All the vocab from each test in Environmental Science combined.

Term Definition
Exponential "J" curve of ever increasing growth of a population.
Per Capita Average per person.
Montreal Protocol in 1987 that tried to lower CFC emissions globally.
Kyoto Protocol in 1997 that tried to lower CO2 emissions globally.
Copenhagen Protocol that just happened that again tried to lower CO2 emissions globally.
Anthropogenic Human-caused or human-centered.
Pseudoscience Fake science – using scientific words or ideas to sell an idea or product.
Charismatic Megafauna Big, pretty animals.
Water Most influential greenhouse gas on the planet.
Carbon Dioxide Most influential greenhouse gas on the planet whose concentrations are altered by humans.
Biodiversity Number of species in a given area.
Monoculture Having only one species in an area (like planted crops or trees).
Theory Hypothesis that has been tested many times under different conditions and never shown to be wrong.
CFC Chemical that can destroy the ozone layer.
Exploitation Unsustainable use of a resource – using a resource faster that it can be replenished.
Conservation Wise use of natural resources.
Preservation No use of natural resources.
Biotic Living parts of an ecosystem.
Abiotic Non-living parts of an ecosystem.
Ecotone The boundary (edge) between ecosystems/communities/associations.
Species All the organisms that can potentially interbreed and produce viable offspring.
Community All living species in a given area.
Association All plants in a given area.
Ecosystem All biotic and abiotic factors in an area that interact as a functional unit.
Biome Major groupings of ecosystems and landscapes.
Population All of one species in a given area.
Swamp Wetland with trees.
Marsh Wetland without trees.
Estuary Biome with a mixture of fresh and salt water.
Conifer Trees with needles and cones.
Deciduous Trees that lose their leaves every year.
Tundra Biome with permafrost.
Desert Very dry biome.
Temperate Rainforest Biome that has trees, moderate temperature, and lots of rain.
Autotroph Producers – change inorganic molecules into organic.
Heterotroph Consumers.
Niche How and where an organism lives and dies.
Habitat Place an organism lives – usually described by vegetation.
Decomposer Organisms the change organic material into inorganic.
Resource Any factor that is used by an organism.
Cohesion Water molecules being attracted to other water molecules.
Adhesion Water molecules being attracted to other molecules.
Biosphere Area of planet that contains all living organisms.
Lithosphere The earth's crust.
Hydrosphere The earth's water.
Atmosphere The earth's air (gaseous layer).
21 Percent of air that is oxygen.
78 Percent of air that if nitrogen.
Limiting Factor The "thing" that controls population size; if removed another one takes over.
Energy The ability to do work.
Kinetic Energy in motion.
Potential Stored energy.
Herbivore Organism that eats only plants.
Carnivore Organism that eats animals.
Prey Organism that gets eaten.
Parasite Organism that eats, but doesn't kill.
Conservation of Energy 1st law of thermodynamics; energy can be changed, but not created or destroyed.
Entropy 2nd law of thermodynamics; energy wants to disperse.
Biomass Dry weight of living material produced per year.
Photosynthesis Process of turning carbon dioxide and water into sugar using the sun's energy.
Respiration Process of turning sugar into energy in a cell.
Fixation Process of turning "air" nitrogen into "plant-usable" nitrogen.
Denitrification Process of turning "plant-usable" nitrogen into "air" nitrogen.
N2 "Air" nitrogen chemical formula.
NH4 One of the "plant-usable" nitrogen – chemical formula.
Rhizobium Microorganisms in the roots of some plants that can make "plant-usable" nitrogen.
Legumes Type of plants that can make "plant-usable" nitrogen – includes beans and peas.
Intraspecific Within a species.
Interspecific Among a different species.
Invasive Non-native, exotic species that are introduced into an area and spread.
R-Selected Species that are small, short-lived, have many young with little parental care.
K-Selected Species that are large, long-lived, have few young with a lot of parental care.
Succession The transition of biotic communities through time.
Carrying Capacity Environmental resistance to poulation growth leads to ___.
Competition An interaction between species where both species lose.
Climax The stable "end" of succession.
Rule of 70 The procedure used to estimate "doubling time" of a population based on growth rate of the population.
Replacement-Level Fertility The amount of young needed to keep the population stable.
