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PCS Liv Env

Chapter 3 Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Ecology study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment
Biosphere part of Earth where life exists including land, water, and air
Species group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring
Population same species that live in same area
Community different populations that live together in a defined area
Ecosystem all the organisms that live in a particular place along with their nonliving environment
Biome group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar communities
Autotroph organisms that can capture energy from the sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce its own food from inorganic compounds; also called a producer
Producer another name for an autotroph
Photosynthesis process by which plants and some other organisms use light energy to power chemical reactions that convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and high energy carbohydrates such as sugars and starches
Chemosynthesis process by which some organisms use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates
Heterotroph organism that obtains energy from the foods it consumes; also called a consumer
Consumer another name for heterotroph
Herbivore organism that obtains energy by eating only plants
Carnivore organism that obtains energy by eating animals
Omnivore organism that obtains energy by eating both plants and animals
Decomposer organism that breaks down and obtains energy from dead organic matter
Food Chain series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten
Food Web network of interactions formed by the feeding relationships among the various organisms in an ecosystem
Trophic Level step in a food chain or food web
Ecological Pyramid diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy within each trophic level in a food chain or food web (Remember: lose 10% of energy as you move to next level)
Biomass total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level
Biogeochemical Cycle process in which elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to the next or from one part of the biosphere to another
Evaporation process by which water changes from a liquid into an atmospheric gas
Transpiration loss of water from a plant through its leaves
Nutrient chemical substance that an organism requires to live
Nitrogen Fixation process of converting nitrogen gas into ammonia
Denitrification conversion of nitrates into nitrogen gas
Primary Productivity rate at which organic matter is created by producers in an ecosystem
Limiting Nutrient single nutrient that either is scarce or cycles very slowly, limiting the growth of organisms in an ecosystem
Created by: Ms.Sala