263 terms

AP Environmental Science Final


Terms in this set (...)

Least likely to be a result of Global Warming
a decreased rate of photosynthesis
X > Y
when X joules of energy are used to produce Y joules of electrical energy...
Example of Enviromental remediation
PCB-consuming bacteria being sprayed on an area of soil contaminated with PCB's
type of electricity- generating power plant that releases radioactive materials as well as toxic metals such as lead and arsenic
has the greatest heat-trapping ability per molecule
Declining birth and death rates, low infant mortality rates, access to medical care, and readily available birth control.
Populations entering the industrial phase of demographic transition
a currently developing country
Hungary, Japan, Germany, Sweden are all in what phase of demographic transition?
Qualities of Postindustrial stage of demographic transition
difficulty finding laborers in menial entry-level jobs. These countries have low infant mortality rates, high status of women in population, and decreased military strength due to lack of young people.
Soil Erosion
movement of soil from one area to another
Salinization of farmland
increasing irrigation results in deposition of salt on the surface of agricultural lands
Pesticides and fertilizers do what?
contaminate ground and surface water
Species extinction
irreversible loss of a species when the last of its members die
removal of forests for agriculture, grazing, and lumber or wood.
degradation of previously viable land by overuse due to agriculture or ranching
Invasive non-native species
non-native species that lack competition or predators in a new environment so that they rapidly proliferate
Pumping for irrigation causes?
groundwater depletion
Global Warming
an increase in the earths temperature due to increased levels of greenhouse gases, which retain infrared radiation, thus heating the atmosphere
Acid deposition
deposition of low pH precipitation resulting from acidic particles released into the atmosphere
Ozone depletion
loss of the protective stratospheric ozone due to the release of chlorine containing compounds into the atmosphere
What is the leading cause of species endangerment?
Habitat destruction
What provides 80% of energy used in industrialized countries?
Fossil fuels
What are the quality of life indicators characterized by the poorest nations?
high infant mortality rates, low income, high numbers of children, inadequate nutrition, and low availability of medical care.
What type of distribution does territoriality result in?
uniform because it spreads the animals out evenly
Animals that depend on herds for protection against predators exhibit this type of distribution
clumped distribution
If a species is unaffected by the distribution what is it considered?
have late loss because they usually have a large size and some level of parenting to protect them during their younger years
have a short generation time and a survivorship curve because they have large numbers of vulnerable offspring. They also have large numbers of offspring per breeding, short-life spans, live in unstable environments, and generally have small body sizes
Logistic growth
maintains a population near the carrying capacity for the population, the curve is shaped like an S and these populations are affected by environmental resistance. Logistic growth occurs in part because organisms are densely distributed.
Exponential growth
results in growth at a constant rate of increase per unit time
When does zero popultaion growth (ZPG) occur?
The birth rate equals the death rate
Plants adapted for shallow nutrient poor soil that have buttresses are found in which biome?
tropical rain forests
Plants adapted for lack of water availability in winter that are deciduous are found in which biome?
temperate forests
Plants adapted to short growing seasons,and have needles to decrease transpiration in cold climates are found in which biome?
boreal forests
Plants adapted to take in CO2 at night to reduce water loss, have needles, and do stem photosynthesizes are found in which biome
What are adaptations of a desert animal?
Small size, estivate as needed, nocturnal, large ears to give off excess heat.
What will affect how much light can penetrate into aquatic ecosystems?
turbidity, amount of sediment, tannins, and depth
The biome NOT found in the southern hemisphere is what?
taiga or boreal forest
What reasons do environmentalists oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?
Very short growing season, permafrost will make it difficult for the area to recover because the soil is so thin, the area is used as a calving ground caribou, area is thought to contain only a moderate amount of oil, and the area has a low biodiversity making species recovery difficult.
may be filled with Spahgnum moss
frequently used to grow cranberries or rice , important as breeding areas for many species of waterfowl, and play an important role in the water cycle by allowing infiltration of water.
covered by trees
primarily covered by grasses
Which stratum of the lake has the greatest amount of DO?
Why is the upper stratum of lakes where the most DO is located?
it's the euphotic zone where the producers are located that produce oxygen
Which layer is warmer in a lake during the summer?