1st World Countries with low fertility rates and high incomes – considered "highly developed".
3rd World Countries with high fertility rates and low incomes – considered " developing countries".
Disturbance Any change to succession.
Stewardship Utilizing conservation and efficient use of natural resources.
Evaporation Liquid water becoming a vapor.
Transpiration Liquid water in a plant becoming a vapor.
Sublimination Frozen water becoming a vapor.
Desalination Process of removing salt from seawater to turn in into fresh water.
Adiabatic Cooling Warm air rising and losing pressure causes it to lose heat.
Rain Shadow Dry region downwind of a mountain.
Chinook Warm winds that come off of a mountain because of increasing pressure.
Field Capacity Capillary water – the amount of water soil can hold.
Gravitational Percolated water – excess water that drains through the soil.
Aquifer Pools of groundwater.
Spring Groundwater reaching the surface in a small, confined area.
Seep Groundwater reaching the surface over a large area.
Xeriscape Landscaping using native plants and rocks in dry areas.
Watershed Area of land drained by a river.
32 Fahrenheit – water freezes.
212 Fahrenheit – water boils.
39 Fahrenheit – water is the densest.
0 Celsius – water freezes.
100 Celsius – water boils.
4 Celsius – water is the densest.
Immigration Moving into an area.
Gray "Slightly used" water that can be recycled for watering yards and flushing toilets.
Drip Type of irrigation used to water trees efficiently – long tubes with small holes.
Relative Humidity Percent of water the air can hold based on temperature.
Emigration Moving out of an area.
Migration Leaving and then returning to an area.
Secondary Succession in an area that already had an organism there.
Primary Succession on an area on which no organism lived before.
Dew Point Temperature at which the air would be saturated with water.
Mortality Another name for death rate.
Natality Another name for birth rate.
Water Table The top of an aquifer (highest level of groundwater).
2.5 Percent of earth's water that is fresh.
24 Percent of world's CO2 emissions that the US produces.
Loam The best soil for agriculture.
Clay The smallest particle in soil.
Silt The medium-sized particle in soil.
Sand The largest particle in soil.
Autotroph Producers – organisms that make their own food.
Horizon A "layer" in the soil.
B Layer Soil layer – subsoil – or accumulation of the leeched material.
A Layer Soil layer – topsoil.
R Layer Soil layer – rock under layer.
O Layer Soil layer – dead, and decomposing organic material.
C Layer Soil layer – weathered parent material.
E Layer Soil layer – the leeched soil.
Humus Dead and decomposing organic material.
Oxisol Soil class found in tropical rainforest – lots of iron, little CO2, lots of leeching.
Aridisol Soil class found in deserts and drylands that are thin and light colored.
Mollisol Soil class that is soft and deep; good for ag found in the Midwest.
Alfisol Soil class that is good soil but it is shallow; good for ag if fertilized, but great for forests.
Acid pH of less than 7.
Basic pH of greater than 7.
Neutral pH of 7.
Salinization Process that can happen to dry soil areas that are irrigated.
Profile All the layers of a soil give it a soil__.
Nutrient Minerals needed by plants for growth.
Erosion Process of losing soil due to wind or water.
Compaction Process a soils becoming hard and "squooshed" from machinery or animals/people.
Desertification Process of land becoming more dry due to global warming, overgrazing, overcultivation, etc.
Herbicide Chemical used to kill plants.
Pesticide Chemical used to kill insects, etc.
Fertilizer Nutrients (in general) added to the soil.
No-Till Planting crops without plowing the field first.
Sedimentation Deposition of eroded soils.
Stripcropping Planting 2+ different crops around a hill.
Rotation Planting different crops in different years on the same field to avoid overcultivation.
Overgrazing Too many cattle, goats, sheep, etc. in a pasture.
Grass Planting ___ will help prevent erosion from water in ditches.
Tree Planting lines of ___ will help prevent erosion from wind.
Deforestation Removing all the trees from an area.
Subsidy Added payments to farmers (or other corporations) from the government.
Shelterbelt A line of trees and bushes to prevent wind erosion.
Contour Terracing Building small levees/dams around a hill to prevent water erosion and allow water to soak into the soil.
CRP Program where government pays farmers to not farm highly erodable land.
