nonliving, physical features of the environment, including air, water, sunlight, soil, temperature, and climate
energy releasing biochemical reactions that use oxygen.
Respiration in the absence of oxygen. This produces lactic acid.
aquatic life zones
Marine and freshwater portions of the biosphere.
the envelope of gases surrounding any celestial body
organisms that use energy from sunlight or from chemical bonds in inorganic substances to make organic compounds
All of the populations of organisms living and interacting in a particular area
organic matter that contains stored energy
a community of living organisms of a single major ecological region
part of Earth in which life exists including land, water, and air or atmosphere
Pertaining to life; environmental factors created by living organisms
the circulation and reutilization of carbon atoms especially via the process of photosynthesis and respiration.
Organisms that eat other animals for energy
process by which some organisms, such as certain bacteria, use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates
a group of interacting populations of different species
organisms that use the food producers make or eat other consumers
organisms that break down wastes and dead organisms and return raw materials to the environment
A heterotroph that derives its energy from nonliving organic material
The arrangement of something across Earth's surface
Percentage of energy transferred from one trophic level to another in a food chain or web
scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment
a community of organisms and their nonliving environment
The process by which cells break down molecules to release energy without using oxygen.
a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
consists of the many overlapping food chains in an ecosystem
refers to the sum total of all the different forms of genetic information carried by all organisms living on Earth today
gross primary productivity
the rate at which energy is produced in an ecosystem
the area where an organism lives, grows, and develops
consumers that eat only plants
The cycle through which water in the hydrosphere moves; includes such processes as evaporation, precipitation, and surface and groundwater runoff
All the water at and near the surface of the earth, 97% of which is in oceans
an environmental factor that prevents a population from increasing
limiting factor principle
Too much or too little of any abiotic factor can limit or prevent growth of a population of a species in an ecosystem, even if all other factors are at or near the optimum range of tolerance for the species
natural greenhouse effect
The absorption of thermal energy by the atmosphere. It keeps the earth's temperature within a certain range.
net primary productivity
the rate at which biomass accumulates in an ecosystem
the transfer of nitrogen from the atmosphere to the soil, to living organisms, and back to the atmosphere
biogeochemical (nutrient) cycles
elements, chemical compounds and other forms of matter are passed between organisms and parts of the biosphere in a cycle
a consumer that eats both plants and animals
process by which plants and some other organisms use light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and high-energy carbohydrates such as sugars and starches
a group of individuals of the same species occupying a given area.
organisms that make their own food through photosynthesis
pyramid of energy flow
energy loss for a simple food chain
range of tolerance
Range of chemical and physical conditions that must be maintained for populations of a particular species to stay alive and grow, develop, and function normally.
animals that would feed off of herbivores or primary consumers
group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
the layer of the atmosphere that contains the ozone layer; temperature increases as you go up
Cyclic movement of sulfur in different chemical forms from the environment to organisms and then back to the environment.
third and higher level consumers
Carnivores that feed on other carnivores.
a step in the movement of energy through an ecosystem; an organism's feeding status in an ecosystem.
the layer closest to Earth, where almost all weather occurs; the thinnest layer