492 terms

AP Environmental Science Review


Terms in this set (...)

composed of all individuals that belong to the same species and live in a given area at a particular time
incorporates all of the populations of organisms within a given area
population ecology
the study of factors that cause populations to increase or decrease
population size
the total number of individuals within a defined area at a given time
population density
the number of individuals per unit area (or volume for aquatic organisms) at a given time
population distriution
a description of how individuals are distributed with respect to one another
sex ration
the ratio of males to females
age structure
a description of how many individuals fit into particular age categories
density-dependent factors
influences an individual's probability of survival and reproduction in a manner that depends on the size of the population
limiting resource
a resource that a population cannot live without and which occurs in quantities lower than the population would require to increase in size
carrying capacity; k
population growth slowed as population size increased because there was a limit to how many individuals the food supply could sustain
Density-independent factors
have the same effect on an individuals probability of survival and amount of reproduction at any population size
growth rate
the number of offspring an individual can produce in a given time period, minus the deaths of the individual or offspring during the same period
intrinsic growth rate; r
under ideal conditions, with unlimited resources available, every population has a particular maximum potential for growth
exponential growth model
tells us that, under ideal conditions, the future size of the population depends on the current size of the population, the intrinsic rate of the population, and the amount of time over which the population grows
logistic growth model
describes a population whose growth is initially exponential, but slows as the population approaches the carrying capacity of the environment
when the population becomes larger than the spring carrying capacity
population crash usually experienced after the overshoot of the carrying capacity
k-selected species
species that have a low intrinsic growth rate, which causes their populations to increase slowly until they reach the carrying capacity of the environment
r-selected species
species that have a high intrinsic growth rate because they reproduce often and produce large numbers of offspring
survivorship curves
graphs of distinct patterns of survival over time
strips of habitat that connect separated populations that the animal travels across
a group of spatially distinct populations that are connected by occasional movements of individuals between them
community ecology
the study of species interactions, which determine the survival of a species in a habitat
the struggle of individuals to obtain a limiting resource
competitive exclusion principle
states that two species competing for the same limiting resource cannot coexist
resource partitioning
where two species divide a resource based on differences in the species' behavior or morphology
refers to the use of one species as a resource by another species
true predators
typically kill their prey and consume most of what they kill
consumes plants as prey
live on or in the organisms they consume
organisms that lay eggs inside other organims
benefits two interacting species by increasing both species' chances of survival or reproduction
a type of relationship in which one species benefits but the other is neither harmed nor helped
symbiotic relationship
the relationship of two species that live in close association with each other
keystone species
a species that plays a role in its community
predator-mediated competition
competition in which a predator is instrumental in reducing the abundance of a superior competitor, allowing inferior competitors to persist
ecosystem engineers
species that create or maintain habitat for other species
ecological succession
the predictable replacement of one group of species by another group of species over time
primary succession
occurs on surfaces that are intially devoid of soil
secondary succession
occurs in areas that have been disturbed but have not lost their soil
pioneer species
organisms that have the ability to colonize new areas rapidly and grow well in full sunshine
theory of island biogeography
demonstrates the dual importance of habitat size and distance in determining species richness
Permeable layers of rock and sediment that contain groundwater in many small spaces.
Unconfined Aquifer
Water can flow easily in and out of the aquifer. Porous rock covered by soil
Confined Aquifer
Aquifers covered by an impermeable and confining layer impeding water flow in or out.
Water Table
Uppermost aquifer layer where water fully saturates the rock or soil.
Groundwater Recharge
Water from precipitation percolates through soil and into aquifer. If confined, can't recharge.
Water from some aquifers naturally comes up, natural source of freshwater
Artesian Wells
Drilled hole in a confined aquifer releases pressure and pushes water up.
Cone of Depression
Area where there's no longer any groundwater, caused by well overuse, eventually will go dry.
Saltwater intrusion
Lessened pressure from over-pumping so salt water infiltrates and makes well water salty.
Land adjacent to river where excess water spreads onto.
Lakes with low productivity because of little nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.
Lakes with moderate levels of productivity
Lakes with high levels of productivity
Impermeable Surfaces
Pavement, buildings, etc. Doesn't allow water penetration, water then runs into sewers and streams. Excess water causes floods.
Enlarged bank on each side of river to prevent flooding
Similar to levees but to prevent ocean waters from flooding coasts that are under sea level.
Barrier that runs across a river/stream to control water flow
Large body of water stored behind a dam. Held for consumption, generating electricity, flood control, or recreation.
Fish Ladders
Sets of stairs with water flowing over them to have fish migrate despite dams.
Canals or ditches used to carry water between locations. Transports water to dry areas.
Removes salt from salt water to make fresh water.
Desalination method. Seawater flows in, heated to create steam, cool seawater in condensing coil causes steam to condense. Brine and fresh water then flows out.
Reverse Osmosis
Desalination method. Seawater flows in, pressure applied, water goes through semipermeable membrane, salt can't. Water and brine flows out.
