AP Environmental Science MidTerm

The applied branch of sociology that deals with population statistics and provides information on the populations of various countries or groups of people
Death Rate
The number of deaths per 1000 people per year
Birth Rate
The number of births per 1000 people per year
Flowing-water ecosystem
A freshwater ecosystem such as a river or stream in which the water flows in a current
Standing-water ecosystem
A body of fresh water that is surrounded by land and that does not flow; a lake or a pond
Fungi or bacteria that recycle nutrients from dead tissues and wastes back into an ecosystem
An organism that must obtain its energy by consuming other organisms (same as consumer)
An organism that uses the energy of the sun to produce usable forms of energy (same as autotroph)
A symbiotic relationship in which both partners benefit
Any intimate relationship or association between members of two or more species; includes mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism
The interaction among organisms that vie for the same resources (such as food or living space) in a ecosystem
Limiting resource
Any environmental resource that because it is scarce of at unfavorable levels, restricts the ecological niche of an organism
The elimination of a species from Earth
Sex ratio
males:females in a population
Intertidal zone
The area of shore line between low and high tides
A type of symbiosis in which one organism benefits and the other one is neither harmed nor helped
A group of similar organisms whose members freely interbreed with one another in the wild to produce fertile offspring
Sulfur cycle
The global circulation of sulfur from the environment to living organisms and back to the environment
Hydrologic cycle
The movement of water through the biosphere
Nitrogen cycle
The global circulation of nitrogen from the environment to living organisms and back to the environment
Carbon cycle
The global circulation of carbon from the environment to living organisms and back to the environment
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
The U.N. Millennium Declaration committed their countries to a global partnership with a concrete plan of action
Benthic environment
The ocean floor, which extends from the intertidal zone to the deep ocean trenches
Threatened species
A species whose population has declined to the point that it may be at risk of extinction
Phosphorus cycle
The global circulation of phosphorus from the environment to living organisms and back to the environment
An organism that specializes in breaking down dead tissues and waste products into smaller particles
Gender inequality
The social construct that results in women not having the same rights, opportunities, or privileges as men.
Family planning services
Providing information about birth control methods, to help people have the number of children they want
Population growth momentum
The continued growth of a population after fertility rates have declined, as a result of a population’s young age structure. Can be either positive or negative but is usually discusses in a positive context
Food insecurity
The condition in which people live with chronic hunger and malnutrition
Someone who is in favor of population growth
Voluntary simplicity
A way of life that involves wanting and spending less
The ideas and customs of a group of people at a given period; passed from generation to generation; evolves over time
Growth rate
The rate of change of a population’s size, expressed in a % per year
Current world growth rate
Economic development
An expansion in a government’s economy, viewed by many as the best way to raise the standard of living
Disease, Famine, Warfare, Death
4 horsemen of the apocalypse
Total fertility rates (TFRs)
The average number of children born per woman during her lifetime
A costal body of water, partly surrounded by land, with access to the open ocean and a large supply of fresh water from a river
NPK = Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium
3 macronutrients for fertilizer
Biodiversity hotspots
Relatively small areas of land that contain an exceptional number of endemic species and are at high risk from human activities
Nertic province
The part of the pelagic environment that overlies the ocean floor from the shoreline to a depth of 200m (650ft)
Invasive species
Foreign species that spread rapidly in a new area where they are free of predators, parasites, or resource limitations that may have controlled their populations in their native habitat
Restoration ecology
Study of the historical condition of a human damaged ecosystem with the goal of restraining it as close as possible to its former state
An organism that uses the energy of the sun to produce usable forms of energy (same as producer)
First law of thermodynamics
Energy can not be created or destroyed, although it can change from one form to another
A natural association that consists of all the populations of different species that live and interact within an area at the same time
A large, relatively distinct terrestrial region with a similar climate soil, plants, and animals, regardless of where it occurs in the world
Food web
A representation of the interlocking food chains that connect all organisms in an ecosystem
Cellular respiration
The process by which cells convert glucose and oxygen into energy, carbon dioxide, and water
Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
The basic immigration law in effect in the United States. It gives three groups priority when migrating to the United States: those with family member living in the US, those who can fill vacant jobs, and refugees seeking asylum
The study of systems that include interactions among organisms and between organisms and their abiotic environment
Ecosystem services
Important environmental benefits that ecosystems provide to people; include clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and fertile soil in which to grow crops
The six key elements that organisms need in relatively large amounts: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur
Trophic level
An organism’s position in a food chain which is determined by its feeding relationships
The proportional reflectance of solar energy from Earth’s surface, commonly express as a percentage
The parts of Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, land surface, and soil that contain all living organisms
Ecological niche
The totality of an organisms adaptions, its use of resources and the lifestyle to which it is fitted
Secondary succession
The change in species composition that takes place after some disturbance destroys the existing vegetation; soil is already present
Exponential population growth
The accelerating population growth that occurs when optimal conditions allow a constant reproductive rate over a period of time
Food chain
The sequence of consumption from producers through tertiary consumers
The probability a given individual in a population will survive to a particular age
Net primary productivity (NPP)
Productivity after respiration losses are subtracted
The consumption of one species (the prey) by another (the predator)
Primary succession
