The 4 spheres

Biosphere – Life supporting zone where the 3 zones meet, interact and make life possible

Lithosphere – The outer solid part of the Earth (rocks, soil etc.)

Atmosphere – The layer of gases surrounding Earth. It is retained by gravity.

Hydrosphere – The combined mass of water on Earth



Depth of field:  The range of distance that appears acceptably sharp in (e.g. a camera).

–> Use the fine focus knob to adjust DoF to see the different layers of cells/ objects on the slide.

(the layer that comes into focus first is at the top and so on)



Prokaryote – a cell with no nucleus and no membrane-bound organelles

Eukaryote – a cell with a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles

Organelle – a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function

(For list of organelles and functions)

(For reproductive terms)

Surface area to volume ratio – used instead of “large surface area”




Passive transport – the spontaneous movement of substances across a cell membrane where energy is not needed

Diffusion – net movement of molecules moving from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration.

Simple Diffusion – The process where a substance passes through a membrane without an intermediary.

Facilitated Diffusion – The process where a substance passes through a membrane with an intermediary (a carrier protein)

Osmosis – The net movement of water molecules from a region of higher water potential to a region of lower water potential across a selectively permeable membrane

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Concentration gradient – change in concentration of a solute across distance, as a gradient within a cell or across a membrane. If molecules are free to move, they will diffuse along the gradient from higher to lower concentrations.

Chemical driving force – the net force driving molecules down the concentration gradient. Directly proportional to CG.

Equilibrium – when molecules on both sides of the membrane are in equal concentrations OR when the water potential of both sides are the same.

Net – total

Flux – direction of movement

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Solute – substance being dissolved

Solvent – matter that dissolves another substance

Hypertonic – solution contains more solute = lower water potential than cell

Isotonic – both cell and solution have an equal amount of solute = equal water potential

Hypotonic – solution contains less solute = higher water potential than cell

Plasmolyzed – cell membrane shrinks away from cell wall

Flaccid – cell is soft due to low fluid content

Turgid – cell is firm due to high fluid content

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Selectively permeable vs Freely permeable











Food web





– under construction –

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