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33 terms

Ecology

Vocabulary from Glencoe Biology sections 2.1, 2.2, and 4.1
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ecology
study of relationships between organisms and their environments
biosphere
part of earth that supports life
biotic factor
any living factor in an organism's environment
abiotic factor
any nonliving factor in an organism's environment
population
group of organisms of the same species
biological community
interacting populations of different species in the same area
ecosystem
biological community and all abiotic factors involved
biome
large group of ecosystems that share the same climate
habitat
area in which an organism lives
niche
the specific role of an organism in its environment
predation
the act of one organism feeding on another
sybiosis
close relationship between two or more species that live together (commensalism, mutualism, or parasitism)
mutualism
a symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit
commensalism
symbiotic relationship where one organism benefits and the other organism is not helped or harmed
parasitism
symbiotic relationship where one organism benefits while another is harmed
autotroph
an organism that produces its own food
heterotroph
an organism that cannot produce its own food and must take in energy by eating other living things
herbivore
organisms that prey only on autotrophs
carnivore
organism that preys on other heterotrophs
omnivore
organism that preys on heterotrophs and autotrophs
detritivore
organism that that decomposes organic material and returns the nutrients to the soil, air, and water
trophic level
each step in a food chain or food web
food chain
simple model that shows energy transfer along a single path
food web
complex model showing the many ways energy can be transferred within an ecosystem
biomass
total mass of living matter at a trophic level
population density
number of organisms per unit of living area
dispersion
how a population is arranged in its environment
density-dependent factor
environmental factor that depends on the number of members in an population (disease, competition, etc.)
density-independent factor
environmental factor that does not depend on the number of individuals in the population (weather, etc.)
population growth rate
how fast a specific population grows
emigration
movement of a population out of an area
immigration
movement of a population into an area
carrying capacity
largest number of individuals in a species that an environment can support