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succession regular and predictable changes in the structure of a community, ultimately leading to a climax community
climax community last stage of succession; a relatively stable, long-lasting, complex, and interrelated community of plants, animals, fungi and bacteria
primary succession succession that begins with bare mineral surfaces or water
secondary succession succession that begins with the destruction or disturbance of an existing ecosystem
pioneer community the early stages of succession that begin the soil-building process
successional stage a stage in succession
sere a stage in succession
biomes a kind of plant and animal community that covers large geographic areas. Climate is a major determiner of the biome found in a particular area
desert a biome that receives less than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of precipitation per year
temperate grasslands areas receiving between 25 and 75 centimeters (10-30 inches) or precipitation per year. Grasses are the dominant vegetation, and trees are rare
steppe a grassland
prairies temperate grasslands
savannas tropical biome having seasonal rainfall of 50 to 150 centimeters (20-60 inches) per year. The dominate plants are grasses, with some scattered fire- and drought-resistant trees
mediterranean shrublands coastal ecosystems characterized by winter rains and summer droughts that are dominated by low, woody vegetation with small leaves
tropical dry forest regions that receive low rain amounts, as little as 50 centimeters (20 inches) per year, and are characterized by species well adapted to drought. Trees of dry tropical forests are usually smaller than those in rainforests, and many lose their leaves duri
temperate deciduous forest biome that has a winter-summer change of seasons and that typically receives 75 to 150c centimeters (30-60 inches) or more of relatively evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year
taiga biome having short, cool summers and long winters with abundant snowfall. The trees are adapted to winter conditions
boreal forest (northern coniferous forest) a broad band of mixed coniferous and deciduous trees that stretches across northern North America (and also Europe and Asia); its northernmost edge is integrated with the Arctic tundra
alpine tundra the biome that exists above the tree line in mountainous regions
freshwater ecosystem aquatic ecosystems that have low amounts of dissolved salts
marine ecosystem aquatic ecosystems that have high salt content
pelagic those organisms that swim in open water
pelagic ecosystem a portion of a marine or freshwater ecosystem that occurs in open water away from the shore
plankton tiny aquatic organisms that are moved by tides and currents
phytoplankton free-floating, microscopic, chlorophyll-containing organisms
zooplankton weakly swimming microscopic animals
eurphotic zone the upper layer in the ocean where the sun’s rays penetrate
benthic describe organisms that live on the bottom of marine and freshwater ecosystems
benthic ecosystem a type of marine or freshwater ecosystem consisting of organisms that live on the bottom
coral reef ecosystem a tropical, shallow-water, marine ecosystem dominated by coral organisms that produce external skeletons
mangrove swamp ecosystem marine shoreline ecosystems dominated by trees that can tolerate high salt concentrations
abyssal ecosystem the collection of organisms and the conditions that exist in the deep portions of the ocean
estuaries marine ecosystems that consist of shallow, partially enclosed areas where freshwater enters the ocean
emergent plants aquatic vegetation that is rooted on the bottom but has leaves that float on the surface or protrude above the water
submerged plants aquatic vegetation that is rooted on the bottom and has leaves that stay submerged below the surface of the water
littoral zone region with rooted vegetation in a freshwater ecosystem
limnetic zone region that does not have rooted vegetation in a freshwater ecosystem
oligotrophic lakes deep, cold, nutrient-poor lakes that are low in productivity
eutrophic lakes a usually shallow, warm-water lake that is nutrient rich
biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) the amount of oxygen required by microbes to degrade organic molecules in aquatic ecosystem
periphyton attached organisms in freshwater streams and rivers, including algae, animals, and fungi
Created by: Jessica C