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Flashcards in Ocnquiz11 Deck (25)
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Define Primary Productivity

The rate at which energy is stored by an organism through the formation of organic material using energy derived from solar and chemical reactions.


Define Biomass

The total mass of defined organisms or a defined group with in a specific community or the ocean as a whole


Give the percentage of Earth's biomass that depends on photosynthesis to create organic material

99.9 percent


Explain how scientist measure primary production through satellites

satellites can detect the change in color of the sea water based on the amount of chlorophyll that varies with photosynthesis productivity


Define eutrophic and oligotrophic

Eutrophic are generally high in chlorophyll and are located in shallow waters or along the coastal regions, areas of up-welling and high latitude

Oligotrophic - has a low chlorophyll concentration and are generally found in the open oceans of the tropics


Explain why coastal regions generally are eutrophic while open waters are generally oligotrophic

Water depth in coastal regions are shallower than open areas and contain more biomass, allowing for more photosynthesis productivity


Define ecosystem

All organisms in a biotic community and the abiotic environmental factors which they interact with


Give two important commodities in an ecosystem

Energy and nutrients


Explain why energy in an ecosystem is not recycled

the flow of nutrients depend of biogeochemical cycle, where energy does not dissipate but is transferred from one chemical form to another.


List three basic categories of organisms in an ecosystem



Define producers, decomposers, consumers

producers are the autotrophic component of an ecosystem that produces food
Consumers are the herbivores, carnivores, and the omnivores that eat other organisms
Decomposers are mostly bacteria that feed and decompose organic compounds that comprise of detritus


Define herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores and bacterivores

Herbivores eat plants
carnivores eat other animals
and omnivores eat both plants and animals
bacteriavores feed only on bacteria



detritus are the decaying organic matter or fecal waste


Describe the cycling of nutrients

Components of organic matter enter the ocean through photosynthesis. these organic matters are then dated and taken in as energy for other organisms. the detritus feed the organisms below. nutrients are then returned back to the surface through upwelling


Explain why the producers' biomass is much greater than the consumers' biomass

Only a percentage of energy is passed onto the next trophic level because energy is consumed and lost at each level


Describe suspension feeding, carnivorous feeding, and deposit feeding

Suspension feeding is also referred to as filter feeding, where an organism uses specific structures to filter out plankton from the water

Carnivorous feeding is when one organism feeds on another animal

deposit feeding is where organisms feed on deposits such as detritus.


Define trophic level

Herbivores are consumed by carnivores and carnivores are eaten by other predators. each level is called a trophic level feeding stages


Define gross ecological efficiency

the ratio of energy passed on to the next higher trophic level divided by the energy received from the trophic level below


Explain why the average ecological transfer efficiency is only 10 percent

Of the assimilated energy, much of it is consumed through kinetic energy such as respiration, growth, maintaining life, and producing offsprings


Explain the advantage of feeding in the first or second trophic level

food is much more abundant and the ecological efficiency is much higher than a higher trophic level, allowing the organism to produce more


. Explain how low ecological transfer efficiencies limit the number of trophic levels in an ecosystem.

If there were too many trophic levels, then there wouldn't be enough energy to support the higher trophic levels


Define food chain

a food chain is a sequence of organisms through which energy is transferred


Define food web

a group of interrelated food chains


Explain why food webs general are more realistic feeding models, compared to a food chains.

food webs are generally more realistic for it shows more options an organism receives its energy from. if a prey is killed off or goes extinct, the predator can always consume energy from another source; whereas food chains only show one prey per predator.


Define biomass pyramid

a biomass pyramid show that for each of the large marine organisms, levels of progressively smaller organisms must have larger populations for the larger organisms to survive.