ecology test 2

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greenhouse effect
the process of solar radiation striking Earth, being converted to infrared radiation, and being absorbed and re-emitted by atmospheric gases
what are the most prevalent greenhouse gases?
H2O and CO2
is the greenhouse effect beneficial?
only when it's naturally occurring
what effect have humans had on the greenhouse effect?
we have increased the concentration of CO2, CH4 and N2O through fossil fuels, agriculture, and landfills + produced unnatural gases
the fraction of solar energy reflected by an object (low=absorbing more light, high=reflecting more light)
to what degree is the axis of the Earth tilted?
23.5 degrees
solar equator
the latitude receiving the most direct rays of the sun (not the same location all the time)
atmospheric convection currents
the circulation of air between the surface of Earth and the amosphere
saturation point
limit of the amount of water vapor that air can contain
adiabatic cooling
the cooling effect of reduced pressure on air as it rises higher and expands (results in rain)
adiabatic heating
the heating effect of increased pressure on air as it sinks down and decreases in volume
latent heat release
when water vapor is converted back to liquid, water releases energy in form of heat and warms air
the main deserts are all at what location on Earth?
30 degrees north and 30 degrees south
Hadley cells
the two circulation cells of air between the equator and 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south latitudes
intertropical convergence zone
the area where the two Hadley cells converge and cause large amounts of precipitation
what determines the location of the ITCZ?
the location of the solar equator
polar cells
atmospheric convection currents between 60 degree and 90 degree latitudes that are similar to Hadley cells
Coriolis effect
the deflection of an object's path due to the rotation of the Earth
northeast trade winds
winds that blow from the northeast to southwest
southeast trade winds
winds that blow from the southeast to northwest
winds in mid-latitudes that move from west to east
what do ocean currents do?
distribute unequal heating of Earth's water and influence the location of different climates
which way does warm tropical water circulate?
away from the equator on eastern reaches
which way does cold polar water circulate?
towards the equator on western reaches
large-scale water circulation pattern between continents
upward movement of water (cold water from ocean depths is drawn upward, typically happens on western coasts)
oceanic water circulation
cold water is forced equatorward from the poles along west coasts of major continents, results in coastal deserts
El Nino-Southern oscillation
trade winds reverse, moving warm water in the opposite direction
thermohaline circulation
a global pattern of surface and deep water currents that flow as a result of variations in temp and salinity that change the density of water
is there more precipitation in Northern or Southern hemisphere?
Southern hemisphere because there is more water in the Southern hemisphere and water generates precipitation
rain shadow
a region with dry conditions because mountains cause the winds to lose their moisture before reaching it
moist subtropical mid-latitude climate
warm dry summers and cold wet winters
moist continental mid-latitude
warm summer and cold winters with moderate precipitation
laters of chemically and biologically altered material that overlies bedrock
what does soil contain?
mineral material from bedrock, organic matter from organisms, microorganisms, plants and animals
water movement through soil that can remove soluble minerals
what are the soil textures of sand, silt, and clay?
sand=large, silt=middle, clay=very fine
acidic soils, nutrients from E horizon leach to B horizon, reduces fertility in B horizon (in cool moist climates and coniferous forests)
weathering to great depth, buildup of oxides, loss of sand and clay, low in mineral nutrients, reddish color due to oxidation (in warm, humid climates and tropical rainforests)
geographic regions that contain communities composed of organisms with similar adaptations, due to convergent evolution
convergent evolution
when two different species with unrelated ancestors have evolved similarly due to similar selective forces
Whittaker's concepts
1. boundaries between biomes aren't always clear. 2. biodiversity increases as temps and rainfall increase. 3. fire shapes vegetation toward drier end of spectrum within each temp range.
region where two communities come together with a sharp boundary
Walter's scheme
climate + vegetation = biome name
climate diagrams
graphs that plot the average monthly temp and precipitation of a specific location on Earth
growing season
months that are warm enough to allow plant growth
coldest biome, low precipitation, treeless above permafrost, soil is acidic and nutrient poor, upper soils thaw during growing season, low species diversity
boreal forests
population by evergreen trees, short growing season and severe winters, rainfall is 50-100 mm, soil is acidic and podsolized, low species diversity
temperate rainforest
mild temps, high precipitation, evergreen trees, lower species diversity than tropical rainforest
temperate seasonal rainforest
moderate temps, moderate precipitation, deciduous trees, soils are slightly acidic and podsolized
hot dry summers and mild wet winters, drought-tolerant plants, 12 month growing season, frequent fires
temperate grasslands/cold deserts
hot dry summers and cold winters, grasses and flowering plants and drought-tolerant shrubs, soils are nutrient-rich
tropical rainforests
warm and rainy biome, plants constantly taking nutrients from soil, highest species diversity
tropical seasonal forests/savannas
warm temps and wet/dry seasons, deciduous trees, soil does not hold nutrients, high species diversity
subtropical deserts
hot temps, low rainfall, long growing season, soils have no organic matter and are neutral, low species diversity
flowing water
narrow channel of fast-flowing water
wide channel of slow-flowing water
are ecosystems more nutrient-rich and complex up- or downstream?
