59 terms

Miller Living in the Environment 18ed chapter 03 vocabulary

Miller LITE 17th ed chapter 3 vocabulary on ecosystems: what are they and how do they work
extends only about 17 km or 11 mi above sea level at the tropics and about 7 km or 4 mi about the earth's north and south poles. Contains the air we breathe (78% N, 21% O, 1%: water vapor, CO2, and CH4).
a thin spherical envelope of gases surrounding the earth's surface.
greenhouse gases
water vapor, CO2, CH4, etc. that absorb and release energy that warms the lower atmosphere.
stretches 17-50 km or 11-31 mi above earth's surface and holds ozone (O3) to filter out harmful UV radiation from the sun.
consists of all the water on or near the earth's surface. Found as water vapor, liquid water, ice (polar ice, icebergs, glaciers, and permafrost).
consists of the parts of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere where life is found.
the science that focuses on how organisms interact with each other and their nonliving environment of matter and energy.
an individual living being.
populations of different species living in a particular place, and potentially interacting with each other.
a group of individuals of the same species living in a particular place.
a community of different species interacting with each other and with their nonliving environment of matter and energy.
biotic factors
living components of an ecosystem. Ex.: black bear
abiotic factors
nonliving components of an ecosystem. Ex.: water
trophic level
a feeding level that depends on its source of food or nutrients.
producers or autotrophs
these are self-feeders that make the nutrients they need from compounds and energy obtained from their environment. Ex.: algae
a process where plants and other organisms capture sunlight and combine it with water and CO2 to make energy-rich carbohydrates that they store chemically for the energy they need.
photosynthesis equation
carbon dioxide + water + solar energy > glucose + oxygen
6 CO2 + 6 H2O + solar energy > C6H12O6 + 6 O2
the mostly microscopic dominant producers that float or drift in water.
producers, mostly specialized bacteria, that can convert simple inorganic compounds from their environment into more complex nutrient compounds without using sunlight. Ex.: bacteria around hydrothermal vents.
consumers or hetertrophs
organisms that cannot produce their own nutrients they need through photosynthesis or other processes. Ex.: humans.
primary consumers or herbivores
are animals that eat mostly green plants. Ex.: giraffes
the mostly microscopic primary consumers that feed on phytoplankton in water ecosystems.
are animals that feed on the flesh of other animals. Ex.: lions
secondary consumers
those that feed on the flesh of herbivores.
tertiary consumers
those that feed on the flesh of other carnivores.
those that eat both plants and other animals. Ex.: humans, pigs, rats.
detritus feeders or detritivores
feed on the wastes or dead bodies of other organisms. Ex.: earthworms, some insects, vultures
consumers that, in the process of obtaining their own nutrients, release nutrients from the wastes or remains of plants and animals and then return those nutrients to the soil, water, and air for reuse by producers. Ex.: bacteria, fungi
aerobic respiration
a process that uses oxygen to convert glucose or other organic nutrients back into carbon dioxide and water.
aerobic respiration equation
glucose + oxygen > carbon dioxide + water + energy
C6H12O6 + 6 O2 > 6 CO2 + 6 H2) + energy
anaerobic respiration or fermentation
breaking down glucose or other organic compounds in the absence of oxygen. The end products may be CH4, ethyl alcohol, acetic acid, or H2S instead of CO2 and water.
microbes or microorganisms
thousands of species of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and floating phytoplankton are lumped under this name due to their size.
food chain
a sequence of organisms, each of which serves as a source of food or energy for the next.
food web
a complex network of interconnected food chains.
the dry weight of all organic matter contained it its organisms.
pyramid of energy
shows the decrease in usable chemical energy available at each succeeding trophic level in a food chain or web.
biomass pyramid
shows the decrease in dry weight of all organic matter in organisms at each succeeding trophic level in a food chain or web.
pyramid of numbers
shows the decrease in numbers of organisms at each succeeding trophic level in a food chain or web.
Net primary productivity (NPP)
the rate at which producers use photosynthesis to produce and store chemical energy minus the rate at which they use some of this stored energy through cellular respiration.
Gross primary productivity (GPP)
the rate at which an ecosystems's producers convert solar energy into chemical energy in the form of biomass found in their tissues. Ex.: kcal/m2/yr
biogeochemical cycles or nutrient cycles
how elements and compounds that make up nutrients move continually through air, water, soil, rock, and living organisms within ecosystems.
hydrologic or water cycle
this collects, purifies, and distributes the earth's fixed supply of water. It includes evaporation, precipitation, and transpiration.
the part of the water cycle where water leaves the earth's oceans, rivers, lakes, and soil into the atmosphere.
the part of the water cycle where water leaves the atmosphere as a liquid back to the earth as rain, snow, sleet, and dew.
this is the evaporation of water from the surfaces of plants and soil back into the atmosphere.
a large persistent body of ice that forms over many years of melting and sublimation of snow.
surface runnoff
water from precipitation that is carried back to lakes and oceans by gravity to complete the water cycle.
underground layers of rock, sand, and gravel where water is stored.
the water found in aquifers.
nitrogen cycle
how nitrogen circulates through the biosphere. It is based on nitrogen fixation, nitrification, ammonification, and denitrification.
carbon cycle
how carbon circulates through the biosphere. It is based on CO2 gas and involves photosynthesis, respiration, fossil fuels, etc.
where specialized bacteria convert most of the NH3 and NH4+ in soil to nitrate ions (NO3-), which is easily taken up by the roots of plants.
where vast armies of specialized decomposer bacteria convert detritus into simpler nitrogen-containing inorganic compounds such as ammonia (NH3) and water-soluble salts containing ammonium ions (NH4+).
nitrogen fixation
where specialized bacteria in soil as well as blue-green algae combine N2 (gas) with hydrogen to make ammonia.
where specialized bacteria in waterlogged soil and in the bottom sediments of lakes, oceans, swamps, and bogs convert NH3 and NH4+ back into nitrate ions, and then into nitrogen gas (N2) and nitrous oxide gas (N2O) which are released into the atmosphere.
phosphorus cycle
how phosphorus circulates through the geosphere and hydrosphere. It does NOT involve the atmosphere. Phosphate is found in rocks, erosion, plants, and organisms that need it for ATP, DNA, etc. It is VERY SLOW.
sulfur cycle
how sulfur circulates through the biosphere. It involves SO4 2- salts in deep ocean sediments, rock, H2S from bogs, swamps, etc., SO2 from volcanoes, and H2SO4 from the atmosphere to land.
field research
involves going into natural settings to observe and measure the structure of ecosystems and what happens in them. "muddy boots biology".
laboratory research
involves controlled experiments in a lab.

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