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science vocab 3.3

vocabulary homework flashcards

TermDefinition
abiotic A nonliving factor or element (e.g., light, water, heat, rock, energy, mineral).
acid deposition Precipitation with a pH less than 5.6 that forms in the atmosphere when certain pollutants mix with water vapor.
biological diversity The variety and complexity of species present and interacting in an ecosystem and the relative abundance of each.
biotic An environmental factor related to or produced by living organisms.
closing the loop A link in the circular chain of recycling events that promotes the use of products made with recycled materials.
comodities Economic goods or products before they are processed and/or given a brand name, such as a product of agriculture.
composting The process of mixing decaying leaves, manure and other nutritive matter to improve and fertilize soil.
consumer 1) Those organisms that obtain energy by feeding on other organisms and their remains. 2) a person buying goods or services for personal needs or to use in the production of other goods for resale.
decopmoser An organism, often microscopic in size, that obtains nutrients by consuming dead organic matter, thereby making nutrients accessible to other organisms; examples of decomposers include fungi, scavengers, rodents and other animals.
delineate To trace the outline; to draw; to sketch; to depict or picture.
ecosystem A community of living organisms and their interrelated physical and chemical environment.
endangered species A species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
environment The total of the surroundings (air, water, soil, vegetation, people, wildlife) influencing each living being’s existence, including physical, biological and all other factors; the surroundings of a plant or animal, including other plants or animals, clima
equilibrium The ability of an ecosystem to maintain stability among its biological resources (e.g., forest, fisheries, crops) so that there is a steady optimum yield.
extinction The complete elimination of a species from the earth.
groundwater Water that infiltrates the soil and is located in underground reservoirs called aquifers.
hazardous waste A solid that, because of its quantity or concentration or its physical, chemical or infectious characteristics, may cause or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported
homeostasis The tendency for a system by resisting change to remain in a state of equilibrium.
incinerating Burning to ashes; reducing to ashes.
integrated pest management A variety of pest control methods that include repairs, traps, bait, poison, etc. to eliminate pests.
lentic Relating to or living in still water
lotic Relating to or living in actively moving water.
mitigation The policy of constructing or creating man-made habitats, such as wetlands, to replace those lost to development.
niche (ecological) The role played by an organism in an ecosystem; its food preferences, requirements for shelter, special behaviors and the timing of its activities (e.g., nocturnal, diurnal), interaction with other organisms and its habitat.
nonpoint source pollution Contamination that originates from many locations that all discharge into a location (e.g., a lake, stream, land area).
point source pollution Pollutants discharged from a single identifiable location (e.g., pipes, ditches, channels, sewers, tunnels, containers of various types).
pest A label applied to an organism when it is in competition with humans for some resource.
Recycling Collecting and reprocessing a resource or product to make into new products.
Regulation A rule or order issued by an executive authority or regulatory agency of a government and having the force of law.
Renewable A naturally occurring raw material or form of energy that will be replenished through natural ecological cycles or sound management practices (e.g., the sun, wind, water, trees).
Risk management A strategy developed to reduce or control the chance of harm or loss to one’s health or life; the process of identifying, evaluating, selecting and implementing actions to reduce risk to human health and to ecosystems.
Shredder Through chewing and/or grinding, microorganisms feed on non-woody coarse particulate matter, primarily leaves.
Stream order Energy and nutrient flow that increases as water moves toward the oceans (e.g., the smallest stream (primary) that ends when rivers flow into oceans).
Succession The series of changes that occur in an ecosystem with the passing of time.
Sustainability The ability to keep in existence or maintain. A sustainable ecosystem is one that can be maintained.
Trophic levels The role of an organism in nutrient and energy flow within an ecosystem (e.g., herbivore, carnivore, decomposer).
Waste Stream The flow of (waste) materials from generation, collection and separation to disposal.
Watershed The land area from which surface runoff drains into a stream, channel, lake, reservoir or other body of water; also called a drainage basin.
Wetlands Lands where water saturation is the dominant factor determining the nature of the soil development and the plant and animal communities
Created by: alyssaping