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19 terms

Mrs. Cleveland - Ch 3 Vocabulary - 1-24-12

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Biogeochemical cycle
Process in which elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to another
Evaporation
Process by which water changes from a liquid into an atmospheric gas
Transpiration
loss of water from a plant through its leaves
Nutrient
Chemical substance that an organism requires to live
Nitrogen Fixation
Process of converting nitrogen gas into ammonia
Denitrification
conversion of nitrates into nitrogen gas
Primary Productivity
rate at which organic matter is created by producers in an ecosystem
Limiting Nutrient
Single nutrient that either is scarce or cycles very slowly, limiting the growth of organisms in an ecosystem
Algal Bloom
an immediate increase in the amount of algae and other producers that results from a large input of a limiting nutrient
Runoff
a stream-like path that water runs in that leads to a body of water like an ocean or lake.
Seepage (infiltration)
when water sinks down into the soil
ecology
the scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, or surroundings.
biosphere
contains the combined portions of the planet in which all of life exists, including land, water, and air, or atmosphere
species
a group of organisms so similar to one anoter that they can breed and produce fertile offspring
populations
groups of individuals that belong to the smae species and live in the same area
communities
assemblages of different populations that live together in a defined area
ecosystem
a collection of all the organisms that live in a particular place, together with their nonliving, or physical environment
biome
a group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities
autotroph
organism that can caputure energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it 2 produce its own food from inorganic compounds; also called ______