WRP Program where government pays farmers to not farm or to rebuild wetlands.
Famine A localized food shortage.
Monoculture Planting one species in an area.
Ecosystem Capital Sum of all goods and services provided to human enterprise by natural systems.
Biota All living things.
Anthropogenic Human centered.
Intrinsic Philosophical value – value for its own sake.
Instrumental Value to another species or organism.
Ethnobotany The study of the relationship between humans and plants.
Tamiflu Anti-flu drug made from a plant.
Taxol Anti-cancer drug made from a plant.
Ecotourism Travel dedicated to observing or interacting with a unique ecosystem.
Genetic Bank Saving plants for their unique DNA that may be useful in the future.
Natural Resource Environmental products that have economic value.
Precautionary Principle Managing in favor of protection of a resource if there is any uncertainty.
Conservation Wise use of natural resources.
Preservation No use of natural resources.
Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) Highest possible rate of use that will match ecosystem's rate of replacement.
Ecosystem Capitol Economic term for natural resources.
Snag A dead, standing tree.
Wolf A large, wide tree among smaller trees.
Dendrology The study of trees.
Silviculture The practice of forest management.
Deforestation Removal of trees from a given area.
Pulp Type of wood used for paper production.
Shelterwood Cutting trees, but leaving some for shade and seed production – harvest strategy.
Girdle Cutting a ring through the bark so the tree dies, but remains upright.
Selective Cutting trees down based on size, species, straightness – harvest strategy.
Shade Intolerant Tree species that need a lot of sun to grow.
Shade Tolerant Tree species that need only a little sun to grow.
Rotation The planned cutting and planting of trees in a managed forest.
Consumptive Type of use for your own self, to meet your needs.
Productive Type of use for economic gain.
Neotropical Migrant "Tweety birds" that live in the New World and migrate every year to the tropics.
National Forest Federal land – main use for timber production.
National Wildlife Refuge Federal land – main use for protection of a species, group of species, or habitat.
National Park Federal land – main use for recreation.
National Wilderness Area Federal land – main use for protecting undeveloped and unexploitated land.
Watt Energy unit for measuring electricity.
Efficiency Percent of energy that actually does work; not wasted.
Conversion Loss Energy gone when changing from one form of energy to another.
1000 Number of watts in a kilowatt.
1,000,000 Number of watts in a megawatt.
Generator Coil of wire that rotates around a magnet (or vice versa) to make electricity.
Turbine Propeller or paddlewheel that spins due to steam, water, or wind to make electricity.
OPEC Group of countries that control the supply of oil (thereby controlling price of oil).
Natural Gas Cleanest burning fossil fuel.
Coal Dirtiest burning fossil fuel.
Oil Fossil fuel used to make gasoline.
Scrubber Device used to remove pollutants from exhaust when burning fossil fuels.
Flyash Residue left over from burning coal.
PV Cell Device used to capture sunlight and turn it into electricity.
Inverter Device needed to turn DC electricity into AC electricity.
Flaring Burning off natural gas found when drilling for oil.
Fracking Using water other chemicals to release oil from rocks when drilling for oil.
Refining Converting oil to usable substances such as gasoline, tar, mineral spirits, etc.
85% Percent of energy in the US that comes from fossil fuels.
6% Percent of energy that comes from nuclear energy.
Summer Wood Dark part of tree ring.
Spring Wood Light part of tree ring.
Boreal Forest type composed of conifers such as spruce trees that grows in cold, snowy environments.
Temperate Forest type composed of deciduous trees such as maple and oak.
Lacey Federal "act" that prohibits interstate commerce of illegally killed wildlife.
CITES International treaty that prohibits commerce of protected species.
Endangered Organism that is in imminent danger of becoming extinct.
Threatened Organism that is is jeopardy of becoming extinct, but not on the verge.
Intrusion Putting something "in the way" of organisms – a fence, road, tower, power lines.
Fragmentation Breaking a large habitat into small pieces.
Conversion Changing a habitat from one to another.
Simplification Removing the biodiversity from a habitat – going from a complex ecosystem to a monoculture.
Exotic Species that does not belong in an area, but was introduced.
Extinction When a species completely disappears from the planet.
Listing Putting an organism on the Endangered Species List is called . . .