Hydroponic Agriculture
Cultivation under greenhouse conditions with roots in nutrient rich solution, and not soil.
biogeochemical cycle
The circulation of matter through the biosphere.
Water Cycle
The continual movement of water between Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land surface through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
Carbon Cycle
The series of processes by which carbon compounds are interconverted in the environment. This involves the incorporation of carbon dioxide into living tissue by photosynthesis and its return to the atmosphere through respiration, the decay of dead organisms, and the burning of fossil fuels.
Nitrogen Cycle
The transfer of nitrogen from the atmosphere to the soil, to living organisms, and back to the atmosphere. Lightning, and nitrogen fixing bacteria transform inorganic nitrogen to organic forms of nitrogen.
Phosphorous Cycle
the cyclic movement of phosphorus in different chemical forms from the environment to organisms and then back to the environment. This cycle does not have an atmospheric component.
Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria
found on legume roots, turn nitrogen into a usable form, nitrate.
Denitrifying Bacteria
Bacteria that convert the nitrates in soil or water to gaseous nitrogen and release it back into the atmosphere.
The change of a substance from a liquid to a gas. When liquid water is heated to become a vapor.
The change of state from a gas to a liquid. Water in the vapor form is cooled, and condenses, so the molecules of gas get closer, and form liquid.
Any form of water that falls from clouds and reaches Earth's surface.
Evaporation of water from the leaves of a plant.
Part of the water cycle where an excess of water runs down and does not sink into the soil and eventually makes it to the rivers, lakes, and oceans.
the average weather that occurs in a given region over a long period - typically several decades
the layer of the atmosphere closest to Earth's surface
layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere
the percentage of incoming sunlight that is reflected from a surface
saturation point
the maximum amount of water vapor that can be in the air at a given temperature
adiabatic cooling
the process in which the decrease of atmospheric pressure allows rising air to expand in volume and lower it's temperature
adiabatic heating
the process in which the increase of atmospheric pressure allows sinking air to decrease in volume and raise it's temperature
Hadley Cell
the convection currents that cycle between the equator and 30 degrees N and S
intertropical convergence zone
where the ascending branches of the two Hadley cells converge
polar cells
similar to Hadley cells; circulates beween 60 degrees N and S and the poles
Coriolis Effect
the deflection of an objects path due to Earth's rotation
large-scale patterns of water circulation
upward movement of water toward the surface
thermohaline circulation
drives the mixing of surface water and deep water
el Nino; ENSO
periodic changes in winds and ocean currents
rain shadow
warm, dry air produces arid conditions on the leeward side of a mountain range
terrestrial geographic regions that have a particular combination of average annual temperature and annual precipitation and contain distinctive plant growth forms that are adapted to that climate
a biome that is cold and treeless, with low-growing vegetation
an impermeable, permanently frozen layer that prevents water from draining and roots from penetrating
boreal forest
a biome; are forests made up primarily of coniferous (cone-bearing) evergreen trees that can tolerate cold winters and short growing seasons
temperate rainforest
a biome; moderate temperatures and high precipitation typify this biome
temp seasonal forest
a biome; are more abundant than temperate rainforests; experience much warmer summers and colder winters than temperate rainforests
shrubland; Chaparral
a biome; is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters
Temperate Grassland
a biome; has the lowest average annual precipitation of any temperate biome; cold, harsh winters and hot, dry summers characterize this biome
Tropical Rainforest
a biome; are warm and wet, with little seasonal temperature variation
Tropical Seasonal Forests; Savannahs
a biome; are marked by warm temperatures and distinct wet and dry seasons
Subtropical Desets
a biome; also known as hot deserts; hot temperatures, extremely dry conditions, and sparse vegetation prevail
Littoral Zone
is the shallow area of soil and water near the shore where algae and emergent plants such as cattails grow
Limnetic Zone
open water
floating algae
Profundal Zone
very deep lakes have a region of water below the limnetic zone
Benthic Zone
the muddy bottom of a lake or bond beneath the limnetic and profundal zones
Freshwater Wetland
a biome; aquatic biomes that are submerged or saturated by water for at least part of each year, but shallow enough to support emergent vegetation throughout
Salt Marsh
a biome; found along the coast in temperate climates; one of the most productive biomes in the world
Mangrove Swamps
a biome; occur along tropical and subtropical coasts
Intertidal Zone
the narrow band of coastline between the levels of high tide and low tide
Coral Reefs
a biome; are found in warm, shallow waters beyond the shoreline, represent Earth's most diverse marine biome
Coral Bleaching
a phenomenon in which the algae inside the corals die which soon causes the corals to die
Photic Zone
the upper layer of water that receives enough sunlight to allow photosynthesis
Aphotic Zone
the deeper layer of water that lacks sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis
process in which bacteria deep in the ocean use the bonds of methane and hydrogen sulfide to generate energy
ecosystem diversity
the measure of the variety of ecosystems within a region
species diversity
the measure of the variety of species within an ecosystem
genetic diversity
the measure of the variety of genes within a species
species richness
the number of species in a given area
species eveness
tells us whether a particular ecosystem is numerically dominated by one species or whether all of its species have similar abundances
the branching patterns of evolutionary relationships
a change in the genetic composition of a population over time
the evolution below the species level, such as the evolution of different varieties of apples or potatoes
the process in which genetic changes give rise to a new species, genera, family, class, or phyla
