Physical Geography- Ecosystems

  • Created by: Hologram
  • Created on: 27-11-17 20:20
what are the 4 scales of ecosystems?
microhabitat (stone), habitat (field), zone (river) and biome (climatic region)
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what is a biome?
a biome is a large area on Earth's surface
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what are autotrophs?
they are primary producers that produce their own food via chemosynthesis
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what are heterotrophs?
they rely on other organisms for nutrition and their reduced carbon
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what comprises an ecosystem?
an ecosystem consists of the biological community and the physical and chemical factors that make up its biotic environment
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what are the main processes that comprise an ecosystem?
energy transformations and biogeochemical cycling
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where are temperate grasslands located?
steppes of Russia, veldts of South Africa and the plains and prairies of North America
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What is the temperate grasslands Koppen Climate Classification?
BSk/Dfb - Semi arid steppe/ Humid continental
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when does precipitation occur in temperate grasslands?
late spring and early summer
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why is fire good for temperate grasslands?
fire helps certain plants by germinating seeds, clearing ground cover for rare plants and nourish the soil with freshly burnt vegetation
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what are the characteristics of the soil in temp grasslands?
deep, dark and rich in nutrients
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what are the environmental concerns for temp grasslands?
overgrazing, monoculture, careless ploughing and build up of salts in the soil
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where is tundra located?
located at latitudes 55 to 70 degrees North
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what is tundra?
tundra is treeless land which covers about 20% of the Earth's surface, circumnavigating the north pole
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why is there limited vegetation?
cold climate, disturbances of the soil (cyroturbation), short growing season (50 to 60 days) and poor soil quality
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what is the main threat of turndra?
global warming
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what are the 5 soil factors?
parent material, climate, soil acidity, soil texture and soil structure
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what are the 5 soil characteristics?
depth, colour, acidity, texture and structure
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what are the 2 main soil processes?
weathering of plant material and decompostion of dead organic matter
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what is leaching?
leaching is the process where the downward movement of water causes nutrients/plants to be carried away
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what is capillary action?
capillary action is a process where where water and nutrients are drawn to the upper soil for plant roots to access
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what is permafrost?
permafrost is permanently frozen soil, sediment or rock
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what are the 3 layers of permafrost?
active layer, perennially and talik
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what are the results of seasonal permafrost?
thaw settlement, soil creep and slope failure
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how does ground subsidence occur?
ground subsidence can occur when permafrost thaws and the soil previously held up by ice collapses
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where is Newtok located
Newtok is located in the Alaskan tundra on the shores of the Bering Sea
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In Newtok, what is the name of the river that much of the land is falling into?
Ningliq river
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is disruption due to climate change recognised as a national disaster?
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how many of Alaska's indigenous villages are suffering from climate change?
more than 180
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How much in state funds has Newtok received?
$12 million USD
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what are the 4 actual impacts of climate change?
erosion, landslides, subsidence and ecological change
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how many trophic levels are there usually in a food chain?
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what is productivity?
productivity is the rate of energy fixation or reduction (rate at which vegetation grows)
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what 5 factors determine plant productivity?
light, temperature, water, nutrients, CO2
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what does the nutrient cycle do?
the nutrient cycle describes how nutrients move from the physical environment into living organisms, subsequently are recycled back to the physical environment
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how do humans influence the nutient cycle?
through large-scale farming, fertiliser, agriculture, ploughing and tilling, flood control and dams
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where is Breen Wood located?
County Antrim, Northern Ireland
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name an example of ancient oak woodland
Breen Wood Nature Reserve
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what type of soil is in Breen Wood?
podsol soils which are poor and acidic due to basaltic parent material and leaching of nutrients via rainfall
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what are some examples of autotrophs in Breen Wood?
dominated by oak. Hawthorn, holly and hazel form the understorey. Ferns, grasses and other flowering plants form the ground layer
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what are some examples of heterotrophs in Breen Wood?
15 species of butterfly and the increasingly rare red squirels
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what are some examples of secondary consumers in Breen Wood?
seed and insect eating birds
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what are some examples of teritary consumers in Breen Wood?
buzzards, badgers, foxes and stoats
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what are some examples of detritivores in Breen Wood?
earhtworms, fungi and maggots
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what is plant succession?
a directional, non-seasonal, cumulative change in the types of plant species that occupy a given area through time
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when does succession begin?
when an area is made partially or completely devoid of vegetation because of a disturbance (fires, flooding, wind storms etc)
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who was one of the earliest proponets of succession?
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what does spartial and temporal changes lead to?
a Dynamic Equilibrium- vegetation is always trying to be in balance with its environment
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what are the 4 basic types of succession?
lithosere (bare rock), hydrosere (water), halosere (salt) and psammosere (sand)
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what is an area that has been altered by nature called?
a subclimax
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what is an area that has been altered by man called
a plagioclimax
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what is primary succession?
the establishment of plants on land that has not been previously vegetated eg. Mt St. Helens
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what is secondary succession?
the invasion of a habitat by plants on land that was previously vegetated
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what is allogenic succession?
a succession where the stimulus for change is an external one eg. climate change, volcanic eruptions
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what are the 5 stages of succession in a lithosere?
lichen stage, moss stage, herb stage, shrub stage and forest stage
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where is portstewart sand dunes located?
Count Derry, Northern Ireland
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why are the portstewart sand dunes an important nature conservation site?
because it is an Area of Special Scientific Interest and a proposed Special Area of Conservation
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When were the portstewart dunes formed and how high are they?
they were formed 6,000 years ago and reach up to 30m high
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what blowout forms does the wind erosion cause on the dunes?
saucers (low relief hollows), basins (deep, enclosed hollows) and corridors (longitudinal, canyon-like features)
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what vegetation is there in the portstewart dunes?
sea couch grass, sea rocket, mosses, marram grass, orchids and wild thyme
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what is the name of the invasion species that was introduced in the 1930s?
sea buckthorn
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what is an example of a plagioclimax at the portstewart sand dunes?
the golf course
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what is an example of a subclimax at the portstewart sand dunes?
the River Bann
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


what is a biome?


a biome is a large area on Earth's surface

Card 3


what are autotrophs?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


what are heterotrophs?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


what comprises an ecosystem?


Preview of the front of card 5
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