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22 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
what is a biosphere
the life support system of the planet and consists of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere
what is a ecosystem
a collection of communities that exist together with their abiotic environment and possess primary producers, consumers, and decomposers
what are primary producers
(autotrophs) harness energy(light or chemical) and carbon from CO2
what is net primary production
the amount of energy invested into new plant material
what is a consumer
convert complex organic material into simpler organic material (herbivors, carnivors)
what is a primary consumer
a herbivore- an organism that eats plants or algae or other photosynthetic cells
what is a secondary consumer
consumers that eat herbivores (primary consumers)
what is a decomposer
(detritivors)- convert simple organic material back to CO2
what are primary decomposers
bacteria, archaea, fungi, roundworms, earthworms and millipedes
what are trophic levels
organisms that gain their energy from the same food source
what is a food chain
connects trophic levels (PP->PC->PD)
what is a food web
more complex interactions/players
describe the grazing food web
primary consumer - eats primary producers
secondary consumer - eats primary consumers
teritary consumer - eats secondary consumers
what is a decomposer food web
composed of species that eat the dead remains of organisms
what is the energy pyramid
the energy lost from trophic level to trophic level
what is gross photosynthetic efficiency
the efficiency with which plants use the total amount of energy available to them
what are biogeochemical cycles
the path that an element takes as it moves from abiotic systems through organisms and back again
what is a reservoir
a pool of an element or compound
what is residence time
the average duration an element remains in a pool
what is flux
the movement of an element from one pool to another (kg/yr)
describe the global water cycle
clouds precipitate over land > runoff and ground water dump into ocean > ocean water evaporates to form clouds
describe nitrogen fixation
the incorporation of atmospheric nitrogen into forms such as ammonia or nitrate which can be used to make many organic compounds. occurs in only a few lineages of bacteria and archaea