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glossary ecology

1. Abiotic Resources
Resources which are
considered abiotic and
therefore not renewable.
Zinc ore and crude oil are
examples of abiotic
The three-year program
focuses on the study of
biotic and abiotic resources,
energy efficiency in forestry
agriculture, renewable
energy, the impact of
climate change and quality
of agricultural products.
2. Abiotic Factors
Abiotic factors, also called
abiotic components are non-
Weight shall be given to
adaptation, growth, biotic
living factors that impact an
and abiotic factors of
3. Adaptation
An adaptation, or adaptive
trait, is a feature produced
by DNA or the interaction
of the epigenome with the
Adaptation is as natural as
4. Adaptive Radiation
Adaptive radiation refers to
The subsequent adaptive
the adaptation (via
genetic mutation) of
an organism which enables
it to successfully spread, or
radiate, into other
radiation was spurred by a
lack of competition and a
wide variety of niches.
Algae is a term used to
describe a large, diverse
Algae if cultivated on land
in ponds or
5. Algae
of eukaryotic, photosyntheti
c organisms.
6. Allopatric Speciation
Allopatric speciation is
speciation that happens
when two populations of the
same species become
isolated from each other due
to geographic changes.
This separates populations
of some of the species in
areas with different
climates, forcing them to
adapt, possibly giving rise
to allopatric speciation.
7. Ammonification
Ammonification is part of
the five-step nitrogen cycle,
The process of
ammonification converts
which is crucial for
providing living organisms
with the essential nitrogen
that they need.
Ammonification itself takes
place thanks to the existence
of decomposers, which
break down animal
and plant cells into simpler
substances, making
organic nitrogen, which is
the way nitrogen is
contained in compounds in
living organisms, into
inorganic ammonia (NH3)
or ammonium ions (NH4+).
nutrients available in
the ecosystem.
Artificial selection
or selective
breeding describes the
human selection of breeding
pairs to produce favorable
offspring. This applies to all
organisms – from virus to
8. Artificial Selection
Some have thought
that artificial
selection could not produce
new species.
four-footer, and from pet to
food source. Artificial
selection aims to increase
the productive or esthetic
value of an organism to our
9. Benthos
The benthos is comprised of
all the organisms that live at
The benthos species include
Crustacea, Oligochaeta,
the bottom of a body of
standing or running water.
The layer that the benthos
occupy is called the benthic
Diptera and Bivalvia.
zone, which is the lowest
layer of a lake, sea, stream,
or river.
10. Biodiversity
Biodiversity is a term which
describes every
It would make a good start
to the UN's International
living organism within a
single ecosystem or habitat,
including numbers and
diversity of species and all
environmental aspects such
as temperature, oxygen and
carbon dioxide levels and
climate. Biodiversity can be
measured globally or in
smaller settings, such as
Year of Biodiversity.
11. Biogeochemical Cycle
A biogeochemical cycle is
one of several natural
cycles, in which conserved
matter moves through
the biotic and abiotic parts
of an ecosystem.
The role of particles
from biogeochemical
cycle of O2 and transition
metals in the processes of
self-purification has been
12. Biogeography
Biogeography refers to the
distribution of
Founder populations are
essential to the study of
various species and
ecosystems geographically
and throughout geological
time and space.
island biogeography and
island ecology.
13. Biomimicry
Biomimicry is the science of
applying nature-inspired
designs in human
engineering and invention to
solve human problems.
People who are just learning
about this
stuff, biomimicry means
respecting the wisdom of all
14. Biotic and Abiotic
A biotic factor is a living
thing that has an impact on
another population of living
things or on the
environment. Abiotic
factors do the same thing,
but they are non-living.
Together, biotic and abiotic
Genetical amelioration of
poplar and willow species of
high productivity and
resistance to biotic and
abiotic factors
factors make up an
ecosystem. To survive,
biotic factors need abiotic
factors. In turn, biotic
factors can limit the kinds
and amounts of biotic
factors in an ecosystem.
15. Biotic Factors
Biotic factors are the living
parts of an ecosystem.
Among the biotic factors,
that prevailed (52,5 %), the
insects represented 43 %,
mushrooms 2,5 % and
rodent mamnalia 7 %.
