1:1 Sustainable Ecosystem Study Cards
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What is an ecosystem?
-All the interacting parts of a biological community and its environment
-An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in a partnership with the nonliving components of their environment (ex. air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system.
-Example: Plants need the sun's energy for photosynthesis
What is a sustainable ecosystem?
-An ecosystem that is capable of withstanding pressure and giving support to a variety of organisms
-Example: The ocean can support a LOT of different organisms
-The living parts of an ecosystem
-Example: deers, trees, birds
-The non-living parts of an ecosystem
-Even if they are not living, they are still important to living things
-Example: The sun is abiotic but biotic things need the sun's energy
What is lithosphere?
-The hard part of the Earth's surface
-Example: Rocks, minerals, soils
What is hydrosphere?
-All the water found on Earth, including lakes, oceans, and ground
-Example: Atlantic Ocean
What is atmosphere?
-The layer of gases above Earth's surface
-Example: Carbon Dioxide (
What is biosphere?
-The regions of Earth where living organisms exist
What are nutrients?
-A chemical that is essential to living things and is cycled through ecosystems
-Example: Oxygen (
-Excessive nutrients in a lake or other body of water, frequently due to runoff from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen.
-The process of adding nitrogen or phosphorus to an ecosystem that pushes it beyond the normal nutrient cycle and beyond sustainability
-Example: Extra fertilizer in the lake causes algae to "bloom" and it blocks the sunlight from reaching the lake's plants and reduces the amount of oxygen for aquatic organisms so they die
What is photosynthesis?
-The process in which plants use the sunlight to make food from carbon dioxide and water. This process also includes the plant giving off glucose and oxygen
-Word equation: carbon dioxide + water --> glucose + oxygen
What are trophic levels?
-Categories of organisms defined by how the organism gains energy
What is biomass?
-The total mass of living organisms in a defined group or area.
What is trophic efficiency?
-A measure of the amount of energy or biomass transferred from on trophic level to the next higher trophic level.
-% is always lower than 100% because organisms use most of the energy for life functions
-Example: If the cricket eats the plant, the bird eats the cricket, and the hawk eats the bird, the hawk is getting around 1% of energy units
What is bioaccumulation?
-A process in which materials, especially toxins, are ingested by an organism at a rate greater than they are eliminated
-Materials, especially toxins, are getting eaten by an organism faster than they are dying
-Example: butterflies and milkweed
What is biomagnification?
-The increase in the concentration of a toxin as it moves from one trophic level to the next
-Example: The toxin concentration will increase when it moves from a secondary consumer to a tertiary consumer
What is cellular respiration?
-A process that releases energy, especially carbohydrates, from organic molecules in the presence of oxygen
-Used by most living organisms (humans, plants, bacteria)
-Essential to life
-Equation: glucose + oxygen -> carbon dioxide + water
-Example: When you walk, cellular respiration uses oxygen to help you breath
what is fermentation?
-A process that releases energy from organic molecules, especially carbohydrates, in the absence of oxygen
-Equation: glucose-->carbon dioxide + ethanol + 2APT
-Example: When you're running, your body doesn't have time for cellular respiration so it does fermentation
What are greenhouse gases?
-Atmospheric gases that prevent heat from leaving the atmosphere, thus increasing the temperature of the atmosphere
-Gas in the air that stops heat from leaving the planet, increasing the temperature
-Example: Global warming
What is the greenhouse effect?
-The warming of Earth as a result of greenhouse gases, which trap some of the energy that would otherwise leave earth
-Greenhouse gases are warming up the Earth and trapping the energy in
-Example: Greenhouse gases causing global warming
What is acid precipitation?
-Rain, snow, or fog that is unnaturally acidic due to gases in the atmosphere that react with water to form acids.
-Any form of perception that is high in air pollutants
-Example: Acid rain
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