Ecology Flashcards Preview

Biology > Ecology > Flashcards

Flashcards in Ecology Deck (16):

Define Habitat

The place where an organism lives.


What things do animals compete for in an ecosystem?

For resources for example:
Plants need light and space as well as water and minerals ions (nutrients)
Animals need space (territory), food, water, mates.


What are biotic and abiotic factors?

Biotic - living factors of the environment e.g food.
Abiotic - non-living factors of the environment e.g temperature.


What are functional adaptations?

Things that go on inside an organisms body that can be related to processes like reproduction and metabolism (chemical reactions inside the body) E.g
Desert animals conserve water by producing very little sweat and small amounts of concentrated urine.
Brown bears hibernate over winter. They lower their metabolism which conserves energy, so they don't have to hunt when theres not much food.


What do food chains always start with?

A producer - producers make their own food using energy from the sun.


Explain what happens to the population size of a predator if its prey becomes more common in an ecosystem?

The population of predators will also increase.


Explain how a quadrat can be used to investigate the distribution of clover plants in two areas.

1)Place a 1msq quadratic on the ground at a random point within the first sample area.
2)Count all the organisms within the quadratic.
3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 as many times as you can.
4) Work out the mean number of organisms per quadratic within the first sample area.
5)Repeat steps 1 to 4 in the second sample area.
6)Finally compare the two means. E.g you might find 2 daisies per msq in the shade and 22 daisies per msq in open field.


Suggest why you might use a transect when investigating the distribution of organisms?

In order to find find out how organisms are distributed across an area e.g if an organism becomes more or less common as you move from a hedge towards the middle of a field.


When water vapour cools and condenses in the atmosphere, what does it change into?



Explain how microorganisms return carbon into the atmosphere.

when plants, algae and animals die, other animals called detritus feeders and microorganisms feed on their remains. when these organisms respire CO2 is released back into the air.


Suggest why its important to have biodiversity in an ecosystem.

It makes sure that ecosystems are stable because different species depend on each other for things like shelter and food.Different species can also help maintain the right physics environment for each other.


Name two gases linked to global warming.

Carbon dioxide and methane.


Give an example of how global warming could reduce biodiversity.

If some species are unable to survive the climate changes they may become extinct therefor reducing biodiversity.


Why might humans carry out deforestation?

Clear ground for farming to provide more food.
Grow crops for which biofuels based on ethanol can be produced.


Explain why the destruction of peat bogs adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Bogs are areas of land that are acidic and waterlogged.
Carbon is stored in the peat rather that going into the atmosphere.
When peat is drained it comes into contact with air and some microorganisms start to decompose it, when they respire they take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide contributing to global warming.
Removing these bogs can also be destroying habitats so reduces biodiversity.


How can recycling programmes help to protect ecosystems?

They can reduce the amount of waste needing to go to landfill sites. This reduces amount of land needed for landfill, leaving ecosystems in place.