Ecology Unit Terms
Terms in this set (45)
The study of the interactions of organisms with one another and with their environments.
The thin layer of air, land, and water on or near Earth's surface in which all living things on Earth exist.
The largest division of the biosphere which includes large regions with similar biotic components and similar abiotic components.
Living parts of an environment (ex. fungi, animals)
Non-living parts of an environment (ex. sun, temperature)
A part of a biome in which biotic and abiotic components interact.
A group of closely related organisms that can reproduce with one another.
All the members of a particular species within an ecosystem.
All the populations of the different species that interact in a specific area or ecosystem.
An organism that makes its own food through photosynthesis.
An organism that acquires energy by feeding on other organisms.
An organism that feeds on producers.
An organism that eats primary consumers.
An organism that eats secondary consumers.
An organism that feeds on and breaks down the remains of dead organisms and recycles those nutrients back into the environment; also known as detrivores.
A step in a food chain.
An organism that obtains energy by eating only plants.
An organism that obtains energy by eating only animals.
An organism that obtains energy by eating both plants and animals.
The amount of energy transferred from one trophic level to another.
Pyramid of Numbers
A food pyramid that illustrates the total number of organisms at each level.
Pyramid of Biomass
A pyramid that illustrates the total mass of all the organisms in a trophic level.
Pyramid of Energy
A pyramid that shows the total amount of energy available at each trophic level.
Process in which an existing community is gradually replaced by another community.
Succession that takes place in an area that has no existing soil (ex. after glacier recedes, volcanic explosion)
Succession that takes place in an area that already has soil (ex. after a wildfire or hurricane)
Leaving an environment.
Entering an environment.
Growth typically experienced by populations. Five stages: 1) slow initial growth; 2) rapid exponential growth; 3) population growth begins to slow; 4) population slows even more still; 5) Population reaches steady state in which growth rate is zero.
Final stage in logistic growth in which birth rate = death rate.
Size of a population during the steady state region of a logistic growth curve. It represents the optimum number of organisms of a particular species that can be supported by a particular environment.
Density-dependent limiting factors
Limiting factors that operate more strongly on large populations than on small ones (ex. competition, predation, parasitism, crowding, stress).
Density-independent limiting factors
Limiting factors that control population regardless of
how large the population is at the time (ex. natural disasters).
Process that occurs at all trophic levels in which glucose and oxygen are broken down to produce carbon dioxide and water.
Process that occurs only in autotrophs in which carbon dioxide and water are broken down to produce glucose and oxygen in the presence of sunlight.
An organism's role in an ecosystem - includes things like diet, reproductive method, role in a food web, etc.
Species with narrow niches (ex. anteater). Environments with lots of this type have high diversity.
Species with broad niches (ex. common crow). Environments with lots of this type have low diversity.
Competitive Exclusion Principle/Gause's Law
Two species cannot coexist if they are in the same niche.
Relationship between two different species in which at least one species benefits.
Type of symbiotic relationship in which one species benefits and the other is harmed (ex. parasite and host, cuckoo and warbler)
Type of symbiotic relationship in which one species benefits and the other is unaffected (ex. remora and shark)
Type of symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit (ex. bacteria in our digestive tract, flowers and pollinators)