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50 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is the trophic food chain?
a sequence of levels in the feeding pattern
What are the components of the global water budget?
evaporation, precipitation, runoff
evap = precip - runoff
evap = precip + runoff
THe actual rate of evapotranspiration at any given time.
(actual water loss from the atmosphere)
actual evapotranspiration
Amt. of water that could potentially evaporate from the atmosphere
potential evapotranspiration
3 major forms of water in the atmosphere?
liquid (lakes, rivers)
solid (ice, snow)
gas (air)
Is the total amt. of water in the hydrosphere constant?
Major ABIOTIC components of the ecosystem?
water, gases, rocks
(non living things)
What does the 2nd law of thermodynamics state?
whenever energy is transformed from one state to another, there will be a loss of energy thru heat
What does the 1st law of thermodynamics state?
energy cannot be created or destroyed, energy can only be changed from one form to another
what are autotrophs?
plants and some bacteria
What is the Biosphere? and who is the author of this term?
Vladmir Vernadsky
the world community of all organisms populating earth that transforms & manages the abiotic environment for itself.
Major BIOTIC components of the ecosystem?
Humans, plants, animals
(living things)
Major components of Biodiversity?
Animals and plants
Earths 4 major terrestrial Biomes?
What is soil science
the science of soil as a natural surface layer compatible of supporting living plants.
what is soil as a natural system?
a result of integration of all of earths spheres.
The common feature that links the Horizons?
the plant roots that penetrate them
What is soil composed of?
inorganic and organic materials
-minerals, chemical solutions, gases
-organic refuse, roots of plants, soil microorganisms
Major factors of soil formation?
-parent material
Soil Horizons are distinguished by the verticle differences in?
presence /absence of certain materials
What does the soil texture define?
texture of soil is based on the proportion of mineral particles of 3 size grades: sand, silt, clay
What are soil colloids?
They keep nutrients on their surface.
What are the 4 soil nutrients important for plant growth?
calcium (ca)
potassium (k)
magnesium (mg)
sodium (na)
What is soil structure?
refers to presence, size, and form of soil particles
What is soil ped?
individual soil aggregate
What are heterotrophs
(herbivores, carnivores, omnivores)
Name for : Water circulation among major resevoirs?
Hydrologic cycle
What determines the wilting pt. of soil?
when the level of soil moisture content is below that of which plants saturation.
What is the definition of ground water
The part of the sub surface water that fully saturates the pores.
WHat are the factors controlling the amt. of movement in ground water?
soil porosity affects the storage of gw
soil permeability affects ability of gw to move
What is an aquifer?
The layer of soil that holds ground water
% of water thats fresh?
2.8 %
How do you calculate stream discharge?
by the volume of water per unit time passing through a cross section of a stream
The average american uses water in his home by what?
toilet, dishwasher, shower
what are the 4 major soil forming processes?
What does biogeography study?
-geographic patters of distribution of organisms their communities & ecosystems
-processes which produce thos distributions
-how those processes & distribution hae been changed by natural causes
What is the saltiest body of water on earth?
The DEAD SEA, salinity is 7 times larger
What is trophic structure?
the pattern of feeding in an ecosystem
What are the unsaturated and saturated zones of aeration?
unsat.-perculates downward to the saturated zone and water does not fully saturate the pores.

sat.- bottomlevel (groundwater) where pores and spaces are filled with water.
What percent of the earth is covered by oceans?
What are some casual factors of surface oceanic currents?
-The coriolis effect
-Size, depth and shape of ocean
-gyres (circular movements)
What are upwelling currents?
upward motion of cold and nutrient rich ocean waters
what are deep currents?
they move the ocean waters from the surface downward
What is El Niño?
episodic cessation of the typical upwelling of cold deep water off the coast of Peru.
List some major enviornmental effects of El Niño?
-brought floods and droughts
-decline in fish production and death of sea animals
what is the water table?
level of water saturation.

it is highest under hilltops and divides, it slopes to intersect the surface at lakes and streams.
What is salinity and what is its unit of measure?
The certain amt. of salt in the water

unit of measure: 35 per million
What is the process by which green plants convert light energy to chemical energy and synthesize organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water?
How is the drainage system defined?
consists of a branched network of stream channels as well as the adjacent sloping ground surfaces that contribute overland flow to those channels.
What are typically the 3 soil horizons
A ..dark layer, top layer, humus concentration
E ..subsil, zone of eluviation
B of illuviation