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Ecosystems

TermDefinition
producer an organism that makes its own food
consumer an organism that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms
herbivore an animal that eats only plants
carnivore an animal that eats only other animals
omnivore an animal that eats both plants and animals
scavenger a carnivore that feeds on the bodies of dead organisms
decomposer an organism that breaks down large chemicals from dead organisms into small chemicals and returns important material to the soil and water
food chain a series of event in which one organism eats another
energy pyramid a diagram that shows the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web
water cycle the continuous process by which water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere and back
condensation the process by which a gas changes to a liquid
evaporation the process by which molecules of a liquid absorb energy and change to the gas state
precipitation rain, snow, sleet or hail occur when water vapor condenses and eventually fall to Earth
nitrogen fixation the process of changing free nitrogen gas into a useable form
biogeography the study of where organisms live
dispersal the movement of organisms from one place to another
native species species that have naturally evolved in an area
exotic species species that are carried to a new location by people
climate the typical weather pattern in an area over a long period of time
biome a group of ecosystems with similar climates and organisms
canopy a leafy roof formed by tall trees
understory a layer of shorter plants that grow in the shade of a forest canopy
desert an area in which the yearly amount of evaporation is greater than the amount of precipitation
grassland an area populated by grasses that gets 25 to 75 cm of rain each year
savanna a grassland close to the equator
deciduous tree trees that shed their leaves and grow new ones each year
coniferous tree trees that produce their seeds in cones and have needle-shaped leaves
tundra an extremely cold, dry biome
permafrost soil that is frozen all year
estuary a habitat in which the fresh water of a river meets the salt water of the ocean
intertidal zone the area between the highest high-tide line and the lowest low-tide line
neritic zone the region of shallow ocean water over the continental shelf
Created by: leannezecco