Bio - Biodiversity and Evolution Key Terms

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Species
A group of individual organisms very similar in appearance, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and genetics, whose members are able to interbreed freely to produce fertile offspring.
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Habitat
The place where an organism lives. It includes the climatic, topographic and edaphic factors as well as that plants and animals that live there.
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Biodiversity
The number and variety of living things to be found in the world, in an ecosystem or in a habitat.
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Random Sampling
Studying a small part of the habitat and assuming it contains a representative set of species that can be applied to the whole habitat.
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Species Richness
The number of species in a habitat.
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Simpson's Diversity Index
A formula used to measure the diversity of a habitat.
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Biological Classification
The process of sorting living things into groups. Natural classification does this by grouping things according to how closely related they are. Natural classification takes into account evolutionary relationships.
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Taxonomy
The study of the principles of classification.
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Phylogeny
The study of the evolutionary relationships between organisms.
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Prokaryotes
Have no nucleus, smaller ribosomes, no membrane-bound organelles and have cells smaller than eukaryotes.
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Protocists
Include all the organisms that don't fit into the other four kingdoms. Many are single-celled, but some are multicellular.
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Fungi
Organisms that are mostly saprophytic. They consist of a mycelium with walls made from chitin
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Plants
Multicellular organisms that gain their nutrition from photosynthesis.
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Animals
Heterotrophic multicellular eukaryotes.
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Binomial System
Uses two names to identify each species: the genus and the species name.
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Dichotomous Key
Uses a series of questions with two alternative answers to help you identify a specimen.
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Variation
The presence of variety - of differences between individuals.
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Genetic Variation
Caused by differences between the genes and the combinations of genes or alleles.
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Continuous Variation
Variation in which there is a full range of intermediate phenotypes between two extremes eg. height
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Discontinuous Variation
Variation in which there are discrete groups of phenotypes with no or very few individuals between them eg. Colours of Flowers
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Adaptation
A feature that enhances survival and long-term reproductive success.
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Xerophytic
Plants adapted to living in very dry conditions.
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Natural Selection
The 'selection' by the environment of particular individuals that show certain variations. These individuals will survive to reproduce and pass on their variations to the next generation.
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Speciation
The formation of a new species.
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Evolution
The gradual process by which the present diversity of living organisms arose from simple primitive organisms that were present about 4000 million years ago.
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Extinction
When a species ceases to exist.
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Conservation in situ
Means conserving a species in its normal environment.
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Conservation ex situ
Means conserving an endangered species by activities that take place outside its normal habitat eg. breeding programmes in zoos
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The place where an organism lives. It includes the climatic, topographic and edaphic factors as well as that plants and animals that live there.

Back

Habitat

Card 3

Front

The number and variety of living things to be found in the world, in an ecosystem or in a habitat.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Studying a small part of the habitat and assuming it contains a representative set of species that can be applied to the whole habitat.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The number of species in a habitat.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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