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- The spatial arrangement of organisms within a particular area.

- 5-30 million

how many species are thought to be living on earth

close to 2 million

how many species have been identified

carrying capacity

- the maximum population size that a given environment can sustain.

- 73%

bees pollinate approximately what percentage of our crops


- an organism that can use the energy from sunlight to produce its own food.

primary consumers

- an organism that consumes producers and feeds at the second trophic level

tertiary consumers

- an organism that consumes secondary consumers and feeds at the fourth trophic level.

secondary consumers

- an organism that consumes primary consumers and feeds at the third trophic level.


- an organism, such as a millipede or soil insect, that scavenges the waste products or dead bodies of other community members.


- an organism, such as a fungus or bacterium, that breaks down leaf litter and other nonliving matter into simple constituents that can be taken up and used by plants.


- A major regional complex of similar plant communities;

- temperature
- precipitation

what are the two conditions that influence biomes the most

environmental science

the study of how the natural world functions and how humans and the environment interact.


- a theory that views environment rather than heredity as the important factor in the development and especially the cultural and intellectual development of an individual or group

population growth

- total rate of change in a population's size per unit time.

resource consumption


- Yellowstone

what was the first national park in the world

- Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Greenpeace, and Population Connection

examples of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)

public-private partnerships

- a combined effort of government and a for-profit entity, generally intended to use the efficiency of the private sector to help achieve a public policy goal.


- the ability of an ecological community to remain stable in the presence of a disturbance.


- the ability of an ecological community to change in response to disturbance but later return to its original state.


- a stereotypical series of changes in the composition and structure of an ecological community through time.


- the process by which autotrophs produce their own food.

kinetic energy

- Energy of motion

potential energy

- energy of position

triple bottom line

- an approach to sustainability that attempts to meet environmental, economic, and social goals simultaneously.

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