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Ecology Chapter 4

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biome
regions that have distinctive climates and organisms and that contain many separate but similar ecosystems
tropical rain forest
warm, wet biome that occurs in a belt around the Earth near the equator and that contains the greatest diversity of organims on Earth
temperate
moderate, not subject to extremes, restrained
temperate rain forest
cool, humid biome where tree branches are draped with mosses, tree trunks are covered with lichens, and the forest floor is covered with ferns
deciduous
to shed leaves annually
temperate deciduous forest
forest in an area of extreme seasonal variation in which trees drop their leaves each fall
taiga
biome dominated by conifers and characterized by harsh winters; occurs just below the Arctic Circle, aka Northern coniferous forest
conifer
tree whose seeds develop in cones
climate
weather conditions in an area- temperature, precipitation, humidity, and winds- over a long period of time
savanna
tropical grassland biome with a short rainy season
prairie
large area of level or slightly rolling grasslands
steppe
large, grassy plains area with few trees in southeast Europe and Asia
pampa
large, treeless plain of Argentina and other parts of South America
chaparral
coastal biome with a Mediterranean climate and low-lying vegetation
desert
biome that receives less than 10 in. of precipitation a year
tundra
biome without trees, where grasses and tough schrubs grow in the frozenn soil; extends from the Arctic Circle to the North Pole
rain shadow
shadow that occurs when mountains block the passage of rain
estivation
process of amphibians burying themselves in the ground and sleeping through dry seasons
littoral zone
shallow-water area near the shores of lakes and ponds where sunlight reaches the bottom
benthic zone
bottom of a body of water; inhabited by decomposers, insect larvae, and clams
wetland
area of land covered by water for at least part of the year
marsh
land covered with water; contains nonwoody plants
swamp
land covered with water; contains woody plants or shrubs
fresh water
water that contains relatively little dissolved salt
eutrophic lake
lake with a large amount of plant nutrients
estuary
aquatic ecosystem in which fresh water from rivers mixes with salt water from the ocean, forming a nutrient trap
coral reef
limestone islands in the sea built by coral animals