Describe photosynthesis in plants

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Glossary of Terms: P

  Pacific High system that develops over the central Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands. Also called the Hawaiian High.   Paleoclimate Climatic conditions in the geological past reconstructed from a direct or indirect data source.   Paleoclimatology Scientific study of the Earth's during the past.   Paleolake An ancient that existed in the past when conditions were different.   Paleosol A exhibiting features that are the result of some past conditions and processes.   Paleozoic Geologic that occurred from 570 to 245 million years ago.   Palsa A mound of that develops as the result of the formation of a number ice lenses beneath the ground surface. Typical size is 1 to 7 meters high, 10 to 30 meters wide, and 15 to 150 meters long. Found in the high latitudes. Similar to a .   Pan or PAN (1) Collection of chemicals found in - See (PAN). (2) Compact soil horizon that has a high clay content. (3) Large natural basin or depression found in desert climates.   Pangaea Hypothetical super continent that existed in the geological past. Its break-up created the current configuration of landmasses found on the Earth.   Parallel A line parallel to the and connecting all places of the same .   Parametric Tests Statistical tests that assume the sample data is .   Parasite organism that feeds on a for an extended period of time. Feeding causes the host to be less and may eventually cause premature death.   Parasitism Biological between where a species feeds on a species.   Parent Material The material from which a forms.   Particulate Matter Particles of dust, soot, salt, sulfate compounds, pollen, or other particles suspended in the .   Parts Per Billion (ppb) Number of parts of a substance found in one billion parts of a particular gas, liquid, or solid.   Parts Per Million (ppm) Number of parts of a substance found in one million parts of a particular gas, liquid, or solid.   Parts Per Thousand (ppt) Number of parts of a substance found in one thousand parts of a particular gas, liquid, or solid.   Passive Remote Sensing Form of where the passively captures reflected or emitted by an object.   Paternoster Lakes A linear series of mountain valley that are formed from . They form behind glacial or in glacially carved out rock basins. The name of this feature is related to the series of lakes looking like a string of beads.   Pathogen Microscopic organism that causes disease in a . Disease causes the host to be less and may eventually cause premature death.   Patterned Ground Term used to describe a number of surface features found in environments. These features can resemble circles, polygons, nets, steps, and stripes. The development of some of these shapes is thought to be the result of freeze-thaw action.   Peak Annual Flow The largest produced by a during a one year period.   Peat Partially remains of plants that once flourished in a waterlogged environment.   Pebble A rounded piece of that is larger than .   Pediment A gradually sloping surface located at the base of - mountain range. Found in arid locations and normally covered by fluvial .   Pediplain An arid landscape of little relief that is occasionally interrupted by the presence of scattered . Formed by the coalescence of several .   Pedogenic Regime The particular forming process that operates in a certain climate. Some of the main processes are: , , , , and .   Pedogenesis Process of formation.   Pedology The scientific study of .   Pedon A basic sampling unit. Often viewed as a that goes from the surface to a depth where soil meets .   Pennsylvanian Geologic that occurred roughly 286 to 320 million years ago. During this period, the first and winged appear.   Perched Water Table that is positioned above the normal water table for an area because of the presence of a impermeable layer.   Percolation Vertical movement or of water from the Earth's surface to its subsurface. Movement usually stops when the flowing water reaches the .   Perennial Plant Plant species that lives for more than two years.   Peridotite Coarse grained composed mainly of and . The is though to be composed primarily of this rock type.   Periglacial Landforms created by processes associated with intense freeze-thaw action in an area high latitude areas or near an alpine or continental .   Perihelion It is the point in the Earth's orbit when it is closest to the (147.5 million km). Perihelion occurs on the 3rd or 4th of January.   Period Geologic time unit that is shorter than an but longer than a .   Periodic Table Table that describes some of the chemical properties of the known .   Permafrost Zone of permanently frozen water found in high latitude and . Five types of permafrost have been recognized: , , , and .   Permeability A measure of the ability of , , and to transport water horizontally and vertically. Permeability is dependent on the of the medium the water is flowing through. Some rocks like have very poor permeability, while rocks like are actually quite pervious. As for soils, is the most pervious, while has the lowest permeability. usually is somewhere in the middle.   Permian Last geologic in the . Occurred from 286 to 245 million years ago. This period saw the mass extinction of many corals, brachiopods, and trilobites. It also saw the diversification and growing dominance of the .   