39 terms

Ch 18: Ecology and the Biosphere

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Ecology
scientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environments
biotic factors
all of the living organisms in an area
abiotic factors
chemical and physical factors, such as temperature, light, water, minerals, and air
habitat
specific environment an organism lives in and includes both its biotic and abiotic factors
organism
individual living thing
population
groups of individuals of the same species living in a specific area at a specific time
community
all the organisms that live in a particular area
ecosystem
all the abiotic factors in addition to the community of species in a certain area
biosphere
all of life and where it lives
nitrogen cycle
A cycle of matter in which nitrogen atoms move from nitrogen gas in the atmosphere to inorganic forms in the soil, to organic forms in living things, and then back to inorganic forms in the soil and nitrogen gas in the atmosphere
phosphorus cycle
phosphorus is stored in rock. Rain breaks up rock into soil then plants absorb the phosphorus through roots then animals eat the plants. Returned by decomposition then soil is returned back to rock.
acclimation
a gradual reversible physiological adjustment to an environmental change
biome
major terrestrial or aquatic life zone
photic zone
light is available for photosynthesis
aphotic zone
deeper water away from shore
benthic zone
bottom of all aquatic ecosystems
phytoplankton
photosynthetic bacteria
wetland
transitional biome between an aquatic ecosystem and a terrestrial one
pelagic realm
all of the open water in the ocean
zooplankton
free-floating animals many microscopic
coral reef
photic zone of warm tropical waters dominated by a variety of interesting fish and crustaceans
intertidal zone
where the ocean meets the land
estuaries
transition areas between a river and the ocean
tropics
near the equator
temperate zone
milder climates than the tropics and poles
tropical rainforests
savannas
deserts
chaparral
temperate grassland
temperate broadleaf forest
coniferous (boreal) forest
temperate rain forest
tundra
permafrost
permanently frozen subsoil
sustainability
developing, managing, and conserving Earth's resources in ways that meet the needs of people today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
greenhouse gases
carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane
greenhouse effect
Natural situation in which heat is retained in Earth's atmosphere by carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and other gases
carbon footprint
the amount of greenhouse gas emitted as the result of the action of a single individual

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