16. By-product
A useful and marketable
Propolis was a by-product
product or service that is not of beekeeping.
the primary product or
service being produced.
17. Carbon Cycle
The carbon cycle is the
cycle by which carbon
moves through our Earth’s
various systems.
Identify each process of
the carbon cycle and type
each term in the title boxes.
18. Carrion
Carrion is dead animal
That smell is irresistibly
matter, which may also be
actively decaying.
attractive to flies which feed
on carrion, and they flock
Carrying capacity is the
number of organisms that
an ecosystem can
sustainably support. An
ecosystem’s carrying
capacity for a
Traverses with a retractable
rod - differ low weight at
heavy carrying capacity.
19. Carrying Capacity
particular species may be
influenced by many factors,
such as the ability to
regenerate the food, water,
atmosphere, or other
necessities that populations
need to survive.
20. Certification
The procedure by which
third party gives written
Agricultural holding is
applying equivalence based
assurance that a product,
on national or regional
process, or service conforms environmental certification
to specific requirements.
21. Characterization
Characterization aggregates
classified environmental
interventions/aspects within
an environmental impact
Research involving
materials processing and
characterization with a
diversity of applications.
22. Characterization
A factor that describes the
relative harmfulness of an
environmental intervention
within one environmental
Since the early days of the
petroleum industry, some
physical properties of crude
oil were used to define
impact category.
characterization factors for
classification of crude oil
with respect to hydrocarbon
A cladogram is a diagram
used to represent a
hypothetical relationship
between groups of animals,
called a phylogeny.
A cladogram is not,
however, an evolutionary
tree because it does not
show how ancestors are
related to descendants, nor
23. Cladogram
does it show how much they
have changed; nevertheless,
many evolutionary trees can
be inferred from a
single cladogram.
24. Classification
Classification attributes are
interventions/aspects listed
in an environmental
Classification of radioactive
waste is related to safety
aspects of their
effects register according to
environmental impact
25. Close-loop Recycling
A recycling system in which
a product made from one
type of material is recycled
into a different type of
product (e.g. used
'Close loop recycling'
means recycling a waste
product into the same
newspapers into toilet
26. Community
A biotic community, also
known as
a biota or ’biocoenosis’, is
the group of organisms that
live together and interact
with each other within an
environment or habitat.
Communities consist of a
group of different species,
which partake in direct and
indirect biotic interactions,
such as predator-prey
interactions, herbivory,
parasitism, competition and
27. Co-Product
A marketable by-product
from a process that can
Wheat gluten is produced as
a co-product of the starch
technically not be avoided.
This includes materials that
may be traditionally defined
as waste such as industrial
scrap that is subsequently
used as a raw material in a
different manufacturing
28. Continuous
29. Conservation Biology
30. Consumer
The process of enhancing an These requirements serve as
environmental management
system to achieve
improvements in overall
environmental performance
in line with an
environmental policy.
the basis of Continuous
Improvement efforts
towards improved products
and services for the
Conservation biology is a
discipline that focuses on
Ecology is an academic
subject that covers topics
protecting and restoring the
Earth’s biodiversity.
such as animal
ecology, conservation
biology, and ecological
Consumer is a category that
belongs within the food
chain of an ecosystem.
Consumers are unable to
make their own energy, and
instead rely on the
consumption and digestion
of producers or other
consumers, or both, to
31. Deciduous Forest
A deciduous forest is a
biome dominated
by deciduous trees which
lose their leaves seasonally.
The Earth has temperate
deciduous forests, and
tropical and subtropical
deciduous forests, also
known as dry forests.
32. Deciduous Trees
Deciduous trees lose their
leaves at the end of their
growing season.
Usually, conifers are used
for making, but deciduous
trees are also found.
33. Decomposer
A decomposer is
Excess oxidation reagent
an organism that
decomposes, or breaks
down, organic material such
as the remains of dead
organisms. Decomposers
include bacteria and fungi.
is decomposed with sodium
Density dependent factors
affect a population through
increasing or decreasing
Typically, density
dependent factors are
biological factors used by
birth and death rates, in a
way that is directly related
to the density of the
the population as a resource.
