Environmental science Unit 1 ~ Key Words

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Physiological function
any substance that is involved in chemical reactions in a living organism has a physiological function
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Specific heat capacity
the measure of the amount of heat energy needed to heat up a particular mass of material through a particular temperature rise
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Thermophilic
heat-loving, such as the bacteria that live around hot volcanic vents and springs
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Ambient gases
the surrounding environmental gases that are available to organisms
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Atmosphere
the gases surrounding the earth. Different layers are characterised by their temperature, density, turbulence and composition
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Photolysis
the splitting of molecules by light, including the splitting of water molecules in early atmosphere, producing oxygen
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Green house gases
a gas that absorbs infrared radiation and causes atmospheric heating
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Transpiration
the loss of water by evaporation from the stomata of a leaf
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Biosphere
all the living organisms on earth
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Hydrosphere
all the water on earth found in any form, in a variety of reservoirs, inc. the oceans, ice caps, rivers, lakes, soil, groundwater, atmosphere and living organisms
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Lithosphere
the relatively hard outer layer of the earth, consisting of the crust and upper layer of the mantle
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Biomimetics
the study of living organisms so the knowledge can be applied to engineering or technical developments
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Teratology
The study of the causes of birth defects
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Indigenous species
species that are native to that area
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Gene pool
the total variety of different genes in all the members of the population
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Vavilov centre
an area of the world, identified by the russian zoologist vavilov, where crop plants were first domesticated and where wild varieties are found
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CITES
The convention of international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora
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Niche
the niche of a species is the role it plays in its habitat
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Endemic
an endemic species is indigenous to a particular area and is not naturally found elsewhere
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Wildlife and Countryside Act
a UK act of parliament that provides protection for many wildlife species and designated protected areas
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SSSI
site of special scientific interest
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NNR
National nature reserve
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MNR
Marine nature reserve
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SPA
Special protection area
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SAC
Special area of conservation
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Ransar site
A wetland site designated to protect its biodiversity
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international whaling commision
International organisation that aims to ensure the sustainabile explotation of whales
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EU common fisheries policy
EU agreement to manage fishing and aquaculture. It attempts to balance the needs of the member states and their fishing industries with sustainable exploitation of the environment
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RSPB
Royal society for the protection of birds
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ESS
An agri-environmental scheme where farmers receive payments for farm management practices that benefit wildlife and the environment. Higher payments are available for organic farms.
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Plagioclimax
A community of species that does not develop to a natural climax, but is maintained by external influences inc, human activities such as burning, grazing or ploughing.
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Ecotourism
Tourism intended to have a low environmental impact, usually involving seeing wildlife.
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NGO's
Non-governmental organisations
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Natural England
The UK governmental organisation with responsibility for the conservation of wildlife and the landscape.
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LNR's
Local nature reserve
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National parks and Access to the countryside Act
The UK law that enabled the establishment of national parks, Areas of outstanding natural beauty and many public rights of way.
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Natura 2000
A network of protected sites in the EU that combine the SPA's and SAC's set up under the birds and habitats directive.
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Species recovery programme
UK programme to help to increase the numbers of some endangered species.
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DEFRA
Department for environment, Food and Rural areas
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Biodiversity
A measure of the variety and abundance of wildlife species.
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BAP
Biodiversity action plan
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Convention on biological diversity 1992
International conference held in Brazil, called the Rio Summit.
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Rio Summit
An alternative name for the convention on biological diversity 1992
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Forestry Commission
The UK governmental forestry organisation, which manages research, commercial timber production, learning and leisure.
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WWF
World wide fund for nature is an environmental campaigning and pressure group.
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National trust
A UK charity that conserves historic buildings and important landscapes and habitats.
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FoE
Friends of the earth is and environmental pressure group.
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GreenPeace
An environmental pressure group.
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Species
A group of organisms that resemble each other more than other organisms and naturally interbreed to produce fertile offspring.
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Abiotic factors
Physical factors such as light, temperature and water.
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Biotic factors
biological factors such as food and disease.
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Nutrient
Any chemical that is essential to an organism for growth or for metabolic processes
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Microclimate
A small area with a climate that is different from the surrounding area.
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Biomass
The total mass of living or recently living material in an area
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Carbon subquestration
Any process that is used to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, such as afforestation or underground storage.
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Slash and burn farming
Farming in a forest where a clearing is created by burning and is farmed for a few years until nutrient depletion and weed growth cause it to be abandoned, as a new clearing is created elsewhere.
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LEDC's
Less economically developed countries
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CITES
