Flashcards in Topic Two Deck (184):
What are abiotic factors?
These are the non-living parts in an environment.
What are examples of abiotic factors?
What is a population?
A population is a group of the same species of organisms living together in an area.
What is a community?
A community is many different populations living together in an area.
What is an ecosystem?
Both the biotic and abiotic factors in an area.
What are biotic factors?
These are the living parts in an environment.
What makes up the living parts of an ecosystem?
Animals, plants, bacteria, fungi and protists make up the living parts of an ecosystem.
What do organisms rely on the ecosystem for?
To satisfy their needs for shelter and food, as well as space for breeding and hiding from enemies.
Why do ecosystems contain different types of living organisms?
The have different types of organisms because they have different environmental conditions.
What is the biosphere?
the specific conditions needed to sustain life, consisting of the Hydrosphere, the Lithosphere and the Atmosphere.
What is the hydrosphere?
The hydrosphere is the part of the biosphere that consists of water.
What is the lithosphere?
The lithosphere is the part of the biosphere that consists of soil.
What is the atmosphere?
The atmosphere is the part of the biosphere that consists of air.
What will happen if the population of one organism changes?
It will affect the number of other organisms in the food web.
What is a system?
A system consists of different parts that work together for a common purpose.
What is a habitat?
A habitat is the environment in which organisms live.
What will organisms compete with one another for?
They will compete with one another for food, light, water, space and mates.
How does the temperature of an environment change?
Temperatures vary with latitude and with the environment as well as the seasons.
What is convection?
Convection is when warm air rises and cold air sinks.
How is wind created?
Winds are created when convection happens.
In what ways can wind influence ecosystems?
Wind carries water vapour which produces rain
Wind sometimes help to pollinate plants
Wind can sometimes erode and redistribute topsoil
Warm berg winds can cause dessication, which can result in a fire hazard
Wind can stunt plant growth
It can affect animal activities
Wind is used by some plants for the distribution of seeds
What are short-day plants?
They are plants that will only flower and germinate once a certain quota of nighttime is met.
How will sunlight affect plants?
Plants need sunlight for photosynthesis.
What are long day plants?
They are plants that will only flower and germinate once a certain limit on nighttime hours is met.
What are day-neutral plants?
They are plants that do not need a certain amount of night time hours to flower or germinate.
How will the habitat of a certain plant influence the quality of light?
In aquatic ecosystems, the quality of light that a plant gets may vary. How much pollution is in the water, where other plants grow and the depth at which different plants grow may influence this factor.
What abiotic factors are influenced by sunlight?
Quality of light
What are the three types of soil?
Clay, loam and sand
What are the characteristics of clay soil?
It holds large quantities of water
It is rich in mineral nutrients
It gets waterlogged easily
It is difficult to cultivate
It is cold during winter
It is not well aerated
What are the characteristics of loam soil (silt)?
It has a high water retaining capacity
It has good aeration
It has good nutrient content
It is easily cultivated
What are the characteristics of sandy soil?
It is well aerated
It allows excess water to drain away quickly
It is easy to cultivate
It does not retain much water
It drys out quickly
It has few nutrients
What is the equation to find out how much air is in soil?
Volume of air in soil
Volume of soil sample
How do you work out the volume of air in the soil?
Subtract the actual volume of the mixture from the expected volume of mixture
How do you find the expected volume of the mixture?
Add the volume of the water and the volume of the soil.
What is the word equation for the percentage of water in soil?
Initial mass of moist soil-mass after 1 day
Initial mass of moist soil
How does the temperature of the soil influence the environment?
At low temperatures there is little decay by decomposers. It has been found that up to 30cm into the soil, the temperature remains constant, although seasonal changes do occur.
What types of soil water are there?
What is hygroscopic water?
This is the layer of water that occurs right around the soil particle.
What is capillary water?
This is the water that is in between the soil particles.
What is gravitational water?
Gravitational water is the water that drains downwards between the soil particles.
What is the wilting point?
The wilting point is the point at which plants start to wilt, because they have no capillary water.
What is the field capacity?
Field capacity is when the plants have enough water and the rest becomes gravitational water.
What is humus (soil solution)?
Humus is the mixture of decaying remains of plants and animals as well as animal excretory products. It increases the fertility of the soil.
What is pH?
pH is the acidity or alkalinity of something. The pH of soil can affect the type of plants that grow in it.
What is a pH scale?
