Biology Ch. 4 Test

How is weather different from climate?

weather is day to day condition of Earth's atmosphere or a particular time and place. Climate is the average, year-after-year conditions of temperature and precipitation in a particular region.

What factors cause climate?

the trapping of heat by the atmosphere, the latitude, transport of heat by winds and ocean currents, & the amount of precipitation that results

What effect do carbon dioxide, methane, and a few other atmospheric gases have on Earth's temperature?

trap heat energy & maintain Earth's temperature average

What is the greenhouse effect?

the natural situation in which heat is retained by this layer of greenhouse gases

Why does solar radiation strike different parts of Earth's surface at an angle that varies throughout the year?

Earth is a sphere that is tilted on its axis

Why does Earth have climate zones?

the Earth is tilted some of Earth's surface at an angle almost varies throughout the year

polar zone

Areas around North and South Poles. Cold area


Between the polar zones and the tropics. Hot to cold


Near the equator. Hot

What force drives winds and ocean currents?

unequal heating of the Earth's surface

ocean currents

the process in which water rises toward the surface in warmer regions

biotic factors

the biological influences on organisms within an ecosystem birds, trees, mushrooms

abiotic factors

physical, or non-living, factors that shape ecosystems temperature, precipitation, humidity

what do the biotic and abiotic factors together determine

the survival and growth of an organism and the productivity of the ecosystem in which the organism lives


the full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses these conditions

in what ways is food part of an organism's niche

how it obtains this food and which other species use the organism as food

when does competition occur

Organisms of the same or different species attempt to use an ecological resource in the same place and at the same time


any necessity of life, water, etc

what is often the result of direct competition in nature

a winner is often the result of direct competition in nature

competitive exclusion principle

no 2 species can occupy the same niche in the same habitat at the same time


an interaction in which one organism captures and feeds on another organism

when predation occurs, what is the organism called that does the killing and eating, and what is the food organism called

the organism that does the killing and eating is called the predator, the one who eaten is the prey


any relationship in which two species live closely together


both species benefit from the relationship


one member of the associations benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed


one organism lives on or inside another organism and harms it


the organism from which a parasite obtains nutritional needs

ecological succession

the series of predictable changes that occurs in a community over time

primary succession

on land, succession that occurs on surfaces where no soil exists

pioneer species

the first species to populate an area when primary succession begins

when a disturbance changes a community without removing the soil, what follows?

community interactions tend to restore the ecosystem to its original condition

an area that was once referred to as a climax community may appear to be permanent, but what might cause it to undergo change?

natural disasters, climate change, and human activities


a complex of terrestrial communities that covers a large area and is characterized by certain soil and climate conditions and particular assemblages of plants and animals

what does a climate diagram summarize?

the average temperature and precipitation at a given location during each month of the year

on a climate diagram, what does the line plot, and what do the vertical bars show?

the line plot is temperature and the precipitation is shown by the bars.


the climate in a small area that differs from the climate around it.


dense covering formed by the leafy tops of all trees


layer of shorter trees and vines

in what kind of place do tropical dry forests grow?

where rainfall is highly seasonal rather than year-round

deciduous tree

a tree that sheds its leaves during a particular season each year

what is another name for tropical savannas


T or F S savannas are found in large parts of eastern africa


what amount of annual precipitation defines a desert biome?

less than 25 cm

what factors maintain the characteristic plant community of temperate grasslands?

lush, perennial grasses and herbs, most are resistant to drought

why is fire a constant threat in temperate woodland and shrubland?

low plants contain flammable oils

communities that are dominated by shrubs are also known as


what kinds of trees do temperate forests contain

a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees

coniferous tree

tree that produces seed-bearing cones. almost have leaves shaped like needles


a material formed from decaying leaves and other organic matter that makes soil fertile

what is the geographic distribution of the northwestern coniferous forest

pacific coast of northwestern united states and canada from northern california to alaska

boreal forests are also called


what are the seasons like in a boreal forest

winters are bitterly cold, but summers are mild and long enough to allow the ground to thaw


a layer of permanently frozen subsoil

what happens to the ground in tundra during the summer?

the ground thaws a depth of a few cm. and becomes soggy and wet

why are tundra plants small and stunted

the cycle of thawing and freezing, which rips and crushes plant roots

when are the polar regions cold


what plants and algae can be found in the polar ice regions

mosses and lichens

in the north polar region, what are the dominant animals?

polar bears, seals, insects, and mites

the abiotic and biotic conditions of mountain ranges vary with

time (i think)

aquatic ecosystems are primarily determined by what characteristics of the overlying water?

depth, flow, temperature, and chemistry of the overlying water

what does the depth of the water determine?

the amount of light that organisms receive

what does water chemistry primarily refer to?

the amount of dissolved chemicals-especially salts, nutrients, and oxygen- on which life depends on

what are the two main types of freshwater ecosystems?

flowing-water ecosystems, standing-water ecosystems

where do flowing ecosystems originate?

mountains or hills, often springing from an underground water source

How does the circulating water in a standing-water ecosystem affect the ecosystem?

helps to distribute heat, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the ecosystem.

what is plankton

a general term for the tiny, free-floating organisms that live in both freshwater and saltwater environments.


unicellular algae, nutrients are obtained by nutrients in the water


planktonic animals, nutrients are obtained by feed on phytoplankton.


an ecosystem in which water either covers the soil or is present at or near the surface of the soil for at least part of the year

brackish water

fresh, salty water

what are the three main types of freshwater wetlands?

bogs, marshes, and swamps

what distinguishes a marsh from a swamp?

swamps have trees and marshes do not


wetlands formed where rivers meet the sea

tiny pieces of decaying plants and animals make up _____ detritus that provides food for organisms at the base of an estuary's food web.


salt marshes

temperate-zone estuaries dominated by salt-tolerant grasses above the low-tide line, and by seagrasses underwater

what are mangrove swamps, and where are they found?

coastal wetlands that are widespread across tropical regions

what is the photic zone of the ocean?

the top layer that is 200 meters deep and has light so producers can grow


the permanently dark zone below the photic zone

what are the three main vertical divisions of the ocean based on the depth and distance from the shore?

continental shelf
continental slope and continental rise
abyssal plain


the prominent horizontal banding of organisms that live in a particular habitat

what are the boundaries of the coastal ocean

the low-tide mark and the outer edge of the continental shelf

why is the coastal ocean often rich in plankton and many other organisms

it mostly falls in the photic zone, so photosynthesis can occur. this produces plankton

kelp forest

a huge forest of giant brown algae in the coastal zone

what are the boundaries of the open ocean

the edge of the continental shelf and extends outward

the zone covers the ocean


what are the boundaries of the benthic zone?

the coastal ocean to the open ocean on the bottom

organisms that live attached to or near the bottom of the ocean are called