Biology 1260

The portion of the earth and its atmosphere that can support life.
Enironmental Science
A mixture of traditional science, personal and societal values, and political awareness.
A system of interdepedent living and nonliving components and their interactions in a given area, over a given period.
Biotic factors
All the living things or their materials that directly or indirectly affect an organism in its environment. Organisms, their presence, parts, interaction, and waste. Disease, parasites.
Abiotic factors
Non-living physical and chemical factors which affect the ability of organisms to survive and reproduce. Light temperature, pH, DO, pollutants.
Sierra Club
Environmental activists group established in 1892.
Can be renewable, nonrenewable, or perpetual. A commodity that is valueable in its relatively natural form.
Nonrenewable resource
a natural resource that cannot be re-made, re-grown or regenerated on a scale comparitive to its consumption. Such as fossil fuels, petroleum, or natural gas.
an attempt to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural environments both now and into the indefinite future
Renewable resource
is any natural resource that is depleted at a rate slower than the rate at which it regenerates, or a natural resource that is depleted at such a rate that it is unlikely to be depleted in the conceivable future. A
A social movement dedicated to protecting the natural world from undesirable changes brought about by certain human choices
the major driving force of adaptation in environmental changes/ changes in a population’s makeup through successive generations
any group of potentially interbreeding organisms of the same species occupying a certain area
Principal mechanism (in relation to evolution)
natural selection
Natural selection
The complex process by which the totality of environmental factors determines the non-random and differential reproduction of genetically different organisms. It is viewed as the force which directs the course of evolution by preserving those variants or traits best adapted to survive.
random changes in gene pool
non-randomly keeps what contributes to survival and production of offspring and eliminates what doesn’t work
Four principles of natural selection
genetic variation
overproduction of offspring
struggle for existence
differential reproduction
Example of natural selection
Finches of galapagos
insecticide resistant insects
antibiotic resistant bacteria
Stabilizing selection
favors intermediate variants and occurs in relatively stable environments (middle course)
Directional selection
shifts the overall makeup of a population by acting against individuals at one of the phenotypic extremes (left or right)
Diversifying selection
occurs when environmental conditions are varied in a way that favors individuals at both extremes of a phenotypic range (two peaks)
Why can’t natural selection fashion a perfect organism?
organisms are locked into historical constraints
has to be in gene pool
adaptations are often compromised
not all evolution is adaptive
selection can only edit existing variations
Gene pool
A total collection of genes in a population at any one time
The relative frequencies of alleles (from the gene pool) in a population change over a number of generations
Examples of microevolution
dark and light colored moths
sicle cell anemia
antibiotic resistance
Speciation-The process by which one species becomes two.
Necessities for Macroevolution
geographic isolation and reproductive isolation
Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium
The principle that states that no matter how many times alleles are segregated into different games by meiosis and united in different combinations by fertilization, the frequency of each allele in the gene pool will remain constant unless acted on by other agents
Five conditions of Hardy-Weinberg
large population
no migration
no mutations
random mating
no natural selection
interactions between two species over a long period of time can actually cause microevolution of each species
Role of certain species in an ecosystem that represents the adaptive traits that a species has acquired through evolution
(different from habitat-habitat is just a physical location)
Fundamental niche
the full potential range of physical, chemical, and biological conditions and resouces a species could use if there was no direct competition from other species
Realized niche
the part of the fundamental niche that a species actually occupies
Generalist species
broad niches
Generalist species
broad niches
Specialist species
narrow niches
Artificial selection
humans select desirable traits in a population and use selective breeding to end up with populations containing large number of individuals with those traits
the total variety of genetic strains, species and ecosystems which change with evolution
a place where a species lives and grows
A photosynthetic green plant or chemosynthetic bacterium, constituting the first trophic level in a food chain; an autotrophic organism
Primary consumer
(in the food chain) an animal that feeds on plants; a herbivore
Secondary consumers
in the food chain) a carnivore that feeds only upon herbivores
tertiary consumers
