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56 terms

Ecology Unit

STUDY
PLAY
abiotic
nonliving, physical features of the environment, including air, water, sunlight, soil, temperature, and climate
biotic
any living or previously living component of an environment
biome
group of ecosystems that have the same climate and dominant communities
autotroph
organism that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce its own food from inorganic compounds; also called a producer
biosphere
portion of earth that supports life
adaptation
a trait that helps an organism survive and reproduce
biomass
the total mass of living matter in a given unit area
carnivore
Meat eater
climax community
a stable, mature community that undergoes little or no change in species over time
competition
the struggle between organisms to survive in a habitat with limited resources
community
(ecology) a group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other
commensalism
a symbiotic relationship in which one member is benefited and the second is neither harmed nor benefited
decomposers
Organisms that break down the dead remains of other organisms
ecosystem
a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment, a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment
ecological succession
The interactions and relationships between organisms and their environment., The series of predictable changes that occurs in a community over time
ecology
scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment
energy pyramid
way of showing how energy moves through a food chain
food chain
pathway of food transfer from one trophic level to another
food web
links all the food chains in an ecosystem together
habitat
Place where an Organism lives and has the component necessary for its survival (food, water, shelter, space)
heterotroph
an organism that cannot make its own food
herbivore
eats only plants
homeostasis
ability of a living thing to keep conditions inside its body constant
limiting factors
anything that restricts the number of individuals in a population
matter
that which has mass and occupies space
niche
organism's role, or job, in its habitat
nitrogen cycle
the circulation and reutilization of nitrogen in both inorganic and organic phases
nutrient
chemical that an organism needs to live
omnivore
an animal that eats both plants and animals
organization
orderly structure of cells in an organism
parasitism
a close relationship; one species benefits, the other is harmed
population
a group of organisms of the same species populating a given area
primary succession
the colonization of new sites like these by communities of organisms
predation
the act of killing and eating another organism
reproduction
the process of generating offspring
response
Reaction to a change
stimulus
a signal to which an organism responds
species
group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
symbiosis
relationship in which two species live closely together, the relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent
tolerance
organism's capacity to grow or thrive when subjected to an unfavorable environmental factor
trophic level
step in a food chain or food web
cycle
recur in repeating sequences
carbon-oxygen cycle
a biogeochemical cycle which exchanges CO2, O2, and glucose through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration.
water cycle
the continuous movement of water between Earth's surface and the air, changing from liquid to gas to liquid (condensation, precipitation, evaporation
mutualism
a relationship between two species in which both species benefit
biomass
the total mass of living matter in a given unit area
predator
any animal that lives by preying on other animals
prey
animal hunted or caught for food
keystone species
a species that influences the survival of many other species in an ecosystem
biological magnification
process by which pollutants become more concentrated in successive trophic levels of a food web
eutrophication
rapid growth of algae in bodies of water, due to high levels of nitrogen and often phosphate
introduced species
(alien species, non-native species), species moved by humans to new geographic areas, either intentionally or accidentally
secondary succession
the series of changes that occur after a disturbance of an existing ecosystem
endemic
native to or confined to a certain region
sustainable use
strives to enable people to use natural resources in ways that will benefit them and maintain the ecosystem
bioremediation
the use of living organisms to detoxify and restore polluted and degraded ecosystems