Ecology

  • Created by: leo1223
  • Created on: 08-06-18 16:46
What is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem is all the organisms living in a habitat and the non-living parts of a habitat
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What are the three different levels of organisation in an ecosystem?
1. Individual organisms 2. populations-groups of individuals of the same species 3. communities-made up of many populations living together
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What is meant by the term "competition"?
Competition is where an ecosystem offers a limited supply of resources which causes organisms to compete for these resources, which is known as competition
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What do animals compete for?
Animals often compete with each other for food, mates and territory
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What do plants compete for?
Plants in a community often compete with each other for light, water, space and mineral ions from the soil
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What is meant by the term "interdependence"?
Interdependence is where species rely on each other for things like food, shelter, pollination and seed dispersal.
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Why is interdependence so important?
Interdependence is important as when one species is removed form a habitat, because of interdependence this can affect the whole community
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What is meant by a "stable community"?
A stable community is where all the species and environmental factors are in balance so that population sizes stay fairly constant
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What are abiotic factors?
Abiotic factors are non-living factors that can affect communities in an ecosystem
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What are biotic factors?
Biotic factors are living factors that can affect communities in an ecosystem
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Name 7 abiotic factors that can affect an ecosystem
Light intensity, temperature, moisture levels, soil pH and mineral content, wind intensity and direction, carbon dioxide levels, oxygen levels
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Name 4 biotic factors that can affect an ecosystem
Availability of food, new predators arriving, new pathogens entering, one species outcompeting another
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What do adaptations enable organisms to do?
Organisms have adaptions which enable them to survive in the conditions that they normally live in
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What are organisms that live in extreme environments known as?
Extremophiles e.g. live in high temperature, pressure or salt concentration, i.e. bacteria living in deep sea vents are extremophiles
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What are quadrats used for?
Quadrats are used by scientists to estimate the size of a population, quadrats are square frames
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When an organism dies what decomposes it's dead organic material?
Decomposers, which are certain types of bacteria and fungi
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What do decomposers need in order to break down waste?
Decomposers need oxygen, moisture, a suitable temperature and a suitable pH to break down dead waste
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How do decomposers break down dead waste?
Decomposers break down dead waste by secreting enzymes, which partly digest the waste
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What do the decomposers gain from decomposing waste?
Once decomposes have secreted enzymes to digest the waste, the decomposers then take up small, soluble food molecules
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What do gardeners do to a compost heap in correlation to decomposers and why?
In a compost heap, gardeners try to provide optimum conditions for decay as the compost produced acts as a natural fertiliser for growing plants
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What is produced if waste is broken down anaerobically?
If waste is broken down in anaerobic conditions, methane gas is produced
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What are biogas generators used for?
Biogas generators can be used to produced biogas from waste for use as a fuel
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Why do all food chains begin with a producer?
All food chains begin with a producer as they synthesise molecules such as plants synthesising sugars by photosynthesis
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What are all the stages of a food chain
Producers eaten by primary consumers, primary consumers eaten by secondary consumers, secondary consumers eaten by tertiary consumers
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What is a trophic level?
A trophic level is each feeding level of a food chain i.e. producers are the 1st trophic level
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What are predators?
Consumers are that eat other animals are known as predators
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What are prey?
Prey are organisms which are eaten by predators
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What is an "apex predator"?
An apex predator is a carnivore with no predators
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What happens to the number of prey and predators in a stable community?
In a stable community, the number of predators and prey rise and fall in cycles. For example, when predators decrease, prey begins to increase, when predators increase, prey begin to decrease
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What is meant by "Biodiversity"?
Biodiversity is the variety of all the different species of organisms on earth
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How does a high biodiversity help ecosystems?
A high biodiversity helps ecosystems to become stable as species depend on each other for food and shelter
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What factors reduce biodiversity?
Changes in the availability of water, temperature and atmospheric gases reduce biodiversity
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What is responsible for the reduction in biodiversity?
Changes in the seasons can reduce biodiversity, as well as geographic activity such as volcanoes. Human activities also can cause a reduction in biodiversity
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Why is pollution bad?