Peroxyacetyl Nitrate (PAN). Chemical found in . Formed from photochemical reactions involving (NO) and (VOCs). Quite damaging to plants.   pH Scale used to measure the or of a substance through the determination of the concentration of hydrogen ions in solution. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Values below 7.0, to a minimum of 0.0, indicate increasing acidity. Values above 7.0, to a maximum of 14.0, indicate increasing alkalinity.   Phanerozoic Geologic that occurs from 2500 million years ago to today. During this time period, life becomes more and complex.   Phase Change Reorganization of a substance at the or molecular level resulting in a change of the physical For example, a change from to to a .   Phloem Food conducting tissue in .   Photochemical Smog Photochemical smog is a condition that develops when (oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds created from fossil fuel combustion) interact under the influence of sunlight to produce a mixture of hundreds of different and hazardous chemicals known as . Also see .   Photodissociation The splitting of a by normally from the Sun.   Photogrammetry The science of using and other imagery to obtain measurements of natural and human-made features on the Earth.   Photoperiod The duration of the daylight period.   Photoperiodism (1) Mechanism possessed by some organisms to use to sense seasonal time. (2) Response by organisms to changes in the duration of day and night.   Photon A discrete unit of .   Photosphere Visible surface of from which is release.   Photosynthesis Is the chemical process where and some can capture and organically fix the energy of the . This chemical reaction can be described by the following simple equation:

6CO2 + 6H2O + light energy >>> C6H12O6 + 6O2

The main product of photosynthesis is a , such as the sugar , and oxygen which is released to the atmosphere. All of the sugar produced in the photosynthetic cells of plants and other organisms is derived from the initial chemical combining of carbon dioxide and water with sunlight. This chemical reaction is catalyzed by acting in concert with other pigment, lipid, sugars, protein, and nucleic acid molecules. Sugars created in photosynthesis can be later converted by the plant to starch for storage, or it can be combined with other sugar molecules to form specialized carbohydrates such as , or it can be combined with other nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur, to build complex molecules such as and . Also see .   Photosynthetic Autotroph An organism that produces food molecules by using light and the chemical process of . Plants are the dominant photosynthetic autotrophs on the Earth. This organism does not require outside sources of organic food energy for survival.   Phylogenic Classification Classification of organisms based on genetic connections between other species.   Phylum A group or category used in the and/or classification of organisms. A phylum is composed of one or more classes. In the classification of plants the category division is often used synonymously.   Physical Geography Field of knowledge that studies natural features and phenomena on the Earth from a spatial perspective. Subdiscipline of .   Physical Weathering Breakdown of and into small sized particles through mechanical stress.   Phytoplankton Small organisms, mostly and , found inhabiting aquatic ecosystems. Also see and .   Piedmont Glacier A large formed from the merger of several .   Pigment substance found in and that creates coloring.   Pingo A large conical mound that contains an ice core. This feature can be up to 60 to 70 meters in height. Form in regions of . Common in the Mackenzie Delta region of Canada. Also see the related .   Pioneer Community dominated by of .   Pioneer Species that dominate a in the early stages of .   Pitted Topography Landscape characterized by numerous on a .   Place A term used in that describes the factors that make the location of natural and human-made phenomena unique.   Plagioclase Feldspar A type of that is rich in sodium and calcium. Common forming .   Plane of the Ecliptic Hypothetical two-dimensional surface in which the Earth's orbit around the Sun occurs.   Planet (1) Any one of the nine primary celestial bodies that orbit the : Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. (2) A similar body orbiting another .   Plankton Minute plant () and animal organisms () that are found in aquatic ecosystems.   Plant belonging to the kingdom . These organisms have the following general characteristics: lack of locomotion, lack of a nervous system, and walls. Most plants can .   Plantae Group, at the level, in the classification of life. Multicellular organisms that have a cell type, , and a cell wall composed of .   Plastic Deformation Irreversible change in the shape of a material without fracture as the result of the force of compression or expansion.   Plateau Basalt An accumulation of horizontal flows of . Also called flood basalts.   Plate Tectonics Theory suggesting that the Earth's surface is composed of a number of and . Driven by convection currents in the , these plates have the ability to slowly move across the Earth's plastic . This theory is very important to geology and geomorphology because it helps to explain the occurrence and formation of mountains, , , , , , and the .   