are physical locations on chromosomes within each cell of an organism; determines the range of possible traits that it can pass down to its offspring
the complete set of genes in an individual
an occasional mistake in the copying process of DNA produces a random change in the genetic code
occurs as chromosomes are duplicated during reproductive cell division and a piece of one chromosome breaks off and attaches to another chromosome
the actual set of traits expressed in that individual
artificial selection
when humans determine which individuals breed, typically with a preconceived set of traits in mind
natural selection
the environment determines which individuals survive and reproduce
an individual's ability to survive and reproduce
traits that improve an individual's fitness
genetic drift
a change in the genetic composition of a population over time as a result of random mating
bottleneck effect
a reduction in the genetic diversity of a population caused by a reduction in its size
founder effect
a change in a population descended from a small number of colonizing individuals
geographic isolation
when a subset of individuals from a larger population may colonize a new area of habitat that is physically separated from that of the rest of the population
reproductive isolation
when the geographically separated population becomes so different that even if the physical barrier were removed, they could no longer interbreed and produce viable offspring
allopatric speciation
a process of speciation that requires geographic isolation
sympatric speciation
the evolution of one species into two species in the absence of geographic isolation
genetic engineering
techniques in which scientists can now copy genes form a species with some desirable trait and insert these genes into other species
genetically modified organisms
organisms that have had their genetic makeup modified by genetic engineering
range of tolerance
limits to the abiotic conditions they can tolerate
fundamental niche
the suite of ideal conditions
realized niche
the range of abiotic and biotic conditions under which a species actually lives
species distribution
the areas of the world in which the species lives
niche generalists
organisms that can live in a variety of habitats or feed on a variety of species
niche specialists
organisms that are specialized to lie in a specific habitat of feed on a small group of species
the remains of organisms that have been preserved in rock
mass extinction
events in which large number of species when extinct over relatively short periods of time
sixth mass extinction
scientists have predicted/identified a new mass extinction is underway and an estimated 2-25 percent of species will go extinct; it is caused by humans
a particular location on Earth distinguished by its particular mix of interacting biotic and abiotic components
producers; autotrophs
organisms that use the suns's energy to produce usable forms of energy
the process in which producers use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose, a form of potential energy that can be used by a wide range of organisms
consumers; heterotrophs
are incapable of photosynthesis and must obtain their energy by consuming other organisms
primary consumers
heterotrophs that consume producers
secondary consumers
carnivores that eat primary consumers
tertiary consumers
carnivores that eat secondary consumers; are pretty rare
trophic levels
successive levels of organisms consuming one another is called this
food chains
the sequence of consumption from producers through tertiary consumers
food web
take into account the complexity of nature, and they illustrate one of the most important concepts of ecology
are carnivores, such as vultures, that consume dead animals
organisms, such as dung beetles, that specialize in breaking down dead tissues and waste products (referred to as detritus) into smaller particles
the fungi and bacteria that complete the breakdown process by recycling the nutrients from dead tissues and wastes back into the ecosystem
gross primary productivity; GPP
the process in which scientists look at the total amount of solar energy that the producers in an ecosystem capture via photosynthesis over a given amount of time
net primary productivity; NPP
the energy captured minus the energy respired by producers
the total mass of all living matter in a specific area
standing crop
the amount of biomass present in an ecosystem at a particular time
ecological efficiency
the proportion of consumed energy that can be passed from one trophic level to another
trophic pyramid
represents the distribution of biomass along trophic levels
the region of our planet where life resides
biogeochemical cycles
the movement of matter within and between ecosystems
hydroglogic cycle
the movement of water through the bioshpere
a process in which plants release water from their leaves into the atmosphere
the combined amount of evaporation and traspiration
water can move as this across the surface of the land and into streams/rivers eventually reaching the ocean
six key elements that organisms need in relatively large amounts
limiting nutrient
a nutrient an organism needs because a lack of it results in constrained growth
nitrogen fixation
a process in which Nitrogen gas in the atmosphere (N2) is converted directly into ammonia (NH3)
a process in which nitrates are readily transported through the soil with water
an event caused by a physical, chemical, or biological agents that result in changes in population size or community composition
all of the land in a given landscape that drains into a particular stream, river, lake, or wetland
a measure of how much a disturbance can affect the flows of energy and matter
the rate at which an ecosystem returns to its original state after a disturbance
restoration ecology
field of science that focuses on studying restoring damaged ecosystems
intermediate disturbance hypothesis
states that ecosystems experiencing intermediate levels of disturbance are more divers than those with high or low disturbance levels
instrumental value
a species that have worth as a tool that can be used to accomplish a goal
intrinsic value
species that have worth independent of any benefit it may provide to humans
goods that humans can use directly
the study of human populations and population trends
a scientist in the field of demography
the movement of people out of a country or region, to settle in another country or region
crude birth rate (CBR)
the number of births per year per 1,000 individuals per year
Crude Death Rate (CDR)
the number of deaths per 1,000 individuals per year
total fertility rate (TFR)
