This is a
list of ecology topics. It relates to the science of ecology which is the study of the interactions between various species and their natural environment.
- In adaptive behavior behavioral ecology, this is any behavior which contributes to an individual's reproductive success and is thus subject to the forces of natural selection.
- a systematic process for continually improving management policies and practices by learning from the outcomes of operational programs Adaptive management
- when an organism permanently assumes the role of adoption parent towards a juvenile individual which is not its offspring.
- the process of aerobic metabolism cellular respiration that occur in the presence of oxygen
- the distribution of various age groups in a age structure population (typically that of a country or region of the world), which normally forms the shape of a pyramid.
- the science of applying ecological concepts and principles to the design, development, and management of agricultural environments agroecology
- an assembly of mutually interacting organisms and their environment in which materials related to crop production are interchanged in a largely cyclical manner agroecosystem
- a biology-related concept that is characterized by the relationship between the size of the population and the growth rate of the species. allee effect
- behavior in which the subject shows less of a concern for their own well being and more for the welfare of others or offspring. altruistic behavior
- the fermentation of organic compounds in which air is not breathed in. Contrary to aerobic respiration which needs oxygen to be carried out. anaerobic metabolism
- studied in ethology & zoology. the desire to understand animals and their use of communication, emotions, sex, and other behaviors. Animal behavior
- the practice of employing ecological principles and understanding to solve real world problems (includes Applied ecology agroecology and conservation biology)
area effect (island biodiversity) - the hypothesis that larger islands can support more species than smaller islands
- earth's atmosphere is composed of atmosphere gases and water that are retained by earth's gravity and help the earth retain heat and reflect UV radiation.
- Also known as population ecology. It is a major sub-field of ecology that deals with the dynamics of species populations and how these populations interact with the environment. autecology
- An organized self-contained system whose parts and systems integrate seamlessly in a relationship of form and function. autopoïesis
- an organism who makes its own food from inorganic materials. autotroph
- studies the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behavior, focusing largely at the level of the individual Behavioral ecology
- capable of decaying through the action of living biodegradable organisms
- diversity among and within plant and animal species in an environment biodiversity
- effect of biota on global chemistry, and the cycles of matter and energy that transport the Earth's chemical components in time and space Biogeochemistry
- the pathway through which a biogeochemical cycle chemical, element, or molecule moves through the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere.
- the study of the geographic distributions of species Biogeography
- non-native species bioinvader
- the sum of all biomass living living organisms in an area.
biomass pyramid - also called an ecological pyramid, it is a graph that illustrates the productivity in a trophic level
- The total complex of biotic communities occupying and characterizing a particular area or zone biome
- the sphere of life; all living matter of the planet occupied by life biosphere
- is the largest scale of the Earth's surface based on the distribution patterns of plants and animals. biogeographic realm
- the study of the distribution of biogeography organisms, past and present, and of diverse processes that underlie their distribution patterns
- the increase in concentration of a substance biological magnification
- the total collection of organisms of a biota geographic region or a time period.
- under ideal conditions, the maximum rate of increase of a population in a given area biotic potential
- forest areas of the northern North Temperate Zone, mostly made of coniferous trees, also known as boreal forest taiga.
