124 terms



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stationary plume in the mantle, plate moves over creating a chain of islands only the last one is directly over the hotspot and active, all others are extinct, can be used to track plate motions, current locations - Hawaii and Iceland
an ecological region that has lost more than 70% of its original habitat
Two factors weigh heavily in identifying a hotspot:
high diversity of endemic species, and significant haitat impact and alteration from human activities
why are plants used in rating an area as a hotspot?
sice plants provide food and shelter for other species
In hotspot designations by world conservation agencies,
25 biodiversity hotspots, containing 44% of all plant species in roughly 1% of the planet's land area, were listed.
Islands are home to a lot of
endemic species because of their Separation from land, ragile because they are rarely exposed to outside influences, examples are Caribbean and the Philippines
Mountains are also a popular spot for
endemic species
moa and dodo are examples of
how fragile an endemic species is.
the world's "hottest of hot spots" are
Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands, the philippines, sundaland, the Atlantic Forest, and the Caribbean. These five hotspots have the most unique biodiversity and are at extreme risk of losing it without immediate and effective conservation
What steps are being made to conserve hotspots?
information is being collected, biological evaluations are being made in little-inderstood land, freshwater, and ocean ecosystems. Teams of international and regional biologists are performing hotspot assessments. Field station networks of all the world's main tropical areas are being set up to monitor biodiversity
What solutions are there to save hotspots?
exucating at a local and national level, Governmental policies and awareness programs, with improved business practices to protect against ongoing biodiversity lost, creating protected areas and conservation regions, and improving the administration of over 55 million acres of parks and protected ares in hotspots and wilderness areas are crucial to ensuring continued biodiversity. Stopping global climate change because of its effects on the range of species
Hotspot's plants and fungi may hold potential
cancer and emphysem keys to research.
in situ
When environmentalists make observations, take measurements directly, or collect samples
field sampling
When environmentalists make observations, take measurements directly, or collect samples
remote sensing
A method of collecting data or information through the use of instruments that are physically distant from the area or object of study.
when scientists want to study an area but do not want to disturb the environment what do they do?
remote sensing
Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer
ASTER, is a remote sensing instrument. data used to draw detailed maps of land surface temperature, reflectance, and elevation.
a satellite launched in 1999 as part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS)
NASA's Earth Observing System
The vertical range that contains the biosphere is roughly
_____ __ _______ is perhaps the most important factor that affects species.
Loss of habitat
Wetlands are the transitional areas between
land and marine areas
How are land-based ecosystems, known as biomes, classified?
rainfall and climate
is a complex community of plants' animals' and microorganisms linked by energy and nutrient flows that interact together and with their environment
An animal or plant with a specific relationship to its habitat or other species, filled by it alone, occupies an
ecological niche.
the biosphere includes the
hydrosphere, crust, and atmosphere. It is located above the deeper layers of the Earth
When the frequency of certain traits is narrowed from the original population, it causes a
bottleneck effect
When only a fraction of original genetic material and its diversity is represented in a new group, it is known as a
founder effect
A related mechanism of passive competition is
camouflage and mimicry
geochemical cycle
Movement of particular form of matter through the living/non-living parts of an ecosystem.
Conservation of Matter
a fundamental principle of classical physics that matter cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system, but recycled through natural cycles
residence time
the period of time spent in a particular place
Carbon dioxide, at about 5% of the atmosphere, has a residence time of
10 years
Oxygen at 20% of the atmospheric volume, has a residence time of
6,000 years
Sulfur Dioxide a very minor atmospheric player, has a residence time of
hours to weeks.
nitrogen , 75% of the total atmospheric gases has a residence time of
400 million years.
organic matter
is made up of carbon-containing material from living or nonliving material and includes the organic parts of soil
Habitats that serve to trap or otherwise remove chemicals such as plant nutrients, organic pollutants, or metal ions through natural processes. carbon exchanges take place
geological carbon cycle
carbon moves between rocks and minerals, seawater, and the atmosphere through weathering. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reacts with water and minerals to form calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate rock (limestone) is dissolved by rainwater through erosion and then carried to the oceans. There, it settles out of the ocean water, forming sedimentary layers on the sea floor. Then, through plate tectonics, these sediments are subducted underneath the continents. With the extreme heat and pressure deep beneath the Earth's surface, the limestone melts and reacts with other minerals, freeing carbon dioxide. This carbon returns to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide during volcanic eruptions, completing the carbon cycle.
the balance between weathering, subduction, and colcanism controls
atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over geological time.