an estimate of the average number of children that each woman in a population will bear throughout her childbearing years
replacement-level fertility
the total fertility rate required to offset the average number of deaths in a population in order to maintain the current population size
developed countries
a country with relatively high levels of industrialization and income
developing countries
a country with relatively low levels of industrialization and income
life expectancy
the average number of years that an infant born in a particular year in a particular country can be expected to live, given the current average life span and death rate in that country
infant mortality
the number of deaths of children under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births
child mortaility
the number of deaths of children under age 5 per 1,000 live births
age structure diagram
a diagram that shows the number of individuals within each age category, typically expressed for males and females separately
population pyramid
an age structure diagram that is widest at the bottom and smallest at the top, typical of developing countries
population momentum
continued population growth that does not slow in response to growth reduction measures
theory of demographic transition
as a country moves from a subsistence economy to industrialization and increased affluence, it undergoes a predictable shift in population growth
family planning
regulation of the number or spacing of offspring through the use of birth control
the state of having plentiful wealth; the possession of money, goods, or property
IPAT equation
Impact = population x affluence x technology
urban area (census definition)
an area that contains more than 385 people per square kilometer (1,000 people per square mile)
gross domestic product (GDP)
a measure of the value of all products and services produced in a country in a year
Pre Cambrian. Before Archezoic. Rockless, formation of Earth, solidifying crust
Cenozoic. After Pleistocene. Age of Man, human civilization, Great Lakes
Paleozoic. After Devonian, before Permian. Coal age, coal swamps, limestone, North America shallow seas, southern glaciation.
Pre Cambrian. After Archezoic, before Cambrian. Stromatolites, 1st multicelled, 1st invertebrates, mass extinction, oxygen buildup, supercontinent Radinia
Paleozoic. Before Ordovician, after Proterozoic. Age of Trilobites, explosion of invertibrate life, Rodinia broke apart, Burgess shale
Paleozoic. Before Silurian, after Cambrian. Graptolites, 1st fish and fungi, shallow seas
Paleozoic. After Ordovician, before Devonian. Eurypterids/sea scorpions, invertebrates, 1st land plants and insects, all landmasses, generally flat.
Paleozoic. After Silurian, before Carboniferous. Age of fish, 1st trees, 1st amphibians, Appalachian Mountains.
Paleozoic. After Carboniferous, before Triassic. Age of amphibians, mass extinctions, Pangaea
Mesozoic. After Permian, before Jurassic. Age of Ammonites, 1st dinosaurs, 1st mammals, Pangaea breaks
Mesozoic. After Triassic, before Cretaceous. Age of reptiles, 1st birds, reptiles dominant, North America shallow seas
Mesozoic. After Jurassic, before Tertiary. Age of dinosaurs, KT extinction at end, flowering plants, rocky Mountains, asteroid.
Cenozoic. After Cretaceous, before Pleistocene. Age of mammals, modern birds, alps, Himalayas, Columbia Plateau
Cenozoic. After Teriary, before Holocene. Ice Age, Mega Fauna, 1st humans
Precambrian. After Hadean, before Proterozoic. Ancient life, one celled 1st life, oldest rocks
Dissolved minerals from igneous rocks by water which precipitate into concentrated deposits
Oceanic Plates
Lie underneath ocean. Dense and rich in iron
Subsurface Mining
Tunnels within mountain where people go in.
Placer Mining
Process of looking for metals and precious stones in river sediments
Mountaintop Removal
Miners remove entire top of a mountain with explosives
Open pit mining
Create large pit or hole in ground to mine
Mining Spoils/Tailings
Unwanted waste material created during mining.
Strip Mining
Minerals close to the surface, remove soil and rock to expose them, then return unwanted waste material.
Elements with properties that conduct electricity and heat
Crustal Abundance
Average Concentration of an element in the crust
Economically valuable concentrated accumulations of minerals.
Soil Degradation
Loss of some or all of the ability of soils to support plant growth.
Base Saturation
Measure of proportion of soil bases to soil acids
Cation Exchange Capacity
Ability of a soil to absorb and release cations. Determined by clay. Higher is better, but higher decreases porosity, therefore, there's a tradeoff.
Texture of soil
Determined by percentage of sand, silt, and clay
C Horizon
Least weathered. Most similar to parent material
B Horizon
Mineral material, little organic matter
E Horizon
Leaches organic acids from above layers to B where they accumulate
A Horizon
Topsoil. Organic material and minerals
O Horizon
Top layer. Organic horizon and detritus.
Parent Material
Rock material underlying a soil
Mix of geologic and organic components
Accumulation or depositing of eroded material
Physical removal of rock fragments from a landscape or ecosystem
Acid Precipitation
Acid rain. Sulfur Dioxide reacts with water vapor to form sulfuric acid in rain.
Chemical Weathering
Breakdown of rocks and minerals by chemical reactions and dissolving of a rocks chemical elements. Alters newly exposed/primary minerals to make secondary minerals.
Physical Weathering
Mechanical breakdown of rocks and minerals. Water, wind, or temp. Plants or burrowing animals can contribute. Exposing more surface area and makes more vulnerable to more erosion.
Metamorphic Rocks
Other rick types subjected to high temps and pressure causing physical and chemical changes. Pressure creates distorted bands called foliation.
Sedimentary Rocks
Form by sediments like muds, sands, and gravels compressed by overlying sediments. Can be uniform or different. Contains the most fossils.
Cracks caused by stress after cooling
Extrusive Igneous Rock
Magma cools on surface, cools rapidly, minerals don't separate
Intrusive Igneous
Cools inside Earth underground. Many colors, cools slowly, minerals separate.
Igneous Rocks
Forms directly from magma. Classified by composition and mode of formation
Solid, Crystalline, Specific chemical structure, certain formations, uniform
Rock Cycle
Constant formation and destruction of rock.
Richter Scale
Measure of ground movement in an earthquake. Logarithmic scale.
Exact point on Earth's surface directly above where rock ruptures
Seismic Activity
