Unit 4 Vocab

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background extinction

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1

background extinction

Normal extinction of various species as a result of changes in local environmental conditions

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2

bioaccumulation

an increase or build-up in the concentration of a chemical in specific organs or tissues of an individual organism

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3

biomagnification

an increase in the concentration of a chemical in organisms at successively higher trophic levels of a food chain or food web

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4

biodiversity hotspot

an area especially rich in plant species that are found nowhere else and are in great danger of extinction. Such areas suffer serious ecological disruption, mostly due to rapid human population growth

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5

biological extinction

Complete disappearance of a species from earth. It happens when a species cannot adapt and successfully reproduce under new environmental conditions or when a species evolves into one or more new species.

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6

endangered species

wild species with so few individual survivors that the species soon become extinct in all or most of its natural range

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7

Endangered Species Act

Law established in 1973 designed to identify and protect endangered species in the U.S. and abroad

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8

Habitat fragmentation

Breaking up of habitat into smaller pieces, usually as a result of human activities.

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9

HIPPCO

acronym used by conservation biologists for the six most important secondary causes of premature extinction. Habitat destruction, invasive species, population growth, pollution, climate change, and overpopulation

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10

mass extinction

a catastrophic, widespread, often global event in which major groups os species are wiped out over a short time compared with normal extinctions

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11

threatened species

wild species that is still abundant in its natural range but is likely to become endangered because of a decline in its numbers

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12

biodiversity hotspots

an area especially rich in plant species that is found nowhere else and is in great danger of extinction. Such areas suffer serious ecological disruption, mostly because of rapid human population growth and the resulting pressure on natural resources.

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13

eco-city

a people-oriented rather than car-oriented city where residents use transportation alternatives to vehicles, where buildings are energy efficient and where significant areas of green space exist

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14

ecological restoration

research and scientific study devoted to restoring, repairing and reconstructing damaged ecosystems

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15

land-use planning

planning to determine the best present and future uses of each parcel of land

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16

old-growth forest

virgin and old, second growth forests containing trees that are often hundreds sometimes thousands of years old. Ex: forests of Douglas fir, western hemlock, giant sequoia, and coastal redwoods in the U.S.

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17

overgrazing

destruction of vegetation when too many grazing animals feed too long on a specific area of pasture or rangeland and exceed the carrying capacity of the rangeland

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18

pasture

managed grassland or enclosed meadow that is usually planted with domesticated grasses or other forage to be grazed by livestock

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19

rangeland

land that supplies forage or vegatation for grazing and browsing animals and is not intensively managed

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20

reconciliation ecology

science of inventing, establishing and maintaining habitats to conserve species diversity in places where people live, work or play

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21

second-growth forest

stands of trees resulting from secondary ecological succession

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22

smart growth

form of urban planning that recognizes that urban growth will occur but uses zoning laws and other tools to prevent sprawl, direct growth to certain areas, protect ecologically sensitive and important land and waterways, and develop urban areas that are more environmentally sustainable and more enjoyable places to live.

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23

tree plantation

site planted with one or only a few tree species in an even aged stand. Usually harvested by clear-cutting and then replanted. These farms usually raise rapidly growing tree species for fuelwood, timber or pulpwood

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24

urban heat island

an urban area where the temperature is significantly warm than the surrounding areas due to human heat-generating activities such as cars, factories, and heat-absorbing asphalt

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25

urban sprawl

growth of low-density development on the edges of cities and towns

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26

wilderness

area where the earth and its ecosystems have not been seriously disturbed by humans and where humans are only temporary visitors

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27

zoning

designating parcels of land for particular types of uses

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28

area strip mining

type of strip mining used where the terrain is flat. An earth mover strips away the overburden and a power shovel digs a cut to remove the mineral deposit. The trench is then filled with the spoils, and a new cut is made parallel to the previous zone

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29

asthenosphere

zone within the earth’s mantle made up of hot, partly melted rock that flows and can be deformed like soft plastic.

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30

continental drift

the slow movement of continents across earth’s surface

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31

contour strip mining

form of surface mining used on hilly or mountainous terrain. A power shovel cuts a series of terraces into the side of a hill. An earthmover removes the overburden and a power shovel extracts the coal. The spoils from each new terrace are dumped onto the one below

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32

convergent boundary

area where the earth’s lithospheric plates move toward each other and are pushed together

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33

core

Inner zone of the earth. It consists of a solid inner core and a liquid outer core.

