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Ecosystems Vocab

ecosystem contains all of the organisms and their nonliving surrounding environment
biotic factors the living parts of an ecosystem
abiotic factors the nonliving parts of an ecosystem
organism any living thing
unicellular an organism that is made up of only one cell
multicellular an organism that is made up of more than one or many cells
cell the smallest unit of life
organelles the basic structures in a cell that help it function
cell membrane the "guard", the soft, flexible outside covering of a cell that controls what comes in and out of a cell
cytoplasm the "jello", gel-like fluid that fills most of a cell, holds the other organelles in place
nucleus the "boss" or the "brain", controls everything the cell does
vacuole the "closet", the storage spaces in the cell that hold food/nutrients, water, and waste
mitochondria the "power plant", breaks down food in the cell and provides energy for the other organelles
cell wall only found in plant cells, provides extra support outside the cell membrane
chloroplast only found in plant cells, contains chlorophyll to give plants their green color
population all members of ONE kind of organism that live in a particular area
community a group of different populations of organisms
microorganisms living things that can be unicellular or multicellular that are too small to be seen without a microscope
terrestrial ecosystems land-based ecosystems (include grasslands and forests)
aquatic ecosystems water-based ecosystems that may be fresh water (lakes and ponds) or salt water (oceans, estuaries, and saltwater marshes)
producers plants, can use light energy from the sun(photosynthesis) to make their own food
consumers animals, cannot make their own food
herbivores animals that eat only plants
carnivores animals that eat only animals or meat
omnivores animals that eat both animals and plants
decomposers get their energy by breaking down dead organisms, return nutrients to the soil
food chain a series of plants and animals in which each organism is a source of food/energy for the next in the series
food web formed by interconnected food chains
predators animals that hunt and kill other animals for food
prey animals that are hunted and killed as food for other animals
parasite an organism that feeds by causing harm to its host
host organisms or cells that serve as a home or source of food for a parasite
limiting factor a condition or resource that keeps a population at a certain size (food, water, space, shelter)
balance of nature relationship between numbers of organisms and the resources available in an ecosystem
Created by: Mrs.Cabell