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33 terms

Chapter 3-The Biosphere

Chapter 3 in biology vocab
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biosphere
all life on earth and all parts of Earth in which life exists
ecology
scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their physical enviornment
species
group of organism that can breed and produce fertile offspring
population
group of individuals that belong in the same species and live in the same area
community
assemblage of different populations that live together in a defined area
ecosystem
all organism that live in a place together with their physical enviornment
biome
group of ecosystem that share similar climates and typical organisms
biotic factor
any living part of the enviornment with which an organism might interact
abiotic factor
nonliving part of the enviornment
autotrophs
organism that is able to capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce food from inorganic compounds
primary producers
first producers of energy-rich compounds that are used by other organisms
photosynthesis
process in which autotrophs capture light energy and use it to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugars
chemosynthesis
process in which autotroughs use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates
heterotrophs
organism that relies on other organisms for their energy and food
consumers
organism that relies on other organisms for their energy and food
carnivores
kill and eat other animals
herbivors
obtain energy and nutrients by eating plants
scavengers
animals that consume the carcasses of animals that have already been killed
omnivores
animal that eat bothmeats and plants
decomposer
"feed" by chemically breaking down organic matter
detritivores
organism that feeds onplants and animals remains and other dead matter
food chain
series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
phytoplankton
mixture of floating algae
food web
network of all the food chains in an ecosystem
zooplankton
small marine animals that feed on algae
trophic level
each step in a food chain or food web
ecological pyramids
shows the relative amount of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a given food chain or food web
biomass
total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level
biogeochemical cycle
elements pass from one organism to another and among parts of biosphere through closed loops
nutrients
chemical substance that an organism needs to sustain life
nitrogen fixation
the bacteria convert nitrogen gas into ammonia
denitrification
soil bacteria obtain energy by converting nitrates into nitrogen gas, which is released into the atmosphere
limiting nutrient
nutrient whose supply limits productivity