Flashcards in Ecology Deck (47):
What is ecology?
Study of interactions between living things and organisms and their environment.
What is a biosphere?
Part of the planet containing living things
What is an ecosystem?
A group of clearly distinguished organisms that interact with their environment together.
What is a habitat?
The place where a plant or animal lives
What is a population?
All the members of the same species living in an area
What is a community?
All the different populations in an area
What are abiotic factors?
Non-living factors eg. Altitude
What are biotic factors?
Living factors eg. Food
What are climatic factors?
Refer to weather over a long period of time. Eg. Temperature
What are edaphic factors?
Relate to soil eg. pH
What are producers?
Organisms that carry out photosynthesis
What are consumers?
Organisms that take in food from another organism
Whats a (grazing) food chain?
Sequence of organisms in which each one is eaten by the next member in the chain
What is a food web?
Consists of two or more interlinked food chains
What is a pyramid of numbers?
Represents the number of organisms at each trophic level in a food chain
Name special features of aquatic environments.
What affect do currents have on aquatic environments?
Move non-attached plants
What affect does wave action have on aquatic environments?
Can cause physical damage to organisms
What affect does oxygen content have on aquatic environments?
Content lower in water than air so plants/animals need to be able to extract oxygen from water
What affect does salt content have on aquatic environments?
Organism is adapted to its environment whether fresh or salt water
What affect does light have on aquatic environments?
Water interferes with light penetration so plants are limited to upper layer of water or if attached to ground they can only grow in shallow water.
What is an ecological niche?
The ecological niche of an organism is the functional role it plays in the community
What is pollution?
Any harmful addition to the environment
What are pollutants?
Substances that cause pollution
What is conservation?
The wise management of our existing natural resources, in order to maintain a wide range of habitats and prevent the death and extinction of organisms.
What are some problems with waste disposal?
1) Availability of suitable landfill sites
2) Toxic fumes from incineration
3) Decaying waste produces methane which contributes to greenhouse effect.
4) Harmful substances may leak into ground water supply
How have we slowed down the depletion of the ozone layer?
Banned CFCs and fridges are recycled not dumped
What can a decrease in ozone cause?
Skin cancer, damage to crops, damage to animals, plankton reduction
What does the ozone layer do?
It's a gas that absorbs harmful UV light.
Name conservation practices in fisheries.
1) Use large-mesh nets to allow young to escape.
What is a waste management problem in agriculture?
Slurry begin dumped into lakes adds extra nutrients (eutrophication). This causes growth of algae. When they die bacteria breakdown them down. Bacteria takes oxygen from lake to do this therefore there's less oxygen in the water.
What is a solution to an agricultural waste problem?
Store slurry in leak-proof pits and spread on dry summer days
What is a waste problem in fisheries?
Waste from fish is highly alkaline
What is a solution to a waste problem in fisheries?
Neutralise the waste
What is a waste problem in forestry?
Waste from cutting down trees eg. Roots, branches.
What is a solution to a waste problem in forestry?
Branches- spread on ground and passed over by machine.
Stumps/roots- naturally rot
Tops of trees/large branches- turned to sawdust to make MDF
What role do microorganisms play in landfills?
Bacteria/fungi are in the soil that covers the waste. They breakdown the organic materials
What is the primary treatment of sewage?
Removing particles from waste by screening and sedimentation
What is the secondary treatment of sewage?
Bacteria and fungi breakdown organic waste.
What is the tertiary treatment of sewage?
Removes minerals from waste
What is reduce?
Use less, minimise waste
What is reuse?
Use again for a different purpose
What is a trophic level?
Feeding stage in a food chain
What is nutrient recycling?
The way in which elements are exchanged between the living and non-living components of an ecosystem
What is nitrogen fixation?
The conversion of nitrogen gas into ammonia, ammonium or nitrate
What is nitrification?
The conversion of ammonia and ammonium compounds to nitrite and then to nitrate.