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Biology – Ecology Study Guide
What are the Levels of Organization (from species to biosphere)?
1. Biosphere - This is where all living things on Earth live.
2. Biomes - A large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat.
3. Ecosystem - A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.
4. Community - All the people living in a particular area or place: "local communities".
5. Populations - A particular section, group, or type of people or animals living in an area or country.
6. Species - This is the most basic unit of biological organization.

What are the 3 approaches to ecological research?

1) Descriptive
2) Functional
3) Evolutionary
Describe the difference between an autotroph and a heterotroph. autotroph makes its own food/energy (plants) heterotroph must get it from somewhere else (humans)
What is the difference between photosynthesis and chemosynthesis?
PS needs light; CS needs heat
PS can occur on land/in shallow water; CS usually occurs deep in the ocean near vents
Describe the difference between a consumer and the producer.
Producers are organisms that make their own food through photosynthesis or other reactions and are a food source for other organisms (e.x. plants, extremophile benthos communities).
Consumers are organisms that ingest other organisms, like plants, in order to gain energy (e.x. herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, detrivores).

What is the ultimate source of energy for an ecosystem?
The sun
What is the 10% rule?
According to the rule, only 10% of energy is transferred to the next level of food chain, out of the remaining 90%, some is used up metabolically for survival and the rest is lost as body heat.
What is the difference between a food web and a food chain?
A food chain is a single line of organisms, where each is preceded by something that it consumes and is followed by something that consumes it. A food web branches out in all directions with arrows pointing from organisms to any number of organisms that consume it.
What is a trophic level? How can you tell what trophic level an organism is in?
You can tell what organism belongs to a trophic level in the food chain based on what they eat. The levels are split into plants, plant-eaters, and meat-eaters.
Ecological Pyramid (3 types)
What is the difference between energy flow in the biosphere as compared to how matter moves?
Solar energy arrives and is converted into chemical energy by plants which is eaten by animals and converted again and the animal is either eaten by another animal or dies and is broken down by decomposers and the energy is converted back into basic elements for plants to feed off of with the help of solar energy hence the cycle starts again
What is the Law of Conservation of Matter? matter can not be created or destroyed.
What is the difference between evaporation and transpiration?
Evaporation occurs when water becomes vapor from bodies of water
Transpiration occurs when water leaves a plant as vapor
What are the three biogeochemical cycles we discussed in class? Be able to describe each of them.
What is the difference between weather and climate?
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time.
What factors effect climate?
There are several factors that affect climate and they include: latitude, land or sea distribution, solar radiation, humidity, air pressure, air temperature and winds.
What is the greenhouse effect? the trapping of the sun's warmth in a planet's lower atmosphere due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the planet's surface.

What are the 3 climate zones? What causes the different zones?
The three main climate zones on Earth