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Ecology and Evolution Study Guide

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Biosphere- The part of the Earth's crust that supports life
1. Community- a group of people living in the same place.
2. Population- all the inhabitants of an area, city, or country.
3. Species- a group of organisms that are capable of exchanging genes.
4. Biome- a large group of flora and fauna that inhabit a major habitat
5. Ecosystem- a biological community of organisms interacting in their environment.
Living things in an ecosystem are known as biotic and all the nonliving components of an
ecosystem are known as abiotic.
Autotrophs create organic compounds from simple substances in the environment, generally
from light. This is known also as photosynthesis.
A heterotrophs are organisms that cannot obtain carbon from inorganic sources. There are
photoheterotrophs and chemoheterotrophs. They are categorized based on how they obtain
energy.
Food chain- A group of organisms arranged in a hierarchy, each depending on the other for
food. A food web is a series of interlocking food chains.
Trophic level- the levels of animal hierarchy in an ecosystem.
Ecological pyramid- graphical representation of the biological productivity at each trophic level.
Biomass- the mass f animals or organisms that inhabit an area, it is measured in several ways.
One is by the exact weight of the creatures in question.
Energy can only flow in one direction while matter can be recycled.
Biochemical Cycle- a cycle that occurs in an ecosystem i.e. the water cycle.
Niche- the role or position of an organism in an ecosystem. The way this animal interacts with
its environment, finds food, creates shelter, and reproduces are all tied to the ecological niche
that it has.
Competitive exclusion principle- the law that states that two opposing species who compete
for the same resources cannot coexist.
Keystone Species- a species in an ecosystem that other species largely depend on.
Carrying capacity- the limit number of things that can be contained by an area, vehicle, or
container. This affects limited factors in the ecosystem by limiting the number of creatures in the
ecosystem.
Biodiversity- the diversity of lifeforms in an ecosystem, without it, there would be no diversity in
lifeforms and every single one would be identical.
Evolution- the process by which organisms develop and adapt through Earth's history
Natural selection- the process in which animals better themselves through offspring by
breeding with the best with the best.
Adaptation- a change in which an organism becomes better suited to its environment or
situation.
Fitnes- an organism's ability to adapt and survive in its environment.
A common ancestor is an ancestor that it is believed that all life came from. This common
ancestor can be determined by looking at the appendages and organs that certain species
posses that are similar to that of another. One species may have an organ that does the same
thing as another species organ but they are completely different. They could also have the exact
same organ.
Gene pool- The stock of genes in an interbreeding species.

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Biosphere- The part of the Earth's crust that supports life 1. Community- a group of people living in the same place. 2. Population- all the inhabitants of an area, city, or country. 3. Species- a group of organisms that are capable of exchanging genes. 4. Biome- a large group of flora and fauna that inhabit a major habitat 5. Ecosystem- a biological community of organisms interacting in their environment. Living things in an ecosystem are known as biotic and all the nonliving components of an ecosystem are known as abiotic. Autotrophs create organic compounds from simple substances in the env ...
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