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Env Science Week 2

Week 2 Vocabulary for Environmental Science

conservation preserving, maintaining, & restoring something important, like our water and natural resources
ecosystem all the living & nonliving things in an area that interact in various ways with each other
ecotone the transitional/overlapping area between two ecosystems that might contain organisms common to both ecosystems
biotic factors living features of an ecosystem
abiotic factors nonliving features of an ecosystem
population group of individual organisms from the SAME SPECIES, living together in an area
community all of the different populations of species living together in an area
biome a group of similar or related ecosystems on earth; ex: deserts, tundra, tropical rain forests
biosphere the portion of earth that contains all of the living organisms
habitat the physical place or location where an organism lives
niche the role an organism plays in the environment (where does it eat, how does it eat, when does it eat, where does it live, etc.)
biotic structure the way living things work or fit together within an ecosystem
trophic structure how organisms feed on each other
producers also known as autotrophs; organisms that capture energy directly from the sun to make their own food (i.e. plants)
consumers organisms that get their energy by eating other organisms
herbivore plant eater
carnivore meat eater
omnivore eats both plants and meat
decomposer/detritus feeder feeds on dead material or waste; helps return nutrients back to the soil
heterotroph organism that cannot make its own food; consumers and decomposers are heterotrophs
food chain single pathway of energy, shows who eats whom
food web many interconnected food chains that show all the different interactions in an ecosystem
energy pyramid also known as an ecological pyramid; shows the amount of energy that moves from one trophic level to the next
symbiosis a close relationship between two different species that live & interact together
predation when a predator hunts and kills prey, usually for food
competition when two different organisms fight or compete for the same limited resource & both are usually harmed
mutualism symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit
parasitism symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits (parasite) and one organism is harmed (host) but not usually killed right away
commensalism symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits and the other is not affected, good or bad
matter anything that has mass and takes up space; everything is made of matter!
energy the ability to do work, such as moving, growing, and metabolizing food sources
work applying a force over a distance (F x d)
Law of Conservation of Matter law that states that matter cannot be created nor destroyed, only recombined into new compounds
1st Law of Thermodynamics law that states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only converted into different forms
2nd Law of Thermodynamics law that states that as energy is converted into different forms, much of it is lost as heat instead of being usable
biogeochemical cycles cycling of materials such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and water throughout the living & nonliving components of an ecosystem
eutrophication overgrowth & death of phytoplankton, which decreases oxygen levels in a body of water due to excess bacteria that feed on the dead phytoplankton
Created by: jodytwining