Archivo de la categoría: Geography

Geography with answers

  1. What is an ecosystem? An ecosystem is a community of plants, animals and smaller organisms that live, feed, reproduce and interact in the same area or environment. Some ecosystems are very large. For example, many bird species nest in one place and feed in a completely different area.
  2. How are ecosystems formed?

An ecosystem includes all of the living things (plants, animals and organisms) in a given area, interacting with each other, and also with their non-living environments (weather, earth, sun, soil, climate, atmosphere).

3. What does the term “biotic” mean?

Biotic, meaning of or related to life, are living factors. Plants, animals, fungi, protist and bacteria are all biotic or living factors.

4. What does the term “abiotic” mean?

The term abiotic refers to the non-living or physical components of an ecosystem.

5. What is extinction? Why does it happen?

Extinction occurs when the last existing member of a given species dies.
In other words…there aren’t any more left!
It is a scientific certainty when there are not any surviving individuals left to reproduce.

Climatic Heating and Cooling

Climate Change is caused by a number of things. The effect that climate has on extinction is very big. The biodiverse Earth can’t keep up with the rapid changes in temperature and climate. The species are not used to severe weather conditions and long seasons, or a changing chemical make-up of their surroundings. As more species die, it is only making it more difficult for the survivors to find food. The warmer climates we are used to present-day are perfect for diseases and epidemics to thrive.

Changes in Sea Levels or Currents

The changes in sea levels and currents is a result, in part, of the melting freshwater. The denser, saltier water sinks and forms the currents that marine life depends on. Ocean floor spreading and rising also affects sea level. A small rise in the ocean floor can displace a lot of water onto land that is all ready occupied. The gases from the volcanic activity can also be absorbed by the water, thus changing the chemical composition, making it unsuitable for some life.

Asteroids/Cosmic Radiation

Asteroids hit the earth with extreme force. The reverberations can be felt around the world. The impact site is completey destroyed.
Cosmic Radiation is radiation being emitted from outer space and the Sun. It is hypothesized that being exposed to too much cosmic radiation can mutate genes, which can potentially weaken a species’ genepool in the future. Since the radiation comes from space and the Sun, it is extremely difficult to avoid the radiation. Supernova remnants is one source of cosmic radiation.

Acid Rain

Acid rain forms when sulfur dioxide and/or nitrogen oxides are put out into the atmosphere. The chemicals get absorbed by water droplets in the clouds, and eventually fall to the earth as acid precipitation. Acid rain increases the acidity of the soil which affects plant life. It can also disturb rivers and lakes to a possibly lethal level

6. How do different species survive (if they do) when their ecosystem is destroyed?

They look for a new ecosystem and try adapting to it.

7. What is a balanced ecosystem?

The organisms have to fit into the energy pyramid – The largest number of organism in any ecosystem needs to be the producers – The smallest number of organism need to be the highest level of consumers in that ecosystem A balanced ecosystem is an ecological community together with its environment, functioning as a unit.

  • The balance of an ecosystem means that the kinds and the number of organisms are maintained consistently. The kinds and the number of organisms, which compose the ecosystem, are controlled through the relation of eating and being eaten. Even though the balance of an ecosystem is temporarily broken, it is recovered by the force of restitution of the ecosystem.

8. What is a diverse ecosystem?

Ecosystem diversity refers to the assortment of a place at a rank of ecosystems. Diversity is important to an ecosystem because, through increasing species diversity within an ecosystem, the efficiency and productivity of that ecology will increase.

9. What elements are needed in order to make an ecosystem survive?

10. How can an ecosystem support various types of organisms?

Because of it’s carrying capacity.

11. What does the term carrying capacity mean?

The carrying capacity of a biological species in an environment is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water and other necessities available in the environment. In population biology, carrying capacity is defined as the environment’s maximal load, which is different from the concept of population equilibrium.

12. What determines if a population survives within an ecosystem?

If the ecosystem provides the population’s needs it will survive.

