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process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully
generation-to-generation change in the proportion of different inherited genes in a population that account for all of the changes that have transformed life over an immense time
survival of the fittest
a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment
the process in which natural habitat is rendered functionally unable to support the species present; leading cause of species decline
a physical feature of an organism's body having a specific function that contributes to the survival of the organism
an adaptation that allows an animal to protect itself by looking like another kind of animal or like a plant
an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus, an automatic response that occurs very rapidly and without conscious control (playing dead)
a complex behavior that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned (migration)
symbiotic relationship in which one organism lives in or on another organism (the host) and consequently harms it
symbiotic relationship in which one member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed
series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
Steps on a food/biomass pyramid that are defined by organisms within a community that are the same distance from the primary producers in a food web
diagram that shows the energy available to each trophic level in an ecosystem; 10% is passed on to upper levels, the rest is lost as heat
The gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem brought about by the progressive replacement of one community by another until a stable climax is established
an ecological succession that begins in a an area where no biotic community previously existed
The last or final stage of succession in a community which is in equilibrium with its environment
Sequence of community changes that take place after a community is disrupted by natural disasters or human actions
The concept of using the earth's resources in such they provide for people's needs in the present without diminishing ability to provide for future generations
species divide the resource they use in common by specializing in different ways
primary producers use energy stored in the bonds of hydrogen sulfide to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars (energy from chemicals on ocean floor)
cycle the nutrients of nonliving organic matter, including leaf litter, waste products, and the dead bodies of other community members
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