Ecology and Classification

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Terms in this set (...)

autotroph
An organism that synthesises its organic molecules from simple organic substances. The producers.
heterotroph
An organism that obtains organic food molecules by eating other organisms or substances derived from them.
photosynthesis
Conversion of light energy from the sun into chemical energy in glucose.
abiotic
Any nonliving component of an environment. Eg; Air, temperature, dirt, rocks etc.
biotic
Describes living factors in the environment. Eg; Animals, plants, decomposers etc.
species
A group of organisms of the same type that can breed and produce fertile offspring.
population
A group of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area
community
A group of populations living and interacting with each other in an area.
ecosystem
A system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment
habitat
Place where an organism lives
niche
Full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions
biome
A large area or geographical region with distinct plant and animal groups adapted to that environment. Eg: The amazon rainforest.
consumer
An organism that eats other organisms
producer
An organism that can make its own food.
decomposer
An organism that breaks down wastes and dead organisms Eg; bacteria and Fungi
detritivore
A consumer that feeds on dead plants and animals. Eg; Earthworms
herbivore
A consumer that eats only plants.
carnivore
A consumer that eats only animals.
omnivore
An organism that eats both plants and animals.
scavenger
A carnivore that feeds on the bodies of dead organisms.
predator
An animal that hunts other animals for food
prey
An organism that is killed and eaten by another organism
predation
An interaction in which one organism captures and feeds on another organism
competition
A common demand by two or more organisms upon a limited supply of a resource; for example, food, water, light, space, mates, nesting sites. It may be intraspecific or interspecific.
mutualism
A relationship between two species in which both species benefit. Eg. nitrogen fixing bacteria in the roots of plants.
commensalism
A relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits and the other is unaffected. Eg: Poison arrow dart frog and bromeliad.
parasitism
A relationship between two organisms of different species where one benefits and the other is harmed. Eg; Tapeworm in gut of human.
energy transfer in ecosystems
90% of energy is lost at each transfer as heat, in organisms own daily activities and production of waste, that is then not available to the next consumer.
food web
A community of organisms where there are several interrelated food chains
energy pyramid
This is a triangular diagram that shows an ecosystem's loss of energy. It shows that less energy is available at the higher levels because only 10% is passed from one level to the next.
biomass pyramid
Diagram representing the dry organic matter in each trophic level of an ecosystem.
carbon cycle
Cycle that depends on photosynthesis and respiration
respiration
Conversion of energy stored in glucose molecules into energy the cells can use. Also releases carbon dioxide gas.
nitrogen cycle
Cycle that relies heavily on bacteria, in particular nitrogen fixing and denitrifying bacteria.
succession
Change in the composition of a species in a community over time.
biodiversity
A great variety of genes within a species, species,and ecosystems.
plantae
A kingdom of multicellular, autotrophic, eukaryotic cells which have a distinct nucleus. Eg: Ferns
animalia
A kingdom made up of multicellular organisms, that have heterotrophic, eukaryotic cells which have a distinct nucleus. Eg: humans
fungi
A kingdom where organisms may be unicellular or multicellular, have a distinct nucleus, and are heterotrophic. Eg: yeast or mushrooms
protista
A kingdom of almost all unicellular organisms which may be autotrophic or heterotrophic. Cells have a distinct nucleus. Eg: Algae
Linnaeus System of Classification
Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species
binomial naming system
Geneus and species- two name systems used to describe all living organisms
dichotomous key
step by step approach to identify an organism using a series of paired descriptions
archaebacteria
unicellular organisms found in extreme environments (no oxygen, highly acidic, high temps, etc.)
eubacteria
unicellular organisms, bacteria that people are most familiar with
cladogram
a diagram showing evolutionary relationships between organisms
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