A pH scale ranges from 0-14 and shows the acidity or alkalinity of different substances.
What is slope?
Slope describes how steep the land is.
How does slope influence the type of plants that grow in a certain environment?
Water runs off steep slopes quickly and there is little soil because of the erosion caused by slope. Few plants can grow in these conditions.
What do plants and animals need to do in order to survive?
They need to be able to adapt to changes in the ecosystem.
How are some animals able to adapt to changes better than others?
They may eat a large variety of foods or be able to survive in many different habitats.
What are examples of producers?
Plants and algae are producers.
What are consumers?
Organisms that rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply are called consumers.
What kinds of consumers are there?
Carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.
What is a herbivore?
A herbivore is an organism that gets its energy directly from plants.
What is a carnivore?
A carnivore is an animal that feeds on other animals.
What kinds of carnivores are there?
Predators, scavengers and insectivores.
What is a predator?
A predator is a carnivore that hunts other animals. The animals that they hunt are called their prey. Sometimes predators will have to scavenge for food if there are no live animals to hunt.
What are scavengers?
Scavengers are carnivores that feed on dead animals or decaying meat. Some of them can hunt when there are no dead animals.
What are insectivores?
These are carnivores that feed on insects.
What are omnivores?
Omnivores are animals that eat plants and animals.
What are decomposers?
Decomposers are organisms that break down or decompose the remains of dead plants and animals and their wastes.
How are nutrients recycled?
Decomposers break down dead matter into simpler substances, which are released back into the soil. These nutrients can be taken up by the roots of plants. They are therefore recycled by decomposers.
What are fungi?
Fungi are decomposers that feed by releasing chemicals called digestive enzymes onto the dead matter that they are digesting.
What are hyphae?
Hyphae are the network of strands created by a type of fungi commonly known as bread mould.
What is the importance of decomposers?
There is a limited supply of material and nutrients on Earth, and if they were not recycled by decomposers they would be lost forever.
What is a food chain?
Food chains show the feeding relationships between living things.
What is ecology?
Ecology is the study of the interaction between living organisms and their physical or chemical environment.
What are producers?
Producers are organisms that can make their own food.
How is a food chain shown?
A food chain always starts with producers. Next are the consumers. Decomposers are always last on the food chain because they release the nutrients back into the soil.
What does the arrow in a food chain represent?
The flow/transfer of energy.
What happens when one organism eats another?
The energy is transferred.
What is a food web?
A food web is many different food chains linked together.
What are trophic levels?
Trophic levels are the different stages in a food chain or food web.
How are trophic levels structured?
3.Carnivores (secondary or tertiary consumers)
2.Herbivores (primary consumers)
Why is energy lost as it is passed from one trophic level to the next?
Most of the energy is used by the organism to perform the seven processes of life. Some energy is also lost as heat. Only about 10% of energy is passed to the next trophic level.
What is an energy pyramid?
An energy pyramid is a representation of the different trophic levels, and how much energy is passed between them.
What unit of measurement do we use for energy?
We measure energy in kilojoules (kJ).
What is the role of plants in an ecosystem?
Plants and algae are producers. They capture light energy from the sun and use that energy to produce food. This occurs during the process of photosynthesis. They are the only ones that can use the sun's radiant energy.
How do we build pyramids for organisms in food chains?
ALWAYS start with the producer
The size of the individual levels depends on the amount of the things in that level. For instance, one rose can hold lots of aphids, lots of aphids get eaten by only a few ladybugs, and the ladybugs would only get eaten by a few robins, so the levels will be relative to those quantities.
What is the role of decomposers?
They feed on dead and decaying matter
They are releasing the nutrients back into the soil
Plants can use the nutrients to photosynthesise.
There is a limited amount of nutrients
So they have to be recycled.
How do we show pyramids for the flow of energy?
Start with the producer, which has the most energy
Go to the herbivore, which has slightly less energy
Then the carnivore, which has even less energy
What do plants need animals for?
To spread their seeds, and sometimes for pollination.
What happens when an ecosystem is not balanced?
The entire ecosystem will collapse.
What can upset the balance in the ecosystem?
Natural and human disruptions/disasters
What are the natural disasters/disruptions?
Major temperature changes
What are human disasters/disruptions?
What is acid rain?
It is water which had reacted with sulphur dioxide to form sulphuric acid
Why is acid rain a bad thing?
Kills plants because of unhealthy soil due to the acid in it.
