Chapter 3-The Biosphere

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Chapter 3 in biology vocab

biosphere

all life on earth and all parts of Earth in which life exists

ecology

scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their physical enviornment

species

group of organism that can breed and produce fertile offspring

population

group of individuals that belong in the same species and live in the same area

community

assemblage of different populations that live together in a defined area

ecosystem

all organism that live in a place together with their physical enviornment

biome

group of ecosystem that share similar climates and typical organisms

biotic factor

any living part of the enviornment with which an organism might interact

abiotic factor

nonliving part of the enviornment

autotrophs

organism that is able to capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce food from inorganic compounds

primary producers

first producers of energy-rich compounds that are used by other organisms

photosynthesis

process in which autotrophs capture light energy and use it to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugars

chemosynthesis

process in which autotroughs use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates

heterotrophs

organism that relies on other organisms for their energy and food

consumers

organism that relies on other organisms for their energy and food

carnivores

kill and eat other animals

herbivors

obtain energy and nutrients by eating plants

scavengers

animals that consume the carcasses of animals that have already been killed

omnivores

animal that eat bothmeats and plants

decomposer

"feed" by chemically breaking down organic matter

detritivores

organism that feeds onplants and animals remains and other dead matter

food chain

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

phytoplankton

mixture of floating algae

food web

network of all the food chains in an ecosystem

zooplankton

small marine animals that feed on algae

trophic level

each step in a food chain or food web

ecological pyramids

shows the relative amount of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a given food chain or food web

biomass

total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level

biogeochemical cycle

elements pass from one organism to another and among parts of biosphere through closed loops

nutrients

chemical substance that an organism needs to sustain life

nitrogen fixation

the bacteria convert nitrogen gas into ammonia

denitrification

soil bacteria obtain energy by converting nitrates into nitrogen gas, which is released into the atmosphere

limiting nutrient

nutrient whose supply limits productivity

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