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Explore the saltwater marsh biome with a lesson from K-12 education program specialist, Celeste Rivenbark. The coastal biome is a great example of how climate changes and weather patterns affect the ecosystems around us. Follow along with the help of host Cecil Washington Jr. in this episode of Let's Go Enviro.

Segment A: Introduction to Changes in Earth's Ecosystems

Segment A: Introduction to Changes in Earth's Ecosystems

Explore the saltwater marsh biome with a lesson from K-12 education program specialist, Celeste Rivenbark. The coastal biome is a great example of how climate changes and weather patterns affect the ecosystems around us. Follow along with the help of host Cecil Washington Jr. in this episode of Let's Go Enviro.

Science

SEV2

Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to construct explanations of stability and change in Earth's ecosystems.

Define and give examples of ecosystems and biomes.

Describe Georgia’s salt marsh in terms of biodiversity and biomass.

Explain what keystone species and what keystone species live in Georgia’s salt marsh.

Describe the impact of non-native species in an ecosystem.

Describe how natural disturbances and human impacts are impacting salt marshes.

biomass: the total mass of organisms in a given area or volume

brackish: (of water) slightly salty, as is the mixture of river water and seawater in estuaries

carbon: a naturally abundant, nonmetallic element that occurs in all organic compounds and can be found in all known forms of life

climate change: long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns

climax ecological succession: the final stage of biotic succession attainable by a plant community in an area under the environmental conditions present at a particular time

complexity: the connections between plant and animal species

ecological succession: the process by which the structure of a biological community evolves over time

ecosystem resilience: the ability of an ecosystem to maintain its normal patterns of nutrient cycling and biomass production after being subjected to damage caused by an ecological disturbance

El Niño: a warming of the ocean surface, or above-average sea surface temperatures, in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean

endangered species: a species of animal or plant that is seriously at risk of extinction

endemic species: those that live in a limited area, such as a mountain range, lake or island, among others

fossil fuels: fuels that are made from decomposing plants and animals; these fuels are found in the Earth's crust and contain carbon and hydrogen, which can be burned for energy

greenhouse effect: a process that occurs when gases in Earth's atmosphere trap the sun's heat

greenhouse gas: gases in the earth's atmosphere that trap heat; greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and methane 

global warming: the long-term heating of Earth's surface observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth's atmosphere

indicator species: an organism whose presence, absence or abundance reflects a specific environmental condition

interglacial period: a geological interval of warmer global average temperature lasting thousands of years that separates consecutive glacial periods within an ice age 

invasive species: an introduced organism that becomes overpopulated and harms its new environment

keystone species: a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would change drastically

La Niña: the periodic cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific

Living shoreline: a protected and stabilized shoreline that is made of natural materials such as plants, sand, or rock

Milankovitch cycles: the collective effects of changes in the earth's movements on its climate over thousands of years; a hypothesis that states variations in eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession combined to result in cyclical variations in the intra-annual and latitudinal distribution of solar radiation at the earth's surface, and that this orbital forcing strongly influenced the earth's climatic patterns

native species: a species that originated and developed in its surrounding habitat and has adapted to living in that particular environment

natural disaster: a natural event such as a flood, earthquake, or hurricane that causes great damage or loss of life

primary ecological succession: when a new patch of land is created or exposed for the first time 

resilience: the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly

range expansion: how invasive species spread and how species track habitats shifting from climate change

secondary ecological succession: occurs in an area that had previously been inhabited but experienced a disturbance, such as a wildfire

volcanism: any of various processes and phenomena associated with the surficial discharge of molten rock, pyroclastic fragments, or hot water and steam, including volcanoes, geysers, and fumaroles