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29 terms

Chapter 5 vocabulary

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barrier islands
low, narrow, sandy islands that form offshore from a coastline.
benthic
The bottom of a sea or lake
biomes
a broad, regional type of ecosystem characterized by distinctive climate and soil conditions and a distinctive kind of biological community adapted to those conditions.
bogs
an area of waterlogged soil that tends to be peaty; fed mainly by precipitation; low productivity; some bogs are acidic.
boreal forest
A broad band of mixed coniferous and deciduous trees that stretches across northern North America (and also Europe and Asia); its northernmost edfe, the taiga, intergrades with the artic tundra
chaparral
Thick, dense, thorny evergreen shrub found in Mediterranean climates
cloud forest
High mountain forests where temperatures are uniformly cool and fog or mist keeps vegetation wet all the time
conifer
Needle-bearing tree that produce seeds in cones
coral reefs
Prominent oceanic features composed of hard, limy skeletons produced by coral animals; usually formed along edges of shallow, submerged ocean banks or along shelves in warm, shallow, tropical seas
deciduous
Trees and shrubs that shed their leaves at the end of the growing season
deserts
a type of biome characterized by low moisture levels and infrequent and unpredictable precipitation. Daily and seasonal temperatures fluctuate widely.
estuaries
a bay or drowned valley where a river empties into the sea
fens
areas of waterlogged soil that tend to be peaty; fed mainly by upwelling water; low productivity
grasslands
A biome dominated by grasses and associated herbaceous plants
mangroves
Trees from a number of genera that live in salt water
marshes
wetlands without trees; in North America, this type of land is characterized by cattails and rushes
pelagic
Zones in the vertical water column of a water body
phytoplankton
Microscopic, free-floating, autotrophic organisms that function as producers in aquatic ecosystems
reefs
Consist of colonies of minute, colonial animals that live symbiotically with photosynthetic algae
southern pine forests
United States coniferous forest ecosystem characterized by a warm, moist climate
swamps
wetland with trees, such as the extensive swamp forests of the southern U.S.
taiga
The northernmost edge of the boreal forest, including species-poor woodland and peat deposits; intergrading with the arctic tundra
temperate rainforest
The cool, dense, rainy forests of the northern Pacific coast; enshrouded in fog much of the time; dominated by large conifers
thermocline
In water, a distinctive temperature transition zone that separates an upper layer that is mixed by wind (the epilimnion) and a colder, deep layer that is not mixed (the hypolimnion)
thorn scrub
a dry, semi-desert dominated by acacias and other spiny shrubs
tropical rainforest
Forests in which rainfall is abundant - more that 200 cm (80 in) per year - and temperatures are warm or hot year-round
tropical seasonal forests
semievergreen or partly deciduous forests tending toward open woodlands and grassy savannas dotted with scattered, drought-resistant tree species; distinct wet and dry seasons, hot year-round
tundra
Treeless arctic or alpine biome characterized by cold, harsh winters, a short growing season, and potential for frost any month of the year; vegetation includes low-growing perennial plants, mosses and lichens
wetlands
Ecosystems of several types in which vegetation is surrounded by stand water during part of the year