Areas with earthquakes and fault activity
Rocks of the lithosphere rupture unexpectedly along a fault. Common in fault zones.
Fault Zones
Large expanses of rock where movement had occurred where plates meet.
Fracture in rock across which there is movement
Transform Fault Boundary
Plates move sideways past each other.
Convergent Plate Boundaries
Plates move towards one another. Continental + Continental= Mountains. Oceanic goes under land, forms mountains and volcanos. Oceanic goes under other oceanic.
Divergent Plate Boundaries
Magma pushes up and out, making new rocks and bringing copper, lead, and silver, however it is deep under ocean.
Vent in Earth's surface. Emits ash, gas, and molten lava. Can be caused by hotspots or convergent plates.
Process of one plate passing under another.
Seafloor Spreading
Oceanic plate meet continental. Oceanic pulled under continental. As other plates move apart, rising magma forms new seafloor crust.
Continental Plates
Lie beneath landmasses. Contains more silicon dioxide. Plates less dense than oceanic.
Tectonic cycle
Sum of the processes that build up and break up lithosphere
Theory of Plate Tectonics
Earth's lithosphere is divided into plates, most of which are in constant motion
Hot Spots
Places where molten material from the mantle reaches lithosphere. Causes volcanoes. Also helps create convection cells
Solid upper mantle and crust. Overlaps with upper mantle. Made of plates with thin layer of soil.
Outer part of mantle. Made of semi-molten, ductile rock.
Molten rock in mantle
1st and innermost layer. Split into inner and outer. Inner is solid, outer liquid. Made of nickel and iron.
Molten rock that slowly circulates in convection cells. 2nd layer from center.
The condition in which not enough calories are ingested to maintain health.
Having a diet that lacks the correct balance of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Food Security
A condition in which people have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
Food Insecurity
A condition in which people do not have adequate access to food.
The condition in which food insecurity is so extreme that large numbers of deaths occur in a given area over a relatively short period.
A deficiency of iron.
Ingestion of too many calories and improper foods.
Livestock or poultry consumed as food
Industrial Agriculture/ Agribusiness
Agriculture that applies the techniques of mechanization and standardization.
Energy Subsidy
The energy input per calorie of food produced.
Green Revolution
A shift in agricultural practices in the twentieth century that included new management techniques, mechanization, fertilization, irrigation, and improved crop varieties, and resulted in increased food output
Economies of Scale
The observation that average costs of production fall as output increases.
A form of soil degradation that occurs when soil remains under water for prolonged periods.
A form of soil degradation that occurs when the small amount of salts in irrigation water becomes highly concentrated on the soil surface through evaporation.
Organic Fertilizers
Fertilizer composed of organic matter from plants and animals.
Synthetic/ Inorganic Fertilizers
Fertilizer produced commercially, normally with the use of fossil fuels
An agricultural method that utilizes large plantings of a single species or variety.
A substance, either natural or synthetic, that kills or controls organisms that people consider pests.
A pesticide that targets species of insects and other invertebrates
A pesticide that targets plant species that compete with crops.
Broad-Spectrum pesticide
A pesticide that kills many difierent types of pests.
Selective pesticide
A pesticide that targets a narrower range of organisms.
Persistent pesticide
A pesticide that remains in the environment for a long time.
An increased concentration of a chemical within an organism over time
Non-persistent pesticide
A pesticide that breaks down rapidly, usually in weeks or months.
Resistant pesticide
An individual that survives a pesticide application.
Pesticide Treadmill
A cycle of pesticide development, followed by pest resistance, followed by new pesticide development
Conventional Agriculture
Agriculture that applies the techniques of mechanization and standardization.
Shifting Agriculture
An agricultural method in which land is cleared and used for a few years until the soil is depleted of nutrients.
The transformation of arable, productive land to desert or unproductive land due to climate change or destructive land use.
Nomadic Grazing
Feeding herds of animals by moving them to seasonally productive feeding grounds, often over long distances.
Sustainable Agriculture
Agriculture that fulfills the need for food and fiber while enhancing the quality of the soil, minimizing the use of nonrenewable resources, and allowing economic viability for the farmer.
An agricultural method in which two or more crop species are planted in the same field at the same time to promote a synergistic interaction.
Crop Rotation
An agricultural technique in which crop species in a field are alternated from season to season.
An agricultural technique in which trees and vegetables are intercropped
Contour Plowing
An agricultural technique in which plowing and harvesting are done parallel to the topographic contours of the land
No-Till Agriculture
An agricultural method in which farmers do not turn the soil between seasons, used as a means of reducing erosion
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
An agricultural practice that uses a variety of techniques designed to minimize pesticide inputs
Organic Agriculture
Production of crops with the goal of improving the soil each year without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)
A large indoor or outdoor structure used to raise animals at very high densities
A commercially harvestable population of fish within a particular ecological region
Fishery Collapse
The decline of a fish population by 90 percent or more.
The unintentional catch of nontarget species while fishing.
Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQ)
A fishery management program in which individual fishers are given a total allowable catch of fish in a season that they can either catch or sell.
Farming aquatic organisms such as fish, shellfish, and seaweeds.
A plant that lives only one season
A plant that lives for multiple years.
biological diversity or biodiversity
the variety of the earth's species, the genes they contain, the ecosystems in which they live, and the ecosystem processes such as energy flow and nutrient cycling that sustain all life