a carnivore at the topmost level in a food chain that feeds on other carnivores; an animal that feeds only on secondary consumers.
Large areas made up of many ecosystems with similar vegetation and climate
Temperate deciduous forest
Areas with moderate average temps, distinct seasons, abundant precipitation. Find hickory, oak, poplar and sycamore with thick leaf litter.
a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment
Limiting factor
any process (production,decomposition,energy flow)that approaches or exceeds the limits of tolerance
can be too little or too much
Range of tolerance
the capacity of certain processes within an ecosystem that will be sustainable to life
carrying capacity
the maximum range of life that can be sustained by an ecosystem
the total weight of all organic matter in a food chain or web
ecological efficiency
percentage of useable energy transferred
Nutrient cycles
all the nutrients organisms need continuously cycled from the nonliving environment to living organisms
ex: carbon,nitrogen,phosphorous,sulfur, and hydrologic
Carbon cycle
carbon from biomass and lithosphere is transferred into the atmosphere through photosynthesis decomposition and respiration then returned through diffusion
saltwater/marine aquatic ecosystems
estuaries, coastlines,coral reefs, coastal marshes,mangrove swamps, and oceans
covers 71% of earth surface
freshwater aquatic ecosystem
lakes, ponds, streams,rivers, adn inland wetlands
phytoplankton and zooplankton
turtles, fish, whales
barnacles, oysters, worms, crabs
euphotic zone
upper layer of aquatic life zone through which light can penetrate( sometimes called photic zone)
Disphotic zone
twilight zone of aqautic life
Aphotic zone
no light in aquatic life zone
Ocean zonation
Lake zonation
littoral (most productive)
profundal (compare to bathyl)
one of three lentic (standing) freshwater
pretty but no diversity or nutrients
one of three lentic (standing) freshwater
middle diversity and nutrients
one of three lentic (standing) freshwater
most diverse
standing freshwater such as lakes, ponds, inland wetlands
can be oligotrophic, mesotropihc, or eutrophic
flowing such as streams and rivers
measured by dimensions (logitudinal, lateral, vertcal, time)
the area of land that catches rain and snow and drains or seeps into a marsh, stream, river, lake or groundwater
Watershed Protection Approach
a strategy for effectively protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems and protecting human health
working to solve problems at the watershed level
Two Local Watersheds
Upper Chattahoochee and Upper Etowah
nonconsumptive water use
recreational use or power generation
consumptive water use
agricultural uses and all groundwater withdrawals
Surface water
surface runoff-precipitation that does not infiltrate the ground or return to the atmosphere
precipitation that infiltrates the ground and percolates downward through voids in soil and rock
Zone of saturation
areas where voids are completely full of water
water table
top of the zone of saturation which falls in dry weather and rises in wet weather
porous, water-saturated layers of sand, gravel, or bedrock through which groundwater flows
natural recharge
how aquifers are replenished naturally by precipitation
Types of water pollution
organic waster,disease-causing wastes, plant nutrients,toxic substances,persistent substances, sediments, radioactive substances, and heat
biological oxygen demand
measure of the amount of oxygen needed to decompose organic matter
disease-causing wastes in water
bacteria such as cholera,typhoid fever, and dysentery
viruses such as Hepatitis (A,E,F)
protists such as dysentery and giardiasis
sediments (water pollution)
by weight most abundant water pollutant, contains nutrients, and affects aquatic life more than humans
(smothers fish eggs, prevents light, contaminates habitats-PAHs)
plant nutrients (water pollution)
algal and plant growth limited by nitrogen and phosphorus
nitrate in drinking water pose health threats
toxic substances(water pollution)
organic-oils, gasoline, greases, solvents,cleaning agents, biocides,synthetics

inorganic-acids from mines,salt from roads, metals from industry

persistent substances(water pollution)
(higher trophic levels are worse off)
plastic products
radioactive substances(water pollution)
from mining and processing radioactive materials
nuclear accidents
production and testing of weapons
use of cooling water in power plants
heat(water pollution)
causes shifts in structure of biotic communities
water is used for cooling purposes and returned
(hot water holds less oxygen)
Solutions to water depletion
increase supply,reduce demand,managing water resources
“dry scene”-landscaping with slow growing,drought tolerant plants to conserve water and reduce yard trimmings
Invasive species
Species that are not native to a given ecosystem and whose introduction to that ecosystem caues or is likely to casue economic or environmental harm or harm to human health
Exotic plant
an alien,foreign, or non-native introduced species that occurs in locations beyond its natural range
Solid waste
any unwanted or discarded material that is not liquid or gas
Hazardous waste
any discarded solid or liquid material that meets one or more of four criteria:
contains one or more of 39 toxins
corrosive to metal containers