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28 Cards in this Set

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Biogeochemical Cycle
Natural processes that recycle nutrients in various chemical forms from the "non-living" environment, to living organisms, and back to the "non-living" environment
Gaseous Cycle
Cycle where the atmosphere is the primary reservoir for storage
Sedimentary Cycle
Cycle involves movement of materials from the land to the sea and back again
Hydrologic Cycle
Movement of water between air, seas, lakes, rivers, land, soils, glaciers and living organisms
Photosynthesis
Process in which chlorophyll containing cells in green plants convert incident light into chemical energy and synthesize organic compoinds from inorganic compounds
Evaporation
Liquid Water-->Water Vapor; from wet surfaces; Energy absorption process
Transpiration
Transfer of moisture from plant tissues to Atmosphere
Precipitation
Movement of water from the atmosphere to the Earth's surface
Infiltration
Portion of the precipitation which percolates into the ground making up the subsurface water and deeper aquifers
Initial Abstraction
Portion of the precipitation which is temporarily accumulated (parking lots, puddles)
Runoff
Portion of the precipitation in Excess of that which the ground can absorb or is temporarily accumulated
Ammonification
Process which breaks Nitrogen compounds down into ammonia
Nitrification
Process in which NH3 (ammonia) is converted into nitrites (NO2-) and then nitrates (NO3-)
Denitrification
Anaerobic process which converts nitrates into gaseous forms of Nitrogen utilizing bacteria
Ecosystem
Totality of interactions amoung organisms and the Environment in the area of consideration. A BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITY
Autotroph
Organisms that manufacture the organic compounds they need as nutrients from simple inorganic compounds
Heterotrophs
"Other-feeders"
Primary Consumer
Animals that feed directly on plants as the first stage in a food pyramid or chain
Secondary Consumer
Animals that feed on other primary consumers as the second stage in a food pyramid
Tertiary Consumers
Animals that feed on animal-eating-animals as the thrid and further stage in a food pyramid or chain
Herbivore
An animal that feed upon plants
Carnivore
A flesh-eating animal
Omnivore
Feeds on both plants and animals
Trophic Level
Each time that energy passes from a plant to an animal, or from an animal to an animal, its motion through the ecosystem is temporarily stopped. Each of these temporary stopping points is called a "Trophic Level"
Food Chain
Sequential predation in which organisms feed opon one another, with organisms at one level providing food for organisms at the next level. Energy is thus transferred through the ecosystem. One-way flow.
Food web
Complex networks or "interrelated" food chains or feeding relationships
Biomass
Organic matter in the environment
Food Pyramid
Another conceptualiztion of energy transfer through the ecosystem from large numbers of "lower" forms of life through succeedingly smaller numbers of "higher" forms, as the organisms at one level are eaten by the organisms at a higher level.