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39 Cards in this Set

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weather
the day-to-day condition of Earth's atmosphere at a particular time and place
climate
the average, year-after-year conditions of temperature and precipitation in a particular region
greenhouse effect
the natural situation in which heat is retained by a layer of greenhouse gases
polar zones
cold areas where the sun's rays strike Earth at a very low angle between 66.5 N and 90 S latitudes
temperate zones
between the polar zones and the tropics
tropical zone
near the equator, between 23.5 N and 23.5 S latitudes
biotic factors
the biological influnences on organisms within an ecosystem
abiiiotic factors
physical, or nonliving, factors that shape ecosystems such as temperature, precipitation, and humidity
habitat
the area where an organism lives
niche
the full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions
resource
any necessity of life, such as water, nutrients, light, food, or space
competitive exclusion principle
no two species can occupy the same niche in the same habitat at the same time
predation
an interation in which one organism captures and feeds on another organism
symbiosis
any relationship in which two species live closesly together
mutualism
relationship between two species in which both benefit
commensalism
one member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed
parasitism
one organism lives on or inside another organism and harms it
ecological succession
the series of predictable changes that occurs in a community over time
primary succession
succession that occurs on land where no soil exists
pioneer species
the first species to populate an area
secondary succession
process by which community interactions tend to restore the ecosystem to its original condition after a disturbance
biome
a complex of terrestrial communities that covers a large area and is characterized by certain soil and climate conditions and particular assemblages of plants and animals
tolerance
ability to survive and reproduce under conditions that differ from their optimal conditions
microclimate
the climate in a small area that differs from the climate around it
plankton
general term for the tiny, free-floating organisms that live in both freshwater and saltwater environments
phytoplankton
unicellular algae
zooplankton
planktonic animals
wetland
an ecosystem in which water either covers the soil or is present at or near the surface of the soil for at least part of the year
estuaries
wetlands formed where rivers meet the sea
detritus
tiny pieces of organic material that provide food for organisms at the base of the estuary's food web
salt marshes
temperate-zone estuaries dominated by salt tolerant grasses above the low-tide line, and by seagrasses under water
mangrove swamps
costal wetlands that are widespread across tropical regions with mangroves as the dominant plant
photic zone
well-lit upper layer of the ocean where photosynthesis occurs
aphotic zone
premanently dark layer of the ocean below the photic zone. only chemosynthetic autotrophs can surive here
zonation
the prominent horizontal banding of organisms that live in a particular habitat
costal ocean
extends from the low-tide mark to the outer edge of the continental shelf
kelp forests
costal ocean community whose dominant organism is kelp
coral reefs
tropical costal environments named for the coral animals whose hard, calcium carbonate skeletons make up their primary structure
benthos
organisms attached to or near the bottom of the ocean such as sea stars, anemones, and marine worms