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Water Quality Science Olympiad
Terms in this set (138)
Animals that live inside the sediment
Organisms that are affixed to the surface of the sediment
Organisms that move around on the surface of the sediment
A group of individuals of the same species living in a given place
Comprised of populations of different species that live together
Encompasses the community and its abiotic environment
The places where organisms make their homes within the estuarine ecosystem
Tens of thousands of birds, mammals, fish, and other wildlife depend on estuaries
Many marine organisms, most commercially valuable fish species included, depend on estuaries at some point during their development.
A healthy, untended estuary produces from four
to ten times the weight of organic matter produced by a cultivated corn field the same size.
Water Filtration (Estuarine)
Water draining off the uplands carries a
load of sediments and nutrients. As the water flows through salt marsh peat and the dense mesh of marsh grass blades, much of the sediment and nutrient load is filtered out. This filtration process creates cleaner and clearer water.
Flood Control (Estuarine
Porous, resilient salt marsh soils and grasses
absorb floodwaters and dissipate storm surges. Salt marsh dominated estuaries provide natural buffers between the land and the ocean. They
protect upland organisms as well as billions of dollars of human real estate.
Types of Estuaries
Coastal Plain Estuaries
Coastal Plain Estuaries
Formed as rising sea level invaded existing river valleys
Steepwalled valleys created by glaciers
Formed when geologic faulting or folding resulted in a depression
Separated from the ocean by barrier beaches lying
parallel to the coastline
Light (Abiotic Factors)
Plants use energy in sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen. This is accomplished through a series of chemical reactions called photosynthesis.
Oxygen (Abiotic Factors)
Used in respiration. Respiration releases
stored chemical energy to power an organism's life processes. An absence of oxygen severely restricts the amount of life that can be
Releases stored chemical energy to power an organism's life processes
Water (Abiotic Factors)
Without water, no organism can remain biologically active. In fact, all living organisms are comprised of 50 to 99 percent water.
Nutrients (Abiotic Factors)
Although sunlight is the fuel for food production, and water and carbon dioxide are the raw materials, plants cannot survive on these alone. Other substances, called nutrients, are necessary for the proper function of a living organism. Major nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorous, are needed in large amounts. Trace nutrients, such as
iron, are required in smaller amounts.
Temperature (Abiotic Factors)
Temperature is one of the best-understood abiotic
factors affecting the distribution and abundance of organisms. Temperature has a large impact on plants and animals because it influences their metabolic rates and affects rates of growth and
reproduction. Geographic ranges of animals are often defined by temperature, and many species respond to seasonal temperature shifts by
acclimatizing to changes or by migrating away from them.
Salinity (Abiotic Factors)
Pure water contains only oxygen and hydrogen, but in the natural world, solid substances such as salt are often dissolved in water. In an estuary, the salt content of water fluctuates continuously
over the tidal cycle. It decreases drastically in the upper reaches of estuarine rivers where tidal influence lessens, and varies radically in salt
pannes because of evaporation and precipitation. Organisms that spend their entire lives in estuaries need to be capable of responding to large, rapid salinity variations.
Space (Abiotic Factors)
A precious resource exploited by living things. The
need for space is most pronounced for organisms that need a substrate, or base, on which to live. Many animals require a certain amount and
type of space to meet their needs, other than simple physical attachment. They need space for nesting, gathering food, wintering, and hiding from
Interactions among living things that affect the survival of species
List of Biotic Factors
Competition (Biotic Factors)
Occurs between organisms using a
resource that is in finite supply. Can occur between members of different species or the same species. They may compete for
food, space, light, nutrients, water, or even pollinators. Plays an important role in shaping communities. Species or individuals
with a competitive edge have a better chance of surviving long enough to reproduce.
Predation (Biotic Factors)
Killing and/or consumption of one
organism by another. Herbivores eat plants, seeds, and/or fruits. Carnivores eat animals. Omnivores eat both plants and animals. Predation is a major selective force in animal evolution. Individuals are more likely to reproduce successfully if they have traits enabling them to avoid being consumed by predators
Parasitism (Biotic Factors)
Similar to predation in that one species
benefits from the relationship and the other is harmed. Differs from predation, however, because parasitism is generally not fatal to the adversely affected organism.
Commensalism (Biotic Factors)
Commensal relationships occur when one
organism benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed
Mutualism (Biotic Factors)
Occurs when both organisms gain from the relationship
Progressive changes in the composition of a community
Human created disturbance
Happen during the lifetime of a single organism
Happens over the course of multiple individuals' lifetimes and causes changes to occur in a
species' genetic makeup
Process in which a species' genetic makeup changes.
Creation of a new species through natural selection, occurs when a selective force is intense
Distinct bands of vegetation
Items such as the food and water that an
organism uses during its lifetime.
Characteristics of the environment (such as temperature and salinity) that influence the survival of an organism but are not used by it
The proportion of salt in a solution; levels of salts dissolved in water
Particles of decaying plants and animals suspended in the water, which provide nutrients to the organisms living in it
Plants and animals that live in water
All aquatic organisms that can swim against water currents
All water borne organisms that move through the water by currents
A group of plankton which are plants
A group of plankton which are animals
Very common, herbivorous zooplankton
Carnivores that eat other zooplankton
Common type of carnivorous zooplankton
Surfaces with two layers; first layer containing diatoms and seaweed, the second containing bacteria
A unique role
The highest part of a salt marsh, where the soil is infrequently flooded
The lowest part of a salt marsh, where the soil is flooded two times a day with salt water
Organisms able to obtain energy from the sun and use it to form energy-rich material
Organisms which obtain energy-rich materials by eating autotrophs.
