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Vocabulary and Slides

Ecology The study of the interactions between organisms and the living and non-living environment. It recognizes the plans and animals do not exist in isolation – but have an effect and are affected by their surroundings.
Biotic living component in an ecosystem
Abiotic non-living component in an ecosystem
Photosynthesis Occurs in chloroplasts - See slides for process/formula
Cellular Respiration How organisms use food - See slides for process/formula
Autotroph Organism that obtains its energy from abiotic sources, such as sunlight or inorganic chemicals
Heterotroph Organism that obtains its energy and nutrients by consuming other organisms
Habitat Combined biotic and abiotic factors found in the area where an organism lives
Biosphere All organisms and the part of the earth where they exist
Ecosystem All the organisms as well as the climate, soil, water, rocks and other nonliving things in a given area.
Community Group of different species that live together in one area
Population Group of the same species that lives in one area
Organism Individual living thing
Producers Organism that obtains its energy from abiotic sources, such as sunlight or inorganic chemicals
Consumers Organism that obtains its energy and nutrients by eating other organisms
Herbivores Organism that eats only plants
Carnivores Organisms that obtains energy by eating only animals
Omnivores Organism that eats both plants and animals
Detritivores Organism that eats dead organic matter
Decomposers Detritivore that breaks down organic matter into simpler compounds, returning nutrients back into ecosystem
Food Chain Model that links organisms by their feeding relationships
Food Web Model that shows the complex network if feeding relationships within an ecosystem
Trophic Level Level of nourishment in a food chain
Energy Pyramid Diagram that compares energy used by producers, primary consumers and other trophic levels.
Biome Major regional or global community of organisms
Niche All the Physical, chemical and biological factors that a species needs to survive, stay healthy and reproduce. “How” it lives within its habitat.
Generalist Consumers that have a varying diet. Example – wolf may eat elk, moose, deer, mice.
Specialist Consumer that primarily eats one specific organism or a very small number of them.
Symbiosis Close ecological relationship between two or more organisms of different species that live in direct contact with one another.
Predation Process in which one organisms captures and feeds upon another organisms. (Example – snake eating mouse)
Parasitism Relationship in which one organism benefits while the other is harmed, but a parasite keeps its host alive for days or years. (Example – tape worm)
Competition When two organisms fight for the same limited resources.
Competition - Interspecific when two different specifics are competing. Example – in a lawn when weeds and grace compete for nutrients and water.
Competition - Intraspecific when individuals of same species compete. Example – male bird will not allow another male of same species in his area during breeding season.
Mutualism Interspecies interaction in which both organisms benefit from one another. (Example – “good” bacteria in the human digestive system benefits the human and keeps bacteria alive)
Commensalism Relationship between two organisms in which one receives an ecological benefit from another, while the other neither benefits or is harmed. (Example – a spider builds a web in a tree for protection, which neither helps nor hurts the tree)
How do energy and matter move through and ecosystem? Energy flows; matter cycles
Biotic factors are living things, such as... plants, animals and bacteria. For example – bird, tree, dragonfly
Abiotic factors are non-living things, such as.... moisture, temperature, wind, sunlight and soil.
Compare and contrast producers (autotrophs) and consumers (heterotrophs) All organisms must have a source of energy to survive. Autotrophs get their energy from nonliving resources, meaning they make their own food. Heterotrophs get their energy by eating other living or once-living resources, such as plants and animals.
Why are decomposers important? They break down organic matter into simpler compounds and are important to the stability of an ecosystem because they return vital nutrients back into the environment. For example – fungi, bacteria
Why do ecosystems usually only contain a few trophic levels and why are food chains so short? Food chains rarely consist of more than four steps (trophic levels) because a lot of energy is lost at each step.
Explain a food chain: A food chain links species by their feeding relationships. The consumer is getting the energy/benefit from the producer... GRASS --- Grasshopper --- Snake --- Hawk
Explain a food web: A food web is a model that shows the complex network of feeding relationships and the flow of energy within and sometimes beyond an ecosystem. It shows the interconnection of many food chains.
Created by: PLHSBiology1