29 terms

Ecology

STUDY
PLAY

Terms in this set (...)

producer
organism that can make its own food by using energy from its surroundings
primary consumer
organism that eats organic matter, producers, or the bottom level of the energy pyramid
secondary consumer
an organism that eats primary consumers; second level of the energy pyramid
tertiary consumer
an organism that eats secondary consumers as well as organic material; the top level of the energy pyramid
decomposer
an organism that gets energy from breaking down the remains of dead organisms or animal wastes and consuming or absorbing the nutrients
ecology
study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their environment
carrying capacity
the largest population that an environment can support at any given time
community
all of the populations of species that live in the same habitat and interact with each other ex. The cats & dogs in your neighborhood
population
a group of organisms of the same species that live in a specific geographical area ex. The dogs in your neighborhood.
niche
an organism's particular role in an ecosystem, or what it does/needs to survive
habitat
The place where an organism lives, which provides the things the organisms needs like food, shelter and climate.
biosphere
the part of Earth where life exists
biomes
A group of ecosystems with similar climates and organisms.
symbiosis
a relationship in which two different organisms live in close association with each other.
commensalism
a symbiotic relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits and the other is unaffected
parasitism
a symbiotic relationship between two species in which one species, the parasite, benefits from the other species, the host, which is harmed (not predator prey).
mutualism
a symbiotic relationship between two species in which both species benefit.
competition
The struggle between organisms for the limited resources in a habitat
food chain
the pathway of energy transfer through various stages as a result of the feeding patterns of a series of organisms or a series of events in which one organism eats another.
food web
a diagram of overlapping food chains that show the feeding relationships between organisms in an ecosystem.
energy pyramid
a triangular diagram that shows an ecosystem's loss of energy from one feeding level to another in a food web.
limiting factor
Anything that limits the population size in an environment.
Example of mutualism
Good for both tickbird and the rhino
Tickbird and rhino: the tickbird gets food and the rhino stays clean
Example of parasitism
Tick = parasite
dog = host
Tick and a dog: the tick gets food and the dog gets an allergic reaction to the tick
Example of commensalism
Good for clownfish and okay for sea anemone
Clownfish and sea anenome: the clownfish is protected and has a home. The sea anemone gets nothing in return.
Example of parasitism
fungus = parasite
leaf = host
Fungal leaf spots: the fungus decomposes the leaf and the leaf loses its ability to photosynthesize as its cells are destroyed
Example of mutualism
Good for both lichen and algae
Lichen: the fungus provides a wet, moist environment and the algae makes food for itself and the fungus
Example of mutualism
Good for honey badger and honey guide bird
Honey badger and honey guide bird: the honey guide bird directs the honey badger to the honey. The honey badger is able to get the honey down, eat it and then the honey guide bird also eats the honey after the badger is done.
Example of commensalism
Good for whale and okay for barnacle
Barnacle/whale: Barnacles create home sites on the whale by attaching themselves to the whales. This neither harms or benefits the whale.

Flickr Creative Commons Images

Some images used in this set are licensed under the Creative Commons through Flickr.com.
Click to see the original works with their full license.