Density independent factors,
in ecology, refer to any
influences on a population’s
birth or death rates,
regardless of the population
Density independent factors
vary depending on the
population, but always
affect the population the
same regardless of its size.
34. Density Dependent
35. Density Independent
36. Depletion
The result of the extraction
of abiotic resources (nonrenewable) from the
environment or the
extraction of biotic
resources (renewable) faster
than they can be renewed.
Resource Depletion EF
impact category that
addresses use of natural
resources, either renewable
or non-renewable, biotic or
37. Directional Selection
A directional selection is a
force in nature that causes
Directional selection can
also be compared
a population to evolve
towards one end of a trait
to disruptive selection, or a
selection that causes an
increase in both extremes of
a trait spectrum.
In biology, a domain refers
It should be noted that while
to the largest of all groups in the three domain system is
the classification of life.
widely accepted and taught,
it has been contested by a
number of scientists.
38. Domain
39. Eco-Efficiency
The relationship between
economic output (product,
service, activity) and
environmental impact added
caused by production,
consumption and disposal.
Eco-efficiency criteria
should be built into all
project appraisal processes.
40. Ecological Niche
In ecology, a niche is the
role or job of a species in a
An ecological niche
describes how a species
interacts with, and lives in,
its habitat.
41. Ecological Pyramid
An ecological pyramid is a
graphical representation of
the relationship between
different organisms in
an ecosystem.
The ecological pyramid
shows how the different
trophic levels in a food web
relate to each other.
42. Ecological Succession
Ecological succession is a
term developed by botanists
to describe the change in
The concept of ecological
succession arose from a
desire to understand how
structure of a community of
different species,
or ecosystem.
large and complex
ecosystems like forests can
exist in places known to be
recently formed, such as
volcanic islands.
43. Ecology
Ecology is the branch of
Ecology is the study of these
biology that studies how
forces, what produces them,
organisms interact with their and the complex
relationships between
environment and other
organisms and each other,
and organisms and their
non-living environment.
44. Ecosystem
An ecosystem or biome
describes a single
environment and every
living (biotic) organism and
non-living (abiotic) factor
that is contained within it or
characterizes it.
An ecosystem embodies
every aspect of a single
habitat, including all
interactions between its
different elements.
45. Emission
One or more substances
released to the water, air or
3M Air Emission Reduction
Program is launched.
soil in the natural
46. Environment
Surroundings in which an
organization operates,
including air, water, land,
natural resources, flora,
fauna, humans, and their
Environment protection and
preservation represent
another important issue,
especially for undeveloped
47. Environmental Effect
Any direct or indirect
An environmental effect is
impingement of activities,
products and services of an
organization upon the
environment, whether
adverse or beneficial.
the consequence of an
environmental intervention
in an environmental system.
Any change to the
environment, whether
adverse or beneficial,
wholly or partially resulting
An environmental impact
addresses an environmental
48. Environmental
from an organization's
activities, products or
49. Extinction
Extinction is a term applied
to a known species, of
which there are no known
living individuals.
Some species which have
suffered extinction are
known only from
their fossilized remains.
50. Extirpation
Extirpation (also known as
‘local extinction’) describes
Unlike extinction, whereby
a species no longer exists
the situation in which
a species or population no
anywhere, extirpation
means that at least one
longer exists within a
certain geographical
other population of the
species still persists in other
The loss of water from the
soil both by evaporation and
by transpiration from the
plants growing in the soil.
Irrigation is unlikely to lead
to salinity build up provided
that total annual
precipitation exceeds
Fauna is a term which refers
Fauna was first used as a
to all of the animal life
within a specified region,
time period, or both.
biological term by naturalist
Carl Linnaeus, as a term
which described the animals
of a region, as opposed to
the plants.
53. Fabric filter
A cloth device that catches
dust particles from
industrial emissions.
Fabric filters are efficient
dust collectors.
54. Fertilizer
Materials such as nitrogen
Fertilizer is sprinkled with
and phosphorus that provide
nutrients for plants.
Commercially sold
fertilizers may contain other
chemicals or may be in the
form of processed sewage
earth to avoid nitrogen loss.
