165 terms

AP Environmental Science Exam Review Flashcards

AP Environmental Science- important, relevant terms from the 12 units of APES.
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Anthropocentric
regarding humans as most significant species; human-centered
Tragedy of the Commons
the depletion of shared resources by people acting in individual interest
Triple Bottom Line
approach to sustainability that meets environmental, economic, and social goals (business)
Inorganic Compounds
compounds that lack carbon and hydrogen atoms
Organic Compounds
compounds that contain carbon-based molecules
Positive Feedback Loop
when the response to a stimulus increases the original stimulus
Negative Feedback Loop
when the response to a stimulus decreases the effect of the original stimulus
Overshoot
when a population exceeds the long term carrying capacity for an environment
Open System
a system in which matter can enter from or escape to the surroundings
Closed System
a system that allows the exchange of energy (not matter)between the system and its surroundings
Holistic
emphasizing the functional relationship between parts and the whole
Hectare
a unit of surface area equal to 100 ares
Ecological Footprint
a way of measuring how much of an impact a person or community has on the earth
Sustainable Development
development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations
Environmental Justice
recognition that access to a clean, healthy environment is a fundamental right
Biodiversity
the variety of species living within an ecosystem
In situ
in the original or natural place or site
Ex situ
off-site conservation; outside location
Inbreeding Depression
the negative consequences in a population when genetically similar parents reproduce weak offspring
Intrinsic Value
worth independent of any human benefit; inherent worth
Invasive Species
species that enter new ecosystems and harm native species and their habitats
Endangered Species Act
identifies/protects threatened and endangered species
Lacey Act
prohibits interstate transport of wild animals without federal permit
Species Diversity
the number and relative amount of species in a biological community
Island Biogeography
the study of rates of colonization and extinction of species on islands (size, shape, and distance)
Genetic Diversity
the amount of variation in the genetic material within all members of a population
Biological Wealth
combination of commercial, scientific, and aesthetic values by a regions biota
Ecotourism
a form of tourism that supports the conservation and sustainable development of ecological areas
Instrumental Value
value based on its usefulness to humans
Remediation
containment, treatment or removal of contaminated groundwater
Nitrification
the process by which nitrites and nitrates are produced by bacteria in the soil
Denitrification
conversion of nitrates into nitrogen gas
Ammonification
decomposers convert organic waste into ammonia
Niche
the status of an organism within its environment and community
Ecotone
the transition from one type of habitat or ecosystem to another
Autotroph
organism that makes its own food
Heterotroph
an organism that depends on complex organic substances for nutrition; cannot make food
Interspecific Competition
competition between members of different species
Intraspecific Competition
competition between members of the same species
Net Primary Productivity
the rate at which biomass accumulates in an ecosystem
Gross Primary Productivity
the rate at which energy is produced in an ecosystem
Indicator Species
species that serve as early warnings that an ecosystem is being damaged
Keystone Species
a species that influences the survival of many other species in an ecosystem
Resource Partitioning
difference of niches that enables similar species to coexist in a community
Umbrella Species
a species that impacts the survival of many species
Euphotic Zone
layer of water where sunlight is sufficient for photosynthesis to occur
Thermal Stratification
vertical temperature layering
Salinization
the buildup of salts in surface soil layers
Oligotrophic
system in which productivity and nutrient content are low
Eutrophication
process of a body of water becoming too rich in nutrients, leading to plant growth that depletes oxygen
Trawler Fishing
dragging a net held open at the neck along the ocean bottom to get bottom-dwelling fish
Purse-seine Fishing
a large net is encircled around the targeted catch,then the bottom of the net is drawn tight like the strings of a purse
Drift Net Fishing
catching fish in huge nets that drift in the water
Long Line Fishing
fishing by dragging long lines with baited hooks
Floodplain
a low plain adjacent to a river and subject to flooding
Center-pivot Irrigation
a type of irrigation that waters crops using sprinkler systems on huge turning wheels
Trickle Irrigation
a form of irrigation that saves water by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants
Watershed
the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place
Evapotranspiration
the evaporation of water from soil plus the transpiration of water from plants
Xeriscaping
a method of landscaping that uses plants that are well adapted to the local area and are drought resistant
Growth Rate
rate of increase or decrease of a population
Total Fertility Rate
measures the number of children born per woman
Replacement Fertility Rate
the average number of children that couples in a population must have to replace themselves
Zero Population Growth
when the birth rate equals the death rate
Demographic Transition
the general pattern of demographic change from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates
Exponential Growth
occurs when the individuals in a population reproduce at a constant rate
Biotic Potential
maximum rate at which a population could increase under ideal conditions
Population Density
number of individuals per unit area
Doubling Time
the time required for a population to double in size
Demography
the scientific study of population characteristics
Crude Birth Rate
the number of live births yearly per thousand people in a population
Crude Death Rate
the number of deaths yearly per thousand people in a population
Population Explosion
the rapid growth of the world's human population during the past century
Graying
a term used to indicate that a large amount of a society's population is becoming elderly
Generation Time
the period between the birth of one generation and the birth of the next generation
Igneous Rock
a type of rock that forms from the cooling of molten rock at or below the surface
Sediment Rock
a type of rock formed from sediment is deposited in layers and compacted
Metamorphic Rock
a type of rock that forms from an existing rock that is changed by heat/pressure/reactions