Acid rain can destroy buildings and change pH levels in lakes and rivers, which makes it difficult for some aquatic life forms to survive
What is thermal pollution?
Factories use water to cool the machines, then they dump the water back into the streams, rivers, lakes and dams.
Certain organisms cannot live in a warmer temperature.
Decaying happens faster in a warmer environment.
When there is more decay, there is less oxygen for organisms to breathe.
What is poaching?
Poaching is the illegal removal/killing of an organism from its environment.
How does poaching affect the environment?
Bringing animals into a habitat where they are not used to living could cause them to die in that habitat, or completely overtake that environment, and upset the balance.
What are alien plants?
They are plants which do not naturally occur in the habitat that they are in.
What are indigenous plants?
They are the opposite of alien plants. They are plants that occur naturally in the environment that they are in.
What is pollution?
Pollution is the harm done when toxic/poisonous substances or materials are released into an environment.
What is an adaptation?
It is a characteristic that helps a living organism survive in its environment, particularly when their environment changes.
What kinds of adaptions are there?
Structural, behavioural or functional
What are structural adaptations?
A physical/bodily change.
What are examples of structural adaptations?
The beaks of birds.
What is a behavioural adaptation?
The way that an animal reacts to a situation
What are examples of behavioural adaptations?
Hibernation or sleeping during the heat of the day.
What is hibernation?
It is when an animal/organism sleeps through winter.
What is a functional adaptation?
Functional adaptations relate to the way in which the body works
What is estivation?
It is when an animal sleeps through summer.
What happens to an adaptation?
They can be passed on from parents to children.
What can sometimes happen when there is a very rapid change in an environment?
The population may no longer exist.
What does extinction mean?
It is when a population no longer exists.
What kinds of plants are there?
What kinds of organisms are most likely to survive in an environment?
Ones that have good adaptations
How are plants classified?
According to the amount of water that they need.
What does phytos mean?
What does Hydro mean?
What does Xero mean?
What does Mesos mean?
What is a hydrophyte?
A plant that needs a lot of water
What is a xerophyte?
It is a plant that doesn't need a lot of water
What is a mesophyte?
It is a plant that needs a moderate amount of water
What is a stomata?
It is the part of the plant that absorbs gases
What is conservation?
Conservation is the wise management and use of natural resources that protects habitats and wildlife.
What is biodiversity?
Variety of life forms
Why is biodiversity decreasing?
Replacing natural habitats with monocultures
Introducing alien species into a country
What are monocultures?
It is when there is only one type of plant in an environment.
What is over harvesting?
When humans harvest too much of a crop/food
Why are alien species bad?
They can use more water than other plants
They can uproot indigenous plants
They have no natural predators in their new habitat
What important processes do natural ecosystems carry out?
Regulating the atmosphere and climate (temperature and rainfall)
Filtering, cleaning and retaining water
Forming and improving the quality of soil
Providing homes to pollinators of plants including those that provide us with food
Recycling of wastes, for example, decomposers that break down dead plants and release nutrients back into the soil
Production of wood, food and fuel
What is sustainable use?
Use of something in such a way that it can be used again
What are three ways to control alien vegetation?
What is biological control?
This is when conservationists bring a predator of the alien species to control them. However this requires lots of research.
What is mechanical control?
This is when conservationists physically kill off the alien species by burning or uprooting them. This method costs a lot.
What is chemical control?
This is when poisons or herbicides are used to kill the plants. This method can affect the ecosystem in a bad way.
What are wetlands?
What role does a wetland play in our ecosystem?
Filters and cleans water
Prevent flooding because they retain water
Prevents soil erosion
Sustain many insects, amphibians, birds and mammals
How can we conserve the environment?
Recycle-less waste is being created
How are many resources destroyed?
Because of human activities.
What happens when ecosystems are lost?
Species become extinct
What does the number of organisms an ecosystem can support depend on?
The resources available.
What is a disruption?
It is something that interferes with the normal, orderly process of how an ecosystem functions.
What is pollution?
It is the harm done when toxic substances and materials are released into the environment.
What is the main cause of pollution?
What are pollutants?
They are the things that are used to pollute the environment.
What are examples of pollutants?
Toxic chemicals from factories
Smoke and gases from producing fuels in power stations, factories and cars
What do fertilisers do to the environment?
Some of the nutrients in fertilisers help plants to grow, but others flow into rivers and damage aquatic life forms.
Why are rhinos often poached?
For their horns.
Why is rhino horn valuable?