- a series of close knit groups that share common characteristics, they form a spider web pattern because of the natural divisions in the structure of the community community structure
- used to deceive or disguise from surroundings camouflage
- is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth. carbon cycle
- the maximum number of individuals an environment's resources can support, including the food and water available for the environment carrying capacity
- a species of large animal species with widespread popular appeal that Charismatic megafauna environmental activists use to achieve conservation goals well beyond just those species. Examples include the Giant Panda, the Bengal Tiger, and the Blue Whale. See also: Flagship species
- which deals with the ecological role of biological chemicals used in a wide range of areas including defense against predators and attraction of mates Chemical ecology
- The long term average weather pattern in a particular place. climate
- change in weather conditions such as cloud cover wind speed, temperature, rainfall or humidity in a specific region. climate change
- an individual in a population that is of the same species cohert
- a biological community of plants and animals that has reached a constant state occurring when the species is best adapted to average conditions in that area climax community
- a community is adapted to many environmental factors that vary in their influence over a region climax-pattern model
- scientific study of the earths biodiversity and aimed at protecting habitats and species from extinction. conservation biology
- which studies how to reduce the risk of species extinction conservation ecology
- A commensalism symbiotic relationship between two organisms of different species in which one attains some benefits while the other is unaffected
- a pattern of behavior that is a social signal, sending others a message through different displays of movement, and voice communication display
- instinctive and learned behaviors by which animals send and receive to each other in information laden cues, encoded in stimuli. communication signal
- a group of various organisms living in the same community environment
- explains how environmentally similar sites have different species or similar species because of the resources they need or "niche requirements" community assembly theory
(or synecology) - studies the interactions between species within an ecological community Community ecology
- an organism, usually an animal, that feeds on plants or other animals. consumer
- when organisms from the same or different species compete against each other for food, better living conditions, better reproductive success, or any limited resource where the most fit or most adapted individual comes out on top and thus survives and reproduces competition
- states that two species can not both exist if they are competing for exactly the same resource. Therefore there is always one with a small advantage that will cause the other species in most cases to become extinct. competitive exclusion principle
- a signal used in order to communicate which has information within more than a single cue. composite signal
- is a land biome, or large section of land coniferous forest
- is the process of working or acting together, intentionally or not. It encompasses working in harmony, side by side, while also involving something as complex as the inner workings of a human being or even the social patterns of a nation. cooperation
courtship display - Ritual social behavior between possible mates
- a forest in a more mild climate with dry seasons, where the tree's foliage changes with the varying seasons. deciduous broadleaf forest
- process by which tissues of dead organisms break down to more simplistic forms of mater and organic material, freeing up the limited space in the Decomposition biome
- any factors that affect individuals of a population and that vary with population density. density-dependent control
- The sum of the interactions between both Desert ecology biotic and abiotic factors of the desert biomes. including the interactions of plant, animal, and bacterial populations in a desert community.
- The study of interactions between organisms and their environment ecology
- is the ability to understand the natural systems that make life on earth possible ecological literacy
- ecological processes that operate on a species' inherited traits without reference to mating or secondary sex characteristic. ecological selection
- a focus on the understanding that directs vegetation change Ecological succession
- the consuming of an ecosystem ecophagy
- which studies the interaction of physiological traits with the abiotic environment Ecophysiology
- fabrication of a sustainable ecosystem on a currently lifeless, sterile planet ecopoiesis
- a region defined by its ecoregion geography and ecology
- the use of introduced species to fill niches in a disrupted environment with the aim of increasing the speed of ecological restoration. ecosynthesis
- the total of interacting organisms ( ecosystem biocoenosis) and non-living things ( biotope) in a specific environment
- which studies how flows of energy and matter interact with biotic elements of Ecosystem ecology ecosystems
ecosystem modeling - The use of mathematics, computer programs and models to understand and predict ecosystem behaviour
- resources and processes that are supplied in a natural ecosystem that benefits organisms. Ecosystem services
- a transition area between two adjacent but different landscape patches ecotone
- looks at the ecological role of toxic chemicals (often ecotoxicology pollutants, but also naturally occurring compounds)
- a band of anomalously warm ocean water temperatures that occasionally develops off the western coast of South America and can cause climatic changes across the Pacific Ocean El Niño
- an area that has characteristics of natural origin such as climate, terrain, vegetation, etc. It is also the largest division of the Earth's surface filled with living organisms. ecozone
- a endangered species species that contains numbers so low that it risks becoming extinct
- a graphical representation designed to show the biomass or biomass productivity at each trophic level in a given ecosystem energy pyramid
- repairing damages to an area caused by humans, natural disasters or industry. environmental restoration
- the study of animal behavior as behavioral ecology, a branch of ethology zoology.
