Biosphere and Biomes Flashcards Preview

Gd 10 - Life Sciences 2017 > Biosphere and Biomes > Flashcards

Flashcards in Biosphere and Biomes Deck (72):
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Ecology

The study of living organisms, their relationships to one another, and to the place where they live

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People who study ecology

Ecologists

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Biosphere

  • Part of the earth where organisms are able to live.
  • Consists of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere.

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Importance of the atmosphere for organisms

  • Gases for respiration & photosynthesis.
  • Filters sunlight to protect organisms.

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Biome

Large areas with characteristic climates and similar species of plant and animal.

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Ecosystem

Communities of organisms interacting with each other (biotic) and with the non-living environment (abiotic)

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Biological community

All populations of different species in a particular ecosystem

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Habitat

The physical home of an organism in a particular ecosystem

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Niche

The role/ job an organism performs in a particular ecosystem

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Population

  • All the organisms of the same species in a specific area particular ecosystem
  • e.g. All lions in Kruger

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Species

A group of organisms of one kind that are capable of interbreeding to produce viable offspring

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Organism

A single individual of a particular species

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Gases that cause acid rain

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Both of these combine with water to form sulphuric and carbonic acids

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Two main categories of aquatic biomes

  • Freshwater
  • Marine (salty water)

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Important abiotic factors for sandy shores

  • shifting sand
  • wave action
  • tides

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Characteristic animals in sandy shores

  • plough snail
  • white mussel
  • ghost crab

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Threats to sandy shores

  • Chemical pollution e.g. oil from ships
  • Sewage
  • Litter
  • Vehicles driving on beach

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Important abiotic factors for rocky shores

  • wave action
  • tides
  • type of rock
  • slope
  • salinity and pH in pools
  • sunlight

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Characteristic animals in rocky shores

  • Mussels,
  • oysters,
  • limpets,
  • periwinkles,
  • barnacles

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Characteristic plants in rocky shores

Seaweeds (red, green and brown)

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Threats to rocky shores

  • Illegal collection of organisms
  • Chemical pollution e.g. oil from ships
  • Sewage
  • Litter

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Coral reef organisms

  • Corals growing in big colourful clumps
  • Diverse species of fish
  • Anemones

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Threats to coral reefs

  • Global warming
  • Pollution
  • Over fishing
  • Collecting fish and corals

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Coral reef abiotic factors

  • Nutrient poor sea waters
  • Warm tropical water
  • Clear water, lots of sunlight

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Open sea organisms

  • Phytoplankton (plant like plankton)
  • Zooplankton (animal like plankton)
  • Fish
  • Whales and dolphins

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Threats to the open sea

  • Pollution from ships e.g. oil
  • Overfishing
  • Pollution from dumping e.g. mercury

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Estuaries

Where fresh and seawater meet and mix

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Important abiotic factors for estuaries

  • Variable salinity
  • Often nutrient rich
  • Relatively sheltered waters (compared to the sea)

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Organisms found at estuaries

Breading grounds for:

  • Fish
  • Birds
  • Crustaceans

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Different types of estuaries

  • coastal bays
  • river mouths
  • salt marshes
  • tropical mangrove forests

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Threats to estuaries

Quality of river water e.g. from farms upstream:

  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Soil erosion leading to excess silt

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Examples of fresh water biomes

  • rivers
  • streams
  • ponds
  • lakes
  • wetlands

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What are wetlands?

  • Areas with waterlogged soil or soil covered by shallow water
  • They may be permanent or seasonal

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The importance of wetlands

  • Flood controllers - regulate water flow
  • Water filters - trap sediments and hold nutrients
  • Wildlife habitats - food and shelter for many animals

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Plants common in wetlands

  • reeds
  • grasses
  • water lilies
  • trees

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Animals common in wetlands

  • Birds for breeding
  • Frogs
  • Small fish
  • Many insects

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Threats to wetlands

  • Alien plant invasion
  • draining wetlands for other land use:
  • e.g. farmland, rubbish dumps & dams

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Terrestrial biomes in South African

  • Fynbos
  • Forest
  • Thicket
  • Succulent Karoo
  • Nama Karoo
  • Grassland
  • Savanna

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Biome of mixed grassland with trees

Savanna

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Abiotic features of savannas

