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Ecology Unit

QuestionAnswer
A single living thing. organism
A collection of individuals from the same species that live in a given area. population
All of the organisms a given area. community
All of the living and non-living parts of a given area. ecosystem
A collection of similar ecosystems. biome
Part of the planet where life exists. biosphere
Non-living factors that impact organisms. abiotic factors
Living factors that impact organisms. biotic factors
Where an organism lives. habitat
The role an organism has in its environment (where it lives and the job it has there). niche
An interaction between organisms in which one organism eats or attempts to eat another organism. predation
An animal that consumes another animal. predator
An animal that is consumed by another animal. prey
Organisms living together. symbiosis
A type of symbiosis in which both species benefit. mutualism
A type of symbiosis in which one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped. commensalism
A type of symbiosis in which one species benefits and the other is harmed. parasitism
Natural or human disturbances that cause organisms in a given area to die out (or move), allowing new organisms to move-in over time. ecological succession
A type of succession that occurs on new soil (no soil existed previously). primary succession
A type of succession that occurs on damaged soil (like after a fire or flood). secondary succession
The first species to move into an area after a succession event. pioneer species
A stable community that is formed after succession slows down. climax community
The area inhabited by a population. range or geographic distribution
The number of individuals per unit of area. population density
How quickly a population increases or decreases in size. growth rate
Movement of individuals into a population. immigration
Movement of individuals out of (exiting) a population. emigration
Represented by a J-shaped curve. Occurs when resources are abundant and predators/disease are at a minimum, so a population can continue growing. exponential growth
Represented by an S-shaped curve. Occurs when resources are limited and predators/disease are present, thus causing the growth rate of a population to slow down. logistic growth
The maximum number of individuals a given area can support. carrying capacity
Something that limits the size or growth of a population. limiting factor
Limiting factors that only affect large, dense populations. density-dependent limiting factor
Limiting factors that affect all members of a population similarly, regardless of size and density. density-independent limiting factor
The increase in concentration of toxins at higher levels of the food chain. biomagnification
Organisms attempting to use the same resource at the same time. competition
Created by: ballb