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PSSA Vocab 1-3

Science

TermDefinition
Topographic Map A map characterized by large-scale detail... usually using contour lines, but historically using a variety of methods
Hydrology The branch of science concerned with the properties of the earth's water, especially its movement in relation to land
Biomes A large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat like a forest or tundra
Dichotomous Divided into two distinct parts
Ecosystem Community of living organisms and their interrelated physical and chemical environment
Environment Total 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, climate and loca
Homeostasis The tendency for a system by resisting change to remain in a state of equilibrium
Abiotic A nonliving factor or element (e.g., light, water, heat, rock, energy, mineral)
Biotic An environmental factor related to or produced by living organisms
Niche 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
Consumer 1) 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
Decomposer 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
Shredder Through chewing and/or grinding, microorganisms feed on non-woody coarse particulate matter, primarily leaves
Pest A label applied to an organism when it is in competition with humans for some resource
Integrated Pest Management A variety of pest control methods that include repairs, traps, bait, poison, etc. to eliminate pests
Acid Deposition Precipitation with a pH less than 5.6 that forms in the atmosphere when certain pollutants mix with water vapor
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)
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 (e.g., sloughs, estuaries, marshes)
Groundwater Water that infiltrates the soil and is located in underground reservoirs called aquifers
Mitogation The policy of constructing or creating man-made habitats, such as wetlands, to replace those lost to development
Lentic Relating to or living in still water
Lotic Relating to or living in actively moving water