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Ecology Vocab

TermDefinition
Ecology The study of interactions among living things and their surroundings.
Organism A living thing
Population A group of organisms of the same species that live in the same area at the same time
Community A group of different populations (different species) that live in the same area at the same time
Ecosystem The collection of organisms and nonliving things (like rocks, soil) found in an area
Ecology The study of interactions between biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem.
Biotic Factor A living thing in an ecosystem Ex) Plants, Animals, Bacteria
Abiotic Factor A nonliving thing in an ecosystem. Ex) Water, Rocks, Soil
Biodiversity The variety of living things found in an area
Producer An organism that obtains its energy from the sun and converts this energy during the process of photosynthesis
Consumer An organisms that obtains its energy and nutrients by eating other organisms
Autotroph An organism that can use photosynthesis to make its own food. "Self Feeding"
Heterotroph An organism that cannot use photosynthesis to make its own food and must eat other organisms to survive. "Other Feeding"
Food Chain A sequence of organisms that shows how energy is transferred from plants, to producers to consumers
Food Web A combination of several food chains in an ecosystem
Herbivore A heterotroph that eats plants only
Carnivore A heterotroph that eats other animals only
Omnivore A heterotroph that eats both plants and other animals
Detrivore Organism that eats dead organic matter. AKA Decomposer
Decomposer A detrivore that breaks down organic matter into simper compounds, returning nutrients back into the ecosystem.
Trophic Level The position a species occupies in a food chain Ex) Producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer
Energy Pyramid A graphic representation of the amount of biomass or energy present in each trophic level of a food chain. Producers are always on the bottom.
10% Rule Only 10% of available energy transfers from one trophic level to another. The other 90% is lost as heat.
Microorganisms Living things that can only be seen with a microscope. They may function as decomposers in the food chain Ex) Bacteria
Biomass Pyramid Measures the total mass (weight) of organisms at each trophic level
Pyramid of Numbers Shows the total number of organisms at each trophic level
Habitat WHERE an organism lives
Niche HOW an organism lives in its environment
Apex Predator The predator at the top of a food chain, on which no other predators prey
Immigration Organisms moving IN to a population, increases population size
Emigration Organisms moving OUT of a population, decreases population size
Predation A relationship between two species where one species hunts (predator) the other species (prey)
Competition A relationship between two species where they both require the same resource (Food Water Shelter Space) and must compete for it
Habitat Requirement Something necessary to make a good place to live: Food, Water, Shelter, and Space
Carrying Capacity The maximum amount of organisms that can survive in an ecosytem
Logistic Growth Population growth that slows down before getting to carrying capacity
Exponential Growth Population growth that occurs quickly without slowing down
Density Dependent Factors Limiting factors in an ecosystem that have bigger effects when the population is bigger (Ex: Disease, competition)
Density Independent Factors Limiting factors in an ecosystem that do not change with the size of the population (Ex: hurricanes, earthquakes, humans building a city)
Created by: MsClaytonRUHS