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1

Population

a group of individuals of the same species that occupy the same general area at the same time

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Ecology

the study of how organisms interact with their environment

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Population Ecology

studies how and why the population changes over time

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Survivorship

the proportion of offspring produced that survive to a specific age

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Survivorship Curves

graphs that plot the relative numbers in a cohort, which are still living at each age

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Type I Survivorship Curve

Survivorship throughout life is high, the majority of individuals approach the maximum life span, high death rate amongst older individuals

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Type II Survivorship Curve

Most individuals have a relatively constant survivorship over their life time

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Type III Survivorship Curve

High death rates are seen early in life, with high survivorship after maturity

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Life History

Indicates how an organism allocates resources to reproduction, growth, and other activities associated with its survival

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Principle of Allocation

If an organism allocates energy to one function, it reduces the amount of energy available to other functions

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Density

the number of individuals per unit area or volume at a given time

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Direct Counts

counting all the individuals in a sample of representative plots in order to determine the population density

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Indirect Indicators

indirect ways to determine a population, including the number of nests/burrows, tracks, fecal droppings, etc

14

Mark Recapture Method

a way to estimate population size by tagging and releasing animals of a population
- equation: N = number marked 1st time x total number 2nd time / number of marked recaptures in 2nd catch

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Dispersion

the pattern of spacing among the individuals within the geographical boundaries of the population

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Clumped Dispersion

little groups

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Uniform Dispersion

evenly spaced out individuals

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Random Dispersion

randomly spaced out individuals

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Exponential Population Growth Equation

- J-shaped curve
- describes an ideal population
- population's potential increase in ideal conditions (unlimited resources) due to instrinsic rate of increase
- dN/dt = rmaxN

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Logistic Population Growth Equation

- S-shaped curve
- describes a more realistic population
- assumes that population growth slows as the population size approaches the carrying capacity of the environment

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Carrying Capacity

(k) - the maximum stable population size that the particular environment can support with its available resources

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Demography

the study of factors that determine the structure and size of populations through time

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Age Structure

relative numbers of individuals of each age in a population

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Generation Time

average span of time between birth of individuals and the birth of their offspring

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Sex Ratio

the proportion of individuals of each sex found in a population

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Community

a biological community is composed of different interacting species living in a defined area

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Richness of a Community

the number of different species in a community

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Relative Abundance of a Community

relative numners (proportion) of individuals of each species in a community as a whole

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Biodiversity of a Community

number and relative abundance of species in a biological community (combine richness and relative abundance)

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The Individualistic Hypothesis (Gleason)

- focuses upon a single species
- sees the community as a chance assemblage of species living in an area due to similar abiotic requirements
- species have independent distribution along environmental gradients, no distinct boundaries between communities