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Enviro Health Test 1

Chapters 1,2,6,7,9,10,11,12

Biosphere The portion of Earth where life occurs. 36,000 feet below sea level to 30,000 feet above sea level. Most organisms exist between 600 feet below sea level to 20,000 feet above sea level.
Ecosystems Living and non-living elements are present and interacting to process energy and cycle materials. Basic functional units. No defining size limitations.
Biotic Community A natural grouping of different kinds of plants and animals within any given habitat. Interrelationships and dependence of different populations.
Population Same species living together within a given area.
Community Concept 1. It emphasizes the fact different organisms are not arbitrarily scattered around the earth with no particular reason as to why they live where they do, but rather they dwell together in an orderly manner.
Community Concept 2. By illuminating the importance of the community as a whole to any of its individual parts, the community concept can be used by humans to manage a particular organism, in the sense of increasing or decreasing its numbers.
Community Concept Emphasizing biotic communities as a whole is helpful in demonstrating why removing one species from a community or introduction of non-native species can have unintended and sometimes disastrous consequences.
Ecological Dominants Organism which exert a major modifying influence on the community. The species that control the flow of energy through the community. In most terrestrial biotic communities, certain plants comprise the dominant species.
Reasons why plants are generally the ecological dominants 1) Food and shelter for other organisms2) Affect and modify their physical environment (plants contribute to top-soil buildup, moderate temperatures, improve moisture retention, and affect pH of the soil)
Ecological Dominants As a general rule, the # of dominant species w/n a community diminish as one moves toward the poles and increases as one moves toward the equator. Dominant species are fewer in regions where climatic conditions are extreme.
Keystone Predators Help maintain more biotic diversity than would exist in their absence. Moderate competition among the species upon which they prey, reducing the density of strong competitors to maintain their populations within the community.
Biomes Species composition of a biotic community is profoundly affectd by the physical characteristics of the environment especially temperature and rainfall. Key characteristic is the dominant type of vegetation. Rainfall patterns, seasons, max and min temps.
Biomes: Tundra 8" inches annual rainfall, Permafrost. Dominant vegetation: moss, lichens, grass, perennials. Animal life is limited: caribou, polar bears. Mosquitos are problem.
Biomes: Taiga northern coniferous forests. Dominant vegetation: conifer trees. Moderate rainfall. Animals: bears, moose.
Biomes: Temperate Deciduous Forest Milder climate and more rainfall than Taiga. Dominant vegetation: Deciduous trees. Great variety of mammals, bird, and insects. Western, Chinese, and Japanese civilizations.
Biomes: Grasslands Dominant vegetation: grasses. Insufficient rainfall for trees. Carnivores abundant. Highest concentration of organic matter in soil of all biomes. When soil broken, erosion occurs.
Biomes: Desert Receives less than 10" of rain annually. High daytime and low nightime temps. Drought tolerant species of plants and animals. more annual plants than other biomes. Animals active at night.
Biomes: Tropical Rain Forest High temps and high annual rainfall (100") 4 distinct layers of plant growth: 1)top canopy (200'+) 2)Lower canopy (100') 3)sparse understory 4)ground level (few plants). Highest diversity of species but #s in each are limited. soils are nutrient poor.
Adiabatic Lapse Rate Air temperature decreases about 6 degrees Celsius per 1000 meter increase in altitude.
Ecological Niches Within any biotic community each species is defined by its own unique posistion or ecological niche different from that of any other member of the community. Defined by its size and food habits.
Ecological Niches Organisms have become more specialized in terms of the food they utilie , periods for activity, and types of habitats they exploit to reduce competition.
Principal of Competitive Exclusion When two species are competing for the same limited resources, only one will survive.
Limiting Factors Environmental factors that limit or control where an organism can live. Temperature, Water, Oxygen, Minerals.
Limits of Tolerance Organisms with high tolerance for a large # of factors will be widely distributed. Different stages of a life cycle exhibit different tolerances.
First Law of Thermodynamics Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Second Law of Thermodynamics With every energy transformation there is a loss of useable energy. The availability, not the total amount, of energy is what decreases. Entropy-all energy is moving toward an ever less available and more dispersed state.
Food Chains Transfer of food energy from a given source through a series of organisms. Producers-convert the sun's energy into food energy. Consumers-consume producers. Decomposers-essential to recycle detritus back into the soil.
Food Chains Grazing-predator chain. Starts with plant base and proceeds from smaller to larger animals. Detritus-dead organic matter is broken down by microorganisms which are consumed by small animals. Parasitic-energy flows from larger to smaller animals.
Ecological Pyramids Energy passes from producers to primary consumers to secondary consumers and so on. Each stage is a "trophic level". Placement into a level depends on what the organism does. Bottom-producers, middle-primary consumers, top-final consumers.
Food Pyramids At each transfer of enery w/n a food chain, approximately 90% of the chemical energy stored in organisms of the lower level is lost and therefore unavailable to the higher level.
Biogeochemical Cycling The cycling of earth materials through living systems and back to the earth. 40 elements are essential and known as "nutrients". Macronutrients-needed in large amounts. Trace elements-needed in small amounts.
Gaseous Cycle Primarily atmosphere. Only C,H,O,N. 97.2% of protoplasm. Carbon Cycle and Nitrogen Cycle.
Carbon Cycles Source: CO2 in atmosphere and dissolved in bodies of water. Completion of the cycle is accomplished by breaking down of organic molecules to inorganic CO2 by 1)respiration 2)decay of dead organisms 3)natural weathering of limestone 4)combustion
Nitrogen Cycle Sources: free nitrogen gas in atmosphere and stored in rock forming mineral. 1)lightning can convert nitrogen to nitrogen oxide. When dissolved in water, bacteria can convert it to nitrate ions. 2)fixation of atmos. nitrogen by bacteria in plant roots.
Created by: horsenerd09