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29 Cards in this Set

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hypoxia
low concentrations of oxygen in water
feedback loop
when a system's output serves as input to the same system
negative feedback loop
output acts as input that moves system in opposite direction
positive feedback loop
output acts as input that moves system in same direction
erosion
removal of soil by wind or water
dynamic equilibrium
when processes move in opposite directions at equal rates
closed system
isolated and self contained
open system
exchanging energy, matter, and information with other systems
phytoplankton
algae, protists, cyanobacteria
lithosphere
rock and sediment of the earth's crust
hydrosphere
all the water on our planet
ecotone
transitional zones where ecosystems meet or overlap
gross primary productivity
total amount of energy produced by autotrophs in an area
net primary productivity
total amount of energy produced minus the amount consumed by autotrophs for themselves
macronutrients
nutrients required in large amounts
micronutrients
nutrients required in small amounts
biogeochemical cycles
pathways that nutrients take as they move through the environment
nitrogen fixation
combination of nitrogen gas with hydrogen to form ammonia
nitrogen-fixing bacteria
bacteria that convert nitrogen gas to a usable form
nitrification
ammonium ions are converted so that plants may take them up
denitrification
conversion of nitrates in the soil to nitrogen gas
transpiration
release of water vapor by plants
igneous rock
rock that forms when magma cools
lithification
formation of rock
sedimentary rock
sediment crystallized into rock
divergent plate boundaries
when magma surges upward and divides plates
transform plate boundaries
when two plates meet and slide past one another
convergent plate boundaries
when plates collide into each other
subduction
when one plate sinks below another