# Ap Environmental Study Guide

Pages: 19 (5210 words) Published: June 17, 2013
Steps of the Scientific Method
Observe and Question
Form testable hypothesis/prediction
Collect data/conduct experiment to test prediction
Interpret results
If hypothesis is accepted then disseminate findings, if not make new hypothesis Repeat
Understand the Gaia Hypothesis
That living matter on the earth collectively defines and regulates the material conditions necessary for the continuance of life. The planet, or rather the biosphere, is thus likened to a vast self-regulating organism- James Lovelock Understand concept of an ecological footprint and how to calculate it Ecological footprint is a measure of how much that person consumes, expressed in area of land. The output from the total amount of land required to support a persons lifestyle is their footprint. We can calculate the footprint by the food we eat, the water and energy we use, and the activities we perform that contribute to climate change. Sustainable vs. Unsustainable

Sustainable: conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources. Unsustainable: upsetting the ecological balance by depleting natural resources Why do we value the environment

Utilitarian: Survival and Economic
Ecological: Individual, Species, Systems
Aesthetic
Recreational
Inspirational
Creative
Moral
Basic Metric Conversions

Open verse Closed Systems
Open: Exchanges of matter or energy occurs across system boundaries Earth is an open system with respect to energy. Solar radiation enters the earth system, and energy leaves it in the form of heat and reflected light. Closed: No exchanges of matter and energy occur across system boundaries. Earth is essentially a closed system in respect to matter because very little matter enters or leaves the earths systems. Inputs: Additions to a given system

Outputs: Losses from a given system
Accuracy vs Precision
Accuracy: Refers to how close a measures value is to the actual or true value. Precision: How close to one another the repeated measurements of the same sample are. What is Residence and how do we calculate it?

Average Residence Time (ART)- how long, on average, a unit of something of interest to us will remain in a reservoir. ART is the ratio of the size of a reservoir of some material to the rate of its transfer through the reservoir Calculates: ART=S/F

S: size of reservoir
F: rate of transfer
Understand how positive and negative feedbacks work
Feedback: occurs when the output of a system affects its input. Negative: self regulating or stabilizing. It is the way that steady-state systems can remain in a constant condition. When body cools down on a hot day

Positive: occurs when an increase in output leads to a further increase in output. Fire starting
Know levels of organization of Ecology
Population
Individuals: (simplest) a single organism
Population: composed of all individuals that belong to the same species and live in a given area at a particular time Community: Incorporates all of the populations of organisms within a given area at a particular time. Ecosystem: Consist of all the biotic and abiotic components in a particular location. Biosphere: Incorporates all of the earths systems.

Ecosystem:
Species: any organism that is able to interbreed and produce fertile offspring Populations: groups of same species living in the same area at the same time Communities: groups of populations that live together in a defined area Ecosystem: the relationship of the community with its nonliving environment Biomes: ecosystems in different locations with similar climate and communities Biosphere: combined areas on planed where life exists

Competitive Exclusion Principle
It supports those who argue that there should only be a few species. It states that two species with exactly the same requirements cannot coexist in exactly the same habitat. Garrett Hardin said, “complete competitors cannot coexist.” What are Wetlands, and their benefits to humans and other organisms? Wetlands: areas...