Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

Greenhouse Gases

methane, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.

Traps heat by absorbing and releasing energy that warms the earth's temperature


Consists of the stratosphere (global sunscreen) and the troposphere (air we breathe and where weather occurs). It is the spherical envelope of gases surrounding earth's surface


contains all of the water on or near the earth's surface... ice, water vapor, and liquid water


Mathematical and other models, computer simulations

Laboratory Research

Simplified model ecosystems

Field Research

collecting data outside by scientists, uses sensing devices and GIS

How do scientists study ecosystems?

models, lab research, and field research

Sulfur Cycle

Sulfur stored in rocks and minerals

Phosphorus Cycle

does not cycle through the atmosphere
obtained from terrestrial rock formations and ocean bottom sediments

biologically important for producers and consumers

Nitrogen Cycle

Nitrogen fixation, nitrification, ammonification, and denitrification

Carbon Cycle

building block of life on earth

major cycle processes: aerobic respiration, photosynthesis, fossil fuel combustion and deforestation

Hydrologic Cycle

powered by the sun
collects, purifies, and distributes water on our planet
evaporation, precipitation, transpiration

Biogeochemical Cycles

nutrients that continually move through air, water, soil, and living things in cycles within ecosystems


temporary STORAGE SITES where nutrients accumulate and remain for an extended amount of time

Net Primary Productivity (NPP)

The rate at which producers use photosynthesis to produce and store chemical energy minus the rate at which they store chemical energy through aerobic respiration... it measures how fast producers can produce and store chemical energy that other consumers need.

Gross Primary Productivity (GPP)

rate at which producers convert solar energy into chemical energy


organic matter used as a fuel... the total quantity or weight of organisms in a given area/volume

pyramid of energy flow model

assumes that 90% energy loss occurs with each transfer for a simple food chain

food web

culmination of food chains... more complex

food chain

sequence of organisms, each of which serves as a source of food or energy for the next


invisible organisms that can either be bad (cause disease) or good (purify water, used in food, breakdown food, etc.)

bacteria, fungi, protozoa, phytoplankton


release nutrients from the dead bodies of plants and animals... bacteria and fungi


feed on the waste or dead bodies of organisms



water, air, nutrients, solar energy, rocks, heat, etc.


living... biological components

plants, animals, microbes, etc.


auto-trophs- feed themselves

make the nutrients they need from the compounds and energy in their environment... plants and algeas use sunlight and produce glucose


hetero-trophs (don't make their own food)
secondary- carnivores
tertiary- higher meat-eaters


the study of how organisms interact with one another and their nonliving environment


how earth remains compact... enables nutrient cycling

nutrient cycling

circular recycling of nutrients throughout the earth

What are the three factors that sustain life on earth?

1. one-way flow of energy from the sun to living things

2. cycling of matter through different parts of the biosphere

3. Gravity


contains parts of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.

very thin layer of intersection


consists of earth's mantle, crust, core, and outer crust.

crust contains non-renewable resources like fossil fuels

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording