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Chapter 21

Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Biome a large region characterized by a specific type of climate and certain types of plant and animal communities
tundra a treeless plain that is located in the Arctic or Antarctic and that is characterized by very low winter temperatures; short, cool summers; and vegetation that consists of grasses, lichens, and perennial herbs
permafrost in arctic regions, the permanently frozen layer of soil or subsoil
tropical forest a forest or jungle near the equator that is characterized by large amounts of rain and little variation in temperature and that contains the greatest known diversity of organisms on Earth
canopy the layers of treetops that shade the forest floor
epiphyte a plant that uses another plant for support, but not for nourishment
coniferous tree a tree belonging to a group of tree species that bear their seeds in cones and tend to be evergreen
deciduous tree describes trees that lose their leaves at the end of the growing season
temperate deciduous tree a forest (or biome) that is characterized by trees that shed their leaves in the fall
taiga a region of evergreen, coniferous forest below the arctic and subarctic tundra regions
temperate grassland a community (or biome) that is dominated by grasses, has few trees, and is characterized by cold winters and rainfall that is intermediate between that of a forest and a desert
savanna a plain full of grasses and scattered trees and shrubs; found in tropical and subtropical habitats and mainly in regions with a dry climate, such as East Africa
chaparral a type of vegetation that includes broad-leafed evergreen shrubs and that is located in areas with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters
desert a region that has little or no vegetation, long periods without rain, and extreme temperatures; usually found in warm climates
aphotic zone the deeper parts of the ocean, where there is so little light that plants cannot carry out photosynthesis
photic zone the area of an aquatic system that receives enough light for photosynthesis to occur
intertidal zone an area along ocean shorelines that lies between low and high water lines
neritic zone a shallow marine environment that is near the shore or over the continental shelf and that is rich in minerals and nutrients produced by biotic activity
oceanic zone the region of the open sea that has characteristic life-forms and geography
pelagic zone the region of an ocean or body of fresh water above the benthic zone
benthic zone the bottom region of oceans and bodies of fresh water
plankton the mass of mostly microscopic organisms that float or drift freely in the waters of aquatic (freshwater and marine) environments
estuary an area where fresh water from rivers mixes with salt water from the ocean; the part of a river where the tides meet the river current
eutrophic lake describes a lake or other body of water that contains a rich supply of plant nutrients
oligotrophic lake a lake that lacks plant nutrients and that has a lot of oxygen dissolved in its lower layer
freshwater wetland an area of land that is covered in fresh water for at least part of each year
Created by: FarlowA20
 

 



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