Do decomposers increase or decrease DO?
the intermediate strata in a lake
Nirtogen in the atmosphere is converted into ammonia by the process called?
Nitrogen fixation
conversion of the ammonia in soil into useful nitrates that can be incorporated into the plants tissues
the formation of nitrogen gas from ammonia
the formation of ammonia from nitrogen containing wastes
uptake of nitrates by a plant
What is the pH scale?
eat vegetation
What elements are contained by simple sugars, carbohydrates, and lipids?
C,H, and O
What elements do proteins contain?
C, H, O, and N
Plants require phosphorus to form which compound?
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
Cellular respiration produces which gas as a by product?
Carbon dioxide
How do dams interfere with the hydrologic cycle?
by flooding ecosystems and preventing water flow downstream
groups of interacting populations
What does channelizing rivers do?
allows for more rapid water flow, thus interfering with the hydrologic cycle
How does deforestation interfere with the hydrologic cycle?
removes trees and interferes with transpiration and absorption.
What interferes with hydrologic cycle concerningnatural aquifers?
Pumping ground water
smallest particule that exhibits the characteristic of an element
charged atom due to gain or loss of electrons. The number of electrons equals the number of protons.
Second law of thermodynamics
energy can not be destroyed but it can be lost as thermal energy
tendency for water to stick to itself
Coal combustion releases what?
sulfur oxides
Which cycle does wood combustion and deforestation interfere with?
Which cycles do inorganic fertilizers interfere with?
nitrogen and phosphorous
What does not usually impact the biogeochemical cycles?
What are some examples of carbon sinks?
coral reefs, tropical rain forests, coal seems, and mangrove swamps
Why are deserts not carbon sinks?
they have little biomass and thus store little
Photosynthesis products during cellular respiration include...
water, oxygen, and sugars
Characteristics of water include..
high heat of vaporization, expands as it freezes, and is polar.
Old- growth forests
virgin and old, second- growth forests containing trees that are often hundreds, sometimes thousands of years old.
Second- growth forests
stands of trees resulting from secondary ecological succession
Tree farms
site planted with one or only a few tree species in an even-aged stand. When the stand matures it is usually harvested by clear-cutting and then replanted. Usually used for fuelwood, timber, or pulpwood.
Even-aged management
method of forest management in which trees, sometimes of a single species in a given stand, are maintained at about the same age and size and are harvested all at one
Uneven- aged management
method of forest management in which trees of different species in a given stand are maintained at many ages and sizes to permit continuous natural regeneration.
Selective cutting
cutting of intermediate-aged, mature, or diseased trees in an uneven- aged forest stand, either singly or in small groups. This encourages the growth of younger trees and maintains an uneven- aged stand.
Shelterwood cutting
removal of mature, marketable trees in an area in a series of partial cuttings to allow regeneration of a new strand under the partial shade of older trees, which are later removed. Typically this is done by making two or three cuts over a decade.
Seed- tree cutting
removal of nearly all trees on a site in one cutting, with a few seed- producing trees left uniformly distributed to regenerate the forest
method of timber harvesting in which all trees in a forested area are removed in a single cutting
Ecological restoration
deliberate alteration of a degraded habitat or ecosystem to restore as much of its ecological structure and function as possible
Restoration ecology
research and scientific study devoted to restoring, repairing, and reconstructing damaged ecosystems.
minimum area of suitable habitat needed to maintain the minimum viable population
Background rate of extinction
normal extinction of various species as a result of changes in local environmental conditions
Mass extinction
A catastrophic, widespread, often global event in which major groups of species are wiped out over a short time compared to normal (background) rates.
Instrumental value
value of an organism, species, ecosystem, or earths biodiversity based on its usefulness.
Intrinsic value
value of an organism, species, ecosystem, or earths biodiversity based on its existence, regardless of whether it has any usefulness to us
Endangered species
wild species with so few individual survivors that the species could soon become extinct in all or most of its natural range.
