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scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment
collection of all the organisms that live in a particular place, together with their nonliving environment
organism that relies on other organisms for its energy and food supply; also called a heterotroph
series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
network of complex interactions formed by the feeding relationships among the various organisms in an ecosystem
diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter within each trophic level in a food chain or food web
a graphical representation designed to show the biomass or biomass productivity at each trophic level in a given ecosystem
cycle of processes by which water circulates between the earth's oceans, atmosphere, and land, involving precipitation as rain and snow, drainage in streams and rivers, and return to the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration
series of processes by which carbon compounds are interconverted in the environment, chiefly involving the incorporation of carbon dioxide into living tissue by photosynthesis and its return to the atmosphere through respiration, the decay of dead organisms, and the burning of fossil fuels
series of processes by which nitrogen and its compounds are interconverted in the environment and in living organisms, including nitrogen fixation and decomposition
single nutrient that either is scarce or cycles very slowly, limiting the growth of organisms in an ecosystem
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