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APES Test 2

QuestionAnswer
Hypoxia Low concentrations of dissolved oxygen in water
System Network of relationships among parts, elements, or components Interact/influence one another, exchange energy/matter/info., process inputs/outputs
Feedback Loop Circular process in which a system's output serves as input to that same system
Negative Feedback Loop Output from a system moving in one direction acts as input
Positive Feedback Loop Drives a system further toward one extreme or another, rare in nature, common in natural systems altered by humans
Dynamic Equilibrium System processes move in opposing directions, balancing their effects
Homeostasis A system maintains constant internal conditions
Emergent Properties System characteristics are not evident in the components alone, whole is more than sum of parts
Eutrophication Process of nutrient over enrichment which leads to: blooms of algae, increased production of organic matter, decomposition and hypoxia
Lithosphere Rock and sediment
Atmosphere Air surrounding our planet
Hydrosphere Liquid, solid or vapor water
Biosphere The planet's living organisms and the abiotic portions of the environment
Ecosystem All (non)living entities that occur/interact in an area at the same time
Primary Production Conversion of solar energy to chemical energy in sugars by autotrophs
Gross Primary Production (GPP) Assimilation of energy by autotrophs
Autotrophs Organisms that are able to make their own food
Net Primary Production (NPP) Energy remaining after respiration which is used to generate biomass
Secondary Production Biomass generated by heterotrophs from consuming autotrophs
Productivity Rate at which ecosystems generate biomass
High Net Primary Productivity Ecosystems whose plants rapidly convert solar energy to biomass
Nutrients Elements and compounds required for survival that are consumed by organisms
Macronutrients Required in larger amounts (nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus)
Micronutrients Nutrients needed in smaller amounts (nutrients stimulate plant production)
Ecotones Transitional zones between two ecosystems (elements of each ecosystem mix)
Landscape Ecology Studies how landscape structure affects the abundance, distribution, and interaction of organisms (helpful for sustainable regional development)
Patches Form landscape, spread in complex patterns
Metapopulation Network of subpopulations
Conservation Biologists Study the loss, protection, and restoration of biodiversity
Geographic Information System (GIS) Computer software used in landscape ecology research, analyzes how elements of a landscape are arranged, helps in planning/land use decisions
Model Simplified representation of a complex natural process, helps to understand the process and make predictions
Ecological Modeling Constructs and tests models, used to explain and predict how ecological systems work
Ecosystem Services Provided by planet's ecosystems, soil formation, water/air purification, pollination, breakdown of pollutants/waste, quality of life issues, nutrient cycling
Nutrient Cycles Movement of nutrients through ecosystems (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere)
Pools (Reservoirs) Where nutrients reside for varying amounts of time (residence time)
Flux Rate at which materials move between pools, change over time, influenced by human activities
Source Pool that releases more nutrients than it accepts
Sink Pool that accepts more nutrients than it creates
Hydrologic Summarizes how liquids, solids, and gasses move throughout an environment, oceans are main reservoir
Evaporation Water moves from aquatic and land systems into atmosphere
Transpiration Release of water vapor by plants
Precipitation/Runoff/Surface Water Water returns to Earth via rain/snow which then goes to streams, lakes, oceans, etc.
Aquifers Underground reservoirs of sponge-like regions of rock and soil
Groundwater Water found underground beneath soil
Water Table Upper limit of groundwater in an aquifer (may be ancient water)
Carbon Cycle How carbon atoms move in environment, plants are a major reservoir for carbon
Respiration Returns carbon to air and oceans
Decomposition Returns carbon to sediment, largest reservoir for carbon, aquatic organisms are decomposed deep underground and create fossil fuels
Driving Force in Climate Change Increased carbon dioxide amount in the atmosphere, 1-2 billion metric tons of carbon unaccounted for
Nitrogen Fixation
Created by: archergirl