Glencoe Chapter 2

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Glencoe Biology 2007 Chapter 2 Vocabulary

ecology

the scientific discipline in which the relationships among living organisms and the interactions the organisms have with their environments are studied

biosphere

the portion of Earth that supports life

biotic factors

the living factors in an organism's environment

abiotic factors

the nonliving factors in an organism's environment

population

individual organisms of a single species that share the same geographic location at the same time

biological community

a group of interacting populations that occupy the same geographic area at the same time

ecosystem

a biological commuunity and all of the biotic and abiotic factors that affect it

biome

a large group of ecosystems that share the same climate and have similar types of communities

habitat

where an organism lives

niche

a role or position that an organism has in its environment

predation

the act of one organism consuming an other organism for food

symbiosis

the close relationship that forms when two or more species live together

mutualism

a relationship between two or more organisms that live closely together and benefit from each other

commensalism

a relationship where one organism benefits and the other is neither hurt nor helped

parasitism

a relationship where one organism benefits at the expense of another

autotroph

an organism that collects energy from sunlight or inorganic substances to produce food

heterotroph

an organism that gets its energy requirements from consuming other organisms

herbivore

a heterotroph that only eats plants

carnivore

a heterotroph that preys on other heterotrophs

omnivore

a heterotroph that eats both plants and animals

detritivore

an organism which eat fragments of dead matter in an ecosystem and returns nutrients to the environment

trophic level

step in a food chain or web

food chain

a simple model that shows how energy flows through an ecosystem

food web

a model representing the many interconnected food chains and pathyways in which energy flows through a group of organisms

biomass

the total mass of living matter at a trophic level

matter

anything that has mass and takes up space

nutrient

a chemical substance that an organism must obtain from its environment

biogeochemical cycle

the exchange of matter through the biosphere

nitrogen fixation

the process of capturing and converting nitrogen into a form that is usable by plants

denitrification

the conversion by bacteria of fixed nitrogen compounds to nitrogen gas

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