81 terms

AP Environmental Science Chapter 4 (Unit 2)

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Estuary
a semi-enclosed area where fresh water from a river meets salty water from the sea (Chesapeake Bay)
Ecology
the study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, including its biotic and abiotic components
Population
members of the same species that live in the same area at the same time
Species
a group of similar organisms that freely interbreed with one another to produce fertile offspring
Community
all the populations of species that live in the same habitat and interact with each other
Ecosystem
a community and its physical environment; the interactions between biotic organisms and biotic and abiotic components/cycle of resources
Landscape
a region that includes several interacting ecosystems
atoms, cells, tissues, organs, body systems, organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, landscapes, biosphere
list the levels of organization from the smallest (atomic) to the largest level
Landscape Ecology
the study of connections between ecosystems found in one region
Atmosphere
gaseous envelope surrounding earth; composed mostly of nitrogen, with some oxygen and carbon dioxide
Hydrosphere
earth's supply of water (liquid and frozen)
Lithosphere
soil and rock of earth's crust
Biosphere
all living things on earth and their non-living environment
Energy
the capacity or ability to do work (growing, moving, reproducing, and maintaining/repairing damaged tissues)
kilojoules, kilocalories
units of energy: units of work are _____ and units of heat energy are ____
1, 4.184
1 kcal is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1kg of water by ___ degree C. 1 kcal is equivalent to ___ kilojoules
Potential Energy
stored energy
Kinetic Energy
energy of motion
Chemical Energy
energy stored in the chemical bonds of molecules
Radiant (solar) Energy
energy transported from the sun as electromagnetic waves
Heat Energy
thermal energy that flows from an object with a high temperature (heat source) to an object with a lower temperature (heat sink)
Mechanical Energy
energy in the movement of matter
Nuclear Energy
energy found within atomic nuclei
Electrical Energy
energy that flows as charged particles
Thermodynamics
the study of energy and its transformations
Closed System
a system that does not exchange energy with its surroundings
Open System
a system that can exchange energy with its surroundings
First Law of Thermodynamics
energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another
Second Law of Thermodynamics
whenever energy is converted from one form to another, some usable energy is degraded into heat, a less-usable form that disperses into the environment. As a result, the amount of usable energy in the universe decreases over time
Entropy
a measure of the disorder or randomness of energy. Usable energy has low entropy (is more organized) while less-usable energy -- such as heat -- has high entropy (less organized)
Photosynthesis
the biological process in which light energy from the sun is captured and transformed into the chemical energy of carbohydrate molecules. Plants, algae, and some bacteria use water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide to create energy and oxygen through this process
Cellular Respiration
the process by which cells use oxygen to releases the chemical energy plants store in carbohydrates and other molecules within the cells of organisms
C6H12O6 + 6O2 --> 6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy
chemical equation for cellular respiration
6CO2 + 6H2O + radiant energy --> C6H12O6 + 6O2
chemical equation for photosynthesis
Hydrothermal Vent Ecosystem
exception to the rule that life requires the sun; ecosystem in which hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor support bacteria that chemosynthesize to create energy. This source of energy allows huge tube worms, clams, barnacles, and mussels to survive without any sunlight
Chemosynthesis
Process by which some organisms, such as certain bacteria, use chemical energy from inorganic raw materials to produce carbohydrates (create energy without sunlight)
Energy Flow
the movement of energy through an ecosystem
Producers/Autotrophs
organisms that manufacture complex organic materials from simple inorganic substances through photosynthesis, becoming the energy source for the rest of the ecosystem. Include plants, algae, and some bacteria
Consumers/Heterotrophs
organisms that use the bodies of other organisms as a source of food energy and body-building materials
Decomposers/Saprotrophs
microbial heterotrophs that break down dead organic material and use the decomposition products to supply themselves with energy. Release inorganic molecules (CO2, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) used by producers. Consist of bacteria and fungi
Primary Consumers
heterotrophs that eat producers (herbivores)
Secondary Consumers
heterotrophs that eat primary consumers (carnivores/omnivores)
Tertiary Consumers
heterotrophs that eat secondary consumers (carnivores/omnivores)
Detritivore
organism that consumes detritus (organic matter that includes animal carcasses, leaf litter, and feces). Snails, crabs, clams, and worms all fall into this category. This type of organism is especially prevalent in aquatic environments, and works with decomposers to destroy dead organisms and waste products. Different from decomposers because they digest internally as opposed to secreting digestive enzymes and then eating the nutrients after digestion like a decomposer would
Detritus
dead organic matter
Food Chain
representation of how energy from food passes from one organism to the next in a sequence of trophic levels; rarely occur in nature due to the fact that organisms usually consume multiple types of food
Trophic Level
step in a food chain or food web
producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, tertiary consumers, decomposers
the first trophic level consists of ____ ; the second of ____ ; the third of ____; and the fourth of ____. _____ are present at every link in the food chain as they break down the carcasses and body wastes of all members
Food Web
a realistic representation of energy flow that consists of a complex of interconnected food chains in an ecosystem
linear, work, heat
Energy flow is ____, or one way. It can move along a food chain/web from one organism to the next as long as it has not been used to do biological ____. Once energy is used by an organism, it is lost as ____ and is unavailable for further use.
