnivore

organism that eats both meat and plants ex: bear