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Mr. Migdal's vocabulary for Chapter 7


(physics) electromagnetic radiation that can produce a visual sensation

dissolved oxygen

oxygen dissolved in water, dissolved oxygen is important for fish and other aquatic animals


substances in food that your body needs to grow, to repair itself, and to supply you with energy; all the chemical substances that an organism needs to sustain life


erosion-resistant marine ridge or mound consisting chiefly of compacted coral together with algal material and biochemically deposited magnesium and calcium carbonates.

coral bleaching

coral animals become stressed and release symbiotic algae and the entire reef will die; occurs when a coral becomes stressed and expels most of its colorful algae, leaving an underlying ghostly white skeleton of calcium carbonat


symbiotic unicellular dinophytes found in corals, sea anemones, mollusks and several other types of marine animals, forms an endosymbiotic relationship with corals and performs photosynthesis.


a measure of the amount of dissolved salts and other solids in a given amount of liquid


primarily microscopic organisms that occupy the upper water layers in both freshwater and marine ecosystems


all organisms that swim actively in open water, independent of currents


organisms (plants and animals) that live at or near the bottom of a sea and the littoral zones


Microscopic, free-floating, autotrophic organisms that function as producers in aquatic ecosystems


Floating microscopic animals, including the larval stages of many larger animals. feed on phytoplankton and other zooplankton.

calcium carbonate

CaCO₃; made up of calcium, carbon, and oxygen. It dissolves when in contact with acid

open sea

The sharp increase in water depth at the edge of the continental shelf separates the coastal zone from the vast volume of the ocean

coastal zone

the warm, nutrient-rich, shallow water that extends from the high-tide mark on land to the gently sloping, shallow edge of the continental shelf.

continental shelf

the relatively shallow (up to 200 meters) seabed surrounding a continent, a gently sloping, shallow area of the ocean floor that extends outward from the edge of a continent


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


areas of soft, wet land; many plants and animals live here;, wetlands without trees; in North America, this type of land is characterized by cattails and rushes


wetland with trees, such as the extensive swamp forests of the southern U.S.; most productive wetlands

coastal wetlands

Land areas covered with water all or part of the year (i.e river mouths, inlets, bays, sounds)

intertidal zone

portion of the shoreline that lies between the high and low tide lines;, The shallow zone of the ocean where land meets water

barrier islands

low, narrow, sandy islands that form offshore from a coastline

euphotic zone

Upper layer of a body of water through which sunlight can penetrate and support photosynthesis.

bathyal zone

this ocean zone is divided into twilight and dark zones. little sunlight reaches this area. octopus, sharks, squid and many other large nekton are in this zone

abyssal zone

The portion of the ocean floor where light does not penetrate and where temperatures are cold and pressures intense (2000m or more)

littoral zone

a shallow zone in a freshwater habitat where light reaches the bottom and nurtures plants

lemnetic zone

occurs off shore

profundal zone

The zone in a freshwater habitat to which little sunlight penetrates

benthic zone

The bottom region of oceans and bodies of fresh water

oligotrophic lake

aquatic environment that contains scarce amounts of nutrients and organic matter

eutrophic lake

A highly productive lake, having a high rate of biological productivity supported by a high rate of nutrient cycling.

mesotrophic lake

mature lake with moderate amounts of nutrients and a diverse community.

cultural eutrophication

Overnourishment of aquatic ecosystems with plant nutrients (mostly nitrates and phosphates) because of human activities such as agriculture, urbanization, and discharges from industrial plants and sewage treatment plants.


a layer in a body of water in which water temperature drops with increased depth faster than it does in other layers

fall turnover

as the surface water cools, its density increases and eventually it displaces the warmer, mineral-rich water beneath. the warmer water then rises to the surace where it cools and sinks; continues till a uniform temperature is reached.

spring turnover

surface water is warmed to 4 degrees Celsius and sinks below the cooler water, bringin nutrients to the surface


the land area that supplies water to a river system

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