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organism that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce its own food from inorganic compounds; also called a producer


part of Earth in which life exists including land, water, and air or atmosphere




eats only meat


(ecology) a group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other


organism that relies on other organisms for its energy and food supply; also called a heterotroph


an organism that gets energy by breaking down the remains of dead organisms or animal wastes and consuming or absorbing the nutrients


organism that feeds on plant and animal remains and other dead matter


collection of all the organisms that live in a particular place, together with their nonliving environment

energy pyramid

a diagram that shows the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web

food chain

series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten

food web

a diagram that shows the feeding relationships between organisms in an ecosystem


any animal that feeds chiefly on grass and other plants


organism that obtains energy from the foods it consumes; also called a consumer


organism that obtains energy by eating both plants and animals


a group of organisms of the same species populating a given area


organism that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce food from inorganic compounds; also called an autotroph

quaternary consumer

a meat-eater that eats tertiary consumers


group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring

ten percent law

only about 10% of the energy available within 1 trophic level is transferred to the next trophic level.

trophic level

each step in a food chain or food web

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