Biological carbon cycle
-carbon flux...human activity...uses parts of the geological carbon cycle - fossil fuels
-dead things, that were once living(biology) go into geological carbon cycle
process by which plants and some other organisms use light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and high-energy carbohydrates such as sugars and starches, part of the biological carbon cycle
the metabolic processes whereby certain organisms obtain energy from organic moelcules, part of the biological carbon cycle
On this planet, nearly every living thing depends on the
creation of sugars and carbohydrates from photosynthesis and the metabolism (respiration) of those sugars to support biological growth and reproduction
The biological carbon cycle occurs when
plants absorb carbon dioxide and sunlight to make glucose and other sugars (carbohydrates) to build cellular structures
Yearly carbon levels taken up by photosynthesis and sent back to the atmosphere by respiration are ____ times higher than carbon transported through the geological cycle each year.
When photosynthesis is higher than respiration, organic matter gradually builds over millions of years and forms
coal and oil deposits.
calcium carbonate
a salt found in nature as chalk or calcite or aragonite or limestone
Carbon is stored in the following major storage reservoirs:
Organic molecules in living and ded organisms found in the biosphere, Atmospheric carbon dioxide, Organic matter in soils, Fossil fuels in the lithosphere, sedimentary rock (limestone, dolomite, and chalk), Dissolved atomspheric carbon dioxide in the oceans, In the calcium carbonate of marine creatures' shells
What percentage of dry weight are humans made up of
The carbon cycle
The carbon in CO2 is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis, then into animals by consuming organisms, and returned to the air as CO2 from respiration. Cellular carbon is returned to the soil through waste and dead organism decay.
How much Carbon is stored in the Atmosphere?
580 to 800 -Quantity (billions of metric tons)
How much Carbon is stored in the Organic(soil)?
1,500 to 1,600 -Quantity (billions of metric tons)
How much Carbon is stored in the Ocean?
38,000 to 40,000 -Quantity (billions of metric tons)
How much Carbon is stored in the Ocean sediments and sedimentary rocks?
66,000,000 to 100,000,000 -Quantity (billions of metric tons)
How much Carbon is stored in the Land plants?
540 to 610-Quantity (billions of metric tons)
How much Carbon is stored in the Fossil fuels?
4,000 -Quantity (billions of metric tons)
Atmospheric carbon
fossil fuels + land use changes - ocean uptake - unknown carbon deposit
calcium makes up roughly ___% of the earth
calcium silicate
Sodium silicate is the common name for a compound sodium metasilicate, Na2SiO3 Sodium carbonate and silicon dioxide react when molten to form sodium silicate and carbon dioxide
hard water
water that contains salts (as calcium and magnesium ions) that limit the formation of lather with soap
What benefits does hard water have?
In the aquatic environment, calcium and magnesium help keep fish from absorbing metals like lead, arsenic, and calcium into the bloodstream through their gills. Therefore, the harder the water, the less potential for toxic metals to be absorbed by fish. In seawater, calcium concentrations are 100 to 1,000 times higher than land levels, and even greater concentrations are found in deeper, colder waters with little circulation.
When calcium carbonate4 is used by marine inhaitants to build shells, it is called
the dividing line separating an area where calcium carbonate dissolves and accumulates
______ is take up by plant roots either directly from the soil or from groundwater.
Calcium, it is then stored in the leaves and woody plant parts until it decays, is burned, or is consumed by an animal.
During storms, large amounts of nitrogen are
oxidized by lightning and mixed with water. This falls and is converted into nitrates. Plants take up nitrates and form proteins.
What two ways is nitrogen pulled from the atmosphere?
by lighting or nitrogen-fixing bacteria
After these plants with nitrogen are eaten by consumers and the consumers die, nitrogen compounds are broken down into _____.
A small, very toxic molecule (NH3) produced by nitrogen fixation or as a metabolic waste product of protein and nucleic acid metabolism.
the oxidation of ammonium compounds in dead organic material into nitrates and nitrites by soil bacteria (making nitrogen available to plants)
nitrogen cycle
the transfer of nitrogen from the atmosphere to the soil, to living organisms, and back to the atmosphere
calcium cycle
cycle that is an important major builder of sedimentary rocks. Serves as structural element for skeleton building in organisms. Ca as a metal has no gaseous phase therefore atmospheric cycling is minimal, mainly through dust particles.
primary producers
An autotroph, usually a photosynthetic organism. Collectively, autotrophs make up the trophic level of an ecosystem that ultimately supports all other levels.
secondary producers
Heterotrophs; derive energy from consuming other organisms
food chain
series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
food web
network of complex interactions formed by the feeding relationships among the various organisms in an ecosystem
trophic level
step in the movement of energy through an ecosystem; an organism's feeding status in an ecosystem.
an organism that feeds on the dead bodies of other organisms.
organisms that feed on the detritus and decomposing organic material of living organisms
organisms that break down wastes and dead organisms and return raw materials to the environment
ecological pyramid
diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter within each trophic level in a food chain or food web
a multivalent nonmetallic element of the nitrogen family that occurs commonly in inorganic phosphate rocks and as organic phosphates in all living cells
an abundant tasteless odorless multivalent nonmetallic element
phosphorus cycle
The movement of phosphorus atoms from rocks through the biosphere and hydrosphere and back to rocks.
