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67 Cards in this Set

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greenhouse effect
an atmospheric heating phenomenon, caused by short-wave solar radiation being readily transmitted inward through the earth's atmosphere but longer-wavelength heat radiation less readily transmitted outward, owing to its absorption by atmospheric carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and other gases; thus, the rising level of carbon dioxide is viewed with concern.
to divest or clear of forests or trees:
the increasing concentration of toxic substances within each successive link in the food chain.
exploitation to the point of diminishing returns
the rapid depletion of plant life and the loss of topsoil at desert boundaries and in semiarid regions, usually caused by a combination of drought and the overexploitation of grasses and other vegetation by people.
acid rain
precipitation, as rain, snow, or sleet, containing relatively high concentrations of acid-forming chemicals, as the pollutants from coal smoke, chemical manufacturing, and smelting, that have been released into the atmosphere and combined with water vapor: harmful to the environment.
ozone depletion
a slow, steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total amount of ozone in Earth's stratosphere
carbon cycle
the circulation of carbon atoms in the biosphere as a result of photosynthetic conversion of carbon dioxide into complex organic compounds by plants, which are consumed by other organisms: the carbon returns to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide as a result of respiration, decay by fungi, bacteria, etc., and combustion of fossil fuels.
water cycle
The cycle of evaporation and condensation that controls the distribution of the earth's water as it evaporates from bodies of water, condenses, precipitates, and returns to those bodies of water
nitrogen cycle
the continuous sequence of events by which atmospheric nitrogen and nitrogenous compounds in the soil are converted, as by nitrification and nitrogen fixation, into substances that can be utilized by green plants, the substances returning to the air and soil as a result of the decay of the plants and denitrification.
food web
a series of organisms related by predator-prey and consumer-resource interactions; the entirety of interrelated food chains in an ecological community.
food chain
a series of organisms interrelated in their feeding habits, the smallest being fed upon by a larger one, which in turn feeds a still larger one, etc.
tertiary consumer
An animal that feeds on secondary consumers in a food chain.
characterized by an abundant accumulation of nutrients that support a dense growth of algae and other organisms, the decay of which depletes the shallow waters of oxygen in summer.
ecological pyramid
graphical representation designed to show the biomass or productivity at each trophic level in a given ecosystem
tropical rain forest
rain forest in a tropical area
any area in which few forms of life can exist because of lack of water, permanent frost, or absence of soil.
the coniferous evergreen forests of subarctic lands, covering vast areas of northern North America and Eurasia.
one of the vast, nearly level, treeless plains of the arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America.
perennially frozen subsoil.
of or living in water that is fresh or not salt
of or pertaining to the sea
grassland region with scattered trees, grading into either open plain or woodland, usually in subtropical or tropical regions.
temperate grassland
composed of a rich mix of grasses and forbs and underlain
by some of the world's most fertile soils
temperate deciduous forest
located in the temperate zone above the tropical forests
and below the coniferous forests:go through four seasons
system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.
primary succession
the development of plant and animal life in an area without topsoil; the development of biotic communities in a previously uninhabited and barren habitat with little or no soil
pioneer species
a plant species which colonizes previously uncolonized land,
usually leading to ecological succession
climax community
point of greatest intensity or force in an ascending series or progression; a culmination.
secondary succession
The act or process of following in order or sequence.
a state, process, or instance of combustion in which fuel or other material is ignited and combined with oxygen, giving off light, heat, and flame.
the highest or most intense point in the development or resolution of something;
convergent evolution
the appearance of apparently similar structures in organisms of different lines of descent.
Mullerian mimicry
the resemblance in appearance of two or more unpalatable species, which are avoided by predators to a greater degree than any one of the species would be otherwise.
Batesian mimicry
the protective resemblance in appearance of a palatable or harmless species, as the viceroy butterfly, to an unpalatable or dangerous species, as the monarch butterfly, that is usually avoided by predators
evolution involving a series of reciprocal changes in two or more noninterbreeding populations that have a close ecological relationship and act as agents of natural selection for each other, as the succession of adaptations of a predator for pursuing and of its prey for fleeing or evading.
predator-prey adaptations
predator-prey relationship is important in maintaining
balance among different animal species
cryptic coloration
coloring that conceals or disguises an animal's shape
warning coloration
a bold, distinctive pattern of color characteristic of a poisonous or unpalatable organism, as the skunk or the monarch butterfly, that functions as a warning to and defense against predators.
the close external resemblance of an organism, the mimic, to some different organism, the model, such that the mimic benefits from the mistaken identity, as seeming to be unpalatable or harmful.
a relation between organisms in which one lives as a parasite on another.
A symbiotic relationship between two organisms of different species in which one derives some benefit while the other is unaffected.
a relationship between two species of organisms in which both benefit from the association.
plant eating
a relation between animals in which one organism captures and feeds on others
organism that exists by preying upon other organisms.
an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.
Any of various insects, such as the ichneumon fly, whose larvae are parasites that eventually kill their hosts.
resource partitioning
subdivision of resources
keystone species
species that has a disproportionate effect on its environment relative to its abundance
dominant species
A species of plant or animal that is particularly abundant or controls a major portion of the energy flow in a community.
the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals
interspecific competition
competition between two or
more species for some limiting resource
population cycle
phenomenon where populations rise and fall
over a predictable period of time
population cycle
phenomenon where populations rise and fall over a predictable period of time
k selected
relates to the selection of traits (in organisms) that allow success in particular environments.
carrying capacity
The maximum number of individuals that a given environment can support without detrimental effects.
logistic growth
Population growth in which the growth rate decreases with increasing number of individuals until it becomes zero when the population reaches a maximum.
exponential growth
The period of bacterial growth during which cells divide at a constant rate
density independent
A factor that affects the birth rate or mortality rate of a population in ways that are independent of the population density
density dependant
A factor that affects the birth rate or mortality rate of a population in ways varying with the population density.
limiting factors
A factor or condition that, either temporarily or permanently, impedes mission accomplishment
age structure
Categorization of the population of communities or countries by age groups, allowing demographers to make projections of the growth or decline of the particular population.
dispersal patterns
Distribution pattern of metals in soil, rock, water, or vegetation.
The physical dimensions, proportions, magnitude, or extent of an object.
The number of individuals, such as inhabitants or housing units, per unit of area.