43 terms

Miller & Levine Biology Chapter 3 The Biosphere


Terms in this set (...)

ecology (3.1-63)
scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment
biosphere (3.1-63)
Consists of all life on Earth and all parts of the Earth in which life exists, including land, water, and the atmosphere.
species (3.1-63)
a group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
population (3.1-64)
group of individuals of the same species that live in the same area
ecosystem (3.1-64)
all the organisms that live in a place, together with their nonliving environment
community (3.1-64)
assemblage of different populations that live together in a defined area
biomes (3.1-64)
group of ecosystems with similar climates and typical organisms
biotic factor (3.1*)
any living part of the environment with which an organism might interact
abiotic factor (3.1*)
physical, or nonliving, factor that shapes an ecosystem
autotroph (3.2-67)
organism that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce its own food from inorganic compounds
producer (3.2-67)
organisms that make their own food; also known as autotrophs. The most common example is a plant.
primary producer (3.2*)
first producer of energy-rich compounds that are later used by other organisms (example: plants)
photosynthesis (3.2-68)
process of capturing light energy and using it to power chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy-rich carbohydrates such as glucose
chemosynthesis (3.2-68)
process in which chemical energy is used to produce carbohydrates
heterotroph (3.2-68)
organism that obtains food by consuming (eating) other organisms
consumer (3.2-68)
organism that relies on other organisms for its energy and food supply. Animals, fungi, and protists.
herbivore (3.2-69)
organism that obtains energy by eating only plants
carnivore (3.2-69)
organism that obtains energy by eating animals
scavenger (3.2*)
animal that consumes the carcasses of other animals
omnivore (3.2-69)
organism that obtains energy by eating both plants and animals
detritivore (3.2-69)
organism that feeds on small pieces of dead plants and animals (detrius), usually in the soil or leaf litter
decomposer (3.2-69)
organism that breaks down and obtains energy from dead organic matter; examples are bacteria and fungi
Food Chain (3.2-69)
a series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
phytoplankton (3.2*)
..., population of algae and other small, photosynthetic organisms found near the surface of the ocean and forming part of plankton
Food Web (3.2-70)
a community of organisms where there are several interrelated food chains
Zooplankton (3.2*)
microscopic animals that swim or drift near the surface of aquatic environments; consumes phytoplankton
trophic level (3.2-70)
Each step in a food chain or food web
Ecological Pyramid (3.2-72)
diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter within each trophic level in a food chain or food web
Biomass (3.2-72)
total amount of living material within a given trophic level
biogeochemical cycle (3.3-74)
The exchange of matter through the biosphere; Any of the various chemical cycles, which involve both biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems.
Evaporation (3.3-75)
process by which water changes from a liquid into an atmospheric gas
Transpiration (3.3-75)
loss of water from a plant through its leaves
nutrient (3.3-76)
A substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life.
nitrogen fixation (3.3-78)
Process by which certain bacteria convert nitrogen gas to ammonia
denitrification (3.3-78)
Bacteria convert ammonia back into N
Primary Productivity (3.3-80)
rate at which organic matter is created by producers in an ecosystem
limiting nutrient (3.3-80)
Single essential nutrient that limits productivity in an ecosystem.
Algal Bloom (3.3-80)
an immediate increase in the amount of algae and other producers that results from a large input of a limiting nutrient
water cycle (3.3*)
The continual movement of water among Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land surface through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation
niche (3.3*)
The "role" of an organism in its environment.
frugivore (3.3*)
An animal that eats mostly fruit
saprophyte (3.3*)
An organism that feeds on dead matter.
eutrophication (3.3*)
excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other body of water, frequently due to runoff from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen.

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