New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Geog 285: Environmental Science and Sustainability, Exam 2 Study Guide

by: Kayteeessbee

Geog 285: Environmental Science and Sustainability, Exam 2 Study Guide Geog 280

Marketplace > Western Kentucky University > Geog 280 > Geog 285 Environmental Science and Sustainability Exam 2 Study Guide
GPA 3.78

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

This covers all of the essay/short answer question topics Dr. North has said will be on the exam this week. It also covers all bolded/emphasized information she has talked about in class for this e...
Environmental Science and Sustainability
Dr. Leslie North
Study Guide
50 ?




Popular in Environmental Science and Sustainability

Popular in Department

This 9 page Study Guide was uploaded by Kayteeessbee on Monday October 10, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Geog 280 at Western Kentucky University taught by Dr. Leslie North in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views.


Reviews for Geog 285: Environmental Science and Sustainability, Exam 2 Study Guide


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 10/10/16
Kate Belarmino Geog 280 Exam Two Study Guide 1. There are no climotographs included, but you do need to be able to identify a biome based on a description of its general characteristics. Deserts: Low moisture levels, high level succulent plants, animals burrow and sleep  through dry season, three major classifications: tropical (hottest/driest, near equator,  lowest amount of life,) temperate (seasonal temp changes, more moisture but less  grasslands,) polar (hot during summer, freezing during winter, precipitation as  snow/ice.) Grasslands: cooler, more precipitation than deserts, mostly grass, wildflowers/shrubs. Tropical grasslands (savannahs:) near equator, seasonal precipitation. Temperate Grasslands: interior of continents, more consistent precipitation, 3 types  (shortgrass, mixed, or tallgrass prairies). Polar grasslands (Tundra): very cold/windy most of the year, grasses and herbs,  permafrost under soil. Tropical rainforests: 200cm+ rainfall/year, hot temps all year, quick plant growth so  poor nutrients in soil, thin soil erodes easily, highest diversity of plants/animals. Coniferous forests: long/harsh winters, cone trees instead of flower ones (pines, etc.) 2. For the essays, the following topics are covered: • Limiting Factors for an organism/in an ecosystems • Habitat: place where species are adapted to live: Limiting factors are in an  optimum range. Examples: shortage of phosphorous, lack of O2, nitrogen. If the  presence or absence of a factor limits the growth of the ecosystems elements, it is  called a limiting factor. i.e. temperature, sunlight, etc. • Keystone Species in an ecosystem *Keystone species: has disproportionately high impact on the health of that ecosystem* If you change this one species, you change the entire ecosystem. Example: Sea otters  eat sea urchins and keeps sea urchin population low, otherwise sea urchins would eat  all the kelp/seaweed (food source for other species). • Human   activities   that   impact   ecosystem   function/amount   of biodiversity Artificial selection: humans pick and choose traits/characteristics they like and  breed/manipulate to make animals that match their preferences; this increases  biodiversity. • 10% Rule in ecosystems Only 10% of the energy is transferred up the trophic level in an ecosystem. So  Producers must have 90% more mass than the top level organisms, because of their  inefficiency in transferring energy (i.e. 2000 lbs of producers can only sustain 200 lbs of primary consumers, and 20 lbs of secondary consumers, etc.) • Earth’s   water   must   be   available   and   what?   (fill   in   the   blank response) Reliable. • Food webs. You should be able to figure out how a food web would be impacted if a change in the system were to occur. We completely a similar activity in class. Food webs are very interconnected­­if you take out one thing, how will that impact  everything else in the web. Example: if you remove krill from a sea, it will effect the  amount of whales that can survive, and the krill’s food source (phytoplankton?) could  overrun the area. • Definitions of porosity and permeability Porosity: how much “void space,” how many holes, are in the ground, a percentage.  Higher porosity: more water can be held. Permeability: how connected are the empty  spaces, can the water flow between those empty spaces. • How does urban development/forestation relate to infiltration rates of water *Urbanizing Watersheds=More Runoff, less infiltration.* Rural areas: more runoff, less  infiltration as houses are built, because water cannot soak into concrete, etc. More  houses/urbanization=lower infiltration rate. Cities: shallow infiltration • Invasive species and why they are so dangerous to an ecosystem. Any species not native to an area, which can harm other species in the area; damaging to native species because they outcompete the natives for food and shelter, they have  nothing to keep them in check, and native species just give them their distance; • Physical characteristics of water that make it unique o Can store large amounts of heat (high boiling point.) o Expands when it freezes, and when hot (important because: rising sea levels) o Water is polar o Strong attractive forces between molecules o Allows for the properties of cohesion and adhesion o Water can dissolve more things than a strong acid, it is the universal solvent. o The hydrogen bonds of water allow water to pull substances apart and  dissolve them better, but not always faster than acids. • What classifies a wetland. What are the different criteria used. “An area of land saturated to within 18” of the soil surface for > 7 consecutive days  during the growing season that contains hydric plants and soils”  Wetlands are the most important biome. There is the scientific (broad, only one of  the following three characteristics must be present) and the regulatory definition (all  three of the following characteristics must be present.) The characteristics include  hydric soils (develop under water­saturated conditions,) lack of O2, and Hydric  vegetation (plants adapted to growing in saturated conditions.) • What is meant by delineating watersheds and why is this important. Watersheds: The total land area that drains to a common point (lake, stream, etc.)  