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Environmental Ch. 5
Terms in this set (98)
height above sea level.
aquatic life zone
Marine and freshwater portions of the biosphere. Examples include freshwater life zones (lakes, streams) and ocean or marine life zones (estuaries, coastlines, coral reefs, and the deep ocean).
the general pattern of atmospheric conditions in a given region over periods ranging from 30 years to thousands of years; physical properties of the troposphere of an area based on analysis of its weather records over a long period (at least 30 years). The two main factors determining THIS are the temperature, with its seasonal variations, and the amount and distribution of precipitation.
What ecological service plays a major role in determining what kinds of life can live where?
Large terrestrial regions characterized by certain types of vegetation, climate, and other forms of life. Examples include various types of deserts, grasslands, and forests.
a set of physical conditions of the lower atmosphere such as temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, cloud cover, and other factors in a given area over a period of hours or days.
short term changes in the temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloud cover, wind direction and speed, and other conditions in the troposphere at a given place and time.
an area's general pattern of atmospheric conditions of over periods ranging from at least 30 years to thousands of years.
Climate is ______ averaged over a long time.
"Uneven heating of the earth's surface by the sun, rotation of the earth on its axis, and properties of air, water, and land" all are the three major factors determining how _______ circulates in the ________ atmosphere.
regions distinguished by direction of air movement.
major surface winds that blow almost continuously and help to distribute heat and moisture over the earth's surface and to drive ocean currents.
mass movements of surface water.
mass per unit volume
Water moves _______ as denser water sinks and as less dense water rises.
Gases in the earth's lower atmosphere that cause the greenhouse effect. Examples include carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, ozone, methane, water vapor, and nitrous oxide.
natural greenhouse effect
Heat buildup in the troposphere because of the presence of certain gases, called greenhouse gases. Without this effect, the earth would be nearly as cold as Mars and life as we knot it could not exist.
______ is absorbed and released more slowly by water than by land.
rain shadow effect
low precipitation on the far side (leeward side) of a mountain resulting when prevailing winds flow up and over a high mountain or range of high mountains and drop most of the air's moisture as precipitation on the windward side of the mountain; this creates semiarid and arid conditions on the leeward side of a high mountain range.
Biomes are not _______.
When a biome its "tropical" it is usually ______.
When a biome is "temperate" it is usually _______.
When a biome is "polar" it is usually _______.
Biome in which evaporation exceeds precipitation and the average amount of precipitation is less than 25 centimeters per year. Such areas have little vegetation.
This biome is hot and dry most of the year and contains few plants. The surface of this biome is covered in rocks and some sand.
Examples: The Sahara and The Namib.
This biome reaches high daytime temperatures in the summer and low temperatures in the winter. This biome has more precipitation than in tropical deserts. The sparse vegetation consists mostly of widely dispersed, drought resistance shrubs and cacti or other succulents adapted to the lack of water and temperature variations.
Example: The Mojave Desert.
This biome has cold winters, warm to hot summers, and low precipitation. Vegetation is sparse. Desert plants and animals have adaptations that help them stay cool and get enough water to survive.
Example: Gobi Desert.
What biome has slow plant growth, low species diversity, slow nutrient cycling, and very little water?
Biome found in regions where there is enough annual average precipitation to support the growth of grass and small plants but not enough to support large strands of tress.
This biome contains widely scattered clumps of trees such as acacia, which are covered with thorns to keep some herbivores away. This biome usually has warm temperatures year round and alternating dry and wet seasons. Many plants in this biome have deep roots to adapt to droughts and extreme heat.
The act of grass and herb eating hoofed animals migrating to find water and food in response to seasonal and year-to-year variations in rainfall and food availability.
This biome sees bitterly cold winters and hot and dry summers. Annual precipitation is fairly sparse and falls unevenly through the year. The soil in this biome is deep and fertile. There are many intertwined roots and drought-tolerant grasses here.
Examples: short grass prairies and tall grass prairies; Mid western and western US and Canada.
short grass prairies
A biome in which fires are an important disturbance. Trees are minimal to non-existent and there is less than 10 inches of rain a year.
This biome lies south of the arctic polar ice cap. The plains are treeless and are bitterly cold. Frigid winds sweep plains covered in snow and ice. Winters are long and dark and there is mainly snowfall. Under the snow, this biome is carpeted with a thick, spongy mat of low growing plants, primarily grasses, mosses, lichens, and dwarf shrubs. During the summer, the sun is out for almost 24 hours.
Example: Arctic tundra.
Perennially frozen layer of the soul that forms when the water there freezes. This is found in the arctic tundra/cold grasslands.
Animals in this biome survive the intense cold through adaptations such as thick coats of fur and living underground. In the summer, animals belonging to this biome graze on vegetation.
Biome with enough average annual precipitation to support the growth of tree species and smaller forms of vegetation.
tropical rain forest
This biome is found near the equator, where hot, moisture-laden air rises and dumps its moisture. It is usually warm and humid in this biome and there is heavy rainfall almost daily. This constant warm and wet climate is ideal for many plants and animals.
Tropical rain forests cover what percent of the Earth's land surface?
temperate deciduous forests
This biome grows in areas with moderate average temperatures that change significantly with the season. The summers are long and warm and winters are cold, but not severe. There's abundant precipitation spread out through the year. This biome is dominated by a few species of broad-leaf deciduous trees.
broadleaf deciduous trees
Plants such as oak and maple trees that survive drought and cold by shedding their leaves and becoming dormant.
evergreen coniferous forests
Cold forests found just south of the arctic tundra in northern regions across North America, Asia, and Europe and above certain altitudes in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. Winters are long, dry, and cold.
