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Questions | Answers

1. Habitat: where a species lives and thrives. Niche: what the species does in its habitat.

2. Iindicator species: a species whose vulnerability to ecosystem changes makes it useful to monitor to give advanced warning of ecosystem problems.

3. Ecosystem Persistence: ability to resist being disturbed or altered. Ecosystem Resilience: ability to restore itself close to original condition after a disturbance.

4. Ecological Succession: the somewhat directional, somewhat predictable change in ecosystem structure and function following a disturbance.

5. 5 major types of interrelationships:

  • Mutualism: both species benefit
  • Predation: predator gains; prey loses
  • Parasitism: parasite gains; host loses
  • Commensalism: one species gains and the other is unaffected
  • Competition: both species lose.

6. Energy: the ability to do work. Energy quality: measure of ability to do work. Energy efficiency: amount of work per unit of energy used.

7. First Law of Thermodynamics: energy cannot be created or destroyed. Second Law of Thermodynamics: energy degrades to a less usable, lower quality form.

8. Food web: all the feeding interactions in a community.

9. Trophic levels: Producer, Primary Consumer (eats producers), Secondary Consumer (eats primary consumers), etc., and Decomposers (eat dead things and waste products of living things).

10. Average energy transferred between trophic levels is 10%.

11. Food chain: a series of organisms, each eating or decomposing the preceding one.

12. Net primary productivity: the rate at which producers produce chemical energy (by photosynthesis) minus the rate at which they use chemical energy (by respiration).

13. Greatest total net primary productivity: open ocean. Biomes with greatest net primary productivity per square mile: tropical rainforest, wetlands (swamps/marshes, estuaries).

14. Keystone species: have a greater impact on the ecosystem than might be predicted.

15. Ecosystem services: benefits that are important to all life, including humans, provided by functioning ecosystems.