Pollution is bad as it kills plants and animals, which can reduce the biodiversity
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Why are more resources being used and waste products being produced?
More resources are being used and more waste products are be produced because the human population is increasing rapidly, and in many areas there is an increase in the standard of living
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Where and how can pollution occur?
Pollution can occur: in water, from sewage, fertilisers or toxic chemicals, in air, from gases e.g. sulphur dioxide which dissolve in moisture to produce acid rain, on land, from landfill and toxic chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides
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How does building, quarrying, farming and dumping of waste affect biodiversity?
Building, quarrying, farming and dumping waste can all reduce the amount of land available for animals and plants which can reduce biodiversity
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How does the production of garden compost affect biodiversity?
Producing garden compost destroys peat bogs, reducing the area of this habitat and the variety of different organisms that live there. Also the burning of peat release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
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How does deforestation reduce biodiversity?
Deforestation is used to provide land for cattle and grow crops used for biofuels. Deforestation usually occurs in tropical areas, these tropical areas are becoming less suitable for wildlife as deforestation reduces the amount of land available
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What is global warming?
Global warming is a gradual increase in the temperature of the earth
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What is the main theory behind global warming?
Many scientists believe that global warming is caused by the changes in various gases, caused by pollution and deforestation, these gases include carbon dioxide and methane
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What are the biological consequences of global warming?
Loss of habitat, when low-lying areas are flooded by rising sea levels, changes int the distribution of species in areas where temperature or rainfall has changed, changes to the migration patterns of animals
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What steps have scientists and governments introduced in order to reduce pollution and maintain biodiversity?
Setting up breeding programmes for endangered species, protecting rare habitats, encouraging farmers to keep margins and hedgerows in fields, reducing deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions, recycling more resources
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What factors make it hard to supply the world's population with enough food?
The increasing population, changing diets in developed countries, new pests and pathogens, which affect farming, changes in weather, which affects food production, the cost of agriculture supplies, conflicts in countries affects food/water supplies
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What are pyramids of biomass used for?
Pyramids of biomass can be used to compare the amount of biomass in each trophic level
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How much biomass is transferred to each level?
Only about 10% of the biomass from each trophic level is transferred to the level above it
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What are the reasons for biomass being lost and not transferred to the next trophic level?
Losses of biomass are due to: Some of the food being taken in is passed out of the body as faeces, large amounts of glucose are used for respiration, some material is lost in excretion e.g. carbon dioxide and water from respiration
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Why are there fewer organisms in the higher trophic levels?
There are fewer organisms in the higher trophic levels as the loss of biomass and the reduction in energy available means that there are usually fewer organisms as there is less food/energy that is available
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How can the efficiency of food production be improved?
The efficient of food production can be improved by limiting the movement of the animals and controlling the temperature of their surroundings
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Why is factory farming used?
Factory farming is a method used to improve the effciency of food production by limiting the movement of the animals and controlling the temperature of their surroundings e.g. battery chickens are raised in cages where their movement is limited
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What promotes growth in animals?
Growth can be promoted by feeding the animals high-protein foods
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How have regulations try to stop fish numbers declining?
Regulations now control the size of the nets used, so only older, weaker fish are caught and also set fishing quotas, so that only a certain number can be caught
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What does biotechnology allow allow microorganisms to do?
Biotechnology allows microorganisms to be grown in large quantities for food, they are grown in industrial-sized vests called fermenters in which conditions are carefully controlled
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Why is the fungus fusarium useful?
Fusarium is useful for producing mycoprotein
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What is mycroprotein and what is it used for?
Mycoprotein is protein rich, low in fat, high in fibre and suitable for vegetarians, mycoprotein is used in products like Quorn.
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Explain how the fungus fusarium is grown?
Fusarium is grown on glucose syrup, in aerobic conditions, and then harvested and purified
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What are the three different levels of organisation in an ecosystem?

Back

1. Individual organisms 2. populations-groups of individuals of the same species 3. communities-made up of many populations living together

Card 3

Front

What is meant by the term "competition"?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What do animals compete for?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What do plants compete for?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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