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the study of interactions among living and non living things along with their environment


a group of different species that live together in one species


all of the organisms as well as climate, soil, water, rocks and nonliving things


a major regional or global community of organisms characterized by the climate


living things (such as plants, animals, fungi and bacteria)


non-living things (such as climate, moisture, temperature, sunlight, and wind)


variety of living things within a ecosystem

Keystone Species

has an unusually large effect on its ecosystem


organisms that get their energy from nonliving resources, meaning they make their own food


also called producers


organism that gets its energy from living or once living things like plants and animals


also called consumers


the process by which ATP is synthesized by using chemicals as an energy souce than light

Food Chain

model that shows a sequence of feeding relationships


organisms that eat only plants


organisms that eat only animals


organisms that eat both plants and animals


orgamisms that eat detritus, or dead organic matter


detritivores that break down organic matter into simpler compounds


consumer that primarily eats one specific organism or feeds on a very small number of organisms


consumers that have a varying diet

Trophic Level

level of nourishment in a food chain

Food Web

model that shows the complex network of feeding relationships and the flow of energy within and sometimes beyond an ecosystem

Hydrologic Cycle

(also known as the water cycle) pathway of water from the atmosphere to Earth's surface below ground, and back

Biogeochemical Cycle

the movement of a particular chemical through the biological and geological (living and nonliving) parts of an ecosystem

Nitrogen Fixation

process by which certain types of bacteria convert gaesous nitrogen into nitrogen compounds


evaporation that occurs between plants leaves and the atmosphere

Carbon Sinks

area that stores carbon over long periods of time


bacteria change ammonium into nitrate


process in which nitrogen is returned to the soil as ammonium


total dry mass of all organisms in a given area

Energy Pyramid

diagram that compares energy used by producers, primary consumers and other trophic levels

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