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vocabulary

TermDefinition
Autotroph organism that is able to capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce its own food from inorganic compounds
primary producer first of energy-rich compounds that are later used by other organism
photosynthesis process used by plants and other autotrophs to capture light energy and use it to power chemicals 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
heterotroph organism that obtains food by consuming other living things
consumer organism that relies on other organisms for its energy and food supply
carnivor organism that obtains energy by eating animals
herbivor organism that obtains energy by only eating plants
scavenger animal that consumes the carcasses of other animals
omnivore organism that obtains energy by eating both plants and animals
decomposer organism that breaks down and obtains energy from dead organic matter
detritivore organism that feeds on plant and animal remains and other dead matter
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 interaction 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 pyramid 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 cycle process is which elements, chemical compounds,and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and form one part of the biosphere to another
nutrient 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 convert nitrates into nitrogen gas
limiting nutrient single essential nutrient that limits productivity in an ecosystem
Created by: curtisjacton