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Symbiosis

A relationship between two different species.

Mutualism

symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit from the relationship

commensalism

symbiotic relationship in which one member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed

parasitism

the relation between two different kinds of organisms in which one receives benefits from the other by causing damage to it (usually not fatal damage)

ecology

scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment

niche

organism's role, or job, in its habitat

predator

any animal that lives by preying on other animals

prey

animal hunted or caught for food

producer

an organism that makes its own food

consumer

an organism that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms

biome

group of ecosystems that have the same climate and dominant communities

tundra

a vast treeless plain in the arctic regions between the ice cap and the tree line

taiga

the largest terrestrial biome dominated by evergreen trees.

temperate forest

mild tempatured forest that are dominated by non-evergreen trees

tropical rain forest

biome near the equator with warm temperatures, wet weather, and lush plant growth

desert

an arid region with little or no vegetation

ecosystem

a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment

biosphere

the regions of the surface and atmosphere of the Earth (or other planet) where living organisms exist

Carrying Capacity

largest number of individuals of a population that a environment can support

Abiotic factor

physical, or nonliving, factor that shapes an ecosystem

biotic factor

biological influence on organisms within an ecosystem, a living part of an ecosystem

decomposers

Organisms that break down the dead remains of other organisms

omnivores

an organism that eats both plants and animals.

habitat

the type of environment in which an organism or group normally lives or occurs

limiting factor

any biotic or abiotic factor that restricts the existence, numbers, reproduction, or distribution of organisms.

food web

series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten

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