Watershed is not easy to control/regulate if the area is huge, and groundwater is our  largest reservoir of water, so it is important to be able to regulate it. You can get E.  Coli, and other problems, in large watershed areas. The watershed is delineated by  finding the watershed divide, or high ridge, that separates the watershed from its  neighbors. Water tends to divide at the highest points in a terrain. • Five components of the hydrologic cycle: A. Precipitation­­Rain, Snow, Sleet, Hail/Ice; any form of liquid; ocean’s  evaporation provides ~90% of Earth’s precipitation. B. Runoff­­When moisture comes down and does not store in the ground/infiltrate;  runs off the land surface (i.e. off a mountain, etc.) C. Surface and Groundwater Storage­­infiltrating. D. Evaporation/Transpiration­­Heat causes water to change from liquid state to gas and go back into atmosphere/Plant respiration, cycled from plants. E. Condensation­­Water cools; rain droplets form in clouds, etc. Other important notes (emphasized in class)  Available Freshwater: water we can use (in useable form); glaciers/icebergs  are not useable, because they are in ice­form.  Reliable freshwater: Available and reliable. Groundwater, etc. it is in a  consistent supply that we can generally rely on.  Biosphere: anything living (plants, humans, etc.)  Adhesion: water sticks to other water molecules (insects walking on water)  Cohesion: water sticks to other things (ice floating on water)  Consumptive use: Taking the water resource, using it, and it will not go back  into the environment in that form; (drinking water, industry, etc.)  More concerned with water quantity  Nonconsumptive use: Using the water, but it will be reused in the same form  (i.e. showering, agriculture, etc.)  Concerned with water quality  Agriculture is “the big one” regarding water use  Study the trends on the charts about water use in the powerpoints  Virtual water use: water you really use in all the things you do/use every day;  Orographic Rainfall: Mountain­induced rain; The higher you go, the cooler you  get; Condensation occurs over mountains because it is cold­­so at a point, rain  begins to fall; so one side of the mountain is really wet, and the other side does  not get any rainfall; you can have a jungle on one side and a desert on the other.  Water Balance: Net difference between precipitation and evaporation yields  streamflow or groundwater (i.e. ratio between how much precipitation is coming  down vs. how much is being lost)  Study the urbanization/watershed diagram from the Powerpoint  *Know the hierarchy of the organization of the environment and  characteristics from each*: Species, population, biological community,  ecosystems/ecotones, habitats/niches  Optimum zone  Realized   (happens when there is another species with the same fundamental  niche, and it overlaps) vs. Fundamental niche   (role species would fulfill if it did  not have competition)  *Climate creates/controls biomes*  *Altitude and latitude   create climate*  Understand what the 5 cycles are and how we impact them: Carbon, water, nitrogen, phosphorous, and sulphur  Fire is #1 disturbance universally  Ecosystem Services: what things do ecosystems do naturally so that we  do not have to pay to have them done; i.e. wetlands filtering pollution out  of water  Maximum sustained yield: how much can we change or remove of an  ecosystem before the resilience starts to decline; most change that can be made before you start to see a negative impact o Ecology diversity: Measures richness and complexity (via species  richness: how many different types do you have, and species evenness:  do you have 1,000 giraffes and 10 zebras?) To have a healthy  ecosystem, you have a high evenness, high richness, and many different  things involved;  Critical Number: Minimum number of a species in an area that is needed to maintain a healthy population;   Indicator species: if one of these species is in a location, then you know  the ecosystem is healthy. 1. Predation: Predators and prey (+/­) a. Top­down: controls on the prey, which controls predator b. Bottom­up: controls on the predator, which controls prey 2. Competition: interaction wherein both species can be harmed (­/­) a. Interspecific: competition between different species b. Intraspecific: competition between same species c. Resource Partitioning: the division of a resource and specialization in different  parts of it; some birds have different attributes that allow them to get to certain kinds of  foods the other birds cannot get to; if there is a lot of competition, we know something  bad has happened in that area, because naturally, species will partition themselves. 1. Symbiosis: direct interaction between two+ closely living species a. Commensalism: one member is benefiting, and the other is neither benefiting  nor harmed (+0); examples: whales and barnacles, bison and birds b. Mutualism: both members benefit (++); examples: sea anemones and clown  fish; bees and plants/flowers; ostriches and gazelles c. Parasitism: one member benefits at expense of other (+­) (i.e. invasive  species); examples: mistletoe with trees d. Amensalism: one is unaffected, other harmed (0­); examples: black walnut  trees with all other trees; penicillin with other molds; Ecosystem Services:  Ecosystems support human life/economy with goods/services:  examples: waste breakdown, climate regulation, erosion control, pest  management, maintenance of nutrient cycle, water filtration;  These goods/services are “ecosystem capital”  3 Types of goods/services: o Provisioning services: Goods like foods/fuels o Regulating services: Processes like flood protection o Cultural services: non­material benefits like recreation


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

50 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Amaris Trozzo George Washington University

"I made $350 in just two days after posting my first study guide."

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."

Parker Thompson 500 Startups

"It's a great way for students to improve their educational experience and it seemed like a product that everybody wants, so all the people participating are winning."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.