Coreolis Effect
water moves clock wise in the northern hemisphere, counter clockwise in the southern
Intrusive
rocks that form from magma below the surface
Extrusive
rocks that form when lava cools and solidifies on the surface
Divergent Plates
plates moving away from each other in opposite directions
Convergent Plates
tectonic plates that collide with each other
Transform Plates
plates that slide past each other
Lithosphere
the solid part of the earth (crust, outer mantle)
Hydrosphere
the watery layer of the earth's surface
Asthenosphere
the soft layer of the mantle on which the lithosphere floats
Relative Dating
method of determining the age of a fossil (comparing fossil placement)
Convection
the transfer of thermal energy by the circulation or movement of a liquid or gas
Conduction
the transfer of thermal energy from one substance to another through direct contact
Topsoil
the layer of soil on the surface
Litter
the layer of dead plant leaves and stems on the surface of the soil
Subsoil
the layer of soil beneath the topsoil that contains mostly clay
Humus
partially decomposed organic matter
Porosity
the percentage of the total volume of a rock or sediment that consists of open spaces
Overgrazing
allowing more animals to graze in an area than the range can support
Organic Fertilizer
a fertilizer that is derived from animal or vegetable matter
Inorganic Fertilizer
an agricultural product applied to the soil (mined or synthetically manufactured material)
Desertification
degradation of land because of human actions( excessive crop planting, grazing and tree cutting)
Erosion
condition in which the earth's surface is worn away by the action of water and wind
Structure (soil)
-O horizon
-A-mineral matter and hummus
-E - leached of color
-B - clay accumulation from above
-C horizon - partially altered bedrock
Excessive Irrigation
over irrigation of a specific area that leads to salinization
Acidity
a measure of how acid a solution is- the lower the pH, the greater this is
Animal Manure
dung/urine of animals used as a form of organic fertilizer
Green Manure
a growing crop that is plowed under to enrich soil
LD-50
the amount of a chemical that kills 50% of the animals in a test population
Biomagnification
buildup of pollutants at higher levels of the food chain
Bioaccumulation
the build up of a substance as it passes through a food chain
Rachel Carson
author of Silent Spring; helped influence environmental awareness and banning of DDT
Food Irradiation
the treatment of foods with gamma radiation kill potentially harmful pathogens and increase shelf life
Bacillus thuringensis
a biological insecticide
Carcinogen
any substance that produces cancer
Mutagen
physical or chemical agent that causes mutations
Teratogen
any factor that can cause a birth defect
Endocrine Disruptor
acts as hormones and disrupts the reproductive process
Radon
a radioactive gaseous element
Brownfields
abandoned polluted industrial sites in central cities
Love Canal
toxic waste site in New York filled with drums of waste that leaked.
Leachate
a liquid that has passed through compacted solid waste in a landfill
Orphan Sites
sites abandoned with hazardous waste in them
Superfund
a fund created by Congress in 1980 to clean up hazardous waste sites
Municipal Solid Waste
waste produced by households and businesses
Industrial Solid Waste
produced by mines, agriculture, and industries
Bioremediation
the use of living organisms to detoxify and restore
Sanitary Landfill
a low area where waste is buried between layers of earth
Asbestos
mineral used extensively in insulation, causes respiratory issues
NOX
nitrous oxides (created through burning fossil fuels); photochemical smog
CFCs
chlorofluorocarbons; destroy ozone layer
VOCs
used in paints, stains; create ozone
Particulate Matter
reduces visibility and respiratory irritation
Fecal Coliform
indicator of sewage contamination
Albedo
percent of solar radiation reflected by a surface
Ozone
a colorless gas; separated by "good ozone" and "bad ozone"
Kyoto Protocol
binding commitments for the reduction of four greenhouse gases and two groups of gases
Hypoxic
low level of oxygen
Aerosols
small particles in atmosphere
Photochemical Smog
mixture of ozone and other chemicals; when pollutants react
Industrial Smog
smog resulting from industry emissions/burning of fossil fuels.
Nonpoint Source
widely spread source of pollution; not specific
Turbine
provides mechanical energy to a generator
Crude Oil
petroleum that has not been processed
Control Rods
free neutrons, neutron-absorbing rods that help control the reaction by limiting free neutrons
Fuel Rods
tubes containing uranium or other elements that release energy when fission occurs
Conservation
the preservation of the environment and natural resources
Strip Mining
rocks and soil are stripped from earths surface to expose the underlying materials
Biomass
plant materials and animal waste used as fuel
Biofuels
fuelscreated from the fermentation of plants or plant products
Ethanol
a soure of energy that can be processed from plant material
Nuclear Fuel
fuel that can be used in nuclear reactors as a source of electricity
Nuclear Fission
a nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei
Wilderness Act
allowed Congress to set aside land for reservation
Safe Water and Drinking Act
protects drinking water from toxic contamination through discharge
Convention on the Law of the Sea
defines rights and responsibilities of nations in use of world's oceans; promotes peaceful use of oceans
Food Security Act
tax-related provisions; provides support for crops, energy, livestock, etc.
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
governs sale/use of pesticides in the United States
Stockholm Declaration
focused on creating international environmental policy
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
encourages response, requires reporting of toxic contamination
Montreal Protocol
banned production of aerosols, redution of CFCs
Taylor Grazing Act
prevents overgrazing/soil degredation; providers improvements, development
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
regulates labeling of food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices
Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species
international legislation controlling exploitation of endangered species
Occupational Safety and Health
protects the welfare of people engaged in work or employment
Clean Water Act
created to make surface waters swimmable and fishable; set standards for water
Clean Air Act
emission standards for cars/limits for release of air pollutants
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
requires coal strip mines to reclaim the land
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