25 terms

Ecology Unit

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Habitat
The place in which an organism lives. It should provide food, shelter/space and water.
Environment
All the living and nonliving things with which an organism may interact.
Population
A group of organisms of the same species populating a given area.
Ecology
The study of the interactions between organisms and their living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) environment.
Community
The living part of an ecosystem.
Ecosystem
All the living and nonliving things that interact in an area. If one part of this is damaged or disappears, it has an impact on everything else.
Producers
Organisms that use energy from sunlight to make their own food (photosynthesis). aka- Autotrophs. Ex: plants and some bacteria and algae
Food Chain
A series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten.
Food Web
The pattern of overlapping food chains in an ecosystem.
Consumers
Organisms that eat other organisms for food and energy. They can't make their own food ( A.K.A. Heterotrophs).
Decomposers
Organisms that break down the dead remains of other organisms into simple materials like carbon dioxide and water. Examples: many bacteria and fungi
Niche
The ecological occupation or "job" of a plant or animal in nature.
Parasitism
A symbiotic relationship in which one organism lives in or on another organism (the host) and harms or kills it. :) :(
Competition
The struggle to survive in nature due to limited food, water, shelter/space or light.
Mutualism
A symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit from the relationship. :) :)
Predation
The control of a population due to predators eating prey.
Symbiosis
A close relationship between two species that benefits at least one of the species.
Commensalism
A symbiotic relationship in which one member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed. :) :|
Predators
Animals that hunt and eat other animals.
Prey
An animal hunted or caught for food by a predator.
Biotic
Living factors in the environment.
Abiotic
Non living factors in the environment.
Herbivore
A consumer that eats only plants (prairie dogs, bison) aka- primary consumers
Omnivore
A consumer that eats both plants and animals (bears, raccoons, humans)
Limiting Factor
A resource that keeps a population from growing forever. Populations cannot grow without stopping because the environment only has a certain amount of food, water, space and other resources.