Threatened or vulnerable species
wild species that is still abundant in its natural range but is likely to become endangered because of a decline in numbers
Rare species
a species that has 1) naturally small numbers of individuals, often because of limited geographic ranges or low population densities or 2) has been locally depleted by human activities
use of mathematical models to estimate a populations risk of extinction
estimate of the smallest number of individuals necessary to ensure the survival of a population in a region for a specified time period, typically ranging from decades to a 100 years.
Solid waste
any unwanted or discarded material that is not a liquid or a gas
Municipal solid waste
waste from homes and businesses in or near urban areas, often called garbage.
Hazardous waste
any liquid, solid, or containerized gas that 1) can catch fire easily, 2) is corrosive to skin tissue to skin tissue or metals, 3) is unstable and can explode or release toxic fumes or 4) has harmful concentrations of one or more toxic materials that can leach out
Sanitary landfill
waste disposal site on land in which waste is spread in thin layers, compacted, and covered with a fresh layer of clay or plastic foam each day
Ecological succession
gradual change of species composition in an area
Primary succession
gradual establishment of biotic communities on nearly lifeless ground; places like bare rock exposed by a retreating glacier or severe soil erosion, newly cooled lava, abandoned highway or parking lot, or a newly created shallow pond or reservoir
Secondary succession
more common type; reestablishment of biotic communities in an area where a biotic community is already present; places like abandoned farmlands, burned/cut forests, heavily polluted streams, or land that has been dammed or flooded
Pioneer species
begin soil formation by attaching themselves to inhospitable patches of bare rock. Examples include wind-dispersed lichens and mosses.
Early successional plant species
grow close to ground, can establish large populations quickly under harsh conditions, have short lives.
Midsuccessional plant species
herbs, grasses, and low shrubs
Late successional plant species
Mostly trees
a solid fossil fuel that is mostly combustible carbon; as it ages the water content decreases while the coal content increases
used to separate the metal from other elements in the ore mineral
Depletion time
time it takes to use up a certain proportion (usually 80%) of the reserves of a mineral at a given rate of use.
Subsurface mining
used to remove coal and various metal ores that are to deep to be extracted by surface mining
Open- pit mining
machines dig holes and remove ores such as iron and copper and sand, gravel and stone (such as limestone and marble)
chain buckets and draglines scrape up underwater mineral deposits
Area- strip mining
used on terrain thats usually flat. Earthmover strips away the overburden, and a power shovel digs up a cut to remove the mineral deposit. After the mineral is removed, the trench is filled with overburden and a new cut is made parallel to the previous one. The process is repeated over the entire site. If the land is not restored, area strip mining leaves a wavy series of highly erodible hills of rubble called spoil banks.
Contour- strip mining
used on hilly or mountainous terrain. A power shovel cuts a series of terraces into the side of a hill.
What is the most common way that ore deposits are formed?
hydrothermal processes
Hydrothermal processes
when two tectonic plates retreat from one another, gaps created in the earths crust fill with upwelling magma and seawater. The seawater seeping into these cracks becomes superheated and dissolves metals from rock or magma.
Manganese nodules
potential source of metals from the ocean floor. Cherry-to-potatoe sized rocks covering about 25-50% of the Pacific Ocean floor.
1)surrounded by a membrane, 2) has a distinct nucleus and 3) has several internal parts called organelles
All organisms except what are eukaryotic?
membrane-bounded structure containing genetic material in the form of DNA
surrounded by a membrane but inside the cell there is no distinct nucleus or other internal parts enclosed by membranes.
groups of organisms that resemble on another in appearance, behavior, chemistry, and genetic makeup.
Asexual reproduction
common in bacteria with only one cell, which divides to produce two identical cells that are clones or replicas of the original cell.
consists of a group of interacting individuals of the same species that occupy a specific area at the same time.
Genetic diversity
in most natural populations, individuals vary slightly in their genetic make up which is why they do not all look or behave exactly alike.