vital renewable resource
the identified species include almost a million species of insects, 270, 000 plant species, and 45, 000 vertebrate animal species
species diversity
number of different species a community contains combined with the relative abundance of individuals within each of those species
genetic diversity
variety of genetic material within a species or population
ecosystem biodiversity
variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems found in an area or on the earth
functional biodiversity
the biological and chemical processes such as energy flow and matter recycling needed for the survival of species communities, and ecosystems
biological evolution
the process whereby earth's life changes over time through changes in the genes of populations
natural selection
mechanism for biological evolution

occurs when some individuals of a population have genetically based traits that enhance their ability to survive and produce offspring with the same traits
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection published in 1859
Charles Darwin's book and its year of publication
six major groups of species
tree of life
name of the development of life as an ever-branching tree of species diversity
eubacteria, archaebacteria, protists, plants, fungi, animals
the six specific groups of species
mineralized or petrified replicas of skeletons, bones, teeth, shells, leaves, and seeds, or impressions of such items found in rocks
fossil record
cumulative body of fossils found
career that tries to reconstruct the development of life with the little fossil evidence
what evolve by becoming genetically different
genetic variablity
first step in process of biological evolution

occurs through mutations
random changes in the structure or number of DNA molecules in a cell that can be inherited by offspring
natural selection
second step in the process of biological evolution