  • Infertile soil
  • Well drained porous soil
  • Hot summers with rain
  • Cold, dry winters

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Animals characterising South African savannas (at least 5)

  • giraffe
  • antelope
  • lion
  • buffalo
  • leopard
  • cheetah
  • hippo
  • zebra
  • elephant
  • hornbills
  • vultures

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Economic importance of South African savannas

  • Tourism
  • Game hunting
  • Cattle farming

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Abiotic features of South African grasslands

  • High rainfall often from thunderstorms
  • Frost in winter
  • Deep fertile soils
  • Regular fires

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Plants of the South African grasslands

"Sweet" grasses good for grazers

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Animals of the South African grasslands (at least 5)

Lions

Antelope:

  • blesbok
  • wildebeest
  • rietbok
  • rhebok
  • eland
  • springbok

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Threats to South African grasslands

  • Commercial forestry
  • farming (very productive land)
  • only 1% of grasslands in nature reserves 
  • (conservationists suggested a minimum of 10%)

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Position of the Nama Karoo

Transition between Cape Floral Kingdom and Savanna

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Nama Karoo abiotic features

  • Warm, dry semi-desert
  • Sandy, lime rich soil

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Plants of the Nama Karoo

  • Sweet-Thorn
  • stone plants (succulent)
  • Karoo daisy (annual)
  • Grasses and shrubs

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Animals of the Nama Karoo

  • rodents
  • fox
  • jackal
  • ostrich
  • reptiles
  • birds

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Succulent Karoo abiotic features

  • Light winter rainfall
  • Very hot and dry summers
  • Sandy, nutrient poor soils

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Plants of the Succulent Karoo

  • Succulent plants
  • Annual plants e.g. west coast daisy's

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Animals of the Succulent Karoo

  • dassies
  • mole-rat
  • barking gecko

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Threats to the Karoo biomes

  • Overgrazing by sheep and goats
  • Highly prone to soil erosion
  • Trampling
  • Over collection of plants

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Fynbos abiotic features

  • Cold, wet winters
  • hot, dry summers
  • strong winds
  • fires every 15-20 years
  • sandy acidic soils
  • mountainous

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Plants of the fynbos

  • Evergreen fine-leafed shrubs
  • In sheltered ravines: transition to thicket/forests

Key groups:

  • Proteoid
  • Ericoid
  • Restioid
  • Geophytes

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Animals of the fynbos

  • leopard
  • rooikat
  • grysbok
  • rodents
  • dassies
  • sunbirds
  • sugarbirds

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Economic importance of fynbos

  • wild flowers e.g. Proteas
  • rooibos tea
  • restios for thatching
  • fruit farming e.g. grapes
  • wheat farming
  • olive farming
  • grazing livestock

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Threats to fynbos

  • Global warming
  • Uncontrolled/excessive fires
  • Invasive alien species
  • Land transformation (urban and agricultural)
  • Illegal collection of plants
  • Dams

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Abiotic features of South African forests

  • High rainfall
  • No fires

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Plants in South African forests

  • Different height trees (many species)
  • Ferns
  • Vines

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Animals in South African forests

  • bushbuck
  • bush pig
  • Knysna Lourie
  • Woodpecker

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Threats to South African forests

  • Fire
  • Tree felling
  • collecting firewood and bark
  • Mining
  • clearing of farmland
  • Fragmentation and isolation (found only in small patches)

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Abiotic features of South African thicket

  • River valleys with water
  • Thick, rich soil
  • A range of sandy to clay soils

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Plants in South African thicket

  • Thorn trees
  • Shrubs
  • Spiny plants and succulents

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Animals in South African thicket

  • Monkeys
  • Rodents
  • Black Rhino
  • Elephant
  • Kudu

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Tides

  • A regular rising and falling of the sea level
  • Caused by gravitational pull of the moon (and sun)
  • Locally a period of about 6 hours between high and low tides

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Biodiversity

  • The variety of living things
  • e.g. the number of different species there are in a particular area

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Subtidal

  • Below the low spring water level
  • Not directly affected by tides

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Perennial

All year round (or at least three seasons)

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Annual

A plant that completes its entire life cycle within the space of a year

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Endemic

Found naturally only in a particular area and nowhere else in the world