Ecology Unit 1


Terms in this set (...)

All the goods and services used by households.
Ecological footprint
measure of humanity's demand on nature. A footprint takes into account everything you do that involves earth's resources
E Waste
Electronic waste. Waste produced from tossed out electronic devices, computers, tablets, smart phones, etc.
Conflict Metals/Minerals
Natural resources whose mining and trade contribute to, benefit from or result in the commission of serious violations of human rights and international law. Examples include Coltan, Gold, diamonds, wolframite, and cassiterite.
Designed obsolescence
the intentional design on having products fail over time and have to be replaced.
A conflict mineral that is used Coltan is used in the production of cell phones, and almost every kind of electronic device.
Gross Domestic Product: The measure of an economy adopted by the United States in 1991; the total market values of goods and services produced by workers and capital within a 1 year.
The removal of raw materials from the earth.
Carrying Capacity
How much of a population an ecosystem can sustain. Determined by resources such as available space, nutrients, water, clean air, and available food.
Open Space
An undeveloped piece of land.
Externalized Costs
Health or environmental costs that are placed on society instead of the responsible party. For example pollution, greenhouse gasses, water used in production.
Organic foods are made according to certain production standards. Food and products produced without the use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers.
sustainable - In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time.
Rare Earth Minerals and Metals
A group of minerals and elements that are mined and used in many modern products and industry. China mines 90% of the REE used today.
is a process using materials (waste) into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials
Down cycling
when new products are made from recycled materials. The quality of the new material is of lower quality than the original material.
Hydrologic cycle
a model that describes the storage and movement of water.
Water Storage
in one of the reservoirs: atmosphere, oceans, lakes, rivers, soils, glaciers, snowfields, and groundwater.
Water Movement
from one to another by way of processes like evaporation, condensation, precipitation, deposition, runoff, infiltration, sublimation, transpiration, melting, and groundwater flow.
Water footprint
The water footprint is an indicator of water use that includes both direct and indirect water use of a consumer or producer.
Ground water
Groundwater refers to all subsurface water. The term more commonly refers to water beneath the surface of the earth which saturates the pores and fractures of sand, gravel, and rock formations.
Point source pollution
Sources of water pollution (generally a man-caused pollutant) which can be traced to a specific place or location (ie a pipe or a factory)
Non point source pollution
Pollution of the water from numerous locations that are hard to identify as point source. For example, agriculture and urban diffuse source runoff.
Surface runoff is the water flow that occurs when soil is infiltrated to full capacity and excess water from rain, snowmelt, or other sources flows over the land. This occurs when ever we have major rain storms.
Runoff from urban areas that is not absorbed into the ground but rather is conveyed to coastal waterways by natural and man-made conduits and drains. Stormwater that does not soak into the ground becomes surface runoff, which either flows directly into surface waterways or is channeled into storm sewers. It carries along with it pollution from the surfaces.
Primary treatment
The first stage of wastewater treatment, consisting of the removal of a substantial amount of suspended matter (but little or no dissolved matter) via sedimentation/settling
Secondary treatment
A wastewater treatment method that usually involves the addition of biological treatment (bacteria) to the settling, skimming, and disinfection provided by primary treatment. Secondary treatment may remove up to 90 percent of BOD and significantly more metals and toxic organic material than primary treatment.
biochemical oxygen demand; biological oxygen demand.
dissolved oxygen
the nutrient rich organic product of wastewater treatment - a never ending resource. Biosolids return valuable nutrients and carbon to the land. LOOP the brand name of the compost made from King county biosolids.
Tertiary treatment
The advanced cleaning of wastewater that goes beyond secondary treatment. This process removes nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen and most biological oxygen demand and suspended solids. It could also remove chemicals.
Solids processing and bio solids
organic waste by-products from agricultural production or sewage treatment plants that are spread on farm fields as a fertilizer
Waste water
Any water that has been used by some human domestic or industrial activity and, because of that, now contains waste products.
An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt, or clay) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well.
The conversion of water to water vapor through plant tissue.
Condensation can be summarized as a phase transition from a gas to a liquid as vapor condenses on a pre-existing surface, the exact opposite of the transition from liquid to vapor which occurs in evaporation.
Water cycle
The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth. Since the water cycle is truly a "cycle," there is no beginning or end. ...
excessive nutrients in a lake or other body of water, usually caused by runoff of nutrients (animal waste, fertilizers, sewage) from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life; the decomposition of the plants depletes the supply of oxygen, leading to the death of aquatic life and increase plant life.
Water shed
The drainage basin or area in which surface water drains toward a lake, stream, or river at a lower elevation Mountains and river basin: the entire geographical area drained by a river and its tributaries; an area characterized by all runoff being conveyed to the same outlet; "flood control in the Missouri basin"
On site waste treatment system
individual sewage treatment systems
The carbon cycle.
The continuous process by which carbon is exchanged between organisms and the environment..
Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuel is a general term for buried combustible geologic deposits of organic materials, formed from decayed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils
Green house gasses
a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. Examples include; water vapor, co2, methane Nitrous oxides, Ozone and CFC's
Climate Change / Global warming
An increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere. Expected long-term effects of current global warming are rising sea levels, flooding, melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, more frequent and stronger El Niños and La Niñas, drought, heat waves, and forest fires.
Ocean acidification
the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by their uptake of man made Co2 from the atmosphere.
Nitrogen cycle
process by which nitrogen is converted between its various chemical forms. Important processes in the nitrogen cycle include nitrogen fixation and denitrification.
Carbon sinks
areas of vegetation, especially forests, and the phytoplankton-rich seas that absorb the carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels. Includes sediments.
Carbon sources
cellular respiration in plants and animals, burning of fossil fuels, Methane, Chemical fertilizers, decomposition of organic material.