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34

crust

Solid outer zone of the earth. It consists of oceanic crust and continental crust.

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35

depletion time

The time it takes to use a certain fraction (usually 80%) of the known or estimated supply of a nonrenewable resource at an assumed rate of use. Finding an extracting the remaining 20% usually costs more than it is worth.

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36

divergent boundary

Area where the earth’s lithospheric plates move apart in opposite directions.

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37

earthquake

Shaking of the ground resulting from the fracturing and displacement of subsurface rock, which produces a fault, or from subsequent movement along the fault.

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38

gangue

The waste material that is discarded when ore is extracted during mining.

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39

High-grade ore

Ore containing a large amount of a desired mineral

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40

Igneous Rock

Rock formed when molten rock material (magma) wells up from the earth’s interior, cools and solidifies into rock masses.

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41

Lithosphere

outer shell of the earth, composed of the crust and the rigid outermost part of the mantle outside the asthenosphere

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42

low-grade ore

ore containing a small amount of a desired mineral

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43

mantle

zone of the earth’s interior between the core and the crust

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44

metamorphic rock

rock produced when a preexisting rock is subjected to high temperatures (which may cause it to melt partially), high pressures, chemically active fluids, or a combination of these agents.

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45

mineral

any natural occurring inorganic substance found in the earth’s crust as a crystalline solid.

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46

mineral resource

any naturally occurring solid, liquid, or gaseous material in or on the earth’s crust in a form and amount such that extracting and converting it into useful materials or items is currently or potentially profitable. Mineral resources are classified as metallic or nonmetallic.

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47

mountaintop removal

type of surface mining that uses explosives, massive power shovels, and large machines called draglines to remove the top of a mountain and expose the seams of coal beneath.

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48

open-pit mining

removing minerals such as gravel, sand, and metal ores by digging them out of the earth’s surface and leaving an open pit behind.

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49

ore

part of a metal-yielding material that can be economically extracted from a mineral; typically containing two parts; the ore mineral, which contains the desired metal, and waste minerals (gangue).

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50

overburden

layer of soil and rock overlying a mineral deposit

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51

reserves

amount of a substance which can be extracted from the earth with current technology at current prices.

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52

rock

any solid material that makes up a large, natural part of the earth’s crust

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53

rock cycle

largest and slowest of the earth’s cycles consisting of all geologic, physical and chemical processes that form and modify rocks and soil in the earth’s crust over millions of years.

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54

sedimentary rock

rock that forms from the accumulated products of erosion and in some cases from the compacted shells, skeletons and other remains of organisms

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55

smelting

process in which a desired material is separated from the other elements in an ore mineral

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56

soil profile

cross-sectional view of the horizontal layers or horizons of a soil

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57

spoils

unwanted rocks and other waste materials produced when a material is removed from the earth’s surface or subsurface by mining, dredging, quarrying, or excavation.

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58

strip mining

Form of surface mining in which bulldozers, power shovels or stripping wheels remove large chunks of the earth

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59

subsurface mining

extraction of a metal ore or fuel resource such as coal from a deep underground deposit

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60

surface mining

removing soil, subsoil, and other strata and then extracting a mineral deposit found fairly close to the earth’s surface

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61

tailings

the materials left behind when ore is separated from rock waste. Tailings can be left in piles, or flushed into ponds where fine particles then settle out.

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62

tectonic plates

Various-sized areas of the earth’s lithosphere that move slowly around the mantle’s flowing asthenosphere. Most earthquakes and volcanoes occur around the boundaries of these plates.

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63

Transform plate boundary

area where the earth’s lithospheric plates move parallel to each other in opposite directions

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64

tsunami

series of large waves generated when part of the ocean floor suddenly rises or drops

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65

volcano

vent or fissure in the earth’s surface through which magma, liquid lava, and gases are released into the environment

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66

weathering

physical and chemical processes in which solid rock exposed at the earth’s surface is changed to separate physical particles and dissolved minerals, which can be moved to another place as sediment.

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