Platform Horizontal deposits found on top of continental deposits.   Playa A dry bed found in a desert.   Pleistocene Epoch () Period of time from about 2 million years ago to 10,000 years ago. During this period areas of land at higher and middle latitudes where covered with ice.   Plucking process of particle by moving ice. In this process, basal ice freezes in rock surface cracks. As the main body of the glacial ice moves material around the ice in the cracks is pulled and plucked out. Also called quarrying.   Pluton Any mass of .   Podzolization forming process that produces a strongly soil with a distinctive iron hardpan layer in the . Common in cool, moist forest environments.   Podzol Soil (1) order (type) of the . This soil type is often found under forests. Its main identifying traits are a poorly organic layer, an , and a with , aluminum, and iron. (2) Soil commonly found under forests.   Point Bar deposit that is normally located on the inside of a bend.   Polar Axis Is a line drawn through the Earth around the planet rotates. The point at which the polar axis intercepts the Earth's surface in the Northern Hemisphere is called the . Likewise, the point at which the polar axis intercepts the Earth's surface in the Southern Hemisphere is called the .   Polar Cell Three-dimensional atmospheric circulation cell located at roughly 60 to 90° North and South of the equator. Vertical air flow in the Polar cell consists of rising air at the and descending air at the .   Polar Easterlies Winds that originate at the and blow to the in a east to west direction.   Polar Front Weather located typically in the mid-latitudes that separates arctic and polar from tropical air masses. Along the polar front we get the development of the . Above the polar front exists the .   Polar High Surface area of atmospheric located at about 90° North and South latitude. These high pressure systems produced by vertically descending air currents from the .   Polar Jet Stream Relatively fast uniform winds concentrated within the upper atmosphere in a narrow band. The polar jet stream exists in the mid-latitudes at an altitude of approximately 10 kilometers. This jet stream flows from west to east at speeds between 110 to 185 kilometers per hour. Also see and .   Polar Stratospheric Clouds High altitude clouds found in the where the temperature is less than -85° Celsius. Commonly found over Antarctica. Have a role in the creation of the over Antarctica.   Polar Vortex system located in the upper atmosphere at the polar regions. In this system, air in the upper moves into the center and then descends to the Earth's surface to create the .   Pollutant A substance that has a harmful effect on the health, survival, or activities of humans or other living organisms.   Pollution Physical, chemical, or biological change in the characteristics of some component of the , , , or that adversely influences the health, survival, or activities of humans or other living organisms.   Polycyclic Landform Landform that shows the repeated influence of one or more major geomorphic processes over geological time. Major geomorphic processes are: , , , and massive Earth movements caused by .   Polygenetic Landform Landform that shows the influence of two or more major geomorphic processes. Major geomorphic processes are: , , , and massive earth movements caused by .   Polypedon An identifiable with distinct characteristics found in a location or region. Composed of numerous .   Pool Scoured depression found on the of streams. Associated with .   Population (1) Refers to all the individuals of a given in a specific area or region at a certain time. Its significance is more than that of a number of individuals because not all individuals are identical. Populations contain genetic variation within themselves and between other populations. (2) A statistical population is the entire collection of people, animals, plants or things from which we may collect data from.   Population Crash Sudden decline in the number of individuals found in a because of a scarcity of environmental resources that are required for survival, growth, and reproduction.   Population Density Number of individuals of a particular found in a specified area.   Population Parameter A value used to represent a certain quantifiable characteristic of a . For example, the population is a parameter that is often used to indicate the central value of quantity.   Pore Ice A form of that is found in the spaces that exist between particles of .   Porosity The void spaces found in , , or . Commonly measured as the percentage of void space in a volume of substance.   Positive Feedback Change in the of a that enhances the measured effect of the initial alteration.   Potential Energy Is the that a body possesses by virtue of its position and that is potentially transformable into another form of energy.   Potential Evapotranspiration Is a measure of the ability of the atmosphere to remove water from the surface through the processes of and assuming no limitation on water supply.   ppb See .   ppm See .   ppt See .   Precambrian Span of geologic time that dates from 4.6 billion to 570 million years ago. Made up of three geologic : , , and .   Precambrian Shield Another term for .   Precession of the Equinox Wobble in the Earth's . This motion influences the timing and over a cyclical period of 23,000 years.   