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the branch of biology concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment

abiotic component

a nonliving component of an ecosystem, such as air, water, or temperature

biotic component

a living component of a biological community; an organism, or a factor pertaining to one or more organisms

organismal ecology

The branch of ecology concerned with the morphological, physiological, and behavioral ways in which individual organisms meet the challenges posed by their biotic and abiotic environments


a group of organisms of the same species populating a given area

population ecology

The study of populations in relation to the environment, including environmental influences on population density and distribution, age structure, and variations in population size.


(ecology) a group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other

community ecology

The study of how interactions between species affect community structure and organization


a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment

ecosystem ecology

The study of energy flow and the cycling of chemicals among the various biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem


the global ecosystem, the sum of all the planet's ecosystems


places where animals or plants naturally live and grow


adaptation to a new climate (a new temperature or altitude or environment)

population density

number of individuals per unit area

mark-recapture method

A sampling technique used to estimate wildlife populations.

dispersion pattern

the way individuals are spaced within their area

growth rate

the rate of increase in size per unit time

exponential growth model

a mathematical description of idealized, unregulated population growth

population-limiting factors

environmental factors that restrict population growth

logistic growth model

a description of idealized population growth that is slowed by limiting factors

carrying capacity

largest number of individuals of a population that a environment can support

intraspecific competition

in a community competition for resources among members of the same species

density-dependent factor

limiting factor that depends on population size

density-independent factor

limiting factor that affects all populations in similar ways, regardless of population size

age structure

proportion of people in different age groups in a population

life history

traits that affect an organism's schedule of reproduction and death

life table

a table of data summarizing mortality in a population.

surviorship curve

plot numbers in a cohort still alive at each age

opportunistic life history

• Take immediate advantage of favorable conditions
• Typically exhibit a Type III survivorship curve

equilibrial life history

generally results in a type 1 survivorship cure (most organisms fall in between this and opportunistic life history)

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