It is believed to have special medicinal properties in Asia
What properties does rhino horn actually have?
The same as your fingernails, as they are both made from keratin.
How are rhinos often hunted today?
They are hunted by organised crime syndicates
Why do animals from adaptations?
In order to survive or reproduce
What are the differences in adaptations between different groups of animals called?
What is the roots system of a hydrophyte like?
Their roots are small and poorly developed
Their are no root hairs
Roots are only for anchorage
The roots are short and branched
They do not absorb dissolved mineral salts
The xylem is poorly developed
There is no waxy or cork layer on the roots
What is xylem?
It is tissue in a plant that conducts water
What is the stem of a hydrophyte like?
The stem is underground
The stem stores water
Soft xylem is poorly developed
Covered in a layer of antiseptic mucus to prevent bacteria and other organisms from entering the plant
The mucus makes it slippery to reduce friction between the plant and flowing water
Large air spaces in the stem to allow the plant to float
What is another name for the stem of a hydrophyte?
What are the leaves of a hydrophyte like?
They are thin, large and almost round to assist with floating
A greater surface area helps to absorb surface gases
The stomata is on the upper surface only
Thin cuticle on upper surface to limit water loss and prevent the sinking of the leaf
Leaf stalks are long and flexible which allows the plant to float in deep and shallow water
What is a petiole?
The leaf stalk
What is the root system of a xerophyte like?
Short, underground root
Fibrous adventitious root system
Not very deep to absorb any possible water on the surface
Many root hairs for absorption of water
Roots are covered in a layer of cork to prevent water loss
What is the stem of a xerophyte like?
Can be short or long
Stores and retains water
Covered in a waxy layer to prevent water loss
What are the leaves of a xerophyte like?
Arranged spirally to protect the base of the leaf from desert air and sunlight
No stalks and the leaves
The arrangement and structure of the leaves encourages water to fall towards the stem
Leaves are thick and fleshy to store water
Leaves can also be reduced to thorns or spines to reduce water loss
The stomata are sunken
How are camel's eyes adapted to its environment?
Thick eyelashes provide protection from sand and sun
How are camel's noses adapted to its environment?
They can close to keep sand out
How are camel's kidneys adapted to it environment?
They concentrate urine to reduce water loss.
How is camels fur adapted to its environment?
Sand coloured fur provides camouflage. Thick fur provides insulation during cold desert nights
How are camel's ears adapted to it environment?
Hair lines the ears to prevent sand from entering
How are camel's bodies adapted to their habitat?
Fat is stored in the hump to become a source of food
How are camel's feet adapted to their habitat?
Broad flat pads beneath their feet help camel's spread their weight on the sand
How are polar bear's feet adapted to their environment?
Large feet distribute their weight on the ice. Fur on the soles of the feet provides better grip and insulation.
How are the claws and teeth of a polar bear adapted to their environment?
They are sharp to catch and kill prey
How are polar bear's bodies adapted to their habitat?
There is a thick layer of fat under the skin which insulates the body and stores energy.
How is the polar bear's fur adapted to its environment?
It is thick to provide insulation. It has a whitish hue that helps it to camouflage.
How are polar bear's ears adapted to the habitat?
They are small to reduce heat loss
How are cheetahs adapted to catch their prey?
They have good eyesight
They can run fast to catch prey
Strong, sharp teeth and claws to catch and kill prey
How are sharks adapted to their habitat?
Good sense of smell
Can swim fast
Streamlined shape and muscular tail
What methods do animals use to protect themselves from predators?
What is camouflage?
When the colouring and the shape of an animal helps it to blend in with its background
What is mimicry?
It is when one harmless species copies another species to protect themselves
How are many ecosystems destroyed?
By human activities
Why are humans destroying the environment?
Populations are continuing to increase and we are using more and more of the Earth's resources
What happens when ecosystems are lost?
Species become extinct
What are examples of sustainable use?
When collecting bark from trees or fishing in wetlands, enough of the resource must remain so that the population can renew itself through reproduction.
How do environmentalists conserve ecosystems?
They set aside large areas of land in places where there is a rich biodiversity.
What method of controlling an alien species is best?
A combination of all three.
What materials are recyclable?
Where can materials be recycled?
At municipal recycling depots
What can organic wastes be used for?
To create compost heaps in gardens
What is protective colouring?
The colour of the animal is the same colour as its habitat. It is not the shape of the background
What is the model in mimicry?
The person/animal/thing that is being copied