Precipitable Water Amount of water potentially available in the for . Usually measured in a vertical column that extends from the Earth's surface to the upper edge of the .   Precipitate Solidification of a previously dissolved substance from a .   Precipitation (1) Is any aqueous deposit, in liquid or solid form, that develops in a atmosphere ( equals 100%) and falls to the ground generally from clouds. Most clouds, however, do not produce precipitation. In many clouds, water droplets and ice crystals are too small to overcome natural found in the atmosphere. As a result, the tiny water droplets and ice crystals remain suspended in the atmosphere as clouds. (2) The state of being from a .   Predation Biological between where a species consumes a species.   Predator organism who feeds on . The process of consumption involves the killing of the prey.   Prediction Forecast or extrapolation of the future of a from current or past states.   Pressure Is defined as the force acting on a surface from another per unit area.   Pressure Gradient Force Force due to spatial differences in . Usually expressed in millibars or kilopascals per unit distance (meters or kilometers). This force is primarily responsible for the formation of .   Pressure Melting Point at which deep within the Earth and below the surface of a are caused to because of the introduction of .   Prevailing Wind Dominant direction that a blows from for a location or region.   Prey Organism that is consumed by a .   Primary Carnivore See .   Primary Consumer Organisms that occupy the second in the . These organisms are .   Primary Pollutant Air pollutants that enter the directly. Also see .   Primary Producer Organisms that occupy the first in the . These organisms are .   Primary Succession on or that do not contain an active .   Primary Wave See .   Prime Meridian The location from which of are measured. Has the measure of 0° of longitude. The prime meridian was selected by international agreement to run through Greenwich, England.   Probability Statistical chance that an event will occur.   Process-Response System This is a that integrates the characteristics of both and . In a process-response system, we can model the processes involved in the movement, storage, and transformation of energy and/or matter between system elements and we fully understand how the form of the system in terms of between measured features.   Producer An organism that can synthesize the nutrients in requires for growth through processes like .   Productivity Rate of or storage of by . Usually expressed per unit area and time.   Progradation The natural extension of a .   Progressive Succession where the developing becomes complex and contains more species and biomass over time.   Prokaryote Organisms whose have their genetic material in the form of loose strands of found in the . They also do not have a membrane-bound and have few specialized structures located within their cell boundary.   Propagule Structure that develops into a .   Proportional Cause and effect relationship between two variables where a positive or negative change in the quantity of one causes a predictable similar quantity change in the other.   Protein substances primarily composed of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and some other minor elements which are arranged in about 20 different compounds known as . The various amino acids found in a protein are linked together by peptide bonds.   Proterozoic Geologic that occurred from 570 to 2500 million years ago. During this time period, the first single-celled and multi-celled organisms evolved and developed.   Protista Group, at the level, in the classification of life. Organisms that are mainly unicellular and have a cell type. A few multicellular members exist.   Proton A sub-particle of an that contains a positive charge.   Protoplasm Substances making up a including its exterior membrane.   Protozoa unicellular organisms that belong to the .   Proxy Data Data that measures the cause and effect relationship between two variables indirectly.   Psychrometer Instrument used to measure . It consists of two ( and a ) one of which has its bulb covered by a moistened wick. Humidity is determined by the difference in readings between the two thermometers after air has passed over both of them for a specific time period.   Psychrometric Table Table of values that allows for the determination of and from and temperatures recorded on a .   P-Wave A that moves material in push-pull fashion in the direction of its travel. This type of seismic wave can travel through solids, liquids, and gases. Also called a primary wave.   Pyramid of Biomass Graphic model describing the distribution of in an or at the . Also see .   Pyramid of Numbers Graphical model describing the number of organisms that exist at each in a or an . Also see .   Pyroclastic Material Pieces of thrown out in a volcanic explosion.   Pyroxene A group of single chained whose basic chemical unit is the silica (SiO4). They are common rock forming minerals and are found in most and rocks. They form at high temperatures with very little water in the crystallization environment.  



Citation: Pidwirny, M. (2006). "Glossary of Terms: P". Fundamentals of Physical Geography, 2nd Edition. Date Viewed.



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