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Chapter 3

EESA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Landscape Ecology, Estuary, Metapopulation

Environmental Science
Course Code
Carl Mitchell

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Ecosystems are studied on a variety of spatial scales
The term ecosystem often refers to systems of moderate geographical extent that are somewhat self-
contained. For example, the salt marshes that line the outer part of the St. Lawrence Estuary where its
waters mix with those of the Atlantic Ocean may be classified as ecosystems. The individual salt marshes,
in combination with the river, form part of the larger estuarine ecosystem. Adjacent ecosystems often
share components and interact extensively.
Ecotones: Transition zones where two ecosystems meet, interact… components of adjacent ecosystems
Landscape ecology: Landscape structure affects abundance, distribution, and interaction of organisms.
Metapopulation: Network of subpopulations whose members stay within their patches but occasionally
move or mate with other patch members.
Remote sensing technologies: Collect info about a target object from a distanceimproves our ability to
take a landscape perspective on complex ecosystems.
GIS: Consists of computer software that takes types of spatially referenced data and combines them on a
common set of geographical coordinates. This is to create a complete picture of a landscape and analyze
how elements of different data sets are arrayed spatially and how they’re correlated.
GIS and landscape ecology to help prioritize areas in need of conservation, keep track of data on
properties, and track human and natural features.
Turnover time: Time it would take for all atoms (or particles) of a material to flush through a reservoir
Aquifers: Porous bodies of rock and soil that hold ground waterunderground reservoirs.
1. Altering Earth’s surface and, vegetation increase surface runoff and erosion.
2. Spreading water on agricultural fields Deplete water sources and increase evaporation.
3. Removing forests, other vegetation Reduce transpiration and may lower water tables.
Haber-Bosch: Synthesize ammonium and fix nitrogen widespread application made modern
agriculture possible, but led to alterations of the cycle. We now fix more nitrogen artificially than
naturally & have doubled the natural rate of nitrogen fixation on Earth.
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