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biotic

features of the environment that are alive or were once alive

abiotic

nonliving, physical features of the environment, including air, water, sunlight, soil, temperature, and climate

atmosphere

air surrounding Earth; is made up of gases, including 78 % nitrogen, 21 % oxygen, and 0.03% carbon dioxide

soil

mixture of mineral and rock particles, the remains of dead organisms, air, and water that forms the topmost layer of Earth's crust and supports plant growth.

climate

average weather conditions of an area over time, including wind, temperature, and rainfall or other types of precipitation such as snow or sleet.

evaporation

process that takes place when a liquid changes to a gas

condensation

process that takes place when a gas changes to a liquid

water cycle

model describing how water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere and back to the surface again through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation

nitrogen fixation

process in which some types of bacteria in the soil change nitrogen gas into a form of nitrogen that plants can use

nitrogen cycle

model describing how nitrogen moves from the atmosphere to the soil, to living organisms, and then back to the atmosphere

carbon cycle

model describing how carbon molecules move between the living and nonliving world.

chemosynthesis

process in which producers make energy-rich nutrient molecules from chemicals

food web

model that shows the complex feeding relationships among organisms in a community

energy pyramid

model that shows the amount of energy available at each feeding level in an ecosystem

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