35 terms

Ecology

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ecology
the study of the interactions between organisms and their environment
biosphere
the portion of the earth, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere; in which life exists
species
group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
population
all the organisms of the same species in a defined area
community
all the populations in a designated area
ecosystem
the collection of all the biotic factors in an area together with the abiotic factors in their environment
biome
a large geographic area consisting of a group of ecosystems having the same climate and dominant climax community
producer
autotrophic organisms that can convert sun energy or chemical energy into nutrient molecules (food, glucose) from inorganic compounds
consumer
heterotrophic organisms that rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply
herbivore
organisms that obtain energy by eating only plants
omnivore
organisms that obtain energy by eating both plants and animals
carnivore
organisms that obtain energy by eating only animals (meat eaters)
decomposer
organisms that break down and obtain energy from dead organic matter (bacteria and fungi)
trophic level
a step in a food chain or food web
ecological pyramid
a diagram that shows the relative amount of energy, mass, or numbers in each trophic level of a food chain or web.
biotic factors
the living or biological influences on organisms in an ecosystem
abiotic factors
the nonliving or physical factors that affect an ecosystem
latitude
the distance north or south of the equator
altitude
the distance (elevation)above sea level
niche
the role an organism plays in its ecosystem, including predator, prey, producer, consumer, migratory, mating and habitat
habitat
place an organism lives including the abiotic and biotic factors that affect it
symbiosis
situation in which two different species live in a close relationship
mutualism
a symbiotic relationship in which both members benefit ++
commensalisms
a symbiotic relationship in which one member benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed +, o
parasitism
a symbiotic relationship in which one member benefits and the other is harmed +, -
ecological succession
the gradual change of one community to another until a climax community becomes established
pioneer species
the first species to occupy an area
climax community
the dominant stable population that remains in place until disturbed by environmental catastrophe
deciduous
term that refers to any tree that sheds its leaves seasonally
coniferous
term that refers to cone bearing trees, especially, pines, firs, and evergreens
taiga
biome with cold winters and summers warm enough for the ground to thaw, dominated by coniferous forests
permafrost
permanently froze subsoil found in the tundra
tundra
biome characterized by permafrost in which only a few centimeters of topsoil thaw in the summer thus limiting the size of plant life to low ground hugging types.
density dependent limiting factors
competition, disease, food availability, space
density independent limiting factors
weather, human impact

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