Unit 1 Keywords for AQA Environmental Studies AS

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Physiological function
A substance that is involved in chemical reactions in a living organism has this
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Specific heat capacity
The measure of the amount of heat energy to heat a particular mass of material through a particular temperature rise
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Thermophilic
Heat loving (e.g. thermophilic bacteria)
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Ambient Gases
The surrounding environmental gases available to organisms
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Atmosphere
The gases surrounding the Earth with each layer characterised by temperature, density, turbulence and composition
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Photolysis
The splitting of molecules by light
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Greenhouse Gas
A gas that absorbs infared radiation and causes atmospheric heating
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Transpiration
The loss of water by evaporation from the leaves' stomata
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Biosphere
All the living organisms on the Earth
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Hydrosphere
All the water on the Earth found in a variety of forms and places
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Lithosphere
The relatively hard outer layer of the Earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle
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Biomimetics
The study of living organisms so to apply the knowledge to engineering or technological developments
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Indigenous Species
Species that are native to the area
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Gene Pool
The total variety of different genes in all the members of a population
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Vavilov Centres
Areas of the world with especially large numbers of plant species of economic importance or where populations have great genetic diversity
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CITES
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (of wild fauna and flora)
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Nutrient
A chemical essential to an organism for growth or metabolic processes
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Symbiosis
A relationship between organisms of different species that live together (one benefits while the other benefits, is unaffected or suffers)
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Biomass
The total mass of living or recently living material in the area
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Population
All the individuals of a species living in a particular area
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Community
All the different populations of all the species living in a particular area
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Habitat
A place where a species or population lives
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Biodiversity
A measure of the variety and abundance of wildlife species
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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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Niche
The role a species plays in its habitat, indicating how it makes use of resources and responds to other species in the habitat
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Ecosystem
The community of organisms living in an area, their inter-relationships and interactions with their abiotic environment
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Biome
A large geographical region with particular climatic features, in which a characteristic, unique community of species lives
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Endemic
A species indigenous to a particular area that 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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SSSIs
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
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NNRs
National Nature Reserves
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SPAs
Special Protection Areas
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SACs
Special Areas of Conservation
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MNRs
Marine Nature Reserves
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Ramsar Sites
Wetland sites designated to protecting biodiversity
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International Whaling Commision
An international organisation that aims to ensure the sustainable exploitation of whales
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EU Common Fisheries Policy
An agreement to manage fishing and aquaculture in a sustainable way (failed)
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Inbreeding
The breeding between two closely related individuals which increases the risk of offspring with disadvantageous characteristics
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Cryopreservation
The preservation of material (eggs, sperm, embryos) by freezing
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Artificial Insemination
Where the semen is collected from a chosen male and inserted artificially into a chosen female to make a pregnancy
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Embryo Transfer
Transferring fertilized eggs or embryos from the female of a rare species into a female of a closely related more common species, enabling more young to be produced per female
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Micro-propagation
Where large numbers of plants are produced from a tissue sample from an original plant without the need for seeds
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Coppicing
Cutting trees to ground level on a rotation every 7-12 years
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Pollarding
Cutting trees to around 6 feet on a rotation
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Plagioclimax
A community of species that does not develop to a natural climax but is maintained by external (usually human) influences e.g. burning and ploughing
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Environmental Stewardship Scheme
An agri-environmental scheme where farmers receive payments for wildlife and environmentally benefiting farm management practises
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Ecotourism
Tourism intended to have a low environmental impact
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Natura 2000
A network of protected sites in the EU made up of SACs and SPAs
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Species Recovery Programme
A UK programme aiming to increase the numbers of some endangered species
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Abiotic factors
Physical factors e.g. light, temperature and water
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Biotic factors
Biological factors e.g. food and diease
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Microclimate
A small area with a climate that is different to the surrounding area
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Carbon sequestration
A process that is used to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere e.g. aforestation
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Slash and burn farming
Forest farming where a clearing is created by burning and farmed for a few years until nutrient depeletion and weed growth occurs. This causes it to be abandoned and a new clearing created elsewhere
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Plankton
Organisms that drift in the surface layers of the sea or other water bodies
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No-Take Zone
An are where the catching/removal of a species is banned e.g. with fishing
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Upwelling
Where deep ocean water comes to the surface, often carrying nutrients and causing algal blooms
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Albedo
A measure of the reflectivity of a surface
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Antarctic Treaty
An international agreement made to protect and manage Antarctica
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Turbulence
The roughness of the environment caused by chaotic water or air flow
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Heterotroph
An organism that gains organic compounds for energy and growth from other organisms
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Pollination
The transfer of male plant gametes onto the female part of a flower, resulting in fertilisation and seed production
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Taxonomy
The study of organisms to access how they may be 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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Ecological succession
The sequence of changes in a community composition that occurs as an area is colonised and develops until a climax community is produced
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Climax community
An ecological community in which populations of organisms remain stable and exist in balance with each other and the environment
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Autotrophs
An organism that can capture light or chemical energy from the environment to make high-energy substances e.g. carbohydrates
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Edaphic
A factor related to soil, in particular how it affects living organisms
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Density independent factor
A factor that is not influenced by the population density of the species affected e.g. natural disasters
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Density dependent factor
A factor whose effect is affected by the density of a 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 (can help protect sensitive wildlife areas)
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Countryside Council for Wales
Equivalent of Natural England in Wales
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National Parks
Designated areas for informal public recreation, wildlife conservation and the maintenance of the rural economy
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National Park Authority (NPA)
The organisation that runs a National Park
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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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Card 2

Front

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

Back

Specific heat capacity

Card 3

Front

Heat loving (e.g. thermophilic bacteria)

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The surrounding environmental gases available to organisms

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The gases surrounding the Earth with each layer characterised by temperature, density, turbulence and composition

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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