- an increase in chemical eutrophication nutrients in the ecosystem. It may occur on land or in water. This increase of chemicals usually causes an increase or decrease of plant growth.
- is the slow vaporization of water from either the soil or surface water. evaporation
- (or evolutionary ecology ecoevolution) the evolutionary changes in the context of the populations and communities in which the organisms exist
- introduced species not native or endemic to a exotic species habitat
- when organisms completely die off and there are no more of that organism left. extinction
- is the growth of a population that is consistent exponential growth
- leaving ones native region to go to another emigration
- a body of water on the coast attached to the ocean and rivers or streams that often give it a black color as a result of silt and sediment. estuary
- the mixing (or "turning over") of fall overturn water that takes place in autumn that reoxygenates the water.
- which looks at the role of fire in the environment of plants and animals and its effect on ecological communities fire ecology
- is a behavior that is independent when changes in the environment occur fixed action pattern
- is a species chosen to represent an environmental cause, such as an ecosystem in need of conservation. flagship species
- a group of organisms interrelated by the fact that each member of the group feeds upon the one below it. food chain
- a set of interconnected food chains by which energy and materials circulate within an ecosystem food web
- is a species of foundation species dominant primary producer in an ecosystem both in terms of abundance and influence.
- the accumulation of random genetic changes in an isolated population founder effect
- the study of the roles, or functions, that certain species (or groups thereof) play in an ecosystem functional ecology
- is an evolutionary event in which a significant percentage of a population or species is killed or otherwise prevented from reproducing. Genetic bottleneck
geographic dispersal - when an organism moves into another region to join another community.
- examines ecological phenomena at the largest possible scale, addressing Global ecology macroecological questions
- the consuming of an ecosystem. global ecophagy
- the warming of the Earth's average temperature of near-surface air and oceans global warming
- and where grass or grasslike vegetation grows as the dominant form of plant life grassland
- warming that results when solar radiation is trapped by the atmosphere, which is caused by gases that allow sunshine to pass through but absorb heat that is radiated back from the warmed surface of the earth greenhouse effect
- Specific ecological or environmental areas that are inhabited by specific plants and animal species. habitat
- Allowing for the conservation or maintenance of continuous or connected habitats, so as to preserve movements and exchanges associated with the habitat. habitat connectivity
- a strip of land that helps with the movement of a species between disconnected areas of their natural habitat corridors habitat.
- a process of habitat fragmentation environmental change that involves the discontinuations, or fragmenting, of a species' natural habitat.
- the property of a system that regulates the internal environment and maintains a constant and stable condition. ex: homeostasis endothermic animals maintain a constant body temperature.
- an organism that has another organism on or in itself host
- a field of study that deals with relationships between humans and their societies; their natural, social, and created environments. human ecology
- the cycle or process of hydrologic cycle evaporation and condensation of water, and its distribution across the earth driven by solar energy
- the water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere hydrosphere
- an underwater steaming fissure that has unique ecosystems. hydrothermal vent
- A reversible chemical reaction when ions with the same charge can be switched. This can be used in purification of a substance. ion exchange
- An organism that is not intended to receive another organism's signal, but intercepts it anyway, to the fitness detriment of either the signaler or a legitimate receiver of the signal. illegitimate receiver
- a predatory species will mimic signals to lure in their prey illegitimate signaler
- The one-way inward movement of individuals or into another population or population area. immigration
- a time-dependent form of learning triggered by exposure to sign stimuli imprinting
- is any biological species that defines a trait or characteristic of the indicator species environment. The presence and/or abundance of organisms of these species are typically used to indicate the health and an ecosystem
- occurs when an animal has a particular internal state while it is in the presence of an external stimulation called a releaser instinctive behavior
- a theory that tries to predict how a species diversity will change with changing levels of disturbance Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis
