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Level 4

Chapter 4

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Biological diversity
the variety of the earth's species, or varying life-forms, the genes they contain, the ecosystems in which they live, and the ecosystem processes of energy flow and nutrient cycling that sustain all life
a set of individuals that can mate and produce fertile offspring
Biological Evolution
the process whereby earth's life chnages over time through changes in the genetic characteristics of popilation
Theory of evolution
All species descebded from earliuer, ancestral species
large regions such as forests, deserts, and grasslands with distinct climetes and certain species adapted to them
any heritable trait that improves the ability of an individual organism to survive and to reproduce at a higher rate that other undividuals in a population are able to do under prevailing envionemntal conditions
Differential reproduction
enables individuals with the trait to produce more surviving offspring than other members of the population produce
mineralized or petrified replicas of skeletons, bones, teeth, shells , leaves , and seeds, or impressions of such items found in rocks
Random changes in DNA molecules
One species splits into two or more species
Geographic Isolation
different groups of the same population of a species become physically isolated from one another for a long period of time.
Reproductive Isolation
Mutation and change by natural selection operate independently in the pools of geopraphically isolated populations.
Process where a species dies out
Endemic Species
Species that are found in one area and are vulnerable to extinction
Background Extinction
Species that are going extinct at a slow rate
Species diversity
The number of different species an ecosystem contains combined with the relative abundance of individuals within each of those species
Ecological niche
It is a species’ way of life in a community and includes everything that affects its survival and reproduction, such as how much water and sunlight it needs, how much space it requires, and the temperatures it can tolerate.
Generalist species
Species with broad niches
Specialist species
Species with narrow niches
Native species
Species that normally live and thrive in a particular ecosystem.
Nonnative species
Species that migrate into or are deliberately or accidentally introduced into an ecosystem
Indicator species
Species that provide early warnings of damage to a community or an ecosystem
Keystone species
Species that have a large effect on the types and abundances of other species in an ecosystem
Foundation species
Species that play a major role in shaping communities by creating and enhancing their habitats in ways that benefit other species.