Conserving Missouri's Aquatic Ecosystems Flashcards

Clean Water Act
Terms Definitions
Abiotic
nonliving; not derived from living organisms; inorganic
Acid rain
precipitation containing a high amount of acidity
Adaptation
a behavior or trait that increases a species chance of survival in a specific environment; the process of adapting
Anaerobic
occurring or living in the absence of oxygen
Angler
fisherman, especially one fishing for pleasure using a hook and line
Aquatic ecosystem
an ecosystem organized around a body of water
Channel
the part of the stream where water collects to flow downstream, including the streambed, gravel bars and stream banks
Aquatic resource
water and all things that live in or around water
Aquifer
an underground layer of sand, gravel, or rock that hold water in pores or crevices
Biodiversity
the number and variety of living things in an environment
Biosphere
the part of the world in which life can exist; living organisms and their environment
Biotic
of or having to do with life or living organisms; organic
Buffer
to serve as a protective barrier to reduce or absorb the impact of other influences
Carrying capacity
an ecosystem's resource limit; the maximum number of individuals in a population that the ecosystem can support
Clean Water Act
primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution, first passed by Congress in 1972
Collector
an aquatic invertebrate that feeds on fine material; examples include caddis fly larvae and mayfly nymphs
Community
a group of plants and animals living and interacting with one another in a particular place
Compete
the act of actively seeking after and using an environmental resource (such as food) in limited supply
by two or more plants or animals or kinds of plants or animals
Condense
to change a gas or vapor to liquid
Conservation
the wise use of natural resources such that their use is sustainable long term; includes protection, preservation, management, restoration and harvest of natural resources; prevents exploitation, pollution, destruction, neglect and waste of natural resources
Consumer
an organism that feeds on other organisms in a food chain
Current
the part of a body of water continuously moving in a certain direction
Decompose
to decay or rot; to break down or separate into smaller or simpler components
Decomposer
an organism such as a bacterium or fungus that feeds on and breaks down dead plant or animal matter, making essential components available to plants and other organisms in the ecosystem
Detritus
loose material that results from natural breakdown; material in the early stages of decay
Dissolved oxygen
oxygen gas absorbed by and mixed into water
Ecosystem
a community of organisms together with their physical environment and the relationships between them
Energy pyramid
a graphical representation designed to show the relationship between energy and trophic levels of a given ecosystem
Erosion
the gradual wearing away of land surface materials, especially rocks, sediments, and soils, by the action of water, wind, or ice; usually includes the movement of such materials from their original location
Ethical
following the rules of good conduct governing behavior of an individual or group
Evaporation
to change from a liquid state into vapor
Filter feeder
an aquatic animal, such as a mussel or some species of fish, that feeds by filtering tiny
organisms or fine particles of organic matter from water that passes through it
Fin
a wing- or paddle-like part of a fish used for propelling, steering, or balancing in the water
First-order stream
a small stream with no tributaries coming into it
Floodplain
the flat land on both sides of a stream, into which the stream's extra water spreads during a flood
Food chain
a series of plants and animals linked by their feeding relationships and showing the transfer of food energy from one organism to another
Food web
many interconnected food chains within an ecological community
Geosphere
the solid part of the earth consisting of the crust and outer mantle
Gill
a respiratory organ that enables aquatic animals to take oxygen from water and to excrete carbon dioxide
Grazer
an aquatic invertebrate such as a snail or water penny that eats aquatic plants, especially algae growing on surfaces
Groundwater
water that flows or collects beneath the earth's surface in saturated soil or aquifers
Habitat
the natural environment in which an organism normally lives, including the surroundings
and other physical conditions needed to sustain it
Headwaters
the high ground where precipitation first collects and flows downhill in tiny trickles too small to create a permanent channel
Hydrosphere
all of the Earth's water, including surface water, groundwater and water vapor
Inorganic
composed of matter that does not come from plants or animals either dead or alive; abiotic
Intermittent stream
a stream that flows, dries up and flows again at different times of the year
Invasive species
a species that has been introduced by human action to a location where it did not previously occur naturally, has become capable of establishing a breeding population in the new location without further intervention by humans and has spread widely throughout the new location
Invertebrate
any animal without a spinal column; for example, insects, worms, mollusks and crustaceans
Lateral line
an organ running lengthwise down the sides of fish, used for detecting vibrations and pressure changes
Marsh
a wetland dominated by reeds and other grass-like plants
Natural selection
the natural process in which those organisms best adapted to the conditions under
which they live survive and poorly adapted forms are eliminated
Natural resource
something that is found in nature that is useful to humans
Niche
the function, position or role of a species within an ecosystem
Non-point pollution
water pollution that comes from a combination of many sources rather than a single outlet
Organic
composed of matter that comes from plants or animals either dead or alive; biotic
Oxbow lake
crescent-shaped lake formed when a bend of a stream is cut off from the main channel
Perennial stream
a stream that flows for most or all of the year
Physiographic
pertaining to physical geography; relating to the surface features of terrain
Plankton
microscopic free-floating plant- or animal-like organisms
Point-source pollution
water pollution that comes from a single source or outlet
Pollution
the contamination of air, water, or soil by substances that are harmful to living organisms, especially environmental contamination with man-made waste; also the harmful substances themselves
Pond
a body of standing water small enough that sunlight can reach the bottom across the entire diameter
Pond succession
the natural process by which sediment and organic material gradually replace the water
volume of a pond ultimately resulting in the area becoming dry land
Pool
an area of deeper, slower-moving water in a stream
Population
a group of individuals of the same species occupying a specific area
Predator
an animal that lives by capturing and eating other animals
Prey
an animals that is eaten by a predator
Producer
an organism that is able to produce its own food from non-living materials, and which serves as a food source for other organisms in a food chain; green plants
Recharge
water that soaks into and refills an aquifer
Reservoir
an artificial lake used to store water
Riffle
an area of shallow, faster-flowing water in a stream
Riparian zone
land next to the stream, starting at the top of the bank, with heavy plant cover on either side
Runoff
precipitation not absorbed by soil
Saturated
soaked with moisture; having no pores or spaces not filled with water
Scale
any of the small, stiff, flat plates that form the outer body covering of most fish
Sediment
silt, sand, rocks and other matter carried and deposited by moving water
Shredder
an aquatic invertebrate such as a stonefly nymph that feeds by cutting and tearing organic matter
Slough
a backwater or secondary channel of a stream
Stream bank
the shoulder-like sides of the stream channel from the water's edge to the higher ground nearby
Streambed
the bottom of the stream channel
Surface water
precipitation that runs off the land surface
Swamp
a wetland in which trees or woody shrubs predominate
Swim bladder
an air-filled sac near the spinal column in many fishes that helps maintain buoyancy
Transpiration
the passage of water through a plant to the atmosphere
Tributary
a stream that flows into a larger stream or other body of water
Water cycle
the natural process of evaporation and condensation, driven by solar energy and gravity, that distributes the earth's water as it evaporates from bodies of water, condenses, precipitates and returns to those bodies of water
Trophic level
a group of organisms that occupy the same position in a food chain; each step of an energy pyra
Water pollution
an excess of natural or man-made substances in a body of water; especially, the contamination of water by substances that are harmful to living things
Water quality
the fitness of a water source for a given use, such as drinking, fishing or swimming
Watershed
all the land from which water drains into a specific body of water
Watershed address
the watershed, sub-watershed, and sub-sub-watershed that includes a particular location
Wetland
a low-lying area where the soil is saturated with water
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