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52 terms

Chapter 3 Vocabulary

Ecosystems
STUDY
PLAY
Biome
a collection of ecosystems that share similar climactic conditions and so give rise to similar vegetation patterns
Solar radiation
Transmission of energy from the sun in the form of electromagnetic waves.
Insolation
the amount of solar radiation reaching a given area
Climate
made up of general weather patterns, seasons, extremes of weather (particularly temperature and precipitation)
Precipitation
the falling to earth of any form of water (rain or snow or hail or sleet or mist)
Latitude
distance from the equator
Altitude
height above sea level
Respiration
involves the breaking down of food, often in the form of glucose, to release energy which is used in living processes
Photosynthesis
the process by which plants make their own food from water and carbon dioxide
Productivity
the rate of growth or biomass increase in plants and animals
Gross Primary Productivity (GPP)
the total gain in energy or biomass per unit area per unit time by green plants
Net Primary Productivity (NPP)
the total gain in energy or biomass per unit area per unit time by green plants after allowing for losses to respiration
Gross Secondary Productivity (GSP)
the total gain in energy or biomass per unit area per unit time by consumers through absorption
Net Secondary Productivity (NSP)
the total gain in energy or biomass per unit area per unit time by consumers after allowing for losses to respiration
Autotroph
organism that creates its own food
Heterotroph
organism that cannot create its own food
Species
a particular type of organism
Population
a group of individuals of the same species living in the same area at the same area
Habitat
the environment where a species normally lives
Ecological niche
how an organism makes a living
Community
a group of populations living and interacting with each other in a common habitat
Ecosystem
a community of interdependent organisms and the physical environment which they inhabit
Biosphere
is that part of the Earth inhabited by organisms
Biotic factors
organisms or their products that directly or indirectly affect an organism in its environment
Abiotic factors
non-living, physical, and chemical components of an ecosystem
Limiting factors
factors that prevent a community, population, or organism from growing larger
Food chain
shows the flow of energy from one organism to the next
Food web
a complex network of interrelated food chains
Trophic level
the position that an organism or a group of organisms in a community occupies in a food chain
Producer
green plants, which manufacture their own food from simple inorganic substances
Consumer
feed on autotrophs or other heterotrophs to obtain energy
Herbivore
consumer that feeds on producers
Carnivore
consumer that feeds on other consumers
Top carnivore
the consumer at the highest level of the food chain
Decomposer
obtain their energy from dead organisms as their food source
Detritivore
consumers that derive their food from detritus or decomposing organic material
Pyramid of numbers
shows the number of organisms at each trophic level in a food chain
Pyramid of biomass
chart containing the biomass at each trophic level
Pyramid of productivity
contains the flow of energy through each trophic level
Bioaccumulation
when the concentration of a chemical may be high enough to cause disease or death
Biomagnification
when the top trophic levels take in so much of the chemical that it causes disease or death as there is less biomass for each successive trophic level
Intraspecific competition
competition between members of the same species
Interspecific competition
competition between members of different species
Predation
when one animal eats another animal
Predator
an animal that kills prey for food
Prey
the animal that is eaten by predators
Herbivory
an animal eating a green plant
Parasitism
a relationship between two species in which one species lives in or on another, gaining its food from it
Mutualism
a relation between two or more species in which both or all benefit and none suffer
Energy flow diagram
diagram that shows the movement of energy
Biogeochemical cycles
natural cycles that occur on Earth
Energy subsidy
the additional energy that we have to put into a system, more than that which comes from the sun's energy