33 terms

EES- Miller (Chapter 3)

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