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Biogeography Ch. 3

Terms and definitions from "Biogeography" by Lomolino et al. (ed. 5)

TermDefinition
cosmopolitan occurring essentially worldwide, as on all habitable landmasses or in all major oceanic regions.
spatial autocorrelation (distance-decay) the tendency for points closer in space to be more similar
geographic template the highly nonrandom, spatial variation of environmental conditions that form the foundation for all biogeographic patterns.
ecosystem engineers a species that significantly alters the functioning and environmental characteristics of an ecosystem.
conduction direct molecular transfer (e.g., of heat), especially through solid matter.
convection transfer of heat via the mass movement of liquid or gaseous matter.
radiation the passage of waves through space or matter.
adiabatic cooling the decrease in air temperature as a result of a decrease in air pressure (not a loss of heat to the outside) as warm air rises and expands. The rate of cooling is about 1 degree C per 100 m for dry air and 0.6 degrees C per 100 m for moist air.
greenhouse effect the retention of heat in the atmosphere when clouds (water vapor) and carbon dioxide absorb the infrared (heat) radiation reradiated from Earth rather than permitting the heat to escape.
Horse Latitudes The zones of dry descending air between 30 degrees and 40 degrees N and S latitude, where many deserts of the world are located.
Coriolis effect a physical consequence of the law of conservation of angular momentum whereby, as a result of Earth's rotation, a moving object appears to veer to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.
trade winds winds blowing toward the equator between the horse latitudes and the doldrums in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Westerlies prevailing winds in the temperate regions (between 30 and 60 degrees latitude of both hemispheres) which, as a result of the Coriolis effect, have a strong west-to-east component.
dew point the temperature at which air becomes saturated with water vapor and it condenses to form fog or other forms of precipitation.
Tropical (Intertropical) Convergence Zone The zone along tropical regions of the earth's surface that receive the most direct sunlight and most intense heating; associated with rising air masses and high precipitation. It shifts with the seasons b/t Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
Mediterranean climate a semiarid climate characterized by mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.
rain shadow more generally, a "precipitation shadow," which is a relatively dry region typically found along the leeward side of a mountain range where the relative humidity of the descending air decreases as it becomes adiabatically warmed.
El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) An approximate 5- to 7-year cycle of regional climatic changes that is caused by variation in sea surface temperatures and oceanic currents in the tropical regions of the Pacific (similar events occur in the tropical Atlantic).
equatorial countercurrent a small current running west to east along the equator (i.e., opposite the major oceanic gyres) in the eastern region of the Pacific Ocean
primary succession the gradual transformation of bare rock or another sterile substrate into a soil that supports a living ecological community.
pioneer species plant species that colonize early successional ecosystems and are then replaced by later colonists.
climax community pertaining to a community that perpetuates itself under the prevailing climatic and soil conditions; therefore, the last stage in secondary succession.
secondary succession a series of changes in the vegetational composition of an environment in response to disturbance, involving the gradual and regular replacement of species and ending, at least hypothetically, with the return to a stable state (climax).
histosols soils that are characterized by a substantial layer of organic matter (>30%) of more than 40 cm either extending down from the surface or taken cumulatively within the upper 80 cm of soil. These soils form when the organic debris production exceeds decay.
alluvial a large, fans-shaped pile of sand, clay, and other sediments gradually deposited by moving water along the shores of lakes and estuaries, or a river bed that flows onto a flat plain at the foot of a mountain range.
pedogenic regimes the soil-forming processes; e.g., laterization, podzolization, calcification, and gleization.
podzolization the formation of a soil under conditions of adequate moisture and low decomposer activity, resulting in a soil in which the bases, humic acids, colloids, and ferric and aluminum oxides have been removed (leached) from the upper horizon.
humus a brown or black organic substance in soils consisting of partially or wholly decayed vegetable or animal matter that provides nutrients for plants and increases the ability of soil to retain water.
leaching in soil science, the removal of soluble substances by water.
laterization the formation of a soil under conditions of abundant moisture, warm temperatures, and high decomposer activity, resulting in a soil from which bases and silica have been leached, leaving behind a clay rich in ferric and aluminum oxides.
calcification the formation of a soil under continental climatic conditions of relatively low moisture and hot to cool temperatures, resulting in a soil rich in calcium carbonate because rainfall is not sufficient to leach calcium from the upper soil horizons.
