Physical factors such as light, temperature and water.
A measure of the variety and abundance of wildlife species.
A common quantitative method of measuring biodiversity is Simpson’s Diversity Index.
A large geographical region with particular climatic features, in which a characteristic, unique community of species lives eg Taiga, coral reefs, temperate grasslands, tundra, tropical rainforest. Don’t confuse the terms biome and ecosystem. Biome refers
The relatively stable community of species present at the end of ecological succession.
Organisms that break down dead organic matter, releasing nutrients in the process. Many bacteria and fungi are decomposers. They secrete enzymes onto the dead organic matter and absorb the products of digestion.
The community of organisms living in an area, their inter-relationships and interactions with their abiotic environment eg tropical rainforest, savannah grassland, coral reef. Do not confuse the term ‘ecosystem’ with ‘biome’.
One of the first species to colonise an area at the start of ecological succession. They are usually well adapted to extreme abiotic factors.
This is a living organism that shapes its environment.
A community of species that does not develop to a natural climatic climax community, but is maintained by external influences which prevent this, including human activities such as burning, grazing or ploughing.
A stage in ecological succession in the changes that occur, eventually producing the climax community.
This involves active intervention to produce a defence line that is seaward in some way of the existing line. This would usually involve some form of reclamation, the construction of offshore breakwaters or similar.
Sand and shingle brought from elsewhere are added to beaches to maintain their breadth and depth to protect from erosion in a natural way. E.g. Hengistbury Head
The alignment of geological outcrops which are parallel to the coastline. E.g. Dorset coast Lulworth
Coasts which cut across the rock structure. E.g. Dorset North of Swanage Bay
The difference between the lowest temperature and the highest temperature in a 24 hour period.
(LSD) Movement of sediment in a zig-zag pattern up and down the shore with swash and backwash resulting in an overall direction along the coast.
Non- marine processes often seen on cliffs, like slumping, land slides and soil creep. Caused by gravity and often exacerbated by rain.
Set out the causes of a phenomenon and/or the factors which influence its form/nature. This usually requires an understanding of processes. Explanation is a higher-level skill than description and this is often reflected in its greater mark weighting.
Set out both sides of an argument (for and against), and come to a conclusion related to the content and emphasis of the discussion. There should be some evidence of balance, though not necessarily of equal weighting.
Give an account in words of a phenomenon which may be an entity, an event, a feature, a pattern, a distribution or a process. For example, if describing a landform say what it looks like, give some indication of size or scale, what it is made of...
Break down the content of a topic, or issue, into its constituent elements in order to provide an in-depth account and convey an understanding of it.
Add to a diagram, image or graphic a number of words that describe and/or explain features, rather than just identify them (which is labelling).
Often occurs before ‘Assess’ or ‘Evaluate’ inviting an examination of an issue from the point of view of a critic with a particular focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the points of view being expressed.