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Chapter 3

Chapter 3.docx

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Barbara Murck

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Chapter 3- Environmental Systems and Ecosystem Ecology Hypoxia- Deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues Eutrophication-Excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other body of water, frequently due to runoff from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen Systems  Network of relationships among parts, elements or components that interact with and influence one another through the exchange of energy, matter or info  Receive inputs of energy, matter of info, process these inputs and produce outputs Negative Feedback Loop- A feedback cycle in which output of one type acts as input that moves the system in the opposite direction. The input and output essentially neutralize each other’s effects, stabilizing the system. Positive Feedback Loop- they drive the system farther towards one extreme or another. Example- erosion, the removal of soil by water or wind / global warming  rare in nature but made common by humans Homeostasis: the tendency of a system to maintain constant or stable internal conditions  resistance and resilience are properties of homeostatic systems Emergent Properties- A property that only becomes apparent once all of the components of the system have been integrated to create the system. For example, breaking down a tree into leaves, trunk and branches doesn’t allow us to see the whole tree as a home for animals, contributor to chemical processes… Spheres Geosphere-the rock and sediments beneath our feet, the crust on which we live Biosphere- all the planet’s living organisms Atmosphere-air surrounding our planet Cryosphere- ice Hydrosphere-all water (salt or fresh, liquid, ice or vapor) Anthroposphere- all parts of the environment built or modified by humans for use Ecosystem-consists of all organisms, living and non-living, that occur and interact in a particular area at the same time NPP= GPP – respiration by autotrophs where:  NPP is the net primary product that is used to generate biomass  GPP is the gross primary product, it is the conversion of solar energy into chemical bonds in sugars Nutrients are elements and compounds that organisms consume and require for survival Limiting Factor- the availability of a nutrient, nitrogen or phosphorus is usually the limiting reagent for plant growth Model – is a simplified representation of a complex natural process Ecosystem Services regulate oxygen, carbon dioxide and other atmospheric gases regulate temperature and precipitation with ocean currents, cloud formation… protect against storms, floods and drought with vegetation store and regulate water supplies in watershe
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