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27 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The distribution of biomes results from the interaction of the earth's features and what two physical factors?
1. The amount of solar heat that reaches an area and its seasonal variation.
2. The global atmospheric circulation and the resulting oceanic circulation.
What is the cycle of air as it moves towards the poles?
It is heated, absorbs water, rises, moves polward, cools, precipitates, sinks, and repeats.
What causes the steady trade winds and westerlies?
Difference in velocity. (Air and earth at the equator move quickly. As air moves polward, it is moving faster than the earth.)
Describe the rain shadow effect.
Air moves toward a mountain range. As it ascends, it cools and releases moisture. As it descends the other side, it warms up and absorbs moisture.
What are microclimates?
Very localized climatic conditions that can be very different from those of the overhead atmosphere.
What are biomes?
Major communities of organisms that have a characteristic apearance and are distributed over a wide land area defined largely b regional variations in climate.
What are the eight major biomes?
Tropical rain forest, savanna, desert, temperate grassland (prairies), temperate deciduous forest, temperate evergreen forest, taiga, and tundra.
What are the six additional biomes that some ecologists consider subsets of the others?
Polar ice, mountain zone, chaparral, warm moist evergreen forest, tropical monsoon forest, and semidesert.
What is permafrost? What biome is it typically found in?
Permanent ice in the ground. Tundra.
What are gyres?
Large spiral patterns of oceanic surface water movement.
What is El Nino and what causes it?
El Nino is an event that happens every two to seven years that chaoticly affects global climates. It is caused by anommalies in a winter current off the coast of Peru.
What are the three major habitats of marine environments?
The neritic zone (shallow coastal waters), the pelagic zone (the area above the ocean floor), and the benthic zone (the ocean floor).
What is the abyssal zone?
The part of the ocean floor that drops to depths that light does not penetrate.
What is the intertidal/littoral region?
The part of the neritic zone that is exposed to air when tides recede.
What are plankton?
Microscopic organisms that live in the pelagic zone, some of which are photosynthetic. The photosynthetic ones are responsible for 40% of the earth's photosynthesis.
What is the nekton?
The fish and other larger organisms that live in the pelagic zone.
What are most of the animals that live in the deep benthic zone so small?
They survive off of the leftovers from organisms kilometers above them.
What organisms occur in the photic zone of ponds and lakes? What about the disphotic and aphotic zones?
Autotrophs and heterotrophs. Only heterotrophs.
What are the three zones in ponds and lakes based on light and depth?
Th littoral zone (close to shore), the limnetic zone (far from shore, close to surface), and the profundal zone (far from shore, deep).
What is the epilimnion? The hypolimnion? What seperates them? When do they mix?
The warm upper layer of water in large lakes. The cool layer below the epilimnion in large lakes. The thermocline. During fall and spring overturn.
What are the two types of lakes?
Eutrophic (nutrient rich) and Oligotrophic (nutrient poor, usually deeper and clearer).
What are some examples of wetlands?
Swamps, marshes, bogs, and other water covered areas.
What are some of the differences between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems?
1. Almost 100 times more inhabitable space.
2. More stable temperatures.
3. Shortage of light and nutrients, not water.
4. Primary producers are usually microscopic.
5. Most grazers are ectotherms with low metabolic costs.
What is biological magnification?
The increase in concentration of hazardous nonbiodegradable chemicals as you move up the food chain.
What is the importance of ozone? What chemicals have been suggested as key contributors to the ozone hole (which is not actually a problem, don't believe the hype)(actually, it is; I'm just a douche)?
It absorbs harmful radiation in the stratosphere. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
What is the greenhouse effect? What is global warming?
Particles of gases in the atmosphere trapping heat close to the earth. The progressive increase in global temperature over time.
How does global warming affect sex ratios in some species?
Some animals have temperature-sensitive sex determination where gender is influenced by temperature at time of development.