- this occurs when different species try to use the same resources in an environment interspecific competition
- Area exposed to the air during low tide. Intertidal zone
- a invasive species non-native species whose introduction to an area is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health
- A large, undeveloped, humid forest that is home to many wild plants and animals. jungle
- the species that is a group of strong competitors in a crowded environment and have fewer but stronger offspring. K-selected species
- keystone species is a species that has a disproportionate effect on its environment relative to its abundance. Such species affect many other organisms in an ecosystem and help to determine the types and numbers of various others species in a community. keystone species
- when the ocean surface cools La Nina
- a body of liquid on the surface of the Earth; it is considered a lake when it is not part of an ocean, is inland, and is fed by a river lake
- studies the interactions between discrete elements of a Landscape ecology landscape
learned - a type of action or behavior reflex that you learn
- type of animal territory in which males of a certain species gather to demonstrate their prowess before or during mating season Lek
- any essential resource that is in short supply in an environment limiting factor
- an S shaped curve that usually represents population growth. logistic curve
- an ecological Lotka–Volterra equation predator- prey model
- happens over a long period of time and is defined as a certain trait and how species with this trait can or can not survive, and how it affects the reproduction of this good or bad trait. Therefore if a species carries a bad trait that lowers its survival rate its reproductive rate will lower as well. natural selection
- naturally forming substances that are considered valuable in their natural or unrefined form natural resource
- feedback that reduces the output of a system. ex. when the temperature rises in a room, it turns off the thermostat so that the temperature remains stable negative feedback loop
- belief that changes in evolution are caused by random mutation rather than by natural selection. neutralism
- a position or function of an organism in a community of related organisms. niche
- the nitrification oxidation of ammonia with oxygen into nitrite
- this is a continuous cycle by which nitrogen from the atmosphere and compounded nitrogen keeps getting exhanged through the soil into substances that can be taken up and used by green plants, what is left returns to the air as a result of denitrification. nitrogen cycle
- conversion of nitrogen fixation nitrogen into nitrogen compounds (ex. nitrate and nitrite) that is carried out naturally by certain bacteria and algae.
- provides nourishment and promotes growth. nutrient
- the large body of salt water which covers almost 75% of the earths surface. ocean
- a science which seeks to understand the relationships between species in paleoecology fossil assemblages
- an organism which survives with another through a parasite symbiotic relationship with another organism—its host—which it does not usually kill directly but does negatively affect.
- An organism that is a parasite for most of its life and will usually kill its host parasitoid
- permanently frozen layer of terrain found beneath the arctic permafrost tundra
- a measurement indicating "per unit of population" per capita
- a chemical which is typically given off into the environment as a pheromone signal which causes a natural behavioral response in members of the same species
- the phosphorus cycle biogeochemical cycle that describes the movement of phosphorus through the environment
- species that first inhabit an environment which was previously unoccupied pioneer species
- a type of fertilization and reproduction where the transpoatation of pollen grains from plants to ovure- bearing organs. This takes place by either wind, water, or animal assistance pollination
- pollinator decline
- the number of individuals of a species living per unit of an area. population density
is named for the pyramidal shape of the age distribution found in many populations.
- a theoretical lens focusing on how political and economic power effects ecology, as well as how ecology can also shape the political economy, by understanding and analyzing environmental influences on social activity. political ecology
(or autecology) - deals with the dynamics of populations within species, and the interactions of these populations with environmental factors population ecology
- a graphic illustration which shows the age structure in a population pyramid population (typically that of a country or region of the world), which normally forms the shape of a pyramid.
- the number of individuals of a species in a particular population size geographic range.
- the interaction among predation populations when one organism consumes another one.
