56 terms

environmental science3


Terms in this set (...)

tall, dense covering of trees in a tropical rain forest
plants that grow on other plants instead of in the soil
Aphotic Zone
an aquatic area where no photosynthesis takes place
the average temperature and precipitation over long periods
Benthic Zone
the very bottom of a body of water
Limnetic Zone
the area some distance from shore where there are no rooted plants
a group of ecosystems that share similar abiotic and biotic conditions
Flood Plain
the area nearest a river's course that is periodically overrun with water
a measurement of the amount of salts dissolved in water
Littoral Zone
the shallow near-shore portion of the photic zone
a deep, sleeplike period of dormancy during dry conditions
producing seed-bearing cones
10 primary biomes
tropical rain forest, dry forest savanna, desert, temperate rain forest, temperate forest, temperate grassland, chaparral, boreal forest, tundra
Gross Primary Production
the rate at which primary producers undergo photosynthesis
Net Primary Production
The amount of organic matter that remains after primary producers use some to carry out cellular respiration
net primary productivity
the rate at which primary producers convert energy to biomass
Tropical Rain Forest
-found in central america, south america, southeast asia, west africa, and other tropical regions
-year round warm temps; 12 hour days
-receive more rain than any other biome; 2 meters/year
-large, flat leaves are typical of understory plants as they allow maximum surface for light absorption
-support more animal species than any other biome
Tropical Dry Forest
-widespread in india, southern north america, central america, south america, and southeast asia
-wet and dry season each span about half a year
-warm year round but rainfall highly seasonal
-most trees are deciduous they lose their leaves and cease photosynthesis part of the year
-plants and animals exhibit adaptations that enable them to survive the dry season
-found across stretches of Africa, South America, Australia, India and other dry tropical regions
-Receives less precipitation than tropical dry forests, but more than deserts; usually has a distinct rainy season
-tree growth limited by frequent fires and strong winds
-plants are adapted to dry conditions; tend to be deciduous w deep roots, thick bark, and waxy coating on leaves
-Receives less than 25 cm of precipitation per year
- Temperatures vary widely from day to night
-plants tend to have thick, leathery leaves, store water in their tissues, and have shallow roots
-animals get most of their water from the food they eat
what is similar about the ecosystems that make up a biome
they share similar abiotic and biotic conditions
what biomes are found in southern africa
desert, savanna, and chaparral
which abiotic conditions exert the greatest influence on biome classification
temp and rainfall
what is the relationship between latitude and biomes located across earth
patches representing the same biome tend to occur at similar latitudes. this is due to the north-south gradient in temperature and to atmospheric circulation patterns
Emergent Layer
top layer of the rainforest canopy, made up of the tallest trees
the shorter trees and plants found in a tropical rain forest
a tree that loses its leaves and stop photosynthesis during part of the year
permanently frozen soil
Temperate Rain Forest
-heavy rainfall and year round moderate temperatures
- found in Pacific Northwest of the U.S., south america, and asia
-has many coniferous trees
-can produce large volumes of commercially important forest products
-abundance of rainfall and tall trees cause the forest interior to be shaded and damp
Temperate Forest
-cover most of Europe, Eastern Asia, and the eastern U.S.
-seasonal loss of leaves enables plants to avoid damage during harsh winter freezes
-precipitation is spread relatively evenly throughout the year; large range of temperatures throughout the seasons
difference between estivation and hibernation
the type of condition that triggers the period of inactivity; lack of water for estivation, and cold for hibernation
temperate grassland
-periodic fires and droughts are common
-used to cover most of the central and midwestern U.S.
-found around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe and Africa; along the coasts of California, Chile, southern Australia, and southern Africa
-most plants have thick waxy leaves that help prevent water loss during the lengthy dry season. some have hairs on their leaves to collect moisture
-plant species are adapted to live with, or resist, fire
Boreal Forest
-stretches along Canada, Alaska, Russia and Scandinavia
-develop in cooler drier regions
-long cold winter and short cool summers
-occurs at very high latitudes along the northern edges of alaska, canada, scandinavia, and russia
-extremely cold dark winters and moderately cool bright summers
underground soil remains frozen year round
Polar Ice
-extend from tundra to the poles
-soil here has very little organic content since it is permanently covered in ice
-not considered a biome
-covers the north and south poles of earth
as altitude increase, vegetation changes in ways similar to the ways it changes as one moves toward the poles
identify three factors that characterize aquatic systems
water salinity, depth, and whether the water is moving or standing
why does there tend to be more organisms in the photic zone than in the aphotic zone
photic zone reaches sunlight
standing freshwater ecosystems include ______. Flowing freshwater ecosystems include _______.
ponds, lakes, inland seas, and wetlands; rivers and streams
salinity of freshwater ecosystems
less than .5 ppt
ecological importance of wetlands
help prevent flooding by absorbing excess water, recharge aquifers and filter pollutants and sediment
freshwater marshes
shallow-water wetland typified by tall, grasslike plants
shallow water rich in vegetation w woody shrubs and trees
bogs and fens
bogs are wetlands characterized by low nutrients, acidic water, and thick floating mats of vegetation. fens are similar but are connected to a source of groundwater. tend to be less acidic and more nutrient rich
explain why a freshwater fish cannot survive in salt water
a freshwater fish placed in salt water would die from water loss. a saltwater fish moved to fresh water would swell and die
area of land flooded w water at least part of the year
why are flood plain soils particularly fertile
frequent deposition of silt from flooding makes flood plain soils especially fertile
salt marshes
grassy ecosystems that are regularly flooded by bordering bodies of water. boast very high primary productivity and provide critical habitat for species. they also filter out pollution and stabilize shorelines against storm surges
mangrove forests
specialized trees and shrubs w roots that curve upward, out of the ground, to attain oxygen lacking in the mud or that curve downward like stilts to support the tree in changing water levels.
ecological importance of estuaries
salt marshes and mangrove forests help prevent soil erosion and flooding. also act as a protective barrier between the sea and land
describe how salinity and temperature have an effect on water density
water density increases as salinity rises and as temperature falls
why are upwellings important to ocean ecosystems
downwelling transports warm water rich in dissolved gases from the surface into the ocean depths
intertidal ecosystems
spread between the uppermost reach of the high tide and the lowest limit of the low tide
neritic ecosystems
extends out from the low tide mark to the edge of the continental shelf. continental shelves underlie the shallow waters bordering the continents. the neritic zone is entirely sunlit, enabling great productivity
open ocean ecosystems
begins at the edge of the continental shelf. contains over 90% of earths ocean water