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energy role statement

each of the organisms in an ecosystem fills the energy role of producer, consumer, or decomposer

energy roles

producers, consumers, decomposers


an organism that can make its own food


an organism that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms

types of consumers

herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores


break down wastes and dead organisms and return the raw materials to the ecosystem

the way producers, consumers and decomposers are shown

the movement of energy through an ecosystem can be shown in diagrams called food chains and food webs

food chain

a series of events in which one organism eats another and obtains energy

food webs

consists of the many overlapping food chains in an ecosystem

energy pyramid

shows the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web

energy levels in the energy pyramid

the most energy is available at the producer level of the pyramid. As you move up the pyramid, each level has less energy available than the level below

water cycle

continuous process by which water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere

the water cycle process

the process of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation


the process by which molecules of liquid water absorb energy and change to a gas


the process by which a gas changes to a liquid


heavy forms of water dropping back into earth

forms of precipitation

rain, show, sleet, or hail

how the carbon and oxygen cycle is similar

in ecosystems, the processes by which carbon and oxygen are recycled are linked. Producers, consumers, and decomposers play roles in recycling carbon and oxygen

nitrogen cycle

in the nitrogen cycle, nitrogen moves from the air to the soil, into living things, and back into the air

nitrogen fixation

the process of changing free nitrogen into a usable form of nitrogen


the study of where organisms live

how continental drift affects things

one factor that has affected how species are distributed is the motion of Earth's continents

continental drift

as plates move, the continents move with them


the movement of organisms from one place to another

how organisms can be dispersed

dispersal can be caused by wind, water, or living things, including humans

physical barriers, competition and climate

three factors that limit dispersal


a group of land ecosystems with similar climates and organisms

six major biomes

the six major biomes that most ecologists study are the rain forest, desert, grassland, deciduous forest, boreal forest, and tundra

types of rain forest biomes

temperate rain forests and tropical rain forests


an area that receives less than 25 centimeters of rain per year


the tall trees that form a leafy roof


below the canopy, a second layer of shorter trees and vines form an _________?


an area that is populated mostly by grasses and other non-woody plants


receives as much as 120 centimeters of rain

deciduous trees

trees that shed their leaves and grow new ones each year

coniferous trees

trees that produce their seeds in cones and have leaves shaped like needles


and extremely cold and dry biome


frozen soil

types of water ecosystems

your travels will take you to two types of aquatic, or water based ecosystems: freshwater ecosystems and marine (or saltwater) ecosystems

freshwater ecosystems

streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes

marine ecosystems

intertidal zone, neritic zone, and the open ocean


is found where the fresh water of a river meets the salt water of the ocean

intertidal zone

between the highest high-tide line and the lowest low-tide line

neritic zone

below the low-tide line is a regions of shallow water

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