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Ecology is the study of environmental interactions at the following levels, from least inclusive to most inclusive: _____.

organism, population, community, ecosystem

The most inclusive level of organization in nature is the _____.


The ______ is the global ecosystem, the sum of all the planet's ecosystems, of all life and where it lives.


An organism's environment consists of _____.

abiotic and biotic factors

The presence of a species in a particular place, and its ability to reproduce there, implies that _____.

the species is adapted to the type of abiotic and biotic environmental conditions found at that location

In most cases, the two major climatic factors affecting the distribution of organisms are _____.

rainfall and temperature

The ocean's pelagic zone contains what type(s) of organisms?

swimming and drifting organisms

major type of ecological association that occupies a broad geographic region


The most nutrient-poor soils are found in _____ biomes.

tropical rain forest

Fire helps to maintain the existence of which biomes?

savanna, chaparral, and temperate grassland

The _____ biome contains land that can be used for highly productive agriculture.

temperate grassland

________ is characterized by soils made rich in nutrients by an abundance of grass roots.

Temperate grassland

Which of these is a biotic component of an environment?

bacteria on the surface of your skin


the availability of water

the mineral supplements you consume

the temperature where you live

bacteria on the surface of your skin

Desert owls are inactive during the day and active at night. They also have small bodies. This describes _____ adaptation to the hot and dry desert.

anatomical and behavioral

Horned lizards are desert animals that are active during the day. Their skin and kidneys are efficient at conserving water; when they get hot, they move to the shade so they can cool off. This describes _____ adaptation to the hot and dry desert.

anatomical, behavioral, and physiological

Cacti are desert plants with C4 metabolism. In addition, cacti bloom at night. This describes _____ adaptation to the hot and dry desert.

behavioral and physiological

grasses; no trees

temperate grassland

grasses; scattered trees


cone-bearing evergreen trees

coniferous forst

deciduous trees

temp. broadleaf forest

closed forest canopy many plants frow stop other plants; woody vines

tropical rain forest

dwarf shrubs; herbaceious plants; mosses and lichens


spiny, evergreen shrubs; adapted to frequent fires


deep-rooted shrubs; water-storing succulents


Which of these is characteristic of the photic zone of a freshwater biome?
the presence of algae
relatively cool water
relatively stable water temperature
dead organic matter
low oxygen level

the presence of algae

The benthic zone of aquatic environments is defined as the _____.

substrate at the bottom of the body of water

The _____ biome is the largest of Earth's biomes.


A(n) _____ is a region where fresh water and salt water mix.


What are the two major factors determining the distribution of terrestrial biomes?

temperature and rainfall

Which of these biomes is characterized by little rainfall?


Which of these is the largest terrestrial biome on Earth?
coniferous forest
temperate broadleaf forest
temperate grassland

coniferous forest

Which biome is characterized by an extensive canopy that allows little light to penetrate to the ground and by the presence of epiphytes?

tropical rain forest

Which biome is characterized by the presence of permafrost?


A nonliving component of an ecosystem, such as air, water, or temperature.

abiotic factor

The region of an aquatic ecosystem beneath the photic zone, where light does not penetrate enough for photosynthesis to take place.

aphotic zone

A seafloor, or the bottom of a freshwater lake, pond, river, or stream.

benthic realm

Major types of ecological associations that occupy broad geographic regions of land or water and are characterized by organisms adapted to the particular environments.


The entire portion of Earth inhabited by life; the sum of all the planet's ecosystems.


A living component of a biological community; an organism, or a factor pertaining to one or more organisms.

biotic components/factor

A biome dominated by spiny evergreen shrubs adapted to periodic drought and fires; found where cold ocean currents circulate offshore, creating mild, rainy winters and long, hot, dry summers.


An assemblage of all the organisms living together and potentially interacting in a particular area.


A biome characterized by conifers, cone-bearing evergreen trees.

coniferous forest

The submerged parts of a continent.

continental shelves

A biome characterized by organisms adapted to sparse rainfall (less than 30 cm per year) and rapid evaporation.


The conversion of semi-arid regions to desert.


An area of calm or very light winds near the equator, caused by rising warm air.


The scientific study of how organisms interact with their environments.


All the organisms in a given area, along with the nonliving (abiotic) factors with which they interact; a biological community and its physical environment.


The area where a freshwater stream or river merges with the ocean.


A place where an organism lives; an environment situation in which an organism lives.


A shallow zone where the waters of an estuary or ocean meet land.

intertidal zone

Several different ecosystems linked by exchanges of energy, materials, and organisms.


Riverlike flow patterns in the oceans.

ocean currents

An individual living thing, such as a bacterium, fungus, protist, plant, or animal.


The region of an ocean occupied by seawater.

pelagic zone/realm

Continuously frozen ground found in the tundra.


The region of an aquatic ecosystem into which light penetrates and where photosynthesis occurs.

photic zone

Algae and photosynthetic bacteria that drift passively in aquatic environments.


A group of individuals belonging to one species and living in the same geographic area.


Winds that result from the combined effects of Earth's rotation and the rising and falling of air masses.

prevailing winds

A biome dominated by grasses and scattered trees.


A biome located throughout midlatitude regions where there is sufficient moisture to support the growth of large, broadleaf deciduous trees.

temperate broadleaf forest

A grassland region maintained by seasonal drought, occasional fires, and grazing by large mammals.

temperate grassland

Latitudes between the tropics and the Arctic Circle in the north and the Antarctic Circle in the south; regions with milder climates than the tropics or polar regions.

temperate zones

The movement of air in the tropics (those regions that lie between 23.5° north latitude and 23.5° south latitude).

trade winds

A terrestrial biome characterized by high levels of precipitation and warm temperatures year-round.

tropical forest

A biome at the northernmost limits of plant growth and at high altitudes, characterized by dwarf woody shrubs, grasses, mosses, and lichens.


Winds that blow from west to east.


An ecosystem intermediate between an aquatic ecosystem and a terrestrial ecosystem. Wetland soil is saturated with water permanently or periodically.


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