Within each ecosystem, there are habitats which may also vary in size. A habitat is the place where a population lives. A population is a group of living organisms of the same kind living in the same place at the same time. All of the populations interact and form a community. The community of living things interacts with the non-living world around it to form the ecosystem. The habitat must supply the needs of organisms, such as food, water, temperature, oxygen, and minerals. If the population’s needs are not met, it will move to a better habitat. Two different populations can not occupy the same niche at the same time, however. So the processes of competition, predation, cooperation, and symbiosis occur.

  • Competition is an interaction between organisms or species, in which the fitness of one is lowered by the presence of another.
  • In ecology, predation describes a biological interaction where a predator (an organism that is hunting) feeds on its prey (the organism that is attacked).
  • Cooperation is the process of groups of organisms working or acting together for their common/mutual benefit, as opposed to working in competition for selfish benefit.
  • symbiosis _A close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may, but does not necessarily, benefit each member.

13. What are the main non-living parts of an ecosystem?

Abiotic factors are the non-living factors in an ecosystem that effect the survival of organisms in the ecosystem. Light, temperature, and atmospheric gases are the examples of Abiotic factors. Another example would be a forest fire.

14. What is a food web?

A food web is a series of food chains. A food chain is a linear sequence of links in a food web starting from a trophic species that eats no other species in the web and ends at a trophic species that is eaten by no other species in the web.

15. What is a food chain?

A food chain is a linear series of links starting with one specific species that eats no other species in the web, and ending with a specific species that eaten by no other species in the web. That’s different from a food web.

16. What does the term catastrophic mean?

It comes from the word “catastrophe”, which means a disaster. Catastrophic means disastrous. A catastrophe is the kind of disaster that destroys the people it happens to.

17. What makes a tropical rain forest different from any other ecosystem?

Tropical rain forests grow in regions with plenty of moisture and heat. They are also referred as ‘evergreen forests’.

Because of the lack of seasonal differences, due to the geographical location of the forests, and the high humidity level the vegetation is luxuriant here. The recurring features of rainforests are basically the following:
• high animal and vegetal biodiversity
• evergreen trees
• sottobosco buio e spoglio, intervallato da radure
• dark and sparse undergrowth interspersed with clearings
• scanty litter (organic matter settling on the ground)

18. What is a stable ecosystem?

The stability of an ecosystem implies that the ecosystem can survive over time.

The Principles of Ecosystem Stability are:

  • Ecosystems dispose of waste and replenish nutrients by recycling all elements.
  • Ecosystems use sunlight as their source of energy.
  • The size of a consumer population is maintained such that overgrazing and other forms of overuse do not occur.
  • Biodiversity is maintained.

Factors influencing ecosystem stability are biotic potential and environmental resistance. This could be in the form of: positive and negative factors of population growth either abiotic or biotic, species diversity that is highly correlated with stability, as well as climate.

Stability of an ecosystem also needs to have a resistance to change. This resistance to change has three forms: Inertia – the resistance to change, Resilience – the ability to recover from change and succession – the replacement of species by another.

19. What is flora?

Flora denotes the plant life in a particular region.

20. Describe the roll of a producer in an ecosystem.

Ecosystem producers are capable of producing their own food. Plants manufacture their own food by the process of photosynthesis and also produce food for other consumers in the ecosystem. Plants as producers also give us oxygen.

In an ecosystem, producers are those organisms that use photosynthesis to capture energy by using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to create carbohydrates, and then use that energy to create more complex molecules like proteins, lipids and starches that are crucial to life processes. Producers, which are mostly green plants, are also called autotrophs.

Producers funnel into the ecosystem the energy needed for its biological processes. The carbohydrates and other organic chemicals formed by the producers are consumed and utilized by the heterotrophs, or consumers; first by the herbivores who eat the plants–the primary consumers–then by the predators who eat the herbivores–the secondary, tertiary, and so on consumers.

21. Describe a desert; include details like temperature, living organisms and their characteristics.

Desert plants are different from plants in other ecosystems because they have to live and grow with very little water. Plants have shallow roots so that they can soak up any rain that falls in this dry environment. Plants store water in their stems and have sharp needles that keep animals from eating them to get their water. Most desert animals are nocturnal, that means they hunt for food at night when it’s cooler. Many desert animals fur, feathers, or skin is light in color because the light color reflects the hot desert sun.

