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AP Biology Unit 6: Ecology and Animal Behavior Cheat Sheet by

Ch 51: Animal Behavior; Ch 52: Ecology and the Biosphere; Ch 53: Population Ecology; Ch 54: Community Ecology; Ch 55: Ecosystems; Ch 56: Conservation Biology & Restoration Ecology

Population Ecology

biotic­/ab­iotic factorsresponse: acclimate, regulate, conform, migrate, torpor, etc.
fundam­ental niche=­range of factor­s/r­eso­urces a species could use
realized niche=­actual use of potential enviro­nment
uniform disper­sio­n=e­venly spaced
random disper­sio­n=u­npr­edi­ctable spacing
clumped disper­sio­n=a­ggr­egate in patches

Logistic Growth

K-sele­cti­on=­sen­sitive to population density
r-sele­cti­on=­max­imizes r (repro­ductive rate)
density indepe­ndent= pop. density does not affect birth/­death rate
density dependent= pop. densitybirth rate/death rate

Species Richness and Diversity

species richness
# of different species in a community
species diversity
# & size of each population in a community
relative abundance
proportion of different species in a community
dominant species
most abundant species w/ highest biomass
keystone species
has pivotal ecological role/niche

Inters­pecific Intera­ctions

Compet­itive Exclusion Principle
2 species can't survive in the same ecological niche; fundam­ent­al≠­rea­lized
+/-; adaptions: crypti­c/a­pos­ematic colora­tion, Batesi­an/­Mül­lerian mimicry
-paras­itism: +/-, endo & ecto
-mutualism: +/+, obligate vs facultative
-commensalism: +/0 intera­ction

Community Distur­bance

primary succession
coloni­zation by pioneer organisms (bacte­ria­/al­gae­/li­che­ns/­moss) in a virtually lifeless area to form soil
secondary succession
coloni­zation of an area where the existing community was cleared but soil is intact


loss of respon­siv­eness to stimuli w/no new info
formation of permanent long-l­asting response to an individual during sensitive period
landmarks, cognitive maps
classi­cal­/op­erant condit­ioning
awareness, reasoning, judgmentproblem solving

Social Behavior

behavior done as a group
aggressive behavior
dominance hierar­chies
dictate social position of an animal in a culture
behavior to defend an area from others
indivi­dual's reprod­uctive fitness, fitness of colony

Chemical Cycles

evapor­ation, conden­sation, precip­ita­tion, runoff­/tr­ans­pir­ation
photos­ynt­hesis & respir­ation, burning fossil fuels
fixation: free nitrogenNH₄+
nitrification: NH₄+nitrites/ates
denitrification: nitratesN₂
decomposition: organic matterammonia

Animal Behavior

Proximate Cause
how a behavior occurs/is modified
Ultimate Cause
why behavior occurs in context of natural selection
Fixed Action Pattern
highly stereo­typic behavior that is unchan­geable and carried to completion
Sign Stimulus
external cue that triggers FAP
exchanged within a specie­s=r­eleaser
visual (waggle dance), chemical (phero­mones), tactile, & auditory (birdsong)
Kinesis & Taxis
change in activity in response to stimulus; oriented movement toward­/away from stimulus

Ecosystem Energy Flow

bottom-up model: influence from lowhigh
top-down (trophic cascade) model: influence from highlow
biological magnif­ica­tion:trophic level=accumu­lated toxin concen­tration


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