The change in species composition over time in a previously uninhabited environment
Movement from one region or country to another
Species richness
The number of species in a community
An organism that must obtain its energy by consuming other organisms (same as heterotroph)
A community and its physical environment
Density-dependent factor
An environmental factor whose effects on a population change as population density changes
Density-independent factor
An environmental factor that affects the size of a population but is not influenced by changes in population density
A biome with mild, moist winters and hot, dry summers; vegetation is typically small leaved evergreen shrubs and small trees
A biome in which the lack of precipitation limits plant growth; found in both temperate and subtropical regions
Temperate deciduous forest
A forest biome that occurs in temperate areas with a moderate amount of precipitation
A tropical grassland with widely scattered trees or clumps of trees
Tropical rain forest
A lush species-rich forest biome that occurs where the climate is warm and moist throughout the year
The treeless biome in the far north that consists of boggy plains covered by lichens and small plants such as mosses; has harsh, very cold winters and extremely short summers
Freshwater wetlands
Lands that shallow fresh water covers for at least part of the years; has a characteristic soil and water-tolerant vegetation
Temperate grasslands
A grassland with hot summers, cold winters, and less rainfall than the temperate deciduous forest biome
Boreal forest
A region of coniferous forest (such as pine, spruce, and fir) in the Northern Hemisphere; located just south of the tundra
Temperate rain forest
A coniferous biome with cool weather, dense fog, and high precipitation
Carrying capacity
The maximum number of individuals of a given species that a particular environment can support for an indefinite period, assuming there are no changes in the environment
National marine sanctuary
A marine ecosystem set aside to minimize human impacts and protect unique natural resources and historic sites
Conservation biology
Scientific study of how humans impact organisms and of the development of ways to protect biological diversity
The layer of the atmosphere closest to Earth’s surface
The layer of the atmosphere found directly above the troposphere
Isle Royale
Moose and wolves
Island in Lake Superior
Births/birth rate
A symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits and the other is adversely affected
A group of organisms of the same species that live in the same area at the same time
Wildlife management
The application of conservation principle to manage wild species and their habitats for human benefit or for the welfare of other species
Second law of thermodynamics
When energy is converted from one form to another, some of it is degraded into heat, a less usable form that disperses into the environment
Population ecology
The branch of biology that deals with the numbers of a particular species found in an area and how and why those numbers change (or remain fixed) over time
Biological diversity
The number, variety, and variability of Earth’s organisms; consists of three components; genetic diversity, species richness, and ecosystem diversity
Thomas Malthus
A british economist who was one of the first to recognize that the human population cannot increase indefinitely
Individuals leave a population and decrease its size
Individuals enter a population and increase its size
Births per female
Natural selection
The process in which better adapted individuals-those with a combination of genetic traits better suited to environmental conditions- are more likely to survive and reproduce, increasing their proportion in the population
Infant mortality rate
The number of infant deaths (under age 1) per 1000 live births
Endangered species
A species that faces threats that may cause it to become extinct within a short period
Population growth momentum
The potential for future increases or decreases in a population based on the present age structure
Intrinsic rate of increase
The exponential growth of a population that occurs under ideal conditions
Age structure
The number and proportion of people at each age in a population
The process by which producers use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose
Cumulative genetic changes that occur over time in a population of organisms; it explains many patterns observed in the natural world
Keystone species
A species, often a predator, that exerts a profound influence on a community in excess of that expected by its relative abundance
Chestnut tree blight, RIFA, Zebra Mussel, Asian subterranean termite, Brown Tree snake-Guam, Mongoose, Purple Loosestrife, Lamprey
exotic species
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period
Oceanic Plates
Plates under the ocean; made of basaltic rock; high density
Indicator species
These types of species require a very specific environment. When that environment is damaged they will decline indicating a problem in the space. Ex. Large mouth bass in central Florida lakes. (BOD)
occurred on 26 April 1986; An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere; concrete
Continental plates
a portion of one block of Tectonic plates, which is not submerged in water
1-dirty (maintenance of mine, tools and carrier)
2-black lung disease
3-Higher prices for better coal
4-Surface mining (strip mining) disrupts the environment by removing the overburden. (open pit mining)
5-Underground mining requires a vertical shaft and is risky if the mine collapses
6-Mercury emissions-teratogen
7-Acid mine drainage- sulfur from mine mixes with water oxygen and bacteria creating sulfuric acid which can escape from the mine
8-Scrubbers- desulfurize the power plants exhaust. Chemicals (LIME or Calcium Oxide) in the scrubber react with sulfur causing it to precipitate out. Modern scrubbers remove 98-99 percent of sulfur and particulate matter in the exhaust. Scrubbers represent about 10-15 percent of cost of construction in a new coal powered plant.
9-burning coal for electricity is at best 35% efficient (most energy is lost as waste heat)
10- electrostatic precipitator
New coal technology-
1- Coal gasification
2-carbon sequestration
1-primarily used as transportation fuel. Also used for heating oil, asphalt, and 3% of US electricity production
2-The US uses 380 million gallons of gasoline per day
3-Difficult to find; much of the easily found oil already discovered and tapped.
4-High cost of drilling off shore, both financial and environmental in scope
5-When natural pressure isn’t present oil must be pumped thus more $$
6-Present technology and drilling costs only allows for about 1/3 of oil in a well to be extracted
7-Danger of oil spills- tankers, drilling rigs, pipeline burst, small leaks
8- forecast of supply
9- around 14% of oil at wellhead makes it to the cars gas tank, leaks, inefficiency in refining, energy to transport the fuel all eat away at original purpose
Natural gas
1-Pipeline in some areas of the world to transport Natgas are impractical
2-Explosions while transporting Natgas in liquid form
3-Odor problems