Sulfur cycle
The chemical and physical reactions by which sulfur moves into or out of storage and through the environment.
How does the phosphorus cycle start?
The phosphorus cycle starts when the mineral leaches from rocks over a long time period, that is then taken in producers, combined in organic molecules, and ultimately ingested by consumers
How does the phosphorus transition back into the environment?
Through the decomposition of the organic matter, the phosphorus washes into rivers and eventually makes its way to the sea where deep ocean sediments hold a significant amount of phosphorus.
Where is geological inorganic sulfur is found primarily in
rock and such minerals as iron disulfate (iron pyrite) or calcium sulfate (gypsum)
How does sulfer get into the air and water?
by weathering, gases from seafloor vents, and volcanism.
The sulfur cycle is affected by sulfur's many
oxidation states, such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), sulfur dioxide (SO2), sulfate ion (SO4-2), and elemental sulfur.
oxidation state
the condition of an atom expressed by the number of electrons that the atom needs to reach its elemental form
Sulfur dioxide and other sulfur-containing atmospheric gases cause
health problems, damage buildings and plants, and reduce atmospheric visibility
Besides geological cycling, what else can anchor sulfur or release it into the environment?
sulfur bacteria
sulfur bacteria
any of a diverse group of microorganisms capable of metabolizing sulfur and its compounds and important in the sulfur cycle in nature. Some of the common sulfur substances that are used by these bacteria as an energy source are hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and thiosulfate (S2O3-2) The final product of sulfur oxidation is sulfate (SO4/2-)
What is sulfur bacteria affected by?
pH, light, temperature, and oxygen concentrations
includes all the water in the atmosphere and on the Earth's surface.
The hydrologic cycle is
made up of all water movement and storage throughout the Earth's hydrosphere
What are the four parts of the hydrologic cycle?
condensation, precipitation, evaporation, and transpiration.
the process of changing from a gaseous to a liquid or solid state
the falling to earth of any form of water (rain or snow or hail or sleet or mist)
the process by which water changes from liquid form to an atmospheric gas
the passage of gases through fine tubes because of differences in pressure or temperature, the emission of water vapor from the leaves of plants
Water can take a variety of paths and time periods to get back into the atmosphere, some of these paths include the following:
absorption by plants, evaporation from the sun's heating, storage in the upper levels of soil, storage as groundwater deep in the Earth, Storage in glaciers and polar regions, storage or transport in springs, streams, rivers, and lakes, storage in the oceans.
When water is stored for any length of time
it resides in a water reservoir
loss of water from a land area through transpiration of plants and evaporation from the soil and surface water.
When does evapotranspiration occur most?
during times of high temperatures, wind, dry air, and sunshine.
What is the rate of evaporation from the oceans compared to inland water and plant transpiration?
4 for ocean and 1 for inland water and plant transpiration
How many billion gallons of water are estimated to cycle through evaporation?
What is dew an example of?
a shift of temperatures
When does condensation usually take place?
in the atmosphere when warm air rises and then cools and loses its ability to cling to water vapor, as a result extra water condenses to form cloud droplets.
Rainfall differences are affeted by a land's
An example of rainfall being affected by a land's topography is
mountain topography changes wind patterns, which change precipitation patterns. A rain shadow occurs when warm, moist air is forced to rise over high mountain passages, where it cools and condenses into rainfall. Dry air continues on over the mountain passages.
How much water does a typical 1-kilometer-thick cloud contains only enough water for roughly
1-millimeter of rainfall, whereas he amount of moisture in the atmosphere is usually 10 to 50 times greater.
When you see your breath in the winter, what is happening?
Transpiration, when exhaling carbon dioxide and used air, you also release water vapor and heat. Your warm, moist exhalation on a frosty winter morning becomes a small cloud of water vapor.
Transpiration from the leaves and stems of plants is also crucial to
the air-scrubbing capability of the hydrologic cycle.
Transpiration adds approxiamately what percentage of all evaporating water to the hydrologic cycle?
It is estimated that a healthy, growing plant transpires ____ times as much water volume as it can hold at one time.
5 to 10 , air-scrubbing while they do this
The residence time of oxygen in the atmosphere is
6,000 years
The change between total carbon released to the atmosphere and the total pulled back down governs whether
the land is a supplier or reservoir of atmospheric carbon.
The carbon cycle involves the
Earth's atmosphere, fossil fuels, oceans, soil, and plant life of terrestrial ecosystems
When elements move from one Earth storage from to another,
it is known as a geochemical cycle.
Residence time equals
the average amount of time a chemical element (e.g., carbon calcium, or phosphorus) spends in a geological reservoir or cycle.
Nitrogen (N2) makes up
79% of the atmosphere, and all life on Earth requires nitrogen-containing compounds (e.g., proteins) to survive
At the celluar level,
phosphorus is important in energy-transfer reaction