Kaplan Book: Chapters 3 & 4
Convergent Boundaries
The area where two tectonic plates move towards each other. Ex: “Ring of Fire”
Divergent Boundaries
The area where two tectonic plates move away from eah other. Ex: Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Transform Plate
Tectonic plates that move along strike-slip faults. Ex: San Andreas Fault
Strike-slip Faults
Faults that move horizontally.
Pangaea
The Super-Continent that was made up of the combined continents years ago. It was broken apart by divergent plate movement until the continents drifted to their current locations.
Mountains
Formed at subduction zones where oceanic plates are pushed into the mantle under continental plates.
Earthquakes
The result of built up pressure along fault lines caused by roks becoming stuck.
Tsunami
The result of underwater eathquakes caused by the collision of oceanic plates.
Coriolis Effect
Creates global wind patterns by deflecting wind through through the Earth’s rotation.
Sink Holes
Formed when too much groundwater is removed from underground.
Igneous Rock
Rocks formed from cooling lava.
Sedimentary Rock
Rocks formed from compacted sediments in the ground.
Salinization
The increase of salt in soil. It can be prevented by more efficently using water during irrigation to limit the salt in it. It can be corrected by removing leaching the salts out of the water.
Indicator Species
A species used to tell when something is wrong in the environment. Ex: Frogs, Daffodils, Eagles
Keystone Species
A species that effects all other species in its ecosystem.
Native Species
A species native to the area it is found in.
Invasive Species
A species that moves from one are to another. Often disrupts the ecosystem of the area it moves to. Ex: Rabbits in Australia, European Starling and Kudzu in the United States.
Specialist Species
A species that requires extremely precise conditions in their habitats. More effected by environmental change because they are unable to adapt.
Generalist Species
A species that has broad requirements for a habitat, allowing it to adapt to most changes.
Biomes
Areas of the world distinguished by varying climates, plant life and animal life.
Photosynthesis
The process by which plants use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into create energy and glucose, while releasing oxygen at the same time.
Chemosynthesis
The process by which plants convert carbon into organic matter using the oxidation of inorganic molecules or methane as a source of energy.
Producers
Organisms that produce their own food, almost exclusively plants. Ex: Algae
Consumers
Organisms that feed on producers for energy. Almost exclusively herbivores. Ex: Plankton
Secondary Consumers
Consumers who get their energy from consumers on lower trophic levels. Primarily carnivores, but may include omnivores. Ex: Trout
Tertiary Consumers
Consumers at the top of the food chain. Typically carnivores, but can be omnivores as well. Ex: Great White Shark
Biomass
The mass of organsms at each trophic level.
Bioaccumulation
The accumulation of a substance in a single organism. Ex: Tobacco hornworm concentrating nicotine to toxic levels
Biomagnification
As chemicals and other materials pass through the food chain, it becomes more concentrated in higher trophic levels.
Secondary Succession
When part of an ecosystem is disturbed, but not completely destroyed, allowing the ecosystem to regrow using what is left from the original. Ex: Forest regrowing after a forest fire
Primary Succession
New ground, completely devoid of life, slowly begins to create life and a new ecosystem. Ex: Volcanic rock slowly becoming a grassland and than a forest.
Eutrophication
The process by which a “dead zone” is created in water. Nitrates and phosphorus enter the water through runoff or erosion from fertilizers and creates an algae bloom in the water. This algae than attracts several microorganisms which feed on it and use up the oxygen, killing everything in that area when there is no oxygen left.
Isolation
When different populations of the same species are seperated for varyin reason, each population begins to develop traits better suited to their new environment. Given enough time, the two populations may even become two seperate species.
Carbon Cycle
The cycle that carbon goes through regularly. Humans impact this cycle by removing carbon from the earth. Sources of carbon include living organisms and and the carbonates in the ocean. A sink of carbon would be fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum.
Nitrogen Cycle
The cycle by which nitrogen travels through the Earth. One way humans affect it is by adding excess ntrogen in fertilizers. One example of a source of nitrogen is in the atmosphere. A nitrogen sink are inorganic fertilizers.
Hydrologic Cycle
The cycle by which water moves. Humans affect it by erecting dams and changing the course of rivers. Sources of water include lakes and streams. An example of a water sink is a dam.
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