47 terms

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abiotic factors
nonliving things in the environmemt including oxygen, water, light temperature, soil and inorganic and organic nutrients.
autotrophs
plants and other organisms that make their own food from inorganic substances.
bacteria
unicellular microorganisms.
biological magnification
the accumulation of substances in larger and larger quantities in the bodies of organisms at each higher trophic level of the food chain
biomass
relative mass of the organism
biosphere
the portion of the earth in which living things can exist
biotic factors
all the living organisms in the environment and their effects on other living things
camouflage
markings or coloration disguise an animal so it is less visible to predators or prey
carnivore
an animal that only eats other animals
carrying capacity
the total amount of organisms an environment can support and still be able to support in the future
chlorophyll
green material in green plants that allows the plant to use sunlight to make its food; the major photosynthesis pigment of plants and algae
commensalism
a type of symbolic relationship in which one organism benefits from the association and the other is not affected
community
all the populations of different organisms within a given area; for example all the frogs, fish, algae, plants, and other living things around a pond make up a pond community
consumer
an organism that obtains food by eating other organisms
decomposer
an organism that obtains its food by breaking down dead organisms into simpler substances returning important minerals to the soil and water; the last link in the food chain
ecology
the branch of biology that deals with the interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment
ecosystem
a community and its physical environment; in an ecosystem, both the biotic and abiotic factors are included
eukaryotic
cells that contain a nucleus and other membrane bound organelles
food chain
a series of organisms that feed on each other
food web
many overlapping series of organisms that feed on each other
fungi
group of simple organisms that have no chlorophyll and must get food from other organisms
habitat
a particular part of the environment in which an organism lives; for example the habitat of a slime mold is the damp floor of a forest
herbivore
an animal that eats only plants
heterotrophs
the organisms that cannot make their own food and must obtain it ready-made
legumes
have nodules on their roots in which nitrogen fixing bacteria grow (peas, clover, alfalfa)
mimicry
resemblance of two or more unrelated organisms to each other, usually because at least one is toxic, distasteful, or dangerous
mutualism
a type of symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit from the association
natural selection
the differential survival and reproduction of organisms because of differences in characteristics that affect their ability to utilize environmental resources
niche
the role of a species in an ecosystem; an organism's habitat is part of its niche, but also included are how, when and where it obtains its nutrients, its reproductive behavior, and its effects on the environment and on other species within the ecosystem
omnivore
an animal that eats both plants and animals
organism
a living thing
parasitism
a symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits from the association and the other is harmed
predator
organism that captures and feeds on prey
prey
organism that is captured and eaten by another organism
producer
an organism that makes its own food
photosynthesis
process in which green plants use the sun's energy to combine carbon dioxide from the air with water to produce food
population
all individuals or a particular species within a certain area; for example, all the bullfrogs in a pond
primary consumer
an organism that feeds on autotrophs; an herbivore
prokaryotic
cells without membrane bound organelles
scavengers
animals that feed on dead animals they find
saprotroph
organisms that obtain nutrients by breaking down or decomposing the remains of dead plants and animals
secondary consumer
a carnivore that eats the herbivores
species
a group of organisms that are structurally similar and that can pass on these similarities to their offspring [Note: Their offspring also must be able to pass on these traits.]
steady state
when the average growth rate is zero
symbiosis
a relationship between two different species that live in close association with one another, which benefits at least one of the organisms
tertiary consumer
third level consumer
trophic (or energy) pyramid
representation of the flow of energy from one group of organisms to another
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