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Cambria, Environmental Science by Mind Map: Cambria, Environmental Science
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Cambria, Environmental Science

Levels of Organization


A single living unit


A group of the same organisms lving together ex: a flock/ group of ducks


differnt types of organisms living together


biotic and abiotic things living together ex: lake/ river


an area in which the ecosystem exists (climate, location)

Types of Biomes


a tropical forest, usually of tall, densely growing, broad-leaved evergreen trees in an area of high annual rainfall.

Temperate Deciduous Forest

A temperate deciduous forest is a biome found in the eastern and western United States, Canada, central Mexico, South America, Europe, China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and parts of Russia. A temperate deciduous forest consists of trees that lose their leaves every year. Examples include oak, maple, beech, and elm.

Coniferous forest

An area of wooded land predominated by conifers


A barren or desolate area, especially: A dry, often sandy region of little rainfall, extreme temperatures, and sparse vegetation. A region of permanent cold that is largely or entirely devoid of life. An apparently lifeless area of water. An empty or forsaken place; a wasteland: a cultural desert. Archaic. A wild, uncultivated, and uninhabited region.


A treeless area between the icecap and the tree line of Arctic regions, having a permanently frozen subsoil and supporting low-growing vegetation such as lichens, mosses, and stunted shrubs.

Freshwater biome

a complex biotic community characterized by distinctive plant and animal species and maintained under the climatic conditions of the region, esp. such a community that has developed to climax.

Marine biome

a complex biotic community characterized by distinctive plant and animal species and maintained under the climatic conditions of the region, esp. such a community that has developed to climax.


an area, as a prairie, in which the natural vegetation consists largely of perennial grasses, characteristic of subhumid and semiarid climates.   a plain characterized by coarse grasses and scattered tree growth, esp. on the margins of the tropics where the rainfall is seasonal, as in eastern Africa. 2. grassland region with scattered trees, grading into either open plain or woodland, usually in subtropical or tropical regions.

Food Chain

a series of organisms interrelated in their feeding habits, the smallest being fed upon by a larger one, which in turn feeds a still larger one, etc.

Food web

a series of organisms related by predator-prey and consumer-resource interactions; the entirety of interrelated food chains in an ecological community.


tree, moss, algae gets engery directly from the sun

Primary Consumer

an animal that feeds on plants; a herbivore

Secondary Consumer

a carnivore that feeds only upon herbivores.

Tertiary consumer

a carnivore at the topmost level in a food chain that feeds on other carnivores; an animal that feeds only on secondary consumers.


an organism, usually a bacterium or fungus, that breaks down the cells of dead plants and animals into simpler substances.

Trophic Levels

any class of organisms that occupy the same position in a food chain, as primary consumers, secondary consumers, and tertiary consumers.

Biotic Factors

A factor created by a living thing or any living component within an environment in which the action of the organism affects the life of another organism, for example a predator consuming its prey.

Abiotic Factors

A non-living chemical or physical factor in the environment, such as soil, pH, forest fire, etc.


The existence of a wide range of different types of organisms in a given place at a given time. The diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole); a high level of biodiversity is desirable.Pertaining to the diversity and frequency of organisms in a given area.

Genetic Biodiversity

the sum of genetic information contained in the genes of individual plants, animals, and micro-organisms.

Species Biodiversity

the number of different species found in an environment

Ecosystem Biodiversity

the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and the ecological and evolutionary processes that sustain it.  all the species living in a particular area

Hot Spot

places in the tropic region that have a lot of biodiversity

Endangered species

 is an organism in danger of disappearing from the face of the earth if its situation is not improved

Threatened species

a species likely, in the near future, to become an endangered species within all or much of its range.

Indicator species

A species whose presence, absence, or relative well-being in a given environment is indicative of the health of its ecosystem as a whole.

Ecological succession

 the progressive replacement of one community by another until a climax community is established.      

Primary succession

the development of plant and animal life in an area without topsoil; the development of biotic communities in a previously uninhabited and barren habitat with little or no soil

Secondary succession

is the series of community changes which take place on a previously colonized, but disturbed or damaged habitat.

Pioneer species

a species that is first to establish itself in an area where nothing is growing-or in an area that has been devastated by fire,flood, plowing etc. These species are usually annuals, disappearing after the second year when perennials take over.

Climax community

A stage in ecological development in which a community of organisms, especially plants, is stable and capable of perpetuating itself

Limiting factors

an environmental factor that tends to limit population size.

Carrying capacity

the maximum, equilibrium number of organisms of a particular species that can be supported indefinitely in a given environment.

Population Growth

increase in the number of people who inhabit a territory or state 

Population Growth rate

The average annual percent change in the population, resulting from a surplus (or deficit) of births over deaths and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a country. The rate may be positive or negative.

Exponential growth

development at an increasingly rapid rate in proportion to the growing total number or size; a constant rate of growth applied to a continuously growing base over a period of time



Water Pollution

The addition of harmful chemicals to natural water. Sources of water pollution in the United States include industrial waste, run-off from fields treated with chemical fertilizers, and run-off from areas that have been mined.


any geological formation containing or conducting ground water, esp. one that supplies the water for wells, springs, etc.


The removal of salt or other chemicals from something, such as seawater or soil. Desalinization can be achieved by means of evaporation, freezing, reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and electrodialysis.  

Water Purification

Water purification is a process that removes impurities from water. The goal of water purification is to return water to its purest form of one part hydrogen and two parts oxygen without any other elements such as minerals or toxins.


1.  the ridge or crest line dividing two drainage areas; water parting; divide. 2. the region or area drained by a river, stream, etc.; drainage area. 3. 4. an important point of division or transition between two phases, conditions, etc.: The treaty to ban war in space may prove to be one of history's great watersheds.


not permitting the passage of a fluid through the pores, interstices, etc.


The gradual wearing away of land surface materials, especially rocks, sediments, and soils, by the action of water, wind, or a glacier. Usually erosion also involves the transport of eroded material from one place to another, as from the top of a mountain to an adjacent valley, or from the upstream portion of a river to the downstream portion.


  something that drains or flows off, as rain that flows off from the land in streams.


A low-lying area of land that is saturated with moisture, especially when regarded as the natural habitat of wildlife. Marshes, swamps, and bogs are examples of wetlands.


the process by which large numbers of people become permanently concentrated in relatively small areas, forming cities.

Point source

A source, especially of pollution or radiation, occupying a very small area and having a concentrated output.

Non-point source

comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. These pollutants include: Excess fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas; Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production; Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks; Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines; Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes, and faulty septicsystems; Atmospheric deposition and hydromodification are also sources of nonpoint source pollution.  

Organic pollutant

 Contaminants in an environment that can be oxidized (biodegraded) by microorganisms

Inorganic pollutant

Inorganic chemical pollutants are naturally found in the environment but due to human development these pollutants are often concentrated and released into the environment in urban stormwater. The primary inorganic pollutants of concern in urban stormwater are cadmium, copper, lead, zinc, nitrogen, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, phosphorous, and phosphate.  These chemicals are used in every aspect of human activity and are often highly toxic to humans and the environment.

Natural Resources

the natural wealth of a country, consisting of land, forests, mineral deposits, water, etc.

Renewable resource

  any natural resource that can replenish itself naturally over time, as wood or solar energy; also called renewable energy,

Nonrenewable resource

  any natural resource from the Earth that exists in limited supply and cannot be replaced if it is used up; also, any natural resource that cannot be replenished by natural means at the same rates that it is consumed Example:   Oil and coal are nonrenewable resources