Science vocabulary

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Organism
A word used to describe any living thing
Habitat
An environment that provides the things an organism needs to live, grow and reproduce
Biotic factors
The living parts of a habitat
Abiotic factors
The non living parts of a habitat (e.g. water sunlight oxygen temperature soil)
Photosynthesis
The process that allows plants to make their own food using the energy of the sun. This process happens in the chloroplast of plant cells. This is an important process in the oxygen carbon cycles on Earth.
cellular respiration
The process that allows plants and animals to turn energy from food molecules, glucose, into an energy molecule, ATP, that can be used by cells. This process happens in the mitochondria of both plant and animal cells. This is an important process in the oxygen carbon cycles on Earth.
Ecology
The study of how living things interact with each other and their environment
Species
A group of organisms that are physically similar and can mate with each other to produce offspring that can also mate and reproduce.
Population
All the members of one species in a particular area
Community
All the different populations that live together in an area at a particular time
Ecosystem
The community of organisms that live in a particular area, along with their nonliving environment.
Consumer
An organism that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms
Producer
An organism that can make its own food. They are the source of all the food in an ecosystem.
Decomposer
Organisms that break down waste and dead organisms and return the raw materials to the ecosystem. (E.g. fungi and bacteria)
carrying capacity
The largest population that an area can support
limiting factor
An environmental factor that prevents a population from increasing. (E.g food water space weather conditions)
competition
the struggle between organisms to survive in a habitat with limited resources
Simbiosis
A relationship between two species in which at least on species benefits.
Commensalism
A relationship between two species in which one benefits and the other is unaffected.
parasite
when one organism ,parasites, is living on or inside another organism and harming the host organism.
Predation
An interaction between two species in which both species benefit.
Succession
A series of predictable changes that occur in an area where no soil or organisms exist. (E.g. after a volcanic eruption.)
primary succession
a series of changes that occur in an area where no soil or organisms exist
secondary succession
A series of predictable changes that occur in an area
Where he ecosystem has been disturbed ,but where soil and organisms still exist. (After a fire)
pioneer species
the first species to populate an area during primary succession. They help break down rock and turn it into soil. (Lichens and mosses)
Herbivore
A consumer that eats only plants. (Cows deer catapilers)
Carnivore
A consumer that eats only animals. (Lion spiders)
Scavenger
A carnivore that feeds on the bodies of dead organisms (vultures)
Omnivore
Consumer organism that eats both plants and animals. (e.g. crows, bears)
Immigration
When an individual is moving into a population.
Emigration
When an individual is leaving or exiting a population.
keystone species
A species that influences the survival of many other species in an ecosystem (sea otter in the kelp forests of the coastal Pacific Ocean.)
Niche
The way a species makes its living or the particular role of a species in an ecosystem.
Niche Diversity
When a habitat supports many different niches for the organisms that live there. This enables more species to live in the habitat and leads to great biodiversity. (Coral reefs)
Biodiversity
The number of different species in an area.
threatend species
a species that could become endangered in the near future
endangered species
A species in danger of becoming extinct in the near future.
Extinction
The disappearance of all members of a species from Earth.
Adaptation
A behavior or physical characteristic that allows an organism to live successfully in its environment
natural selection
A process by which characteristics that make an individual better suited to its environment become more common in a species.
gene pool diversity
Organisms in a healthy population have a diversity of traits. The organisms in one species share many genes, but each organism also had some genes that differ from those individuals. These differences in DNA are caused by mutations. These individual differences make up a total gene "pool" of that species. A diverse gene pool makes a species better suited to handle environmental pressures.
food chain
a series of events in which one organism eats another and obtains energy
Food web
Made of many overlapping food chains in an ecosystem. This is a more realistic way to show energy flow through a system.
Biological energy pyramid
Represents the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web. The most energy is available at the producer level and as II move up the pyramid less and less energy is available.
Tropic levels of a food chain
The levels of producers and consumers in a food chain.