The part of an ecosystem where a chemical, such as carbon or nitrogen, accumulates or is stockpiled outside of living organisms.
Any of the various chemical circuits that involve both biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem.
The intentional release of a natural enemy to attack a pest population.
The amount, or mass, of organic material in an ecosystem.
The use and reuse of chemical elements such as carbon within an ecosystem.
Evolutionary change in which adaptations in one species act as a selective force on a second species, inducing adaptations that in turn act as a selective force on the first species; mutual influence on the evolution of two different interacting species.
An assemblage of all the organisms living together and potentially interacting in a particular area.
Prokaryotes and fungi that secrete enzymes that digest nutrients from organic material and convert them into inorganic forms.
The breakdown of organic materials into inorganic ones.
An organism that consumes organic wastes and dead organisms.
Dead organic matter.
In ecology, a force that changes a biological community and usually removes organisms from it.
The role of a species in its community; the sum total of a species use of the biotic and abiotic resources of its environment.
The process of biological community change resulting from disturbance; transition in the species composition of a biological community, often following a flood, fire, or volcanic eruption. See also primary succession; secondary succession.
All the organisms in a given area, along with the nonliving (abiotic) factors with which they interact; a biological community and its physical environment.
The passage of energy through the components of an ecosystem.
A sequence of food transfers from producers through one to four levels of consumers in an ecosystem.
A network of interconnecting food chains.
Consumption of plant parts or algae by an animal.
Competition between individuals or populations of two or more species requiring a limited resource.
Relationships among individuals of different species in a community.
Non-native species that spread beyond the original point of introduction and cause environmental or economic damage.
A species that is not usually abundant in a community yet exerts strong control on community structure by the nature of its ecological role or niche.
An interspecific relationship in which both partners benefit.
The conversion of atmospheric nitrogen (N2) into nitrogen compounds (NH4+, NO3-) that plants can absorb and use
An interaction between species in which one species, the predator, eats the other, the prey.
In the trophic structure of an ecosystem, an organism that eats plants or algae.
The amount of solar energy converted to chemical energy (in organic compounds) by autotrophs in an ecosystem during a given time period.
A type of ecological succession in which a biological community arises in an area without soil. See also secondary succession.
An organism that makes organic food molecules from CO2, H2O, and other inorganic raw materials: a plant, alga, or autotrophic bacterium.
An organism that eats tertiary consumers.
An organism that eats primary consumers.
A type of ecological succession that occurs where a disturbance has destroyed an existing biological community but left the soil intact. See also primary succession.
The variety of species that make up a community; includes both species richness (the total number of different species) and the relative abundance of the different species in the community.
sustainable resource development
Management of a natural resource so as not to damage the resource.
An organism that eats secondary consumers.