Four ways a population changes
size, age distribution (number of individuals in each age group), density (number of individuals per square unit of space), and genetic composition as a result of changes in environmental conditions.
populations of all different species occupying a particular place; complex interacting network of plants, animals, and microorganisms
biologists that specialize in in identifying and cataloging the earths species
earths crust and upper mantle; crust contains nonrenewable fossil fuels and minerals as well as potentially renewable soil nutrients needed for plant life
portion of the earth in which biotic organisms exist and interact with one another and their abiotic, or nonliving, environment
stretches 11 to 30 miles above earths surface, lower portion contains ozone (O3) to filter out most of sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation
consists of earths 1)liquid water (both surface & underground), 2) ice 9polar ice, icebergs, and ice frozen soil layers, or permafrost) and 3) water vapor in the atmosphere.
a community of different species interacting with one another and with their nonliving environment of matter and air; can be natural or man made
all of earths ecosystems
a thin envelope of air around the planet
inner layer of atmosphere, extends only 11 miles above sea level but contains most of the planet's air, mostly nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%)
gigantic fireball of hydrogen (72%) and helium (28%). Energy created through fusion.
transitional zone between ecosystems
long term patterns of weather; main factor of determining what type of life will thrive in a given land area, especially plants
Freshwater zones
contain lakes and streams
Ocean or marine life zones
contain estuaries, coastlines, coral reefs, and the deep ocean
Law of Tolerance
the existence, abundance, and distribution of a species in an ecosystem are determined by whether the levels of one or more physical or chemical factors fall within the range tolerated by that species.
producers catch sunlight to make carbohydrates (such as glucose, C6H12O6) and other complex organic compounds from inorganic nutrients. Process: Carbon dioxide+water+solar energy > glucose +oxygen. ( 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + solar energy > C6H12O6 + 6 O2)
Genetic diversity
variety in the genetic makeup among individuals within a species
Species diversity
variety among the species or distinct types of living organisms found in different habitats of the planet
Ecological diversity
variety of forests, deserts, grasslands, streams, lakes, oceans, wetlands, and other biological communities.
Functional diversity
biological and chemical processes or functions such as energy flow and matter cycling needed for the survival of species and biological communities
Food chain
sequence of organisms, each of which is a source of food for the next
dry weight of all organic mattered contained in an organism
Ecological efficiency
percentage of usable energy transferred as biomass from one trophic level to the next. Ranges from 5% to 20% but 10% is typical.
Net primary productivity
rate at which energy for use by consumers s stored in new biomass (cells, leaves, roots, and stems). Typically measured in kilocalories per square meter per year (kcal/m2/yr) or grams of biomass created per square meter per year (g/m2/yr).
What is the most productive ecosystem (has the highest NPP)?
estuaries, swamps and marshes, and tropical rain forests.
What is the least productive ecosystem (has lowest NPP)?
open ocean, tundra (arctic and alpine grasslands), and desert.
What are the most common fertilizers in crop growth?
nitrogen as nitrate (NO3) and phosphorus as phosphate (PO43)
Biogeochemical cycles
literally life-earth-chemical cycles. These cycles, driven directly or indirectly by incoming solar energy or gravity, include carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and hydrologic cycles.
What are the main forms in living organisms of carbon (C)?
arbohydrates (CH2O)
What are the main forms in living organism of nitrogen (N)?
What are the main forms in living organisms of phosphorus (P)?
DNA, other nucleic acids (ATP), and phospholipids
What are the main forms in living organisms of sulfur (S)?
Sulfur- containing amino acids in most proteins, and some vitamins
conversion of water into water vapor
evaporation from leaves of water extracted from soil by roots and transported throughout the plant
conversion of water vapor into droplets of liquid water
rain, sleet, hail, and snow
movement of water into soil
downward flow of water through soil and permeable rock formations to groundwater storage areas called aquifers
downslope surface movement back to the sea to resume the cycle
How much water vapor in the atmosphere comes from the oceans?
about 84%
Absolute humidity
amount of water vapor found in a certain mass of air and is usually expressed as grams of water per kilogram of air
Relative humidity
amount of water vapor in a certain mass of air, expressed as a percentage of the maximum amount it could hold at that temperature
Condensation nuclei
tiny particles on which droplets of water vapor can collect
Dew point
temperature at which condensation occurs
Most precipitation falling on terrestrial ecosystems becomes what?
surface runoff
Water table
level of the earth's land crust to which it is filled with water
Carbon cycle
a global gaseous cycle, key component of nature's thermostat. Removal of to much will cause atmosphere to cool and if cycle generates to much, atmosphere gets warmer.