Riparian zone
terrestrial vegetation alongside rivers and streams
inputs of organic matter than come from outside of an ecosystem
inputs of organic matter that are produced by algae and aquatic plants inside an ecosystem
is most of the organic matter in streams allochthonous or autochthonous?
is most of the organic matter in rivers allochthonous or autochthonous?
cloudiness of water created by stirring up sediment
why are dams built?
to control flooding, provide water for irrigation, and to generate electricity
how do dams affect the water?
water becomes warmer, stream bottoms become filled with silt, water released from dams has low oxygen, they alter seasonal cycles of flooding and disrupt animals
aquatic biome smaller than a lake, non-flowing freshwater with some area of water that is too deep for plants to rise above the surface
aquatic biome bigger than a pond, non-flowing freshwater with more area of water that is too deep for plants to rise above the surface
how are a lot of lakes and ponds created?
from glaciers or shifting basins
oxbow lakes
broad bends of what was once a river, cut off by shifts in the main channel
littoral zone
the shallow edge of a lake or pond containing rooted vegetation
limnetic zone
open water beyond the littoral zone, where the dominant photosynthetic organisms are algae
profundal zone
area in a lake that is too deep to receive sunlight
benthic zone
area with sediments at the bottom of the lake/pond
surface layer of water (most production occurs in the epilimnion)
deeper layer of water (anaerobic conditions)
middle of the epilimnion and hypolimnion, rapid changes in temp over short distance
freshwater wetland
aquatic biome with standing freshwater or saturated soils, shallow enough for emergent vegetation throughout all depths
contains emergent trees
contains emergent non-woody vegetation
contains acidic water and adapted vegetation
salt marshes
a saltwater biome that contains non-woody emergent vegetation
mangrove swamps
biome that occurs along tropical and subtropical coasts, and contains salt-tolerant trees with roots in water
intertidal zones
a biome consisting of the narrow band of coastline between high tide and low tide, temps and salt concentrations fluctuate with the tide
coral reefs
biome found in warm, shallow waters that are 20 degrees Celsius year-round
what is coral and why is it dying?
coral is a bunch of tiny animals in mutualistic relationship with algae that collect detritus and plankton. coral bleaching (when rising temps cause algal symbionts to leave) is causing corals to die.
neritic zone
ocean zone beyond the range of the lowest tidal level, high productivity
oceanic zone
ocean zone beyond neritic zone, nutrients are sparse and production is limited
photic zone
area of the neritic zone and oceaniz zones that contains enough light for algae photosynthesis
aphotic zone
area below photic zone where water is so deep that sunlight cannot penetrate, less productive but organisms are adapted
hydrothermal vents
water heats and re-emerges hot with minerals
life history
the schedule of an organism's life
what is a life history comprised of?
age of maturity, parity, allocation of energy to reproduction, fecundity, life span
thrushes vs. storm petrels
similar-sized birds but thrushes young age of maturity and short life span and storm petrels have later age of maturity and long life span
what influences life histories?
lifestyle of organisms and evolutionary responses
Lack's proposal
1. life history traits contribute to reproductive success and evolutionary fitness. 2. life histories vary in a consistent way with respect to factors in the environment.
what was the conclusion to Lack's experiment?
one could artificially increase the number of eggs per clutch to show that the number of offspring is limited by food supply
stress tolerators
plants with slow growth and late sexual maturity, use low amount of energy
plants with fast growth and early sexual maturity, use low amount of energy
plants with fast growth and early sexual maturity, use high amount of energy, vegetative reproduction doesn't matter (they are weeds!!!)
K selection
long life, slow development, few offspring with high parental investment, low population growth
R selection
short life, quick development, lots of offspring with low parental investment, high population growth
principle of allocation
the observation that when resources are devoted to one aspect, there has to a tradeoff with another aspect
trade-off: offspring vs. size
less offspring=bigger offspring
trade-off: offspring number vs parental care
more offspring=less parental care
determinate growth
when an individual does not grow anymore once it initiates reproduction (organisms with long lifespan favor this)
indeterminate growth
when individual continues to grow after it initiates reproduction (organisms with short life span favor this)
what are the trade-offs for Trinidadian guppies?
in lower stream reaches, guppies face high predation and have short life spans but produce more offspring. in higher stream reaches, guppies face less predation and have longer life spans but produce less offspring.
decline in body condition leading to death
when organisms reproduce only once in their life
when organisms reproduce multiple times during their life
an organism with life span of 1 year
an organism with life span of more than 1 year
sexual reproduction
offspring inherit DNA from 2 parents
what are the 3 ingredients of evolution?
heritable traits, variation in traits, consequences of this variation in traits
reproductive success
passing on genes to the most amount of offspring as possible
what are costs to sexual reproduction?
mating behavior can attract predators, maintaining gonads costs more energy, evolutionary cost of meiosis (only passing half of your genes down rather than all of your genes like asexual reproduction)
asexual reproduction
offspring inherit DNA from single plant
vegetative reproduction
a form of asexual reproduction in which an individual is produced from the nonsexual tissues of a parent
individuals that descended asexually from their parent and therefore have the exact same DNA
binary fission
reproduction through duplication of genes followed by division of cell into 2 identical ones
a form of asexual reproduction in which an embryo is produced without fertilization
individual with both male and female gametes
what are benefits of sexual reproduction?
chance of losing bad mutations during meiosis, better coping with environmental variation, better chance of developing defenses against pathogens
sex ratio
ratio of male to female
as many matings as possible (most common)
single member of one sex has many lasting pair bonds with other sex
pair bond between one female and one male (can last for a mating season or for life)
sexual selection
selection by one sex for specific characteristics in individuals of the other sex
anthropomorphic bias
applying human terminology directly to animals and vice verse is dangerous because we are different