Coniferous evergreen plants
cone bearing plants that keep some of their narrow, pointed leaves all year.
Cone bearing trees, mostly evergreens, that have needle shaped or scale like leaves. They produce wood known commercially as softwood.
steep or high lands which cover about one fourth of the earth's land surface. Here, dramatic changes in altitude, slope, climate, soil, and vegetation take place over a very short distance.
Mountains play a critical role in what cycle?
What percent of the earth's surface is covered with salty ocean water?
According to geographers, there are how many large areas of water?
Amount of various salts dissolved in a given volume of water.
saltwater and freshwater
Aquatic life zones are classified into WHICH two major types?
Small, drifting plants, mostly algae and bacteria, found in aquatic ecosystems.
Strongly swimming organisms found in aquatic systems such as fish, turtles, and whales.
Bottom-dwelling organisms such as oysters, clams, worms, lobsters, and crabs.
Organisms that digest parts of dead organisms and cast off fragments and wastes of living organisms by breaking down the complex organic molecules in those materials into simpler inorganic compounds and then absorbing the soluble nutrients. This process returns most of these chemicals to the soil and water for reuse. Consists of various bacteria and fungi.
Precipitation that does not infiltrate the ground or return to the atmosphere by evaporation or transpiration.
Warm, nutrient rich, shallow part of the ocean that extends from the high tide mark on land to the edge of a shelf-like extension of continental land masses known as the continental shelf.
partially enclosed coastal area at the mouth of a river where its freshwater, carrying fertile silt and runoff from the land, mixes with salty seawater.
land along a coastline, extending inland from an estuary that is covered with saltwater all or part of the year. Examples: marshes, bays, lagoons, tidal flats, and mangrove swamps.
formation produced by massive colonies containing billions of tiny coral animals, called polyps, that secrete a stony substance around themselves for protection. When THESE die, their empty outer skeletons form layers and causes the reef to grow. THESE are found in the coastal zones of warm tropical and subtropical oceans.
Part of an ocean that lies beyond the continental shelf and is divided into three vertical zones; "the deep blue sea".
the brightly lit upper zone in the open sea where drifting phytoplankton carry out about 40% of the world's photosynthetic activity.
the middle zone in the open sea, which gets little sunlight and therefore does not contain photosynthesizing producers.
In which zone do swordfish, sharks, and Bluefin tuna swim around in?
In which zone do zooplankton and smaller fish swim around in?
the lowest zone in the open sea that is dark and very cold and has little dissolved oxygen. Many animals in this zone get their food from showers of dead and decaying organisms drifting down from upper lighted levels of the ocean, called marine snow.
the open sea
What makes the largest contribution to the earth's overall net primary productivity?
freshwater life zones
Aquatic systems where water with a dissolved salt concentration of less than 1% by volume accumulates on or flows through the surfaces of terrestrial biomes. Examples: lakes, ponds, and inland wetlands and flowing systems such as streams and rivers.
large natural body of standing freshwater formed when water from precipitation, land, runoff, or groundwater flow fills a depression in the earth created by glaciation, earth movement, volcanic activity, or a giant meteorite.
Lake with a low supply of plant nutrients.
Lake with a large or excessive supply of plant nutrients, mostly nitrates and phosphates.
Freshwater from precipitation and melting ice that flows on earth's surface into nearby streams, lakes, wetlands, and reservoirs.
Land area that delivers water, sediment, and dissolved substances via small streams to a major stream (river); see drainage basin.
Land area that delivers water, sediment, and dissolved substances via small streams to a major stream (river); see watershed.
Flat valley floor next to a stream channel. For legal purposes, the term often applies to any low area that has the potential for flooding, including certain coastal areas.
contains rivers, which empty into larger rivers or into the ocean.
Land away from the coast such as swamp, marsh, or bog that is covered all of part of the time with freshwater.
A type of wetland that is dominated by grasses and reeds with few trees.
remain under water or are soggy for only a short time each year.
bottom of an aquatic ecosystem; consists of sand and sediment and supports its own community of organisms.
Mass movements of surface water produced by prevailing winds blowing over the oceans.
the area of shoreline between low and high tides.
distance directly north or south from the equator.
referred to as arctic tundra, treeless plains with bitterly cold weather and frigid winds, and covered with ice and snow.
An area of grassland with scattered trees and bushes.
Natural effect that releases heat in the atmosphere near the earth's surface. Water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone, and other gases in the lower atmosphere absorb some of the infrared radiation reflected by the earth's surface. Their molecules vibrate and transform the absorbed energy into longer-wavelength infrared radiation in the troposphere. If the atmospheric concentrations of these greenhouse gases increase and other natural processes do not remove them, the average temperature of the lower atmosphere will increase gradually.
Tropical rain forest
Broadleaf evergreens with shallow roots are dominant in what biome?
These are found on trunks and branches in the tropical rain forest and get nutrients from falling materials and water from humid air.
Most animal life is found in the sunny _______ layer of the forest.
temperate deciduous forest
broadleaf deciduous trees are found in what biome?
Evergreen coniferous forest
There is low plant diversity in what biome?
The ______ of water determines the major types of organisms found in an aquatic environment.
free floating, weakly swimming, generally once celled organisms.
estuaries, coastal wetlands
_______ and _______ ________ are subject to tidal rhythms, runoff from land, and seawater mixing with freshwater and nutrient from rivers and streams.
THIS type of forest swamp grows in sheltered regions of tropical coasts. They collect mud and anaerobic sediment.
THESE filter toxic pollutants and excess plant nutrients, reduce storm damage, and provide nursery sites for aquatic species.
What is the range of ideal water temperature for coral reefs (degrees Celsius)?
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