12 terms

GCSE Background to ecosystems

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Consumer
Creature that eats herbivores and/or plant matter.
Decomposer
An organism such as a bacterium or fungus, that breaks down dead tissue, which is then recycled to the environment.
Food chain
The connections between different organisms (plants and animals) that rely upon one another as their source of food.
Food web
A complex hierarchy of plants and animals relying on each other for food.
Nutrient cycling
A set of processes whereby organisms extract minerals necessary for growth from soil or water, before passing them on through the food chain − and ultimately back to the soil and water.
Producer
An organism or plant that is able to absorb energy from the sun through photosynthesis.
Ecosystem
A natural system that comprises a community of plants and animals that interact with each other and their physical environment.
Abiotic Factors
non-living elements (soils, rocks, water, sunlight etc.) of an ecosystem
Biotic Factors
the living elements (plants, animals, bacteria) of an ecosystem
Photosynthesis
A process used by plants to capture light and energy and use it to power chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy-rich carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches.
Trophic pyramid
A representation of the distribution of biomass, numbers, or energy among trophic levels.
Freshwater Pond
An example of a small scale ecosystem