Ecology

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Terms in this set (...)

Food Chain
The series of steps by which energy is obtained, used, and transformed by organisms
Abiotic
non-living factors of an ecosystem
Biotic
living factors of an ecosystem
Producer
organisms that use energy the sun to obtain and store energy for themselves
Consumer
organisms that cannot make their own food; depend on other organisms for food
Carnivore
animals that only consume other animals for energy
Herbivore
animals that only consume plants
Omnivore
animals that consume both plants and animals
Decomposer
organisms that use other dead or decaying organisms as a source of energy; recycle matter for producers to use; critical in thecarbon cycle
Scavenger
organisms that obtain energy from dead organisms or from waste products of living organisms
Population
group of the same species of organisms that share the same environment
Limiting Factor
limits how many members of a population can be supported (nutrients, energy, disease, and living space)
community
All populations that live and interact with each other in a particular place.
ecosystem
consists of living and non-living elements in a given area
niche
the role an organism or species plays in a community
habitat
a specific, physical location that provides all that is needed for a species to survive
Primary Consumer
An organism that feeds directly on producers
Producer
An organism that can make its own food.
Secondary Consumer
An organism that eats primary consumers
Tertiary Consumer
An organism that eats secondary consumers
limiting factor
An environmental factor that prevents a population from increasing
Density Independent factor
limiting factor that affects all populations in similar ways, regardless of population size
density dependent factors
limiting factor that depends on population size
Weather, non contagious diseases, human activities like deforestation or pollution are example of what type of limiting factor?
Examples of density Independent factors
Contagious diseases, predators, and resource availability are all examples of what type of limiting factors?
Examples of density dependent factors
Competition
the struggle between organisms to survive in a habitat with limited resources
Density
the number of individuals per unit area
Dispersion
the pattern of spacing among individuals within the boundaries of the population
Clumped dispersion pattern
resources are often unequally distributed and individuals are grouped in patches
Random dispersion pattern
a pattern in which the individuals of a population are spaced in an unpredictable way
Uniform dispersion pattern
a pattern in which the individuals of a population are evenly distributed over an area

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