BIOL 381

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  1. Anthropocene
    A contemporary time interval in which surface geological activities are dominated by human activities
  2. Pollutant
    The presence or introduction into the environment of a substance that has harmful or poisonous effects
  3. Environmental stressors
    Factors that constrain: productivity, reproductive success, ecological development
  4. Limiting Factors preventing Exponential Growth
    • Water
    • Space
    • Food
    • Predators
    • Disease
  5. Carrying Capacity
    • (K) stabilized population size
    • - as you approach K, population growth slows
  6. Less developed world will account for __% of population growth in the future
  7. LPI
    Living Planet Index
  8. Ecological Footprint
    Tracks humanity's demand on the biosphere, comparing humanity's consumption against the earth's biocapacity
  9. Components of humanity's ecological footprint, from largest to smallest
    Carbon, cropland, grazing land, forest, fishing, built-up land
  10. Biocapacity (supply) eqn
    = area x bioproductivity
  11. Ecological footprint (demand) eqn
    = population x consumption per person x footprint intensity
  12. Water footprint
    Provides global indicator of both direct and indirect freshwater use
  13. Green water footprint
    Rainwater that evaporates during the production of goods
  14. Blue water footprint
    Freshwater drawn from surface or groundwater that is used by people and not returned
  15. Gray water footprint
    Water required to dilute pollutants released in production processes (ex. tailings ponds)
  16. Ecosystem traits that affect ecosystem processes
    Abiotic process controls, direct biotic processing
  17. Humans primarily extract resources for:
    energy, food, lifestyle
  18. Non-renewable natural resources
    • Resources that are present in finite quantity, and do not regenerate after they are harvested and used
    • -can never be used in a sustainable manner, only mined
  19. Renewable natural resources
    • Resources that are potentially capable of regenerating after they are harvested
    • - can potentially be used forever, in a sustainable fashion
  20. Coal forming process
    Debris from ancient forests subjected to decreasing moisture and increased heat and pressure over time
  21. Maximum sustainable yield
    Largest amount of harvest mortality without degrading stock productivity
  22. Biogeochemistry
    Study of the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of the natural environment
  23. Flux rate
    Rate of movement of elements/molecules b/w two compartments
  24. Compartments
    "defined spaces" in nature where elements/molecules reside
  25. Mean residence time
    average length of time an element/molecule remains in a compartment
  26. Steady state ecosystem
    when fluxes are balance (inputs=outputs)
  27. Sink
    Inputs > outputs = storage
  28. Source
    Inputs < outputs = loss
  29. "normal" decrease in temperature with elevation is ________
    6.5°C per 1000 meters
  30. High coefficient of variation for atmospheric gases means ______ and a short coefficient of variation means ____
    short residence time, long residence time (respectively)
  31. Sulfur trioxide (SO3) + water vapour =
    Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) -> acid rain
  32. POPs
    persistent organic pollutants
  33. Non-point sources of water pollution
    • Harder to deal with or tell exactly where the pollution is coming from 
    • - farms, lawns, golf courses
    • - residential neighborhoods
    • - construction sites, deforested/overgrazed land
    • - abandoned mines
  34. Point sources of water pollution
    • Can look and find where pollution is coming from
    • - animal feedlots
    • - sewage treatment plants
    • - factories and disposal sites
    • - oil tankers
  35. Bioaccumulation
    buildup of toxicants in the tissues of an animal
  36. Biomagnification
    magnification of the concentration of toxicants in an organism caused by its consumption of other organisms in which toxicants have bioaccumulated (ex. foodweb)
  37. Target tissues
    Organic contaminants are lipophillic, so are stored in fat
  38. Methylmercury
    toxic form of mercury
  39. Isotopes
    atoms of elements which differ in mass (ex. number of neutrons)
  40. Total Water Footprint of global production
    9087 billion m3/yr
  41. Drawdown Zones
    Water levels were high in the summer, used up in winter so water levels dropped, dragging organic matter into the reservoir
  42. FACE experiment
    • "Free-Air CO2 Enrichment" experiment
    • pipes set up in rings in forest, spew out different levels of CO2 so we can see what happens to the forest at different levels
  43. RAIN project
    Reversing Acidification in Norway
  44. ELA
    Experimental Lakes Area, in western Ontario
Card Set
BIOL 381
A planet in crisis
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