- an organism that lives by killing and consuming another living organism. predator
- living organisms that prey predators feed on
- an autotroph that obtains energy directly from the nonliving environment through primary producer photosynthesis or less commonly through chemosynthesis
- production of organic compounds from carbon through photosynthesis. This effects all life on Earth either directly or indirectly primary production
- two protocooperation species interact with each other beneficially
- means the pattern of where people and animals live. Throughout the world distribution is uneven for example places which contain small amounts of people are considered sparsely populated whereas places which are densely populated contain many people. population distribution
- 1. A piece of type metal used for filling spaces. 2. A quad quadrat
a rectangular plot of land extensively studied for its ecology
- A dry area of land that is rain shadow leeward of a mountain range that results in arid or semiarid conditions
- includes all members of a reproductive base population that are of reproductive and pre-reproductive ages.
- when two or more species share, and compete for a resource in different ways in order for both species to coexist resource partitioning
- attempts to understand the ecological basis needed to restore impaired or damaged ecosystems Restoration ecology
- A species selected for its superiority in variable or unpredictable environments R-selected species
- the flow of run-off water over land from rain, melting snow, or other sources
- A flat grassland with scattered trees in tropical or subtropical regions savanna
- succession that occurs after the original population has been destroyed or disturbed, as with a forest fire secondary succession
- occurs when an individual, despite the impact it may have on the rest of the selfish behavior population, increases its own chances of reproducing
- how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction selfish herd
- a trait that makes an individual more likely to find a mate than others. A microevolutionary process. sexual selection
- sign stimulus Fixed action patterns such as mating dances.
- The individual who is responding to the communication signals sent by the signaler. signal receiver
- a way to capture attention from a species signaler
- A group or individual that latches on to another group or individual to benefit itself. This type of process affects the original pattern of the group its feeding off. social parasite
- behavior of an individual towards society and members of the same species as a whole. social behavior
- the naturally occurring, unconsolidated or loose covering on the Earth's surface soil
- the ecology of the soil ecology pedosphere
- a series of discrete brain nuclei used to produce and learn certain songs of songbirds. song system
- a theoretical model used by ecologists to describe how variation in source-sink dynamics habitat quality may affect the population growth or decline of organisms
- a forest consisting of a pine species that thrives in the sandy, dry, and nutrient-poor soil on the coastal plains of the south Atlantic and Gulf states. southern pine forests
- the speciation evolutionary process where new biological species come about
- the mixing of lake waters through the melting of ice cover, the warming of surface waters, convection currents, and wind action occurring in spring overturn spring
- sulfur cycle
- a flowing-water ecosystem that starts out as freshwater springs or seeps stream
- a graph showing the number or proportion of individuals surviving at each age for a given species survivorship curve
- a non-predator prey interaction between individuals of different species. symbiosis
- is a relationship between two or more individuals in a species mainly concerning food. (For example: if the species is competing for the same food, trying to avoid getting eaten or is attempted to eat the other.) There are five different types of symbolic relations that describe who benefits from the relation. symbiosis
- umbrella species species which are selected for making conservation related decisions, typically because protecting these species indirectly protects the many other species that make up the ecological community of its habitat.
- a large breed of sea plankton found in marine environments. ultra Plankton
- when the flow of water is in an upward direction created by atmospheric winds that blow over the ocean's surface away from the coastline and cause deeper, colder, water to rise to the top. upwelling
- the study of ecosystems in urban areas Urban ecology
- an infectious agent (that can only be seen by a microscope) that is capable of growing and reproducing outside of a host cell. Viruses can infect all forms of cellular life. virus
- a warning signal that prey uses to warn off predators warning coloration
- (a.k.a. water cycle hydrologic cycle) the nonstop movement of water on, above, and below Earth's surface. The water changes between liquid, vapor, and ice at different times during the cycle.
- the gaseous state of water. water vapour
- the land where water from rain and show melts drains downhil into a body of water (i.e. a watershed river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean).
- also known as the food chain, food network, or trophic social network. It describes the eating relationships between different specied in a certain ecosystem. web of life
- A powdery, poisonous, yellow substance reported as dropping from the air in southeast Asia and found to be the excrement of wild honeybees contaminated by a fungal toxin Yellow rain
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