Science vocab: chapter 1

  1. Ecosystem
    • Includes all the interacting parts of a biological community and its environment
    • E.g. forest, ocean, pond, your body, swamp
  2. Sustainable ecosystem
    • An ecosystem that is capable of withstanding pressure and giving support to a variety of organisms
    • E.g. Thriving lakes, in which smaller fish are eaten, then the bigger fish die, feeding the plants that the smaller fish eat
  3. Biotic
    • The living parts of an ecosystem
    • E.g. humans, cats, bacteria, fungi, plants
  4. Abiotic
    • The non-living parts of an ecosystem
    • E.g. water, rocks, soil, the computer this was written on
  5. Lithosphere
    • The hard part of Earth’s surface
    • E.g. volcanos, mountains, Earth’s crust
  6. Hydrosphere
    • All the water found on Earth’s surface
    • E.g. lakes, oceans, ponds, groundwater
  7. Atmosphere
    • The layer of gasses above Earth’s surface
    • E.g. air, the ozone layer
  8. Biosphere
    • The regions of Earth where living organisms exist
    • E.g. birds in the air, fish in the sea, worms in the ground, humans on the ground
  9. Nutrients 
    • A chemical that is essential to living things and is cycled through ecosystems
    • E.g. calcium, vitamines, iron, fibre
  10. Eutrophication
    • A process in which nutrient levels in aquatic ecosystems increase, leading to an increase in the population of primary producers
    • E.g. too much phosphorus in a lake will create an exponential “bloom” of algae
  11. Photosynthesis
    • A process that changes solar energy into chemical energy
    • E.g. plants use it to convert the sun’s energy into nutrients for themselves
  12. Trophic level
    • A category of organisms that is defined by how they gain their energy
    • E.g. primary producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, tertiary/top consumers
  13. Biomass
    • The total mass of living organisms in a defined group or area
    • E.g. the biomass of a lake would be the mass of all of the fish (and other organisms) combined
  14. Trophic efficiency
    The measure of the amount of energy or biomass transferred from one trophic level to the next or higher trophic level Image Upload 1
  15. Bioaccumulation
    • A process in which an organism ingests materials, especially toxins, faster than it eliminates them
    • E.g. if it destroys 1 toxin, but the toxin creates 2
  16. Biomagnification
    A process in which the concentration of ingested toxins increases as it moves from one trophic level to the nextImage Upload 2
  17. Cellular respiration
    • A process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the presence of oxygen
    • E.g. we breathe    
  18. Fermentation
    • A process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the absence of oxygen
    • E.g. fermenting wine/beer adds nutrients by removing the oxygen
  19. Greenhouse gasses
    • An atmospheric gas that prevents heat from leaving the atmosphere, thus increasing the temperature of the atmosphere
    • E.g. carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane
  20. Greenhouse effect
    The warming of Earth as a result of greenhouse gases, which trap some of the energy that would otherwise leave EarthImage Upload 3
  21. Acid precipitation
    • Rain, snow, or fog that is unnaturally acidic (pH less than 5.6) due to gases in the atmosphere that react with water to form acids
    • E.g. acid rain, acid snow, acid fog, acid sleet
Card Set
Science vocab: chapter 1
Science vocab: chapter 1