22. Explain how humans damage ecosystems; consider the effects and conflicts may arise.

An ecosystem is an area where all the species of plants and animals live and depend on each other. Ecosystems are often delicately balanced, and if that balance is damaged, the results can be unpredictable. People have changed the balance in many ecosystems around the globe, sometimes leading to detrimental consequences.


  • People have greatly accelerated extinction rates among animals through over-hunting. Once a species is gone, that unbalances the ecosystem that it comes from, and it can cause a chain reaction of extinctions or population reductions.

Habitat Destruction

  • People chop down forests for farming and building homes. They also drain wetlands for the same purposes or to irrigate crops. These activities ultimately lead to additional extinction events because it reduces the amount of land available to support different species.


  • Human industrial society releases a lot of different pollutants into the air. Pollution can damage both plant and animal species and eventually reduce their populations. It can also make certain areas of the planet uninhabitable for many species.

Different types of ecosystems- Geography

There are essentially two kinds of ecosystems; Aquatic and Terrestrial. Any other sub-ecosystem falls under one of these two headings.

Terrestrial ecosystems

Terrestrial ecosystems can be found anywhere apart from heavily saturated places. They are broadly classed into:

The Forest Ecosystems

They are the ecosystems in which an abundance of flora, or plants, is seen so they have a big number of organisms which live in relatively small space. Therefore, in forest ecosystems the density of living organisms is quite high. A small change in this ecosystem could affect the whole balance, effectively bringing down the whole ecosystem. You could see a fantastic diversity in the fauna of the ecosystems, too. They are further divided into:

  • Tropical evergreen forest: These are tropical forests that receive a mean rainfall of 80 for every 400 inches annually. The forests are characterised by dense vegetation which comprises tall trees at different heights. Each level is shelter to different types of animals.
  • Tropical deciduous forest: There, shrubs and dense bushes rule along with a broad selection of trees. The type of forest is found in quite a few parts of the world while a large variety of fauna and flora are found there.
  • Temperate evergreen forest: Those have quite a few number of trees as mosses and ferns make up for them. Trees have developed spiked leaves in order to minimize transpiration.
  • Temperate deciduous forest: The forest is located in the moist temperate places that have sufficient rainfall. Summers and winters are clearly defined and the trees shed the leaves during the winter months.
  • Taiga: Situated just before the arctic regions, the taiga is defined by evergreen conifers. As the temperature is below zero for almost half a year, the remainder of the months, it buzzes with migratory birds and insects.

The Desert Ecosystem
Desert ecosystems are located in regions that receive an annual rainfall less than 25. They occupy about 17 percent of all the land on our planet. Due to the extremely high temperature, low water availability and intense sunlight, fauna and flora are scarce and poorly developed. The vegetation is mainly shrubs, bushes, few grasses and rare trees. The stems and leaves of the plants are modified in order to conserve water as much as possible. The best known desert ones are the succulents such as the spiny leaved cacti. The animal organisms include insects, birds, camels, reptiles all of which are adapted to the desert (xeric) conditions.

The Grassland Ecosystem
Grasslands are located in both the tropical and temperate regions of the world though the ecosystems vary slightly. The area mainly comprises grasses with a little number of trees and shrubs. The main vegetation includes grasses, plants and legumes that belong to the composite family. A lot of grazing animals, insectivores and herbivores inhabit the grasslands. The two main kinds of grasslands ecosystems are:

  1. Savanna: The tropical grasslands are dry seasonally and have few individual trees. They support a large number of predators and grazers.
  2. Prairies: It is temperate grassland, completely devoid of large shrubs and trees. Prairies could be categorized as mixed grass, tall grass and short grass prairies.

The Mountain Ecosystem
Mountain land provides a scattered and diverse array of habitats where a large number of animals and plants can be found. At the higher altitudes, the harsh environmental conditions normally prevail, and only the treeless alpine vegetation can survive. The animals that live there have thick fur coats for prevention from cold and hibernation in the winter months. Lower slopes are commonly covered with coniferous forests.

