any nonliving component of an environment
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 use energy from sunlight or from chemical bonds in inorganic substances to make organic compounds
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
of or relating to living organisms
the circulation and reutilization of carbon atoms especially via the process of photosynthesis and respiration.
organisms that eat only organisms other than plants
process by which some organisms, such as certain bacteria, use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates
(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
feed on plant and animal remains and other dead matter
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 organic matter is assimilated by plants and other producers during a period of time over a certain area
an organism that eats only plants.
consumers, they rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply
The cycle through which water in the hydrosphere moves; includes such processes as evaporation, precipitation, and surface and groundwater runoff
the watery areas of the earth, including oceans, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water
natural greenhouse effect
The absorption of thermal energy by the atmosphere. It keeps the earth's temperature within a certain range.
net primary productivity
Rate at which primary producers capture and store energy in tissues
the transfer of nitrogen from the atmosphere to the soil, to living organisms, and back to the atmosphere
processes that that move nutrients back and forth between the biotic and abiotic environment
an organism that eats both plants and animals.
living things such as plants and animals, including people
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
this category includes organisms that consume producers (plants and algae).
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.
an organism that eats primary consumers
the layer of the atmosphere that contains the ozone layer; temperature increases as you go up
The chemical and physical reactions by which sulfur moves into or out of storage and through 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 closest to Earth, where almost all weather occurs; the thinnest layer