Term Definition
evaporation the process in which a liquid changes into a gas
condensation the process in which a gas changes into a liquid
precipitation any form of water that falls to Earth (rain, snow, sleet, hail)
water cycle the continuous movement of water between Earth’s surface and the atmosphere
carbon cycle shows the continuous transfer of carbon between the atmosphere and living things
nitrogen cycle shows the way nitrogen moves between the air, soil, plants, and animals
biome one of Earth’s large ecosystem, with its own kind of climate, soil, plants, and animals
grassland a biome where grasses, not trees, are the main plant life (prairie is one type)
taiga a cool forest biome of conifers in the upper Northern Hemisphere (coniferous forest)
tundra large, treeless plain in the arctic region where the ground is frozen all year
desert a sandy or rocky biome with little precipitation and little plant life
deciduous forest a forest biome with many kinds of trees that lose their leaves each autumn
tropical rain forest a hot biome near the equator, with much rainfall and a wide variety of life
ecological succession the gradual replacement of one community by another
pioneer species the first species living in an otherwise lifeless area
pioneer community the first community thriving in a once lifeless area
climax community the final stage of succession in an area, unless a major change happens