genes mutate, individuals are selected, and populations evolve that are better adapted to survive and reproduce under existing environmental condidtions
adaptation or adaptive trait
any heritable trait that enables an individual organism to survive through natural selection and to reproduce more than other individuals under prevailing environmental conditions
able to be passed from one generation to another
differential reproduction
enables individuals with the trait to leave more offspring than other members of the population leave
genetic resistance
ability of one or more organisms in a population to tolerate a chemical designed to kill it
adapt, migrate, or become extinct
3 possible futures for a population of a species when environmental conditions change
strong opposable thumbs, walk upright, and complex brain
3 adaptations that humans had to make us successful
2 limits to natural selection
1) a change in environmental conditions can lead to such an adaptation only for genetic traits already present in a population's gene pool or for traits resulting from mutations

2) even if a beneficial heritable trait is present in a population, the population's ability to adapt may be limited by its reproductive capacity
measure of reproductive success, not strength
tectonic plates
huge flows of molten rock within the earth's interior break its surface into a series of gigantic solid plates called ________
2 main effects of the process of the formation of tectonic plates
process of formation of tectonic plates has two main effects:

1) the location of continents and oceanic basins greatly influence the earth's climate and thus help determine where plants and animals can live

2) the movement of continents has allowed species to move, adapt to new environments, and form new species through natural selection
can affect biological evolution by causing fissures in the earth's crust that can separate and isolate populations of species
volcanic eruptions
can affect biological evolution by destroying habitats and reducing or wiping out populations of species
when two species arise from one from natural selection

for sexually reproducing species, a new species is formed when some members of a population have evolved to the point where they can no longer breed with other members to produce fertile offspring
geographic isolation and reproductive isolation
2 phases of speciation
geographic isolation
occurs when different groups of the same population of a species become physically isolated from one another for long periods (physical barrier in way or when few individuals are carried to a new area by wind or flowing water)
reproductive isolation
mutation and change by natural selection operate independently in gene pools of geographically isolated populations. If the process continues long enough, members of the geographically and reproductively isolated populations may become so different in genetic makeup that they cannot produce live, fertile offspring if they are to be rejoined
when an entire species ceases to exist
endemic species
species that are found in only one area; especially vulnerable to extinction
background extinction
when species disappear at a low rate
mass extinction
significant rise in extinction rates above the background level
species richness
number of different species a community contains
species evenness
relative abundance of individuals within each of the species in a community
geographical location
species diversity of communities vary with ________

-species richness is highest in tropics and decline as move from equator towards the poles
more diverse ecosystem = more productive ecosystem

with a greater variety of producer species, an ecosystem will produce more plant biomass, in turn supporting a greater variety of consumer species

greater species richness and productivity will make an ecosystem more stable or sustainable

greater species richness and accompanying web of feeding and biotic interactions in an ecosystem, greater its sustainability, or ability to withstand environmental disturbances such as drought or insect infestations

a complex ecosystem with many different species and the resulting variety of feeding paths has more ways to respond to most environmental stresses
ecological niche
each specie's distinct role played in the ecosystems where it is found; pattern of living
generalist species
species that have broad niches; can live in many different places, eat a variety of foods, and often tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions
specialist species
species that have narrow niches; can live in only one type of habitat, use one or few types of food, and tolerate a narrow range of climatic and other environmental condition
native, nonnative, indicator, keystone, and foundation species
the 5 specific roles played in an ecoystems
native species
those species that normally live and thrive in a particular ecosystem
nonnative species
species that migrate into or are deliberately or accidentally introduced into an ecosystem

also called invasive, alien, or exotic species
indicator species
species that provide early warnings of damage to a community or an ecosystem
habitat loss and fragmentation, prolonged drought, pollution, increases in UV radiation, parasites, viral and fungal diseases, climate change, overhunting, and natural immigration of, or deliberate introduction of, nonnative predators and competitors
causes to explain amphibian decline
keystone species
species that have a large effect on the types and abundances of other species in an ecosystem
foundation species
species that play a major role in shaping communities by creating and enhancing their habitats in ways that benefit other species
Municipal Solid Waste
MSW. Refuse from households, small businesses, and hospitals.
Waste Stream
Flow of solid waste that is recycled, incinerated, placed in a solid waste landfill, or disposed of in another way.
Three Rs
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Source Reduction
Seeks to reduce waste by reducing in the early stages of design and manufacture the use of materials destined to become MSW.
Allowing a material to cycle through a system longer by reusing it.
Process by which materials destined to be MSW are collected, turned back into raw materials to make new objects.
Closed Loop Recycling
Recycling of a product into the same product.
Organic matter that has decomposed under controlled conditions to produce an organic rich material that enhances soil structure, cation exchange capacity, and fertility.