ravens, songbirds
One example of the complicated nature of food webs in the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming. When humans fed the starving elk population over the winter, what other population increased? What population decreased as a result?
Krill
small, shrimp like creatures that form a key component of the antarctic food web, feeding whales, seals, penguins, and other species
Ultraviolet Light
electromagnetic radiation that contains more energy than visible light (can break chemical bonds of biologically important molecules such as DNA). Thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica has allowed more of this radiation to penetrate earth's surface, threatening algae that from the base of the food web in the Southern ocean
Pack Ice
sea ice around which algae is found. Provides a spawning ground for krill, which feed on the algae. Global warming has caused a decrease in this ice, which in turn has reduced the population of krill, which has threatened the food source of other species
fishmeal
some commercial fisheries have begun to harvest krill to make ____ for aquaculture industries, further threatening the krill population and the species that depend on it
down
fisherman are fishing ___ the food chain as predatory fish are becoming commercially unavailable. This overfishing is unsustainable. One solution is to create zones where fishing is not allowed in order to restore fish populations
Ecological Pyramid
a graphical representation of the relative energy values of each trophic level as energy dissipates into heat energy (three types)
Pyramid of Numbers
ecological pyramid that shows the number of organisms at each trophic level in an ecosystem. Limited because it does not indicate biomass or energy transfer
Pyramid of biomass
ecological pyramid that illustrates the total biomass of each successive trophic level. Typically show a progressive reduction of biomass in succeeding trophic levels and operates on the assumption that there is a 90% reduction of biomass for each trophic level
Pyramid of Energy
ecological pyramid that illustrates the energy content of the biomass of each trophic level. Large energy bases get progressively smaller to indicate that most energy dissipates into the environment when going from one trophic level to the next
Biomass
the quantitative estimate of the total mass of living material
Gross Primary Productivity
the rate at which energy is captured during photosynthesis/the total amount of photosynthetic energy captured in a given period of time
Net Primary Productivity
energy that remains in plant tissues after cellular respiration has occurred/the plant has used energy for its own life processes
decline
more productive habitats do not necessarily increase biodiversity; in fact, at a certain point, diversity decreases. Therefore, intermediately productive environments allow for the most biodiversity. Humans are constantly enriching the environment with fossil fuels, fertilizers, and sewage, causing a ___ in biodiversity
extinction
humans use a high percentage of land-based NPP, meaning that other species do not get enough energy. This causes ____
cordgrass, seabirds, insects, fish, water snakes, terrapins, meadow voles, crabs
organisms in the Chesapeake Bay Estuary
Brackish
salt and fresh water mixed together
algae
marsh plants filter out nutrients like phosphates and nitrates from treated sewage and fertilizer, which causes ____ blooms if allowed to enter the ocean. One reason why the Chesapeake Bay Estuary is important
amphibians
no ____ live in the Chesapeake Bay Estuary because they are not salt tolerant
exosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, troposphere
layers of the atmosphere include the ___ (the outermost region of earth's atmosphere), the ___ (characterized throughout by an increase in temperature with height), the ___ (middle layer), the ____ (contains the ozone), and the ___ (the lowest region of the atmosphere, extending from the earth's surface)
Transpiration
process by which plants take water out of the ground and release it into the atmosphere. If plants are not there to take water out of the ground, no rain occurs
infrared light
heat is released from the earth as ____ ____
conduction, convection, radiation
three methods of heat transfer: ____ (direct contact), ____ (fluid movement), and ____ (electromagnetic waves
Jean Baptiste Hellmont
man who discovered that plants do not eat soil (obtain energy through photosynthesis instead) by weighing the soil of a growing plant
2.205
1 kg = ? lb
3.785
1 gal = ? L
(new value - old value / old value) x 100
equation for percent change
32
what percent of the NPP do humans use?
rainforests, wetlands, evergreen forests
top three ecosystems in terms of productivity (think water, sun, and nutrients)
10
in a pyramid of energy, only ____ percent of the energy in one level makes it to the next level
matter, energy
_____ can be recycled, but ____ cannot