Ecosystems keywords

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All of the living organisms and non-living components in a habitat, and their interactions
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Dynamic system
Any slight change in any one factor can impact all other organisms and abiotic factors
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The place where an organism lives
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All of the organisms of one species who live in the same place at the same time and can breed together
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All the populations of different species who live in the same place at the same time, and can interact with each other
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The specific role that each species plays in an ecosystem (includes things like how and what it feeds on, what it excretes, how it reproduces, etc.)
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Biotic factors
Living factors which influence the population
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Abiotic factors
Non-living factors/conditions which affect the ecosystem
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An organism who can synthesise large organic molecules (e.g. carbohydrates and proteins) out of small inorganic molecules and an energy source
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An organism which ingests and digests complex organic molecules produced from other organisms, releasing the chemical potential energy stored in them
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Autotrophic organisms that convert light energy into chemical energy, which they then supply to consumers
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Living organisms that feed on other living organisms, e.g. primary consumers are herbivores which feed on plants and secondary consumers are carnivores which feed on primary consumers
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Organisms that feed on dead organic matter, releasing molecules, minerals and energy that then become available to other living organisms in that ecosystem
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Trophic level
The level at which an organism feeds in a food chain
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Pyramid of numbers
The area of each bar in the pyramid is proportional to the number of individuals
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Pyramid of biomass
The area of the bars is proportional to the dry mass of all the organisms at that trophic level
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Pyramid of energy
This involves burning the organisms in a calorimeter and calculating how much heat energy is released per gram - this is calculated by the temperature rise of the water (q=mc(delta)T)
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The rate at which energy passes through each trophic level. It gives an idea of how much energy is available to the organisms at a particular trophic level
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Primary productivity
The total amount of energy fixed by the photosynthesis of plants, at the bottom of the food chain
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Gross primary productivity
The rate at which plants convert light energy into chemical energy
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Net primary productivity
The energy that is left which is available to the primary consumer. NPP = GPP - energy lost (e.g. through respiration)
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Percentage efficiency of energy transfer
(net productivity of trophic level) / (net productivity of previous trophic level) X 100
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A directional change in a community of organisms over time. It is a series of recognisable stages which end in a final climax community
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Primary succession
The development of a community of plants from bare ground/ an uncolonised area which was previously uninhabitable, e.g. due to a natural disaster like a volcanic eruption
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Climax community
Ecological community in the final stage of succession in which the community has reached equilibrium with the environment. The environmental conditions and species composition do not change very much
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The number of individuals of one species in a particular area
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The presence or absence of each species
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Mutualistic relationship
A relationship between two organisms from which both benefit
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Organisms that make large organic molecules from simple inorganic molecules, and their energy source is chemical energy
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Organisms (like bacteria and fungi) that feed by secreting extracellular enzymes onto food, and absorbing digested nutrients across their outer walls
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Nitrogen fixation
Conversion of nitrogen gas into a form which is usable by plants, such as nitrate or ammonium ions
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The conversion of nitrates back into N2 gas
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Carrying capacity
The maximum population size that can be maintained over a period of time in a particular habitat
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The Lag Phase (Growth curve 1/3)
There may only be a few individuals, still acclimatising to their habitat. Rate of reproduction is initially slow and so is the growth in population size
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The Log Phase (Growth curve 2/3)
Where resources are plentiful and conditions are good. The rate of reproduction is fast and exceeds mortality. The population size increases rapidly
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The Stationary Phase (Growth curve 3/3)
The population size has levelled out at the carrying capacity of the habitat - the habitat cannot support a larger population. The rates of reproduction and mortality are equal
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These are species whose population size is determined by the carrying capacity. Limiting factors exert a significant effect
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In this species, population size increases rapidly and exceeds the carrying capacity of the habitat before the limiting factors can take effect. Once carrying capacity is exceeded, resources aren't sufficient enough to allow reproduction/survival
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Intraspecific competition
Competition between individuals of the SAME species
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Interspecific competition
Competition between individuals of DIFFERENT species
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Sustainable management
Methods which exploit the environment for resources, whilst also maintaining biodiversity
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This involves cutting the trunk of a deciduous tree close to the ground to encourage new growth. Once cut several new shoots grow from the cut surface and eventually mature into stems of quite a narrow diameter
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This involves cutting a tree trunk higher up from the ground to avoid animals eating the emerging shoots from a coppiced stem
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Rotational coppicing
This involves dividing the woodland into different sections and cutting one section each year until they've all been cut. By the time they want to coppice the first section again, the new stems would have matured and are ready to be cut
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Selective cutting
This involves removing only the largest, most valuable trees, so that the habitat is broadly unaffected
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The maintenance of biodiversity, but the area can still be sustainably exploited
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Protects species by leaving their habitats completely untouched
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Any slight change in any one factor can impact all other organisms and abiotic factors


Dynamic system

Card 3


The place where an organism lives


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


All of the organisms of one species who live in the same place at the same time and can breed together


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


All the populations of different species who live in the same place at the same time, and can interact with each other


Preview of the back of card 5
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