45 terms

Ecology

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Ecology
The study of the relationships between organisms and their environment.
Ecosystem
Living organisms interacting with each other and their nonliving environment.
Biosphere
Includes all the air, land, and water where life exists.
Organism
A living thing.
Environment
The place an organism lives.
Biotic factor
A living part of the environment.
Abiotic factor
A non-living part of the environment.
Population
All the organism of one species living in a specific area.
Death rate
The number of deaths in a population in a certain amount of time.
Birth rate
The number of births in a population in a certain amount of time.
Limiting factors
The resources that organisms need to survive. When unavailable these factors limit a populations' ability to grow/increase.
Example: resources such as food, water or space become limited
Community
All populations of different organisms living together in a specific area.
Succession
A gradual change in a community over time.
Niche
is an organism's role (job) within its' community.
Producer
An organism that makes it's own food, usually using sunlight by a process called photosynthesis.
Autotroph
An organism that can make its own food, usually using sunlight by a process called photosynthesis.
Consumer
An organism that can not make it's own food and must eat another organism.
Heterotroph
an organism that needs to get its own food by eating another organism.
Decomposer
An organism that decays dead matter and recycles its' nutrients back into the soil.
Food Chain
A series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten.
Food Web
Consists of many overlapping food chains in an ecosystem.
Predator
An animal that hunts other animals for food
Symbiosis
A close relationship between two organisms.
Parasitism
A relationship between two organisms of different species where one benefits and the other is harmed
Host
An organism on which a parasite lives.
Parasite
An organism that feeds on a living host
Mimicry
Ability of an animal to look like another more harmful animal
Mutualism
A close relationship between two organisms in which they both benefit/help each other
Adaptation
Any feature an organism has to help it survive in its' environment.
Scavenger
An organism that the feeds on the bodies of dead animals.
Example: maggots, vultures and hyenas
Biome
A large region that has a specific type of climate and certain types of plant and animal communities
Climax Community
The final stage of succession. A stable community in an ecosystem that no longer goes through major ecological changes. It consists of dominant species of plants and animals.
Omnivore
An organism that eats meat and plants
Herbivore
An organism that eats mostly plants
Carnivore
An organism that eats mostly meat
Detritivore
An organism that eats the leftovers from decomposers
Primary Succession
ecological sucession begins in a lifeless area with no soil
Secondary Succession
life progresses where soil remains (clear-cut forest, fire, disturbed areas)
Keystone Species
A species that influences the survival of many other species in an ecosystem
Carrying Capacity
Largest number of individuals of a population that a environment can support
density dependent factors
limiting factor that depends on population size
density independent factors
limiting factor that affects all populations in similar ways, regardless of population size
Species
A group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring.
exponential growth
Population growth that is unhindered because of the abundance of resources for an ever-increasing population.
logistic growth
Population growth that is controlled by limited resources

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