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Science Olympiad Ecology 2017 Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

Used during Test

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Invasive, Endemic and Indicator Species

An invasive species is a species which is not native to the ecosystem and causes harm to that ecosystem. An endemic species is a species whose habitat is restricted to a particular area or space on the globe. An indicator species is sensitive to slight enviro­nmental changes and therefore serves as an early warning indicator for things such as global warming or chemical changes.

Effects of Acid Rain

Burn skin of earthworm and increases soils acidity (lowers the pH)
Damages the waxy coating that protects leaves from infection and affects plants roots ability to absorb nutrients
Makes bodies of water more acidic (lowers pH)
Aquatic Animals
Dissolve the shells of shellfish

Soil Types

Sandy Soil
Large sand particles, permit root growth and air pockets, permit water to drain away quickly, carrying essential nutrients, away from roots, less fertile than loam soil
Loam Soil
Has rock particles, has pockets that hold air o water, lots of humus, drains well without drying out, most fertile soil
Clay Soil
Small particles packed tightly together, plant roots do not grow well, block root growth, and trap water, making soil wet, least fertile soil (Houston)

Expone­ntial Growth Formula

Formula: P(t) = P(init­ial)e(rt)
P(t) = Population at time
P(i)= Initial Population
r=rate of increase (or r max)
e = expone­ntial growth

Species Diversity Levels

Within Habitat
Between commun­ities
In a region

Logistic Growth Formula

dN/dt = The population at certain times
r max = Maximum growth rate
N = Logistic Growth
K = carrying capacity


Densit­y-d­epe­ndent Limiting Factors
Limiting factors that operate more strongly on large popula­tions than on small ones
Tertiary Consumer
An organism that eats secondary consumers
Beneficial to one species but neutral to another
amount of energy transf­erred from one trophic level to another
uniform species distri­bution.
indivi­duals are equally spaced apart a seen with allelo­pathy
covert life table
recording the death of a group of indivi­duals born at relatively same time
Type 1 Graphs
organisms have lower mortality rates at low ages which gradually increase with age (humans)
Type 2 Graphs
organisms that have mortality rates that stay the same throughout life (birds lizards)
Type 3 Graphs
organisms that have the largest mortality rates at birth (fish, oysters frogs)
Expone­ntial Growth Rate
occurs when the growth rate remains the same while the population grows. it creates a j shaped curve

Cellular Respir­ation

Cellular respir­ation is a process in which the plant uses the stored energy (sugar) and O2 produced in photos­ynt­hesis and it converts and releases it as CO2, H2O and energy. The plant is able to use this released energy for cellular functions such as; movement, growth and reprod­uction. The formula for this equation is C6H12O6+O2 in to CO2, H2O and energy. Both plans and animals undergo cellular respir­ation.

Ex-situ and In-situ Conser­vation

This conser­vation method is when we remove the species from their natural habitat. This method is used when a species habitat is threatened or no longer exists or if the existing population is extremely small.
This conser­vation method is focused on conserving the species in their natural habitat

Pyramid of Energy

Energy loss and transfer between trophic levels. Species in the highest trophic levels have less energy available to them than the species near the bottom.Energy pyramids begin with producers on the bottom (such as plants) and proceed through the various trophic levels (such as herbivores that eat plants, then carnivores that eat herbiv­ores, then carnivores that eat those carniv­ores, and so on). The highest level is the top of the food chain

Keystone Species

A keystone species is a species that when added or removed from an ecosystem leads to major changes in abundance or occurrence of at least one other species.

Protecting Endangered Species

The plans to protect endangered species involves:
>Go­ver­nments, industries and commun­ities working together
>Id­ent­ifying the specific causes of the problem
>De­vel­oping specific plans to fix the problems
>Mo­nit­oring conditions to check that the actions taken are working


birth rate
Type of symbiotic relati­onship in which one species benefits and the other is harmed (tick)
Steady State
Final stage in logistic growth in which birth rate = death rate
maintain constant body temper­ature
body temper­ature fluctuates based on outside conditions
cohert life table
recording the death of a group of indivi­duals born at relatively same time
static life table
recording the age of death of a group of indivi­duals. assuming they have experi­enced the same events
interf­erence compet­ition
organism fight physically for resources
exploi­tation compet­ition
organisms consume scarce resources
recourse partit­ioning
organisms split the recourse to avoid compet­ition
one organism is damaged or killed and the other is infected usually caused yb chemical secretion