Aquatic Ecosystems
The aquatic ecosystem is the ecosystem found in a body of water. It encompasses aquatic flora, fauna and water properties, as well. There are two main types of aquatic ecosystem – Marine and Freshwater.

The Marine Ecosystem
Marine ecosystems are the biggest ecosystems, which cover around 71% of Earth’s surface and contain 97% of out planet’s water. Water in Marine ecosystems features in high amounts minerals and salts dissolved in them. The different divisions of the marine ecosystem are:

  • Oceanic: A relatively shallow part of oceans which lies on the continental shelf.
  • Profundal: deep or Bottom water.
  • Benthic Bottom substrates.
  • Inter-tidal: The place between low and high tides.
  • Estuaries
  • Coral reefs
  • Salt marshes
  • Hydrothermal vents where chemosynthetic bacteria make up the food base.

Many kinds of organisms live in marine ecosystems: the brown algae, corals, cephalopods, echinoderms, dinoflagellates and sharks.

The Freshwater Ecosystem
Contrary to the Marine ecosystems, the freshwater ecosystem covers only 0.8% of Earth’s surface and contains 0.009% of the total water. Three basic kinds of freshwater ecosystems exist:

  • Lentic: Slow-moving or till water like pools, lakes or ponds.
  • Lotic: Fast-moving water such as streams and rivers.
  • Wetlands: Places in which the soil is inundated or saturated for some lenghty period of time.

The ecosystems are habitats to reptiles, amphibians and around 41% of the world’s fish species. The faster moving turbulent waters typically contain a greater concentrations of dissolved oxygen, supporting greater biodiversity than slow moving waters in pools.

World Capitals- North America


Antigua & Barbuda – Saint John


Bahamas- Nassau

Barbados – Hamilton

Belize – Belmopan


Canada – Ottawa

Costa Rica – San Jose

Cuba – La Habana


Dominica – Roseau

Dominican Republic – Santo Domingo


El Salvador – San Salvador


Grenada – Sain’t George’s

Guatemala – Guatemala City


Haiti – Port-au-Prince

Honduras – Tegucigalpa


Jamaica – Kingston


Mexico – Mexico City


Nicaragua – Managua


Panama – Panama


St. Kitts & Nevis – Basseterre

St. Lucia – Castria

St. Vincent & The Grenadines – Kingstown


Trinidad & Tobago – Port-of-Spain


United States of America – Washington D.C.

Geography exam

Today was our first exam, most of you did well but some of you had to study a little more. Remember this exam is worth 60% of your grade, the other 40% consists of your work in class and participation.

Rounding up your final grade (the one in your report card) is subject to consideration.

Congratulations: Alline, Fernanda Macías, Luis, Adrian, Paulina and Omar for your first 10!

The rest of you keep up the good work, I hope to congratulate more of you month by month, thanks for studying for your test! I’m very proud of you 🙂

Geography Quiz

  1. Describe the video “Colliding Continents”.
  2. What is a continent?
  3. What is a map scale?
  4. What is the purpose of a legend on a map?
  5. Describe a physical map.
  6. Describe an inset map.
  7. What is the purpose of a compass rose on a map?
  8. Describe a topographic map.
  9. This tool is one of the different ways of showing Earth’s curved surface on a flat map.
  10. From what direction to what direction do latitude lines run? Are they parallel to the Equator or the Prime Meridian?

Colliding Continents 

  1.  How many continents are there?
  2. How many plates does the Earth have?
  3. Where do many of new rocks form?
  4. How many billion years ago did the Earth form?
  5. Name 2 of the heavy elements that form the Earth’s core.
  6. How was the Earth’s last super continent called?
  7. Name 2 natural disasters caused by the movement of tectonic plates.
  8. What happens when 2 continents collide?
  9. Describe the Plate Tectonics Theory. What does it say about tectonic plate movement? How is it related to the core’s temperature?