caliche A hard, often rocklike layer of calcium carbonate that forms in soils of arid regions at the level to which the leached calcium salts from the upper soil horizon are precipitated.
petrocalcic horizon See caliche
gleization the formation of a soil under moist and cool or cold conditions, resulting in an acidic soil with a large amount of organic matter and iron present in a reduced state (FeO).
zonal soils soils that have distinctive characteristics and are formed by the actions of climate and organisms on the so-called "typical" rocks (sandstone, shale, granite, gneiss and slate).
azonal soil types of distinctive chemical composition that develop over unusual types of parent rock material.
halomorphic soil soil that is characterized by very high concentrations of sodium, chlorides, and sulfates and which forms in estuaries and salt marshes, and in arid inland basins where shallow water accumulates and evaporates, leaving behind high concentrations of salts.
halophytic "salt-loving" plant species that grow in areas of soils with high salt concentrations, including a variety of taxonomic and functional groups, each with special adaptations for dealing with the problem of maintaining osmotic and ionic balance.
bajadas a broad, sloping surface deposited at the base of a mountain range in deserts, resulting from the coalescing of alluvial fans.
photic zone the uppermost zone in a water column where solar radiation is adequate to permit photosynthesis by plants
phytoplankton the collection of small or microscopic plants that float or drift in great numbers in freshwater or marine environments, especially at or near the surface, and serve as food for zooplankton.
zooplankton the collection of small or microscopic animals that float or drift in great numbers in fresh or salt water, especially at or near the surface, and serve as food for fish and other larger organisms.
thermal stratification the tendency for waters in lakes of temperate regions to form distinct layers based on the relationship between density and temperature.
thermocline in a water column, the subsurface zone in which the temperature drops sharply.
euryhaline having a tolerance to an extremely wide range of salt concentrations.
intertidal zone the zone above the low tide mark and below the high tide mark of a body of water; the littoral zone.
tidal force the net effects of the centrifugal force of the Earth and moon revolving around their common center of mass, and the gravitational forces of the moon and sun.
spring tides a greater than average tide occurring during the new and full moons.
neap tides a lower than average tide occurring at the first and third quarters of the moon.
chorology a term coined by Ernst Haeckel in 1866 to describe the science of the geographic spread of organisms.
systematic biogeographic maps maps that attempt to describe the distinctiveness of and/or similarities among biotas from local (or provincial) to global (continental or oceanic) scales.
projection a means of using light projected through plastic models of earth, or the use of various mathematical formulae to transform spatial data from the curved, 3-dimensional surface of earth to a two-dimensional map.
geographic coordinate system a means of using two geographic variables (e.g. latitude and longitude, or easting and northings) to locate points on a map.
geographic information systems a system of technologically sophisticated and readily accessible, computer-based tools for visualizing, modifying, and analyzing patterns among spatially referenced observations.
raster-based GIS an alternative platform for GIS that is composed of a system of cells that tessellate, each cell having a unique identity so that it can be assigned attributes corresponding to a variety of local characteristics representative of that cell.
vector-based GIS an alternative platform for GIS systems that is composed of a system of points, vectors, and polygons to represent features of interest, each of which has a unique identity so that it can be assigned attributes corresponding to a variety of local traits.
cartograms examples of strategic distortion where mapping units are scaled not according to their surface area but in proportion to another theme such as population density or species diversity.
remote sensing any means of collecting data where the recorder or sensing device is not in direct contact with the area or objects of interest. in applications, this includes the use of technologically sophisticated sensing devices operated from remote platforms.
interpolation procedures that provide estimates of the expected value of a variable at an unmeasured point in space or time, based on statistical models that take into account the values of recorded variables at actual observation sites and times at a known distance.
metadata detailed descriptions of methods used to record and store a particular data set, along with the relevant characteristics of those data.
spatial autocorrelation the tendency for points closer in space to be more similar.
temporal autocorrelation the tendency for points that are sampled closer in time to be more similar.
pseudoreplication a source of error in statistical analysis that tends to overestimate the sample size and statistical significance of tests, primarily because of sampling observations that are not independent (e.g., repeated sampling of the same individual or group).
Created by: emcoogan