How do humans interfere with the carbon cycle?
clearing trees and other plants that absorb CO2 through photosynthesis, and by burning fossil fuels and wood.
What is a biologically useful compound of nitrogen?
ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3)
How do animals get nitrogen?
by eating plants or plant-eating animals.
What is acid rain or acid deposition?
droplets of HNO3 (nitric acid combined with water) dissolve in rain or snow
What characteristic is shared by fungi, bacteria, and plants?
they all have cell walls
A storage polysaccharide in plants consisting entirely of glucose.
The measure of how useful a form of matter is to us as a resource, based on its availability and concentration.
matter quality
consisting of glucose monomers that reinforces plant-cell walls.
The building blocks of carbohydrates; are single sugars such as glucose and fructose.
Large, complex, organic molecules that make up the basic molecular units found in living organisms. They are made up of nucleic acids, lipids, proteins and carbohydrates.
Monomers of nucleic acid, complex organic molecule with three parts (nitrogonous base, deoxyribose sugar, and phospate)
Amino Acids
mall units that are linked together chemically to form large protein molecules (building blocks of protein)..
A single-stranded nucleic acid involved in protein synthesis.
Cone-bearing plant.
Nucleic Acids
Very long organic compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and phosphorous, contain instructions that cells need to carry out all the functions of life.
RNA bases
Adenine, uracil, guanine, cytosine.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
How much of the world's crude oils supplies does OPEC have?
Where is 64% of the worlds crude oil reserves found?
Middle East
Where is 24%, the largest proportion of the world's crude oil reserves found?
Saudi Arabi
Tar sand
a mixture of clay, sand, water, and a combustible organic compound called bitumen
a thick, high-sulfur heavy oil
Natural gas
1) 50%-90% by volume of methane (CH4), the simplest hydrocarbon, 2) smaller amounts of heavier gaseous hydrocarbons such as ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), and butane (C4H10), and 3) small amounts of highly toxic hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a by-product of naturally occurring sulfur in the earth
Who has 42% of the world's natural gas reserves?
Russia and Kazakhstan
What are some advantages of using conventional natural gas as an energy resource?
Ample supplies (125 years), high net energy yield, low cost (with huge subsidies), less air pollution than other fossil fuels, lower CO2 emissions than other fossil fuels, moderate environmental impact, easily transported by pipeline, low land use, good fuel for fuel cells and gas turbines
Disadvantages of using conventional natural gas as an energy resource
releases CO2 when burned, methane (a greenhouse gas) can leak from pipelines, shipped across ocean as highly explosive LNG, sometimes burned off and wasted at wells because of low price
"brown coal"- low heat content, low sulfur content; limited supplies in most areas
"soft coal"- extensively used as a fuel because of its high heat content and large supplies; normally has a high sulfur content
"hard coal"- highly desirable fuel because of its high heat content and low sulfur content; supplies limited in most areas
usually water, circulates through the reactors core to remove heat (to keep fuel rods and other materials from melting) and produce steam for generating electricity
Uranium oxide fual
consisting of about 97% nonfissionable uranium-238 and 3% fissionable uranium-235. To create a suitable fuel, the concentration of uranium-235 in the ore is increased (enriched) from .7% to 3% by removing some of the uranium-238.
adjustment to slowly changing new conditions
extent to which a measurement agrees with the accepted or correct value for that quantity.
Acid solution
any water solution that has more hydrogen ions than hydroxide ions; any water solution with a pH less than 7
Adaptive radiation
period of time, usually millions of years, during which numerous new species evolve to fill vacant and new ecological niches in changed environments, usually after a mass extinction
Aerobic respiration
complex process that occurs in the cells of most living organisms, in which nutrient organic molecules such as glucose combine with oxygen and produce carbon dioxide, water, and energy.
planting trees and crops together
ability of a surface to reflect light
Alley cropping
planting of crops in strips with rows of trees or shrubs on each side
Alpha particle
positively charged matter, consisting of two neutrons and two protons, that is emitted as a form of radioactivity from the nuclei of some radioisotopes.
height above sea level
Anaerobic respiration
form of cellular respiration in which some decomposers get the energy they need through breakdown of glucose in the absence of oxygen.
insects, shrimp, lobsters
frogs, toads, salamanders,
snails, clams, oysters, octopuses
plant that grows, sets seed, and dies in one growing season.
