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Ecology- 8th Grade

STUDY
PLAY
Organism
any living thing
Species
a group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
Population
group of individuals of the same species that live in the same area
Community
all living, or biotic, things in an area
Ecosystem
all biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) things in an area
Biome
group of ecosystems that have the same climate and dominant communities
Food chain
series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
Food web
network of complex interactions formed by the feeding relationships among the various organisms in an ecosystem
Producer
organism that can capture energy from sunlight and use it to produce food
Consumer
organism that relies on other organisms for its energy and food supply
Habitat
the area where an organism lives, including the biotic and abiotic factors that affect it
Niche
the way of life of a species; its role in an ecosystem
Symbiosis
relationship in which two species live closely together
Mutualism
symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit from the relationship
Parasitism
symbiotic relationship in which one organism lives in or on another organism and harms it
Predator
an organism that captures and feeds on another organism
Competition
the demand by two or more organisms for limited resources, such as nutrients, living space, or light
Limiting factor
causes the growth of a population to decrease or not grow any larger
Biotic factors
living things within an ecosystem
Carrying capacity
largest number of organisms that a given environment can support
Biodiversity
the variety of organisms in an ecosystem
Parasite
an organism that feeds on a living organism
Host
an organism on which a parasite lives
Prey
an organism that is killed and eaten by another organism
Abiotic
any nonliving part of an environment
Adaptation
a trait that helps an organism survive and reproduce
Trait
a characteristic that an organism can pass on to its offspring through its genes.
Decomposer
an organism that breaks down wastes and dead organisms
Drought
A long period with little or no rain.
Autotroph
an organism that makes its own food
Heterotroph
An organism that cannot make its own food and gets food by consuming other living things
Freshwater Ecosystem
Located in bodies of fresh water, such as lakes, ponds, and rivers
Marine Ecosystem
Located in bodies of salt water such as oceans and seas
Terrestrial Ecosysystem
Located on land
Mutualism
symbiosis that is beneficial to both organisms involved.
Commensalism
symbiosis between two organisms in which one benefits and the other neither benefit nor is harmed.
Parasitism
symbiosis that is beneficial to one organism and harms the other organism