The pattern of energy flow, in which an autotroph produces food, a heterotroph eats that autotroph, another heterotroph eats that heterotroph, and so on.
An area of land that drains into one river, stream, or other body of water.
Runoff, groundwater, surface water
Water sources that feed watersheds.
The height above sea level to which the tide rises. It is affected by the position of the moon, sun, earth, and land configuration.
The difference in height between high and low tides.
The fluid from the secondary treatment is cleansed of phosphate and nitrate products that could cause pollution before the water is returned to a natural water source.
After primary treatment, the primary effluent is passed into large aeration tanks where it is constantly agitated mechanically and air is pumped associated with fungal filaments to form mesh like structures.
The treatment step of sewage for physical removal of particles, large and small, from the sewage through filtration and sedimentation.
Natural processes recycle all chemicals or nutrients that plants and animals need to stay alive and reproduce.
Gas produced by bacteria in landfill is collected and used to make electricity.
The process of forming semisolid lumps in a liquid.
The phenomenon of sediment or gravel accumulating.
The process whereby fluids pass through a filter or a filtering medium.
Rough, shallow that produce rapid turbulent flows
smooth, deep bottoms that result in a slower, smooth flow in areas
the study of how populations interact with their environment
number of individuals making up its gene pool
number of individuals per unit of area or volume
the general pattern in which the population members are dispersed through its habitat (Clumped, Uniformly, Randomly)
Clumped (of population distribution)
The most common
Uniformly (of population distribution)
Dispersed (the rare kind)
Randomly (of population distribution)
Age Structure (of a population)
the relative proportions of individuals of each age (Pre-Reproductive, Reproductive, Post-Reproductive)
the study of how different species interact within communities
the study of how different species interact within communities
beneficial to one species but neutral to another
the resources are divided, permitting species with similar
requirements to use the same resources in different areas, ways and/or times
an interaction that benefits one species and is detrimental to another. Note that the host is generally not killed.
an interaction that is beneficial to both species
Clear water, low conductivity
Increased production, accumulated organic matter, good fishery
Very productive, oxygen depletion, rough fish common
Deep, clear, nutrient-poor lakes
Shallow, nutrient-rich lakes,
Area covered by water, which supports aquatic vegetation
Develop in shallow basins ranging from upland depressions to lakes and ponds that have filled in
Develop along shallow and periodically flooded banks of streams and rivers
Found along coast of large wetlands and seas where rising lake levels or tide causes water to flow back and forth
Streams and rivers
Bodies of water that move continuously in one direction
A tributary stream of a river close to or forming part of its source
Have no tributaries
When first-order streams join together
When two second-order streams join togther
River Continuum Concept
A model used to determine the biotic community expected as the size of the stream increases
A microoranganism, especially a bacteria causing disease
Animals that only eat plants and trees
An animal that naturally preys on others
water from the clouds fall to earth rain, snow, hail or sleet
water on the surface of the land that flows downhill into bodies of water such as streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes
rain water soaks into the ground through soil and rock layers under the soil with some remaining underground as groundwater
liquid water changes to a gaseous state as water vapor
water that has been absorbed by plants will evaporate through the leaves as
water vapor is changed into a liquid Water vapors join dust particles to form clouds
Point Source Pollution
Pollution from a clearly identifiable location
Nonpoint Source Pollution
Pollution from many different places
decomposition of living organisms and their biproducts
dissolved and suspended solids as silt, salts, and minerals
heavy medals and other chemical compounds that are lethal to organisms
waste heat from industrial and power generation processes
small body of freshwater, with no stream draining it - often fed by an underground spring
larger body of freshwater, usually drained by a stream. May be naturally occurring or man made.
region of land that holds a great deal of water for significant periods of time, and that contains specialized plants able to grow in these wet conditions
bodies of moving water, contained within a bank (sides) and bed (bottom).
natural streams of water of fairly large size flowing in a definite course or channel or series of diverging and converging channels
Light Penetration Stratification
Ponds or lakes are divided into two layers due to a decrease in light intensity with increasing depth - as light is absorbed by the water and suspended microorganisms.
Upper Photic Zone
layer where light is sufficient for photosynthesis
Lower Aphotic Zone
receives little light and no photosynthesis occurs
occurs in deeper ponds and lakes during summer in
narrow vertical zone between the warmer and colder waters where a rapid temperature change occurs
one at the lowest level or bottom of the lake including sediment surface and some subsurface layers - most of the organisms are scavengers and
hallow, well-lighted, warm water close to shore.
Has rooted and floating vegetation, and a diverse attached algal community
Has a diverse animal fauna including suspension feeders (clams);herbivorous
grazers (snails); and herbivorous and carnivorous insects, crustaceans, fishes, and
open, well-lighted waters away from shore
Has photosynthetic phytoplankton (algae and cyanobacteria), zooplankton (rotifers and small crustaceans) that graze on phytoplankton, and small fish which feed on the zooplankton.
Animals visiting this zone may include large fish, turtles, snakes, and birds
deep, aphotic zone lying beneath the limnetic zone.
This is an area of decomposition where detritus (dead organic matter that drifts in from above) is broken down.
Water temperature is usually cold and oxygen is low due to cellular respiration of decomposers.
Mineral nutrients are usually plentiful due to decomposition of detritus.
Waters of the profundal zone usually do not mix with surface waters due to density
differences related to temperature.
Mixing of these layers usually occurs twice each year in temperate lakes and ponds
so oxygen enters the profundal zone and nutrients are cycled into the limnetic zone.
Lakes are often classified as oligotrophic, mesotrophic, or eutrophic, depending on the amount of organic matter
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