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Ecology Vocabulary

Ecology Vocabulary List

abiotic factor a nonliving part of an ecosystem
biome a group of ecosystems with similar climates and organisms
biotic factor a living part of an ecosystem
carnivore an animal that eats only other animals
commensalism a relationship between two species in which one species benefits and the other is nether helped nor harmed
community all different organisms that live together in an area
competition the struggle between organisms for the limited resources in a habitat
consumer an organism that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms
decomposer an organism that breaks down large molecules from dead organisms into smaller molecules and returns important materials to the environment
ecosystem all living and nonliving things that interact in an area
energy pyramid a diagram that shows the amount of energy that moves from feeding level to another in a food web
equilibrium a state in which opposing forces in a system are equally balanced or stable
food chain a series of events in which one organism eats another and obtains energy
food web the pattern of overlapping food chains in an ecosystem
habitat the place where an organism lives and that provides the things the organism needs
herbivore an animal that eats only plants
host an organism that provides a source of energy or a suitable environment for a virus or for another organism to live
mutualism a type of symbiosis in which both partners benefit from living together
niche an organism's particular role in an ecosystem, or how it makes its living
omnivore an animal that eats both plants and animals
parasite an organism that lives on or in a host and causes harm to the host
parasitism a relationship in which one organism lives on or in another and harms it
pioneer species the first species to populate an area
predation an interaction in which one organism hunts and kills another animal for food
predator a carnivore that hunts and kills other animals for food and has adaptations that help it capture the animals it preys upon
prey an animal that a predator feeds on
primary succession the changes that occur in an area where no ecosystem had existed
producer an organism that can make its own food
scavenger a carnivore that feeds on the bodies of dead organisms
secondary succession the changes that occur after a disturbance in an ecosystem
species a group of similar organisms whose members can mate with one another and produce fertile offspring
succession the series of predictable changes that occur in a community over time
symbiosis a close relationship between two organisms in which at least one of the organisms benefits
Created by: bekah0515