A treatment process, under
the control
Filtration of liquids through
a membrane permeable only
of qualified operators, for
removing solid (particulate)
matter from water by
passing the water
through porous media such
as sand or a manmade filter.
The process is often used to
for small molecules.
51. Evapotranspiration
52. Fauna
55. Filtration
particles that contain
pathogenic organisms.
56. Flocculation
The process by which
clumps of solids in water or
sewage are made to increase
in size by biological or
chemical action so that they
can be separated from the
Mixers ensure maximum
contact between nonadhering particles and the
flocculation agents.
An electrical device that
detects the presence of
I borrowed a Geiger counter
to check levels at home.
57. Geiger counter
certain types of
58. Generator
A facility or mobile source
that emits pollutants into the
air or releases hazardous
wastes into water or soil.
59. Greenhouse effect
The warming of the Earth’s
Volcanic carbon emissions
atmosphere caused by a
would then restart a
buildup of carbon dioxide or warming cycle due to the
60. Groundwater
The Generator's our only
source of power.
other trace gases; many
scientists believe that this
buildup allows light from
the sun’s rays to heat the
Earth but prevents a
counterbalancing loss of
greenhouse effect.
The supply of fresh water
found beneath the Earth’s
Groundwater is also used as
a source of drinking water.
surface (usually in aquifers),
which is often used for
supplying wells and springs
61. Habitat
The place where a
population (e.g., human,
animal, plant, or
microorganism) lives, and
Habitat destruction is the
third way in which human
activities are damaging life's
its surroundings, both living
and nonliving
62. Harmful Algal Bloom
An algal bloom is defined as
the rapid growth or
accumulation of algae in
aquatic ecosystems.
The presence of harmful
algal blooms leads to fish
die-offs, fish sickness, and
human sickness when
affected organisms are
63. Hazardous wastes
By-products of society that
can pose a substantial or
potential hazard to human
health or the environment
Such routines include
collecting hazardous wastes
and spillage that are sent to
specialized waste deposits
when improperly
for recycling.
Metallic elements with
atomic number greater than
20, such as mercury and
lead. They can damage
living things at low
concentrations and tend to
accumulate in the food
Heavy metals are present in
the environmental factors
from this area and
significantly affect local
ecosystems and human
64. Heavy metals
65. Herbicide
A chemical pesticide
designed to control or
destroy plants, weeds, or
Herbicide can be used in
whole or between rows. Can
be used to manage foliar
fertilizer or for plant
protection against diseases
and pests.
66. Horticulture
Horticulture is the field of
study which concentrates on
Horticulture studies both the
science behind the garden
gardening, and the plants
and biological systems
which make up a garden.
and the aesthetics which
make it appealing to look
. A body of water or sludge
confined by a dam, dike,
floodgate, or other barrier.
Before the impoundment of
the two basins, specific
plants are planted.
67. Impoundment
68. Indirect discharge
69. Infiltration
Introduction of pollutants
from a nondomestic source
The systems can be
designed for both direct and
into a publicly owned
waste treatment system.
Indirect dischargers can
be commercial or industrial
facilities whose wastes go
into the local sewers.
indirect discharge.
The penetration of water
through the ground surface
into subsurface soil or the
penetration of water from
Infiltration is caused by two
forces: gravity and capillary
the soil into sewer or other
pipes through defective
joints, connections, or
manhole walls.
A pesticide compound
specifically used to kill or
control the growth of
Intavir Insecticide acting
against leaf beetles, aphids,
thrips and other pests.
71. Keystone Species
Keystone species are those
which have an extremely
high impact on a
particular ecosystem relative
to its population.
Keystone species are also
critical for the overall
structure and function of an
ecosystem, and influence
which other types of plants
and animals make up that
72. Kingdom
In the study of taxonomy,
the rank of kingdom is just
The four commonly
recognized Kingdoms
below domain, as seen on
the image below. All of life,
thought to come from a
single origin, can be broken
down into lower levels of
classification, such as a
kingdom or phylum.
are Protista, Animalia, Plan
tae, and Fungi.
70. Insecticide
A limiting factor is a
resource or environmental
Limiting factors are
theorized under Liebig’s
condition which limits the
growth, distribution or
abundance of
an organism or population w
ithin an ecosystem.
