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Biology Vocab

TermDefinition
biosphere part of earth in which life exists including land, water, and air or atmosphere
species a group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
population group of individuals of the same species that live in the same area
community assemblage of different populations that live together in a defined are
ecosystem all the organisms that live in a place, together with their nonliving environment
biome a group of ecosystems that share similar climates and typical organisms
ecology scientific study of interactions among organisms and their environments
biotic factor any living part of the environment with which an organism might interact
abiotic factor physical, or nonliving, factor that shapes an ecosystem
autotrophs organism that is able to capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce its own food from inorganic compounds; also called a producer
primary producers first producer of energy-rich compounds that are later used by other organisms
photosynthesis process used by plants and other autotrophs to capture light energy and use it to power chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy-rich carbohydrates such as sugars and starches
chemosynthesis process in which chemical energy is used to produce carbohydrates
heterotrophs organism that obtains food by consuming other living things; also called a consumer
consumers organism that relies on others for its energy and food supply; also called a heterotroph
food chain series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
phytoplankton photosynthetic algae found near the surface of the ocean
food web network of complex interactions formed by the feeding relationships among the various organisms in an ecosystem
zooplankton small free-floating animals that form part of plankton
trophic level each step in a food chain or food web
ecological pyramids illustration of the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a given food chain or food web
biomass total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level
biogeochemical cycles process in which elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another from one biosphere to another
nutrients chemical substance that an organism needs to sustain life
nitrogen fixation process of converting nitrogen gas into nitrogen compounds that plants can absorb and use
denitrification process by which bacteria converts nitrates into nitrogen gas
limiting nutrient single essential nutrient that limits productivity inn an ecosystem
Created by: jakewilson75