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Biology exam on Ecology

List some fossil fuels and their purpose?

Coal, oil and natural gases. They provide most of our needs (non renewable resource)

Explain the ozone layer?

A gas in the stratosphere (o3) because there are three oxygens. Ozone is poisonous

What are some environmental effects of Fossil Fuels?

Air and water pollution and global warming

What is CFC? What does it do to the ozone?

Chloral Floral Carbon. It thins the ozone

How can you prevent fossil fuel pollution?

Scrubbers, cyclone separators, bag house filters, catalytic converters and energy conservation

Explain what nuclear energy is and what it does?

Uses uranium fuel to create electricity - highly radioactive waste is produce (non renewable resource)

What are some alternative renewable resources?

Solar power, wind, hydroelectric, biomass and geothermal

What is carcinogen?

Anything that causes cancer (ex: radiation or chrome six)

What sphere do we live in?


How can you reduce green house gases?

Public transportation, walking and carpooling

What is irrigation?

When farmers pump water for their crops. You can replenish the water with snow.

What is a result of overcropping?

Soil erosion

What are some effects of global warming?

Hurricanes, flooding and melting of the ice caps

What are some greenhouse gases?

Carbon, water vapor and methane (CH4)

Where is methane produced?

Land fills

What are the three types of pollution?

Water pollution, solid waste pollution and air pollution

Who was Erin Brockovich?

Worked and solved a case about the contamination of chromium five in the ground water

What is chromium five?

unstable compound formed by the addition of acidified hydrogen peroxide solutions to solutions of chromates, such as sodium chromate.

What are keystone species? Give examples.

Species who's role in an ecosystem is more important than their numbers suggest (sea otters, dung beetles and bats)

What are two things that destroy ecosystems?

Habitat destruction and pesticide use

List some non renewable resources.

Oils, metals and plastic

Where does energy come from?

Fossil fuels

What is the atmosphere?

Air enveloping the earth - it divides into layers

What is the troposphere?

Innermost layer that contains 75 percent of the mass of the earth's air

What is the stratosphere?

Second layer of the atmosphere - contains the ozone layer

How are we disrupting the earth's gaseous nutrient cycles?

Carbon dioxide addition; burning fossil fuels and using fertilizers adds nitrogen oxides; adding SO2 from refining and fossil burning; and toxic metals

What is air pollution?

The presence of one or more chemicals in the atmosphere in quantities and duration that causes harm to humans, other forms of life and materials

What is air pollutant?

A chemical in the wrong place in the wrong concentration (ozone)

What are primary pollutants?

Materials added to the troposphere from natural events (volcanoes) and human activities

What are secondary pollutants?

Pollutants formed when primary poll reacts with each other or the air to form new pollutants

What's another word for photo chemical smog?

Brown Air Smog

What is photo chemical smog?

A mixture of primary and secondary pollutants formed under the influence of sunlight

What are PANS?

Peroxyaeyl nitrates - produces tears when in contact with animals

What is NO2

Nitrogen dioxide - a yellow/brown gas with a choking odor. It can damage lungs, crops and trees

What is another word for industrial smog?

Gray air smog

What is industrial smog?

Mixture of sulfur dioxide suspended droplets of sulfuric acid and other particles. Burning of coal and oil in power and heating.

What are some factors that influence photo chemical and industrial smog?

Temperature inversion and acid deposition

What is temperature inversion?

(thermal inversion) caused when a dense, cool layer of air becomes trapped beneath a layer of less dense war air

What is acid deposition?

Mix of dry and wet acidic chemicals that descend to earth

How can you reduce acid deposition?

Reduce energy use; switch from coal to natural gas; remove sulfur from coal; remove SO2 and nitrogen oxides from smoke gases; remove nitrogen oxides from motor vehicle exhaust

What is sick building syndrome?

A building is "sick" when at least 20% of its occupants suffer persistent symptoms that disappear when they go outside

What are air pollution's effect on humans?

Lung cancer, asthma, bronchitis and emphysema

What are the laws to reduce air pollution?

Clean Air Acts (1970, 1977, 1990)

What are the clean air acts?

Provided federal air pollution regulations (cost money to enforce, but saves more money in health and ecological benefits). Prevent not cleanup.

How can we reduce outdoor air pollution?

Electrostatic precipitator; bag house filter; cyclone separator; wet scrubber

What is biomass?

Combined dry weight of all organic matter contained in organisms for each tropic level

Describe the energy flow?

Sunglight - producers - herbivores - carnivores - decomposers (90% loss at each transfer)

Describe the biomass of the tropic levels?

3rd order consumers - 2nd consumers - 1st consumers - producers

What is gross primary productivity?

The rate at which an ecosystem's producers convert solar energy into chemical energy as biomass through photosynthesis

What is the new primary productivity?

(NPP) some of gross PP is used up by plants in respiration - what's left is NPP

Explain the carbon cycle?

A global gaseous cycle based on carbon dioxide gas

Explain nitrogen cycle?

Most complex cycle, a global gaseous cycle involving Nitrogen converting bacteria and lightning

Explain the phosphorus cycle?

Cycles through the earth's crust, water and living organisms

Explain the sulfur cycle?

Tied up in rocks and minerals SO2 comes from volcanoes and burning fossil fuels. SO2 mixes with oxygen in our air to form SO3 which in 1/3 of all sulfur in the air comes from human activity

List three ecosystem services?

Climate control; provide and renew air, water and soil; provides biodiversity

What is a limiting factor?

One factor that is more important than others in regulating population growth

What is an invasive species?

Species that doesn't belong (ex: lamprey in great lakes)

What is environmental resistance?

All factors acting jointly to limit growth of a population

What did chromium five do?

Got into ground water and caused tumors and other medical problems

What is a lichen?

Half fungi and half bacteria

What is ecological succession?

Gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem

What is the pioneer stage and what are some typical organisms?

First stage of succession (ex: lichen)

List characteristics of the climax community?

Large body size, few offspring and one generation per season

Distinguish primary and secondary succession?

Primary is the colonization of living organisms and secondary is regeneration

What is commenalism?

One organisms benefits while the other is unharmed

What is mutualism?

Both organisms benefit

What is paristism?

One organism benefits and the other is harmed

What is symbiosis?

Is a close relationship between organisms of different species. At least one of the organisms depends on this relationship to survive

What human activity has probably contributed to the most acidification of the lakes in the Adirondack region?

Burning fossil fuels that produce air pollutants containing sulfur and nitrogen

In an ecosystem, what component is NOT recycled?


Which element is NOT recycled throughout an ecosystem by the processes of photosynthesis and respiration?


Reforestation and overcropping are two ways to?

Reclaim lost ecosystems

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