Unit 1 - Key Area 3 Flashcards Preview

Higher Environmental Science > Unit 1 - Key Area 3 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Unit 1 - Key Area 3 Deck (25)
Loading flashcards...

A chemical such as a fertiliser, hormone, pesticide or soil treatment that improves the production of crops.



A rapid growth of microscopic algae in water, often resulting in a coloured scum on the surface

Algal bloom



Caused or influenced by human activity


Emission of natural greenhouse gas enhanced by human activity. Includes water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and fluorocarbons (CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs).

Anthropogenic greenhouse gas


The gradual build-up over time of a chemical or heavy metal in a living organism, through absorption via skin, gills or lungs.

Build-up occurs either because the chemical is taken up at a rate faster than it can be used or excreted, or because the chemical or heavy metal cannot be metabolised.



Biological oxygen demand (BOD)

How much dissolved oxygen is used by aerobic micro-organisms when there decomposing organic matter in water.



Arises through consumption of organisms containing bioaccumulated chemicals or heavy metals. The pollutants transfer to the consumer and thus move up through the food chain.


Crop rotation

The practice of growing different crops in succession on the same land, chiefly to avoid depletion of the soil but also to control weeds, diseases and pests.


Pollution that arises from land activities spread across large areas that have no specific point of discharge.

Diffuse pollution


Environmental assessment

The process of estimating and evaluating significant short-term and long-term effects of a programme or project on the quality of the location’s environment.


Aims to protect the environment by ensuring that a local planning authority has full knowledge of possible significant environmental effects of a proposed development, and mitigation for these, and takes these into account in the decision-making process.

Environmental Impact Assessment



Describes the processes and activities that need to take place in order to characterise and monitor the quality of an environment over time

Environmental monitoring



Excessive nutrient enrichment in a waterbody which causes a dense growth of algae or plant life. The algae and surface vegetation prevent light and oxygen penetrating the water, which affects survival of aquatic plants and invertebrates.


The process by which natural habitat is damaged to the extent that it is no longer able to support species and communities. This may be through a natural event such as flooding or a volcanic eruption, but is more usually caused by anthropogenic activities such as land drainage or deforestation

Habitat destruction


Habitat fragmentation

The reduction of a large habitat area into smaller, scattered remnants


Farming that uses a lot of machinery, labour, chemicals, etc in order to maximise crop yield or keep as many animals as possible on a set plot of land.

Intensive agriculture


Keystone species

A species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that loss of the keystone species would drastically change the ecosystem.


The movement of dissolved substances with percolating water in soil.



A formal conservation designation to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology, and undersea landforms

Marine protected area (MPA)


Native species

One that occurs naturally within a given ecosystem, rather than as the result of accidental or deliberate introduction by humans


Non-native species

A species introduced through human action (accidental or deliberate) outside its native distribution


Pollution that is discharged from a single location.

Point pollution


The process of replanting an area with trees. Differs from afforestation, which is the planting of new areas where there was no previous tree cover.



Intentional activities which initiate or accelerate the recovery of a habitat or an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability.



Strategic environmental assessment (SEA)

Aims to provide for a high level of protection of the environment from development. It is mandatory for plans and/or programmes which relate to large-scale changes in land use.