What Happens When Ecosystems Change?
Terms in this set (38)
the place where a living thing (organism) can meet all of its needs
a large community of living things (organisms) and their environment; can include many different habitats
a place where people live (a region with inhabitants)
land that is underwater some of the time (low-lying land, swamp, wetland)
harmful substances that enter the environment
a young tree
to fight for something (to strive against another or others to attain a goal)
a condition in which plants (producers), plant eaters (herbivores), and predators achieve harmony and thrive
an animal that gets its energy by eating other animals
a barrier across a waterway
bringing something that is of help (helpful)
causing damage or harm (harmful)
companies that build new houses, stores, and other buildings
examples of natural forces that cause changes in ecosystems
winds (hurricanes and tornadoes), water (flooding), fire (forest fires)
examples of changes in ecosystems caused by plants and animals
beaver dams, earthworms, developers, human activity that causes pollution, humans transporting plants and animals
a material such as manure, compost, or a chemical compound added to soil to increase its productivity
coal, oil, natural gas (nonrenewable energy resources that form in the Earth's crust for millions of years)
rain, snow, or sleet that has been made acidic by pollution in the air
to move from one place to another (such as a human transporting a palm tree from Hawaii to Ohio or an adorable little turtle from Arizona to Florida)
an organism belonging to or coming from another place
an organism taking possession of or overrunning an ecosystem
the blanket of air surrounding Earth
gases allow the sun's energy to pass through Earth's atmosphere, but prevent most of this energy from escaping back into outer space
light energy (electromagnetic radiation)
the only form of energy that does not need matter in order to travel (that's why the sun's energy can travel to Earth and back into outer space)
the Environmental Protection Agency; a government agency which watches over our environment
any period of time during which glaciers covered a large part of the earth's surface
a very large piece of thick ice that moves slowly down a slope and spreads out on flat land (a slowly moving mass of ice)
hurricanes' harmful changes
People lose lives, lose homes, buildings are damaged, there is a loss of wildlife habitats, coastline marshes become open water, there is a loss of nesting sites, forests are knocked down, pollution is washed into rivers and lakes, there are oil spills, and flooding brings saltwater into freshwater lakes killing fish and wildlife.
flooding's harmful changes
Flooding washes away plants that provide shelter and food, and strips away rich topsoil that provides nutrients for plants.
flooding's helpful changes
The rich topsoil is carried downstream providing crops and other plants growing in low-lying fields along rivers with nutrients.
forest fires' harmful changes
Forest habitats are destroyed, lives are lost, and surviving animals move to nearby habitats possibly upsetting the balance, and may in turn affect many other habitats.
forest fires' helpful changes
Ashes from burned wood add nutrients to soil, as trees burn and fall more sunlight reaches the forest floor, and the extra nutrients cause new plants to grow.
beaver dams' harmful changes
When the flow of a river or stream is blocked, plants and animals that need flowing water lose their habitat, and trees are cut down by the beavers.
beaver dams' helpful changes
The blocked flow of the river or stream creates a pond and animals like ducks move in, and cutting down trees allows sunlight in to help new plants grow.
earthworms' harmful changes
Earthworms eat the decaying leaves in forests that provide nutrients for the plants, the leaves protect the roots under the soil, and they provide a habitat for insects and small animals. Also, plants don't grow as well in earthworm wastes.
earthworms' helpful changes
Earthworms are beneficial in gardens and fields with hard packed soil because they dig burrows, or tunnels, that mix air and water into the soil.
people's helpful changes
Cutting down forests to gain homes and shops helps people, and turning grasslands into farmland feeds many people. People are trying to protect habitats by replacing trees cut down, bringing water to dry areas, and finding safer products for fertilizing and insect control. They are recycling and burning less coal which cuts down on pollution.
people's harmful changes
Cutting down forests causes living things to lose habitats, and turning grasslands into farmlands means fewer plants to hold soil in place. Using fertilizers, pesticides, and burning fossil fuels causes pollution. Transporting plants and animals upsets a habitat's balance.