Law of the Minimum, which
states that “growth is not
controlled by the total
amount of resources
available, but by the
scarcest resource”.
The littoral zone in an
aquatic ecosystem (river,
lake, sea) can be defined by
the presence of sunlight at
It is found in the littoral
zone, living inside
submerged timber, pilings,
driftwood, and in the hulls
the sediment level, and the
corresponding growth of
partially-submerged to
fully-submerged aquatic
of wooden boats.
Macroevolution refers to the
concept of large-scale
evolution that occurs at the
Macroevolution can be used
to describe the differences
between two closely related
level of species and above.
but distinct species, such as
the Asian Elephant and
the African Elephant, which
cannot mate due to the
barriers imposed
by reproductive isolation.
Marine biology is the study
of marine ecosystems,
marine organisms, and
A career in marine biology
could lead to studying
marine life, such as
human interactions with
these environments
and species.
this great white shark and
the fish that surround it.
77. Marine Ecosystem
Marine ecosystems can be
defined as the interaction of
plants, animals, and the
marine environment.
The marine ecosystem
refers to the oceans and seas
and other salt water
environments as a whole
78. Mass Extinction
Mass extinction is an event
in which a considerable
One of the oldest mass
extinctions, this extinction
73. Limiting Factor
74. Littoral Zone
75. Macroevolution
76. Marine Biology
portion of the
world’s biodiversity is lost.
event occurred nearly 450
million years ago.
79. Monophyletic
Monophyletic, or
monophylogeny, is a term
used to describe a group of
organisms that are classified
in the same taxon and share
a most common recent
A monophyletic group
includes all descendants of
that most common recent
80. Mutualism
Mutualisms are defined as
interactions between
organisms of two
Mutualisms may involve
either the exchange of
resources, such as shelter,
different species, in which
food and other nutrients, or
each organism benefits from they may involve the
the interaction in some way. exchange of services, such
as protection, transportation
or healthcare.
81. Natural Selection
Natural selection is a
pressure that causes groups
of organisms to change over
Natural selection is
constantly influencing the
evolution of species.
82. Niche
The niche of an organism is
the functional role that it
plays within an ecosystem.
The niche of an organism
within an ecosystem
depends on how the
organism responds and
reacts to the distribution and
abundance of these factors,
and in turn how it alters the
83. Nitrogen Cycle
The nitrogen cycle refers to
the cycle of nitrogen atoms
through the living and nonliving systems of Earth. The
nitrogen cycle is vital for
life on Earth. Through the
cycle, atmospheric nitrogen
is converted to a form which
Nitrates (NO3) in the
aquarium are the last in the
chain of chemical
compounds in the nitrogen
plants can incorporate into
new proteins.
Nuclear fallout is a
destructive, long-term
consequence following
large-scale releases
of radioactivity into the
The size of the area affected
by nuclear fallout is entirely
dependent on the type and
quantity of radiation
An omnivore is
an organism that can feed
on both plant and animal
Although a species as a
whole may be omnivores,
not all members of the
species must be omnivores.
An organism is a single
individual, or being.
While it may have many
separate parts, the organism
cannot survive without the
parts, as the parts cannot
survive without the
Photosynthesis is the
Photosynthesis releases
biochemical pathway which
converts the energy of light
into the bonds of glucose
oxygen into the atmosphere,
while respiration, decay,
and combustion remove it
from the atmosphere.
88. Plant
are multicellular organisms
in the kingdom Plantae that
use photosynthesis to make
their own food.
There are over
300,000 species of plants;
common examples of plants
include grasses, trees, and
89. Population
A population is the number
of organisms of the
same species that live in a
particular geographic
area at the same time, with
the capability
of interbreeding.
A local population can be
confined to a spatially small
area, i.e., the fish in one
84. Nuclear Fallout
85. Omnivore
86. Organism
87. Photosynthesis
The riparian zone is one of
many different biomes,
The riparian zone is
identified as the area
which represent different
communities of flora
and fauna.
immediately adjacent to
running, fresh water.
91. Speciation
Speciation is a process
within evolution that leads
to the formation of new,
distinct species that are
reproductively isolated from
one another.
