APES Terms Flashcards

Environmental Studies
Terms Definitions
high-quality energy
unicellular, prokaryotic microorganisms. most bacteria are decomposers, but some are autotrophs, and some are parasites.
See developed country.
a large,relatively distinctterrestria regioin characterized by a similar climate, spoil, plants, and animals, regardless of where it occurs on earth; because it is so large in area, a biome encompasses many interacting ecosystems.
strip cutting
cutting along countours.
exhaustible resource
See nonrenewable resource
soil porosity
the porosity of soil.
bottom-dwelling marine organisms that fix themselves to one sport, burrow into the sand, or simply walk about on the ocean floor.
"World Summit on Sustainable Development"Johannesburg, 2002talked about problems with UNCED
National Environmental Policy Agency. A law that applies to federal agenices and the programs they fund. Require considering environmental impacts if taking any major action.
Mineral Reserve
identified deposits currently profitable to extract
Interacting ecosystems in same area
any organism capable of self-nourishment by using inorganic materials as a source of nutrients and using photosynthesis or chemosynthesis as a source of energy (or light or chemical energy), as most plants and certain bacteria and protists.
organic matter that includes dead organisms and wastes.
an unstable isotope that spontaneously emits radiation.
a mixture of organic chemical compounds that make up a portion of the organic matter in sedimentary rocks.
gene mutation
the mutation of a gene.
economic growth
the expansion of an economy.
a particular attitude towards the environment.
ecosystem functions that are essential to human life and economic well-being, such as waste breakdown, climate regulation, erosion control, etc.there can be further categorized as regulating, supporting, and provisioning services
increase in concentration of certain stable chemicals in successively higher trophic levels of a food chain or web.
Water Logging
water completely saturates soil, starves plant roots of oxygen, rots roots
Person concerned with using natural areas and wildlife in ways that sustain them for current and future generations of humans and other forms of life. Compare conservation biologist, ecologist, environmentalist, environment scientist, preservationist, restorationist.
Any organism that consumes organic matter as a source of energy
a social movement dedicated to protecting life support systems for all species.
perpetual resource
An essentially inexhaustible resource on a human time scale. Solar energy is an example. Compare nonrenewable resource, renewable resource.
In most populations, individuals of species live together in clumped distribution pattern
soil structure
determined by how individual soil granules clump or bind together and aggregate, and therefore, the arrangement of soil pores between them.
a type of intercropping in which several kinds of plants that mature at different times are planted together.
natural capital
earth's resources and processes that sustain living organisms.
Grasshopper Effect
Compounds evaporate from water and soil in warm areas and then condense and precipitate in colder regions.
the place or set of environmental conditions in which a particular organism can live.
Particulate Matter
sources include burning fossil fuels and car exhaust. Effects include reduced visibility, respiratory irritation. Methods of reductions include filtering, electrostatic precipitators, alternative energy.
Nuclear Reactor
consists of core, control rods, moderator, steam generator, turbine, containment building
A group of individuals capable of interbreeding
Greenhouse gases
(Examples: H2O, CO2, O3, methane (CH4), CFC’s) (EFFECT: they trap outgoing infrared (heat) energy causing earth to warm
A particular chemical or form of energy that can adversely affect the health, survival, or activities of humans or other living organisms.
Environmental Justice
The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations
The overall ecosystem of the earth. The sum total of all the biomes and smaller ecosystems, which ultimately are all interconnected
the study of connections in the natural world
Generalist species
Species that have broad ecological roles
1. Their living range is broad, includes many different places.  2. They can eat a variety of foods, and tolerate a wide range of environments.3. If environment is changeable, the generalist will survive better than the specialist 
Inability to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
Any chemical designed to kill or inhibit the growth of an organism that people consider undesirable. See fungicide, herbicide, insecticide.
Any food, element, or compound an organism must take in to live, grow, or reproduce
nuclear fission
a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts, often producing free neutrons and lighter nuclei, which may eventually produce photons (in the form of gamma rays).
discount rate
annual interest divided by the capital including that interest
energy productivity
measures the output and quality of goods and services generated with a given set of inputs.
conservation-tillage farming
a method of cultivation in which residues from previous crops are left in the soil, partially covering it and helping to hold it in place until the newly planted seeds are established.
species diversity
an index that incorporates the number of species in an area and also their relative abundance.
strip cropping
a type of contour plowing that produces alternating strips of different crops that are planted along the natural contours of the land.
an alternate form of the same element that has a different atomic mass.
Racheal Carson
Wrote Silent Spring and made the public aware of the threats of pollution and toxic chemicals to humans and other species.
Low Quality Energy
disorganized, dispersed (ex. heat in ocean or air/wind, solar)
when aquatic plants die, the BOD rises as aerobic decomposers break down the plants, the DO drops & the water cannot support life
a hot, pliable layer of rock that surrounds the earth's core and underlies the cool, outer crust
Bacteria that live in nodules in the roots of legumes (legumes= peas, beans, etc.)
feed on dead organic matter and break it down into smaller molecules
Developing Countries
country that has low to moderate industrialization and low to moderate per capita DGP
• Genetic diversity
Variability in the genetic makeup among individuals within a single species
acid decomposition
a type of air pollution that includes acid that falls from the atmosphere as precipitation or as dry acidic particles.
information and globalization revolution
the increased interconnectivity of the world through outlets such as the internet.
ozone depletion
a slow, steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total volume of ozone in Earth's stratosphere (ozone layer) since the late 1970s, and a much larger, but seasonal, decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earth's polar regions during the same period.
To be filled with silt. to fill, cover or obstruct with silt.
Primary air pollutants
produced by humans and nature (CO, CO2, SO2, NO, hydrocarbons, particulates)
Indicator species
: species that serve as early warnings that an ecosystem is being damaged
human-centered environmental worldviews
Humans are the planet's most important species and should become managers or stewards of the earth.
Environmental Racism
The placement of waste sites and other hazardous facilities in towns and neighborhoods in which most of the residents are non-white
Syngergistic Interaction
results in the combined effects of a process being greater than the sum of the separate effects. 
exponential growth
Growth in which some quantity, such as population size or economic output, increases at a constant rate per unit of time. An example is the growth sequence 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and so on; when the increase in quantity over time is plotted, this type of growth yields a curve shaped like the letter J. Compare linear growth.
the inner most part of the earth, the inner layer is solid and a molten outer hot layer is the the outer core
• Net primary productivity
·         Rate at which all the plants in an ecosystem produce net useful chemical energy; equal to the difference between the rate at which the plants in an ecosystem produce useful chemical energy (gross primary productivity) and the rate at which they use some of that energy through cellular respiration
first law of thermodynamics
energy cannot be created or destroyed, although it can be transformed from one form to another.
Clean Air Act
Related to the reduction of smog and air pollution in general.
Electricity is generated by
using steam (from water boiled by fossils fuels or nuclear). falling water or wind to turn a generator, or photovoltaic cells
Renewable resource
must not be used up faster than they can be replaced, like grasslands, fresh water and air, fertile soil, etc.
less developed country (LDC)
a developing country with a low level of industrialization, a very high fertility rate, a very high infant mortality rate, and a very low per-capita income.
Second Law of Thermodynamics
In any energy conversion, some of the usuable energy will be lost (usually heat)
CAFE standards (Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards)
enacted into law in 1975, established fuel efficiency standards for passenger cars and light trucks. fuel economy ratings must average at least 27.5 mpg for entire line of manufacturer's passenger cars
Erosion in soil can lead to three major environmental impacts.
loss of soil nutrient, water pollution, and flooding.
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