The convention on international trade of endangered species of wild fauna and flora.
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Plankton
Organisms that drift in the surface layers of the sea or other water bodies
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Symbiosis
A relationship between organisms of different species that live together. One benefits while the other species may benefit, be unaffected or suffer.
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Upwelling
An upwelling is where deep ocean water comes to the surface, often carrying nutrients and causing rich algal bloom.
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Albedo
A measure of the reflectivity of a surface, the more reflective the surface the higher albedo level.
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UV light
UV is a short wavelength radiation emitted by the sun. Its energy can cause chemical reactions to take place, such as in the ozone layer or sunburn and DNA damage.
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No-take zone
An area where the catching or removal of species is banned e.g. areas where fishing is not allowed.
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British Antarctic survey
UK research organisation that operates in antarctic
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Antarctic treaty
An international agreement to protect and manage Antarctica.
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Habitat
The place where an organism, species or population lives.
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Population
All the individuals of a species living in a particular area.
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Exoskeleton
A skeleton on the outside of an organism such as found in insects and crustaceans.
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Turbulence
The roughness of the environment caused by chaotic air or water flow.
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Heterotroph
An organism that gains its organic compounds for energy and growth from other organisms.
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Cellulase
An enzyme that digests cellulose that is produced by some bacteria, fungi and protozoans.
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Callulose
The carbohydrates made of linked glucose molecules, which is a major component of plant cell walls and wood.
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symbiosis
A relationship between organisms of different species that live together. one benefits while the other species may benefit, be unaffected or suffer.
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Mycorrhizal fungi
symbiotic fungi associated with plant roots that gain carbohydrates from the plants and aid the uptake of nutrients such as phosphates from the soil by the plants.
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Pollination
The transfer of the male plant gamets onto the female part of a flower, resulting in fertilisation and seed production.
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community
A community of species refers to the populations of all the species living in a particular area.
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Taxonomy
The study of organisms to assess how they maybe grouped or classified.
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Taxon
A group of organisms based on their biological similarities.
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Genus
A group of closely related species.
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Ecosystem
The community of organisms living in an area, their inter-relationships and interactions with their abiotic environmental.
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Biome
A large geographical region with particular climatic features, in which a characteristic, unique community is eventually produced.
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Ecological Succession
The sequences of changes in community composition that changes as an area is colonised and develops until a climatic climax community is eventually produced.
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Lithosere
The sequence of changes in community composition as bare rock is colonised and becomes a terrestrial climax community
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Autotrophs
An organism that can capture light or chemical energy from the environment to make high-energy substances such as carbohydrates. They include photoautotrophs and chemoautotrphs.
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Edaphic
A factor related to soil, particularly as it affects living organisms.
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Density independent factors
A factor that is not influenced by the population density of the species that may be affected e.g. drought and volcanic eruption.
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Density dependent factor
A factor whose effect is affected by the density of the population e.g. disease and food supply
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Carrying capacity
The greatest population that can be supported sustainably in an area
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Sigmoidal population growth
The growth pattern of a population where abundant resources allow rapid growth followed by population stabilisation as the carrying capacity is reached.
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Honeypot site
An area that is particularly attractive to visitors
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Countryside council for wales
The equivalent organisation in Wales to Natural England.
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National Parks
Designated areas for informal public recreation, wildlife conservation and maintenance of the rural economy.
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National park Authority
The organisation that runs a national park.
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AONB
Area of outstanding natural beauty.
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Heritage coast
A coastline protected from development for its scenic or environmental value.
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National Trails
Long distance routes for walking, cycling and horse-riding.
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Long-distance footpaths
Long-distance routes for walkers, most of which are also national trails.
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Country parks
An area of countryside managed for public enjoyment. Most are near urban areas and are run by local authorities.
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Urban Park
An area of semi-natural land in an urban area used for public recreation and relaxation.
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Neptune coastline Campaign
The national Trust campaign to buy and protect important coastline landscape
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Green belt
A designated area around an urban area to restrict urban expansion.
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Space zoning
A method of avoiding land-use conflicts by allocating different areas to different values.
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Time zoning
A method of avoiding land-use conflicts by allowing different uses at different times.
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Leopold matrix
A grid that is used to assess and compare the environmental impacts of proposed developments.
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EIA
Environmental impact Assessment
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CBA
cost benefit analysis.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

the measure of the amount of heat energy needed to heat up a particular mass of material through a particular temperature rise

Back

Specific heat capacity

Card 3

Front

heat-loving, such as the bacteria that live around hot volcanic vents and springs

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

the surrounding environmental gases that are available to organisms

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

the gases surrounding the earth. Different layers are characterised by their temperature, density, turbulence and composition

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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