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Ecology Vocab

Vocabulary for the Ecology unit test

autotrophs organisms that make their own food; another name for producers
heterotrophs organisms that cannot make their own food; another name for consumers
homeostasis the process by which an organism’s internal environment is kept stable in spite of changes in the external environment
ecosystem all of the living and nonliving things that interact in an area
habitat the place where an organism lives and that provides the things the organism needs
biotic living part of an ecosystem
abiotic nonliving part of an ecosystem
community all of the different populations that live together in an area
population all of the members of one species in a particular area
ecology the study of how living things interact with each other and their environment
limiting factor an environmental factor that prevents a population from increasing
carrying capacity the largest population that an area can support
niche an organism’s particular role in an ecosystem, or how it makes its living
competition the struggle between organisms for limited resources in a habitat
predation an interaction in which one organism hunts and kills another organism for food
prey an animal that a predator feeds upon
symbiosis a close relationship between two organisms in which at least one organism benefits
mutualism a type of symbiosis in which both organisms benefit
commensalism a type of symbiosis in which one species benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed
parasitism a symbiotic relationship in which one organism lives in or on another and harms it
parasite an organism that lives in or on a host and causes harm to the host
host an organism that provides a source of energy or a suitable environment for another organism to live
producer an organism that can make its own food; another name for autotroph
consumer an organism that cannot make its own food; another name for heterotroph
herbivore an animal that eats only plants
carnivore an animal that eats only other animals
omnivore an animal that eats both plants and other animals
scavenger a carnivore that feeds on the bodies of dead animals
decomposer an organism that breaks down large chemicals from dead organisms into small chemicals and returns important materials to the soil and water
food chain a series of events in which one organism eats another
food web the pattern of overlapping food chains in an ecosystem
energy pyramid a diagram that shows the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web.
Created by: skrebbeks