303 MIDTERM Review

55 terms by eloch 

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photosynthesis

process by which plants use the sun's energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars

law of 10%

only 10% of the energy gets passed on to the next trophic level in a food chain

observation

the process of obtaining information using the senses; fact

inference

an explanation for an observation

hypothesis

a testable explanation for an observation

independent variable

the variable that you are changing/manipulating

dependent variable

the variable that is measured in an experiment; changes due to the independent varable

control group

in an experiment, the standard that is used for comparison; usually the group that you keep normal

constants

the factors that remain the same in an experiment (ex. time, amount of water, etc.)

abiotic factors

nonliving things found in the environment

biotic factors

living things found in the environment

natural selection

"reproduction of the fittest;" process where the individuals best suited for the environment survive, reproduce, and pass along their superior genes

organism

a living thing

pesticide resistance

when a species is no longer affected by the pesticide; happens due to natural selection

food web

diagram that shows all of the feeding relationships between organisms in an ecosystem

food chain

a linear path that shows the flow of energy from one organism to another

carnivore

consumer that only eats meat

herbivore

consumer that only eats plants

omnivore

consumer that eats meat and plants

consumer

organism that gets its energy by eating another organism

producer

organism that makes its own energy (usually by photosynthesis)

trophic level

step on food chain/pyramid where organism eats

cellular respiration

process by which organisms get energy from food (opposite of photosynthesis)

Erosion

removal of soil by water, wind, or plowing

topsoil

upper layer of soil containing a large portion of organic matter and nutrients

persistent pesticide

a pesticide that doesn't break down easily and remains in the ecosystem for a long time

desertification

loss of topsoil that makes land no longer fertile

integrated pest management

aims to reduce pests with minimal environmental damage

fertile

land that is able to grow crops

GMO

genetically modified organism; takes a favorable trait from one organism and puts it into another organism in order to make it better

no-till farming

does not overturn soil and plants seeds directly in last years cover crop; causes less erosion

agriculture

production of crops and livestock by farming

pest

any living organism that is found where it is not wanted and is causing damage

pesticide

something that kills a pest

biological pesticide

a living organism that can be used to get rid of a pest

point source pollution

pollution that comes from one source that you can point to

nonpoint source pollution

pollution that comes from multiple sources so the source can't be identified

impervious surfaces

surface, such as a parking lot, street, or sidewalk that won't allow water to absorb into the ground

watershed

area of land that drains to one place

genetic pollution

when an invasive species takes over in an area so that the native species can no longer live

thermal pollution

water that gets heated up when it is used during the cooling process at a powerplant

runoff

rain that doesn't percolate into the ground, but instead flows to a body of water

percolation

water that gets absorbed into the soil and travels down to the aquifer

evaporation

liquid water that gets heated up and becomes water vapor

condensation

when water vapor comes together to become clouds

transpiration

water that travels through plants and evaporates out of their leaves

surface water

water that's on the surface; rivers, lakes, ocean

aquifer

rock formation under the ground that stores water

reservoir

a man-made lake created when a dam is put on a river

eutrophication

an algal bloom; created when nitrogen and phosphorus are added to the water

macroinvertebrate

a small aquatic organism that is large enough to see without a microscope and doesn't have a backbone

desalination

when salt is taken out of saltwater to create freshwater

indicator species

organisms that tell you about the health of the ecosystem

wastewater

water that comes from sinks, toilets, showers, storm drains

sludge

the solids that sink to the bottom during wastewater treatment

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