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acid rain

rain containing acids that form in the atmosphere when industrial gas emissions (especially sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) combine with water

aquatic biomes

fresh water and marine water, biomes found in water

aphotic zone

deeper water that never receives sunlight

arid

extremely dry

benthos

organisms that live on the bottom of the ocean or other body of water

biomes

a broad, regional type of ecosystem characterized by distinctive climate and soil conditions and a distinctive kind of biological community adapted to those conditions.

biosphere

the regions of the surface and atmosphere of the Earth (or other planet) where living organisms exist

clear-cutting

The total (or near total) removal of trees from a given forested area. The opposite of selective cutting.

cold desert

desert that occurs where land at high altitudes is surrounded by mountains

coniferous forest

forest populated by cone-bearing evergreen trees; mostly found in northern latitudes

conservation

the preservation and careful management of the environment and of natural resources

deciduous forest

A biome with four seasons, plants shed leaves in the fall and grow new ones in the spring.

deforestation

the removal of trees

desert

a dry area where few plants grow

estuary

wetlands formed where rivers meet the ocean

glacial lake

glaciers may leave behind large lakes in long basins

grassland

land where grass or grasslike vegetation grows and is the dominant form of plant life

groundwater

water that fills the cracks and spaces in underground soil and rock layers

ozone

a form of oxygen that has three oxygen atoms in each molecule instead of two. protects us from dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun

permafrost

ground that is permanently frozen

photic zone

Portion of the marine biome that is shallow enough for sunlight to penetrate.

rainforest

a forest with heavy annual rainfall

semi-arid

having little rainfall and warm temperature

surface runoff

water that flows over land until it reaches lakes, rivers, or other areas

taiga

biome in which the winters are cold but summers are mild enough to allow the ground to thaw

terrestrial biomes

biomes found on land

tundra

a vast treeless plain in the arctic regions between the ice cap and the tree line

wetlands

Ecosystems of several types in which vegetation is surrounded by stand water during part of the year

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