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50 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Abiotic
non-living factors in an ecosystem
Acid deposition
any kind of acid precipitation
Acid Precipitation
condensed or frozen water vapor that includes acid rain, acid fog, and acid snow
Activated Sludge
a mass of living bacterial organisms on waste material that has settled
Adaptation
An ecological or evolutionary adjustment to environmental changes
Adiabatic cooling
cooling that occurs when warm air, such as in the tropics, rises and bumps into lower atmospheric pressure
Aeration
in soil: the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. In water: it is the bubbling of air or oxygen through water
Aerobic respiration
organisms that require oxygen during the break down of organic molecules
Aerosols
microscopic liquid or solid particle coming from land or water surfaces that are carried into the atmosphere
Aesthetics
natural beauty of something
Agenda 21
a program designed to promote sustainable development
Age Structure
the proportions of people of different age groups
Age Structure diagrams
graphic representative of the age distribution
Alga, or algae
small plants that live and reproduce entirely in aquatic environments
Algal bloom
rapid development of platonic algae
Alkaline, alkalinity
a chemical that has a pH above 7.0
Alternative energy
energy sources that do not require fossil fuels or nuclear power
Ambient standards
air quality standards stating that the outside average air should always maintain a certain level of purity
Ammonification
a process in the nitrogen cycle where soil bacteria convert organic waste to ammonia
Anaerobic
without oxygen
Anthropogenic
human activities
Appropriate technology
technology that increases the efficiency and productivity of hand labor with displacing workers
Aquaculture
aquatic farming
Aquifer
underground layer of porous rock
Asbestos fibers
crystals of asbestos that form minute strands
Assimilation
nutrients are converted into organic molecules
Autotroph
organism that can produce its own food
Background radiation
radioactive radiation that comes from natural sources
Balanced herbivory
diversified plant community held in balance
Bedload
load of cource sediment
Benefit-cost analysis
analysis of the value of benefits
Bentic plant
plants that grow under water attached to the bottom
Bioaccumulation
accumulation of increasing higher and higher concentrations of potentially toxic chemicals in organisms through a food chain
Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
the amount of oxygen that is used or demanded as waste material is digested in organisms
Bioconversion
substance that can be broken down to natural substances
Biodiversity
varity of life
Biogas
fuel that contains about 2/3 methane, 1/3 carbon dioxide, and a small amount form anaerobic digestion
Biological control
control unwanted pest population by using living organisms
Biological nutrient removal
sewage treatment that removes nitrogen and phosphorus from the final process
Biomagnification
Bioaccumulation of a pollutant occuring through several levels of a food chain
Biomass
mass of biological material
Biome
group of ecosystems with similar vegetation and climate conditions
Bioremediation
uses microorganisms to decontaminate soil or groud water
Biosolids
organic material removed from sewage effluents (Sludge)
Biosphere
entire ecosystem of earth
Biota
living or once-living things in an ecosystem
Biotic
living or once-living things
Biotechnology
genetic engineering or organganisms
Biotic potential
reproductive potential of a species
Birth rates
number of live births per 1000 individuals