GCSE Geography - Living World key terms

Appropriate technology
Technology suited to the needs, skills, knowledge and wealth of local people and their environment
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Biodiversity
The variety of life in the world or a particular ecosystem
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Biomass
Renewable organic materials, such as wood, agricultural crops or wastes, especially when used as a source of fuel or energy
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Commercial farming
Growing crops or raising livestock for profit, often involving vast areas of land
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Conservation
Managing the environment in order to preserve, protect or restore it
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Consumer
Organism that eats herbivores and/or plant matter
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Decomposer
Organisms such as bacteria or fungi that break down plant and animal material
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Deforestation
The cutting down and removal of forest
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Desertification
The process by which land becomes drier and degraded, as a result of climate change or human activities, or both
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Ecosystem
A community of plants and animals that interact with each other and their physical environment
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Ecotourism
Nature tourism usually involving small groups with minimal impact on the environment
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Food chain
Connections between different organisms (plants and animals) that rely upon one another as their source of food
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Food web
A complex hierarchy of plants and animals relying on each other for food
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Fragile environment
An environment that is both easily disturbed and difficult to restore
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Global ecosystems/Biomes
Large-scale ecosystems
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Hot desert
Parts of the world that have high average temperatures and very low precipitation
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Infrastructure
The basic equipment and structures (such as roads, utilities, water supply and sewage) that are needed for a country or region to function properly
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Irrigation
Artificial application of water to the land or soil
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Logging
The business of cutting down trees and transporting logs to sawmills
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Mineral extraction
Removal of solid minerals from the earth
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Nutrient cycling
On-going recycling of nutrients between living organisms and their environment
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Overgrazing
Feeding too many livestock for too long on the land, so it is unable to recover its vegetation
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Polar
The most extreme cold environment with permanent ice, i.e. Greenland and Antarctica
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Producer
An organism or plant that is able to absorb energy from the sun through photosynthesis
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Selective logging
Sustainable forestry management where only carefully selected trees are cut down
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Soil erosion
Removal of topsoil faster than it can be replaced, due to natural (water and wind action), animal and human activity
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Subsistence farming
A type of agriculture producing only enough food and materials for the benefit of a farmer and their family
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Sustainability
Actions that meet the needs of the present without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs
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Tundra
A vast, flat, treeless Arctic region of Europe, Asia, and North America where the subsoil is permanently frozen
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Wilderness area
A natural environment that has not been significantly modified by human activity
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Biodiversity

Back

The variety of life in the world or a particular ecosystem

Card 3

Front

Biomass

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Commercial farming

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Conservation

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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