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BIO121-ch1

TermDefinition
biosphere thin layer of air (atmosphere), water (hydrosphere), and soil and rock (lithosphere) that surround the planet and contains the conditions to support life
global environment sum of all living organisms, the relationships among organisms, and the relationships between organisms and their physical surroundings
environment system of interdependent living and nonliving components and their interactions in a given area, over a given period
abiota nonliving physical surroundings comprise the abiotic component
biota living organisms collectively comprise the biotic component
evolution process of change with continuity in successive generations of organisms
big bang theory universe—all the matter, energy and space—arose from an infinitely dense, infinitely hot point called a singularity, roughly the size of a speck of dust
mutation random change within the genetic material of an individual that can be passed on to that individual’s offspring
natural selection process that enables individuals with traits that better adapt them to a specific environment to survive and outnumber other, less well-suited individuals
speciation separation of populations of organisms, originally able to interbreed, into independent evolutionary units (or species) that can no longer interbreed because of accumulated genetic differences
linear growth when a quantity increases by a fixed amount in a given time period
exponential growth when a quantity increases by a fixed percentage of the whole in a given time period (aka, geometric or compounding growth)
resource anything that serves a need; it is useful and available at a particular cost
perpetual resource one that originates from a source which is essentially inexhaustible
renewable resource can be replaced by the environment, and as long as it is not used up faster than its can be restored, the supply is not depleted
nonrenewable resource exists in finite supply or is replaced by the environment so slowly (in human terms) that, for all practical purposes, the supply might as well be finite
net primary productivity (NPP) total amount of solar energy fixed biologically through the process of photosynthesis minus the amount of energy that plants use for their own needs
pollutant substance or form of energy, such as heat, that adversely alters the physical, chemical, or biological quality of natural systems or that accumulates in the cells or tissues of living organisms in amounts that threaten their health or survival
science rigorous and systematic search for unbiased explanations of natural phenomena, from the world within the cell to the far reaches of the cosmos
ecology study of the structure, function, and behavior of the natural systems that comprise the biosphere
scientific method process of observation, hypothesis development and experimentation
worldview way of perceiving reality that includes basic assumptions about the self, others, nature, space and time
environmental science study of the human impact on the environment
Created by: tallzy14