nonliving, physical features of the environment, including air, water, sunlight, soil, temperature, and climate
cellular respiration that uses oxygen, sequentially releasing energy and storing it in ATP
the process by which cells obtain energy from an energy source without using oxygen
the mass of air surrounding the Earth
organisms that make their own food
process in which elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to another
the total mass of living matter in a given unit area
the regions of the surface and atmosphere of the Earth (or other planet) where living organisms exist
any living or previously living component of an environment
the organic circulation of carbon from the atmosphere into organisms and back again
Organisms that eat other animals for energy
A few producers, mostly specialized bacteria, can convert simple inorganic compounds from their environment into more complex nutrient compounds without using sunlight, through a process called chemosynthesis.
(ecology) a group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other
an organism that obtains energy and nutrients by feeding on other organisms or their remains.
organisms that break down wastes and dead organisms and return raw materials to the environment
organisms that consume organic litter debris and dung.
the branch of biology concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment
a specific biological community and its physical environment interacting in an exchange of matter and energy.
a process in which an agent causes an organic substance to break down into simpler substances
a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
natural situation in which heat is retained in Earth's atmosphere by carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and other gases
gross primary productivity
the rate at which producers in an ecosystem capture energy
an organism that eats only plants.
organisms that cannot make their own food
The cycle through which water in the hydrosphere moves; includes such processes as evaporation, precipitation, and surface and groundwater runoff
the portion of earth that is water
natural greenhouse effect
Heat buildup in the troposphere because of the presence of certain gases, called greenhouse gases. Without this effect, the earth would be nearly as cold as Mars, and life as we know it could not exist. Compare global warming.
net primary productivity
the rate at which biomass accumulates in an ecosystem
other organisms other than plants play a large role in the N cycle (unlike the H20 cycle)
- both cycles can be limited by plant growth and ecosystem productivity
-cycles are functionally linked--> N comes into biosphere from the atmosphere (78% N2) through FIXATION
processes that that move nutrients back and forth between the biotic and abiotic environment
an organism that eats both plants and animals.
Any living thing
process by which plants and some other organisms use light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and high-energy carbohydrates such as sugars and starches
The movement of phosphorus atoms from rocks through the biosphere and hydrosphere and back to rocks.
a group of organisms of the same species populating a given area
The herbivores in an ecosystem; organisms that feed on primary producers
organisms that make their own food
pyramid of energy flow
Diagram representing the flow of energy through each trophic level in a food chain or food web. With each energy transfer, only a small part (typically 10%) of the usable energy entering one trophic level is transferred to the organisms at the next trophic level. Compare pyramid of biomass, pyramid of numbers.
carnivores that eat herbivores
the layer of the atmosphere that is above the troposphere and in which temperature increases as altitude increases
Cyclic movement of sulfur in different chemical forms from the environment to organisms and then back to the environment.
Animals that feed on animal-eating animals. They feed at high trophic levels in food chains and webs. Examples are hawks, lions, bass, and sharks. Compare detritivore, primary consumer, secondary consumer.
step in the movement of energy through an ecosystem; an organism's feeding status in an ecosystem.
the layer of the atmosphere that touches the surfaces of the Earth, contains most of the water vapor