Waste dumped into tipping area, compostable and noncompostable materials are separated, noncompostable material is removed to landfill, compostable material is aerated and turned 1+ tines for a period of a month to a year, composted material is allowed to cure, finished compost is transported for use.
Sanitary Landfills
Ground facilities to hold MSW with as little contamination as possible.

Solid waste transported to landfill, waste compacted by a specialized machine, leachate collection system removes water and contaminants and carries them to waste water treatment plant, landfill is capped and covered with soil and then planted with vegetation, methane produced in closed cells is extracted and either burned off or collected for use as fuel.
Tipping Fee
Fee for dumping in landfill because of tremendous cost of initial build.
Designating a location for a landfill.
Not In My Backyard attitude. People don't want things like landfills to be put where they live.
Process of burning waste materials to reduce their volume and mas and sometimes to generate electricity and heat.

Waste dumped into refuse bunker, crane moves material from bunker to hopper, waste burned in incineration chamber, ash is collected and removed from plant, baghouse filter helps filter clean air before its released through chimney, heat energy can be used to create steam and generate electricity.
Residual nonorganic material that does not combust during incineration.
Bottom ash
Residue collected underneath the furnace.
Fly Ash
Residue collected beyond the furnace.
Waste to Energy
When heat generated by incineration is used rather than released to atmosphere.
CERCLA. Imposes tax on chemical and petroleum industries. Revenue from the tax is used to fund the cleanup of abandoned and nonoperating hazardous waste sites where there is no responsible party.
Contaminated industrial and commercial land that didn't make it into Superfund. Need environmental cleanup before they can be redeveloped or expanded.
Life Cycle
Important systems tool that looks at materials used and released throughout entire lifetime of the product.
Integrated Waste Management
Employs multiple waste reduction strategies. Changes in packing design, manufacturing practices, in purchasing habits, increased reuse, backyard composting, recovery for recycling, composing.
An energy source with a finite supply, primarily the fossil fuels and nuclear fuels
Potentially Renewable
An energy source that can be regenerated indefinitely as long as it is not overharvested
An energy source that cannot be used up
In energy management, an energy source that is either potentially renewable or nondepletable
Energy Conservation
The implementation of methods to use less energy
Tiered Rate System
A billing system used by some electric companies in which customers pay higher rates as their use goes up
Peak Demand
The greatest quantity of energy used at any one time
Passive Solar Design
Construction designed to take advantage of solar radiation without active technology
Thermal Inertia
The ability of a material to maintain its temperature
Liquid fuels created from processed or refined biomass
Modern Carbon
Carbon in biomass that was recently in the atmosphere
Fossil Carbon
Carbon in fossil fuels
Net Removal
The process of removing more than is replaced by growth, typically used when referring to carbon
Alcohol made by converting starches and sugars from plant material into alcohol and CO2
A diesel substitute produced by extracting and chemically altering oil from plants
Flex-Fuel Vehicles
A vehicle that runs on either gasoline or ethanol
Generated by the pressure of falling water
Water Impoundment
The storage of water in a reservoir behind a dam
Run-of-the-River Hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity generation in which water is retained behind a low dam or no dam
Tidal Energy
Energy that comes from the movement of water driven by the gravitational pull of the Moon
The accumulation of sediments, primarily silt, on the bottom of a reservoir
Passive Solar Heating
Using the design of a building to take advantage of solar radiation withous active technology
Active Solar Energy
Energy captured from sunlight with intermediate technologies
Photovoltaic Solar Cells
A system of capturing energy from sunlight and converting it directly into electricity
Geothermal Energy
Heat energy that comes from the natural radioactive decay of elements deep within Earth
Ground Source Heat Pumps
A technology that transfers heat from the ground to a building
Wind Energy
Energy generated from the kinetic energy of moving air
Wind Turbine
A turbine that converts wind energy into electricity
Fuel Cell
An electrical-chemical device that converts fuel, such as hydrogen, into an electrical current
The application of an electric current to water molecules to split them into hydrogen and oxygen
Electrical Grid
A network of interconnected transmission lines that joins power plants together and links them with end users of electricity
An energy source with a finite supply, primarily the fossil fuels and nuclear fuels
Fossil fuels
A fuel derived from biological material that became fossilized millions of years ago
Commercial energy sources
An energy source that is bought and sold
Subsistence energy sources
Energy sources gathered by individuals for their own immediate needs
Energy Efficiency
The ratio of the amount of work done to the total amount of energy introduced to the system
Energy carrier
Something that can move and deliver energy in a convenient, usable form to end users
A device with blades that can be turned by water, wind, steam, or exhaust gas from combustion that turns a generator in an electricity-producing plant
Electrical grid
A network of interconnected transmission lines that joins power plants together and links them with end users of electricity
Combined cycle
A power plant that uses both exhaust gases and steam turbines to generate electricity
In reference to an electricity-generating plant, the maximum electrical output
Capacity factor
The fraction of time a power plant operates in a year
The use of a single fuel to generate electricity and to produce heat
Solid fuel formed primarily from the remains of trees, ferns, and other plant materials preserved 280 million to 360 million years ago
A fossil fuel that occurs in underground deposits, composed of a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons, water, and sulfur
Crude oil
Liquid petroleum removed from the ground
Exxon Valdez
This oil tanker accident in 1989 was the largest oil spill in the United States until 2010: a supertanker carrying 53 million gallons of oil, crashed into a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Roughly 11 million gallons of oil spilled into the sound. Much of it washed up on shore, coating the coastline and killing hundreds of thousands of birds and thousands of marine mammals
Oil Sands
Slow-flowing, viscous deposits of bitumen mixed with sand, water, and clay
A degraded petroleum that forms when petroleum migrates to the surface of Earth and is modified by bacteria; also called tar or pitch
The process of converting solid coal into liquid fuel
Energy intensity
The energy use per unit of gross domestic product
Hubbert Curve
A bell-shaped curve representing oil use and projecting both when world oil production will reach a maximum and when we will run out of oil
Peak oil
The point at which half the total known oil supply is used up
Nuclear Fission
A nuclear reaction in which a neutron strikes a relatively large atomic nucleus, which then splits into two or more parts, releasing additional neutrons and energy in the form of heat
Fuel rods
A cylindrical tube that encloses nuclear fuel within a nuclear reactor
Control rods
A cylindrical device inserted between the fuel rods in a nuclear reactor to absorb excess neutrons and slow or stop the fission reaction
Radioactive waste
Nuclear fuel that can no longer produce enough heat to be useful in a power plant but continues to emit radioactivity
Unit that measures the rate at which a sample of radioactive material decays; 1 Bq = decay of 1 atom or nucleus per second
A unit of measure for radiation; 1 curie = 37 billion decays per second
Nuclear Fusion
A reaction that occurs when lighter nuclei are forced together to produce heavier nuclei
Nonpoint Sources
Diffuse areas that pollute. Farming region, suburban community with many lawns and septic systems, or storm runoff from parking lots.
Water Pollution
Contamination of streams, lakes, oceans, or groundwater with substances produced by humans.
Point sources
Distinct locations like a factory, or a sewage treatment plant.
Waste produced by human activities including human sewage from toilets and gray water.
Oxygen Demanding Waste
Organic matter that enters a body of water and feeds the growth of microbes that are decomposers. Measured in terms of BOD
Biochemical Oxygen Demand. Amount of oxygen a quantity of water uses over a period of time at a specific temperature. Lower is less polluted.
Dead Zones
Areas with little oxygen and little life. Can be self-perpetuating with the dying organisms subsequently decomposing and causing continued oxygen demand by microbes.
Decomposition of waste water provides an overabundance of fertility to a water body.
Cultural Eutrophication
Anthropogenic eutrophication.
Indicator Species
Organism that indicates whether or not disease causing pathogens are likely to be present.
Fecal Coliform bacteria
Generally harmless microorganisms that live in the intestines of human beings and other animals. E. coli. Found in water when human waste is in it.
Septic System
Composed of a septic tank and a leach field. Found in individual houses in rural areas. Wastewater held in septic tank where solids settle to bottom as sludge, middle layer is fairly clear water called septage, and floating stuff forms scum layer. Septage moves out of septic tank by gravity into several underground pipes laid out across a lawn below the surface called leach field. Then filtered by soil.
Sewage Treatment Plant System
Underground pipes carry waste to treatment plants. Large debris filtered out by screens and sent to landfill. Solid Waste/sludge settles to bottom of tank. Bacteria break down organic material to CO2 and inorganic nutrients and settled particles added to sludge. Sludge thickened by removing water. Thickened sludge taken to landfill, burned, or used for fertilizer. Exposure to chemicals or UV light kills pathogens. Treated water released into river or lake.
Manure Lagoons
Lare, human-made ponds lined with rubber to prevent manure from leaking into groundwater. Leaks could greatly contaminate.
Naturally in crust and can dissolve into groundwater, humans breaking up rocks also contributes.
Acid Deposition
NOx and SO2 convert to sulfuric and nitric acids in atmosphere. React and bond with rain and fall with it. Increased pH can be lethal to some aquatic organisms.
Flame retardants. Can lead to brain damage, been found in fish, birds, and human breast milk. More research needed.
Oil Spill Cleanup Methods
For surface oil, contain oil within one area with plastic barriers and suck off surface. Apply chemicals that help break up the oil making it disperse before it hits shoreline, but chemicals could be toxic to marine life. Tides naturally remove from beaches but oil remaining in rocky crevices will have negative effects. No agreed upon method for cleaning up underwater plumes.
Thermal Pollution
When human activities cause a substantial change in the temperature of water.
Thermal Shock
Many species die because a dramatic change in temperature puts them outside their natural range of temps.
Clean Water Act
Maintains and restores the chemical, physical, and biological properties of natural waters.
Maximum Containment Levels
Max level of one of 77 substances that can exist in a body of water.
Leading causes and sources for streams and rivers
Bacterial pathogens, habitat alteration, oxygen depletion. Agriculture, water diversions, dam construction.
Leading causes and sources for Lakes, ponds, and reservoirs
Mercury, PCBs, nutrients. Atmospheric deposition, agriculture.
Leading causes and sources for bays and estuaries
Bacterial pathogens, oxygen depletion, mercury. Atmospheric deposition, municipal discharges including sewage.

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