Read a modern classic book
on evolution and speciation.
92. Species
A species is a group of
organisms that share a
genetic heritage, are able to
interbreed, and to create
offspring that are also
Different species are
separated from each other
by reproductive barriers.
93. Stabilizing Selection
Stabilizing selection is any
selective force or forces
which push
Stabilizing selection is a
descriptive term for what
happens to an individual
a population toward the
average, or median trait.
trait when the extremes of
the trait are selected against.
symbiosis is an evolved
interaction or close living
relationship between
organisms from
different species, usually
with benefits to one or both
of the individuals involved.
Mutualisms are a form of
symbiosis in which both
symbiotic partners benefit
from the interaction, often
resulting in a
significant fitness gain for
either one or both parties.
A threatened species is any
species which
is vulnerable, endangered,
or critically endangered.
The International Union for
Conservation of Nature, or
IUCN, is commonly
referenced as a leading
organization in determining
if a species can be
considered a threatened
species or not.
90. Riparian Zone
94. Symbiosis
95. Threatened Species
Tonicity is the concentration In biology, the tonicity of
of a solution as compared to the environment compared
96. Tonicity
another solution.
to the cell determines how
water moves across
the semipermeable
97. Trophic Level
A trophic level is the group
of organisms within
an ecosystem which occupy
the same level in a food
There are five main trophic
levels within a food chain,
each of which differs in its
nutritional relationship with
the primary energy source.
98. Treatment, Storage,
Site where a hazardous
Treatment facilities use
substance is treated, stored,
or disposed of. TSD
facilities are regulated by
various processes (such as
incineration or oxidation) to
alter the character or
composition of hazardous
A tank located at least
partially underground and
designed to hold gasoline or
Our services cover both
and underground storage
other petroleum products or
Any of the following
hazardous wastes (batteries,
pesticides, mercurycontaining equipment and
Universal wastes
are hazardous wastes that
are widely produced by
households and many
different types of
A mandatory vehicle
emissions testing and repair
program administered by
ADEQ in metropolitan
Phoenix and Tucson to
reduce vehicle emissions
and improve air quality.
Maryland’s Vehicle
Emissions Inspection
Program (VEIP) is an
important component of the
State’s plan to improve air
or Disposal Facility
99. Underground Storage
Tank (UST)
Universal Waste
101. Vehicle Emissions
Inspection Program
The potential of the
atmosphere to disperse
Ventilation grilles are
mounted in walls, doors and
airborne pollutants, such as
smoke from a prescribed
fire. It is based on both the
transport winds and the
mixing height.
interior partitions.
A measure of how far and
how well an observer can
see through the atmosphere.
Visibility is probably less
than 10m.
The water cycle or
The most basic step of the
hydrologic cycle describes
the complex systems that
allow water to move across
the Earth and atmosphere.
water cycle is the change of
state of water as a liquid,
gas or solid in the
Any significant
accumulation of water.
The network shall consist of
sites selected from a range
of surface water body types
present within each
The failure to fully
implement existing policy is
preventing the Union from
achieving adequate air
and water quality standards.
Water Cycle
Water Body
106. Water Quality
ADEQ-adopted and EPAapproved ambient standards
for water bodies. The
standards prescribe the use
of the water body and
establish the water quality
criteria that must be met to
protect designated uses.
The land area that drains
The watershed follows the
into a stream; the watershed
for a major river may
encompass a number of
smaller watersheds that
ultimately combine at a
common point.
main ridge of the mountain
in direction north-west to
Air pollution caused by
emissions of particulate
matter, carbon monoxide,
Solid fuel fireplaces
and wood-burning stoves, so
popular in private homes,
108. Wood-burningstove Pollution
total suspended particulates,
and polycyclic organic
are nevertheless not a
good solution for an
matter from wood-burning
Zonation refers to the
patterns that are observed in
a community over a
distance, based on the
distinct fauna and flora
found along the area.
The density of the
hydrographic network is
relatively high. An
altitudinal zonation can be
noticed depending on the
natural factors, the highest
density being in the
mountain area (0,5 - 0,8
km/km2), decreasing in the
Subcarpathians and reaching
0,3 km/km2 in the plain