IB Ecology

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ECOLOGY

The study of relationships between organisms and between organisms and their environment

HABITAT

The environment in which a species normally lives

SPECIES

A group of organisms with similar characteristics, which can interbreed and produce fertile offspring.

POPULATION

A group of organisms of the same species, who live in the same area at the same time.

COMMUNITY

A group of populations living together and interacting with each other in an area

ECOSYSTEM

A community and its abiotic environment

NATALITY

Birth

MORTALITY

Death

IMMIGRATION

Organisms move into an area from elsewhere

EMIGRATION

Organisms move out of the area to live elsewhere

CARRYING CAPACITY

The maximum population size that can be supported by the environment

AUTOTROPH

An organism that can synthesise its own organic molecules from simple inorganic substances (all plants)

HETEROTROPH

An organism that obtains organic molecules from other organisms ( fungi, animals)

CONSUMER

An organism that ingests organic matter that is living or recently killed (lion)

DETRITOVORE

An organism that ingests dead organic matter (earthworm, dung beetles)

SAPROTROPH

An organism that lives on or in dead organic matter, secreting enzymes into it and absorbing the products of digestion (bacteria and fungi)

TROPHIC LEVEL

The position of an organism in the food chain

PORIFERA

No clear symmetry, attached to a surface, pores through body, no mouth or anus. sponges.

CNIDARIA

radially symmetric, tentacles, stinging cells, mouth but no anus. jellyfish, corals, sea anemones

PLATYHELMINTHS

Bilaterally symmetric, unsegmented, flat bodies, mouth but no anus. planaria, tapeworms, liverflukes.

ANNELIDA

Bilaterally symmetric, segmented, bristles often present, mouth and anus. earthworms, leeches, ragworms.

MOLLUSCA

muscular foot and mantle, usually shell, segmentation not visible, mouth and anus. slugs, snails, clams, squids.

ARTHROPODA

bilaterally symmetric, exoskeleton, jointed appendages, segmented. insects, spiders, crabs, millipedes.

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