Arable land
land that can be cultivated to grow crops
Atomic number
number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
prokaryotic, some transmit diseases, most act as decomposers and get the nutrients they need by breaking down complex organic compounds in the tissues of living or dead organisms into simpler inorganic nutrient compounds
Barrier islands
long, thin, low offshore islands of sediment that generally run parallel to the shore along some coasts
Basic solution
Water solution with more hydroxide ions than hydrogen ions; water with a pH greater than 7.
seperation of an ore mineral from the waste mineral material
bottom-dwelling organisms
Beta particle
swiftly moving electron emitted by the nucleus of a radioactive isotope
an increase in concentration of a chemical in specific organs or tissues at a level higher than would normally be expected
applied science of managing, analyzing, and communicating biological information
increase in concentration of DDT, PCBs, and other slowly degradable, fat-soluble chemicals in organisms at successively higher trophic levels of a food chain or web.
terrestrial regions inhabited by certain types of life, especially vegetation. Example: various types of deserts, grasslands, and forests.
zone of earth where life is found, consists of parts of the atmosphere (troposphere), hydrosphere (mostly surface water and ground water), lithosphere (mostly soil and surface rocks and sediments on the bottoms of oceans and other bodies of water)
Biotic potential
maximum rate at which the population of a given species can increase when there are no limits on its rate of growth
Broadleaf deciduous plants
plants such as oak and maple trees that survive drought and cold by shedding their leaves and becoming dormant
Broadleaf evergreen plants
plants that keep most of their broad leaves year- round
substance that can react with hydrogen ions in a solution and thus hold the acidity or pH of a solution fairly constant
unit of energy; amount of energy needed to raise the temperature f 1 gram of water 1 degree C
group of more than 120 different diseases, one for each type of cell in the human body. Each type produces a tumor in which cells multiply uncontrollably and invade surrounding tissue.
chemicals, ionizing radiation, and viruses that cause or promote the development of cancer
Carrying capacity (K)
maximum population of a particular species that a given habitat can support over a given period of time
Chain reaction
multiple nuclear fissions, taking place within a certain mass of a fissionable isotope, that release an enormous amount of energy in a short period of time
process in which certain organisms (mostly specialized bacteria) extract inorganic compounds from their environment and convert them into organic nutrient compounds without presence of sunlight.
Chlorinated hydrocarbon
organic compound made up of atoms of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine, Example are DDT and PCBs.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS)
organic compounds made up of atoms of carbon, chlorine, and fluorine.
a grouping of various genes and associated proteins in plant and animal cells that carry certain types of genetic information.
Closed system
system in which energy is exchanged between the system and its environment.
Continental shelf
a shelflike extension of continental land masses
production of two useful forms of energy, such as high-temperature heat or steam and electricity, from the same fuel source
evolution in which two or more species interact and exert selective pressures on each other that can lead each species to undergo various adaptations
an interaction between organisms of different species in which one type of organism benefits and the other type is neither helped nor harmed.
Commercial extinction
depletion of the population of a wild species used as a resource to a level at which it is no longer profitable to harvest the species
Commercial inorganic fertilizer
commercially prepared mixture of plant nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates, and potassium applied to the soil to restore fertility and increase crop yields
Intraspecific competition
two or more individual organisms of a single species attempt to use the same scarce resources in the same ecosystem
Interspecific competition
two or more organisms of different species attempt to use the same scarce resource in the same ecosystem
Competitive exclusion
no two species can occupy exactly the same fundamental niche indefinitely in a habitat where there is not enough of a particular resource to meet the needs of both species
combination of atoms, or oppositely charged ions, of two or more different elements held together by forces called chemical bonds.
Coniferous evergreen plants
cone-bearing trees, mostly evergreens, that have needle-shaped or scalelike leaves. They produce wood commercially known as softwood.
sensible and careful use of natural resources by humans.
Contour farming
plowing and planting across the changing slope of land rather than in straight lines, to help retain water and reduce soil erosion.