Level 2
Level 3

Chapter 3


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climax community
a mature community, such as a boreal forest, tropical rainforest, grassland, or desert, that continues to change over time (3.1)
ecological succession
changes that take place over time in the types of organisms that live in an area (3.1)
natural selection
the process in which, over time, the best-adapted members of a species will survive and reproduce. This process makes change in living things possible. (3.1)
neutrons
subatomic particles that do not have an electric charge (4.1)
pioneer species
organisms such as lichens and other plants that are the first to survive and reproduce in an area; these organisms change the abiotic and biotic conditions of an area so that other organisms can survive there (3.1)
primary succession
the development of new life in areas where no organisms or soil previously existed, such as on bare rock; the first organisms may be lichen spores carried by wind (3.1)
secondary succession
the reintroduction of life after a disturbance to an area that already has soil and was once the home of living organisms (3.1)
aeration
mixing with air; one method used to reduce run-off is to mechanically remove small plugs of soil to improve air and water flow through the soil (3.2)
contamination
the introduction of chemicals, toxins, wastes, or micro- organisms into the environment in concentrations that are harmful to living things (3.2)
deforestation
the clearing or logging of forests without replanting (3.2)
extinction
the dying out of a species; species become extinct when their numbers are reduced to zero (3.2)
habitat fragmentation
the division of habitats into smaller, isolated fragments (3.2)
habitat loss
the destruction of habitats that usually results from human activities (3.2)
land use
the ways in which we use land, such as for urban development, agriculture, industry, mining, and forestry (3.2)
overexploitation
the use or extraction of a resource until it is depleted (3.2)
resource exploitation
resource use (3.2)
resource use
the ways in which we obtain and use naturally occurring materials such as soil, wood, water, gas, oil, or minerals (3.2)
soil compaction
the squeezing together of soil particles so that the air spaces between them are reduced (3.2)
soil degradation
damage to soil––for example, as a result of deforestation or the removal of topsoil from bare land by water and wind erosion (3.2)
sustainability
the ability of an ecosystem to sustain ecological processes and maintain biodiversity over time; using natural resources in a way that maintains ecosystem health now and for future generations (3.2)
traditional ecological knowledge
ecological information, passed down from generation to generation, that reflects human experience with nature gained over centuries (3.2)
foreign species
introduced species (3.3)
introduced species
plants, animals, or micro-organisms that are transported intentionally or by accident into regions in which they did not exist previously (3.3)
invasive species
introduced organisms that can take over the habitats of native species or invade their bodies (3.3)
native species
plants and animals that naturally inhabit an area (3.3)