All the interacting parts of a biological community and its environment.
Ex: forest, jungle, savannah, tundra, etc.
An ecosystem that is capable of withstanding pressure and giving support to a variety of organisms.
The living parts of an ecosystem.
Some examples of biotic elements in a forest ecosystem are: trees, wolfs, birds, flowers, etc.
The non-living parts of an ecosystem.
Some examples of abiotic elements are: water, oxygen (air), light, nutrients, and soil.
The hard part of the Earth's surface.
The lithosphere is best represented by the Sahara desert.
All the water found on earth, including lakes, oceans, and ground water.
The Atlantic ocean and Mediterranean sea represent the hydrosphere.
The layer of gases above Earth's surface.
The regions of Earth where living organisms exist. This sphere is not separate from the three other spheres.
A chemical that is essential to living things and is cycled through ecosystems.
Ex: carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, oxygen, etc.
A process in which nutrients levels in aquatic ecosystems increase, leading to an increase in the populations of primary producers.
Ex: Algae blooms in lake Erie have been caused by excess phosphorus.
A process that changes solar energy into chemical energy.
The word equation for photosynthesis is:
carbon dioxide + water -------------->glucose + oxygen
A category of organisms that is defined by how the organisms gain their energy.
The order of basic trophic levels would be: primary producers, primary consumers (herbivores), secondary consumers (carnivores), and tertiary consumers (top carnivores).
The total mass of living organisms in a defined group or area.
A measure of the amount of energy or biomass transferred form one trophic level to the next higher trophic level.
This is typically around 10%.
A process in which materials, especially toxins, are ingested by an organism at a rate greater than they are eliminated.
The increase in the concentration of a toxin as it moves from one trophic level to the next.
Ex: Water may have 0.000002 ppm of a toxin, then the phytoplankton in that water have 0.0025 ppm of the toxin, then the zooplankton who eat the phytoplankton have 0.123 ppm of the toxin, then small fish eat them, then big fish eat the small fish, until finally you reach the herring gull that has 124 ppm of the toxin.
A process that releases energy in organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the presence of oxygen (aerobic conditions).
glucose + oxygen ---> carbon dioxide + water + energy
A process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic conditions).
The warming of Earth as a result of greenhouse gases, which trap some of the energy that would otherwise leave Earth.
Atmospheric gases that prevent heat from leaving the atmosphere, thus increasing the temperature of the atmosphere.
Ex: water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, etc.
Rain, snow, or fog that is unnaturally acidic due to gases in the atmosphere that react with water to form acids.
Nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide are released in the burning of fossil fuels and then bond to water in clouds to form nitric acid and sulfuric acid.