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Flashcards in Ecosystems of the Planet Deck (18)
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What is an ecosystem?

The livng and Non Living Componets of an Environment and the interrelationships that exist between them 


What is a biome?

A large scale ecosystem 


How does Latitude affect temperature?

  • Temperatures drop the further an area is from the equator (the higher the latitude).
  • Due to the curvature of the earth the insolation is most concentrated at the equator. So the same amount of insolation heats the smaller area. 
  • In areas closer to the poles, sunlight has a larger distance of atmosphere to pass through so the atmosphere absorbs more of that insolation.
  • As a result, more energy is lost and temperatures are cooler.


How does Prevailing wind affect climate?

  •  The prevailing wind is the most frequent wind direction a location experiences. The winds pick up weather from where they come from and bring it towards different areas. Air coming from the equator is hotter  because it has more concentrated insolation. Air travelling over the sea has more moisture because the evaporated moisture is picked up and swept by the wind
  • In Britain the prevailing wind is from the South West, which brings warm, moist air from the Atlantic Ocean.
  • This contributes to the frequent rainfall. When prevailing winds blow over land areas it can contribute to creating desert climates.


How does Altitude affect climate?

  • Locations at a higher altitude have colder temperatures.
  • As the air rises there is less air and the particles expand therefore there is less heat transfer by conduction as the particles are less likely to hit each other.
  • Temperature usually decreases by 1°C for every 100 metres in altitude.


How does distance from the sea affect climate?

  • Oceans heat up and cool down much more slowly than land.
  • This means that coastal locations tend to be cooler in summer and warmer in winter than places inland at the same latitude
  • Britain has a maritime climate 


How does ocean currents affect climate?

  • Ocean currents act much like a conveyor belt, transporting warm water and precipitation from the equator toward the poles and cold water from the poles back to the tropics.
  • Thus, ocean currents regulate global climate, helping to counteract the uneven distribution of solar radiation reaching Earth's surface.
  • For example gulf stream brings heat to britain 


What is abiotic?

Non -living part of an ecosystem 


What is biotic?

A living part of an ecosystem 


What are Xerophytic plants?

Plants that are adapted to an environment with very little water.


What is the Inter -Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)

The ITCZ is a zone of convergence at the thermal equator where the trade winds meet. It is a low pressure belt and migrates with the changing position of the thermal equator.


What is a food web?

A diagram that shows all the linkages between producers and consumers in an ecosystem


What is a food chain?

A line of linkages between producers and consumers


What is interdependency?

The mutual reliance between two or more groups


How is interdependency demonstrated in the GBR?

  • The coral provides the Zooxanthellae algae with a protected environment and compunds they need for photosyntehsis
  • In return, the algae produce oxygen and help the coral to remove wastes 


Explain the Nutrient Cycle in the rainforest

  • The hot, damp conditions n the forest floor allow for the rapid decomposition of dead plant material. 
  • The nutrients then enter the soil 
  • This provides plentiful nutrients that are aesily absorbed by plant roots 
  • These nutrients are used for the growth of the tree 
  • The trees shed leaves all year round 


Explain the Water Cycle in the Tropical Rainforest

  • Rainforests produce their own rainfall
  • As the rainforest heats up during the morning, the water evaporates into the atmosphere and forms clouds to make the rainfall for the next day.
  • This is called convectional rainfall 
  • Water is lost through pores in leaves and then evaporated by heat in a process known as evapotranspiration.
  • The roots of plants take up some moisture through transpiration, but much of the water is evaporated from the canopy later. The canopy also intercepts most of the rainfall 


What effect does the removal of trees have on the Water Cycle?

  • The removal of trees by exploitative practices means that there is less moisture in the atmosphere and rainfall declines