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Biology - Study of Life

biosphere all organisms and the part of Earth where they exist
biodiversity the variety of organisms in a given area, the genetic variation within a population, the variety of species in a community, or the variety of communities in an ecosystem
species a group of organisms that are closely related and can mate to produce fertile offspring; also the level of classification below genus and above subspecies
biology the scientific study of living organisms and their interactions with the environment
organism a living thing, anything that can carry out life processes independently
cell in biology, the smallest unit that can perform all life processes; cells are covered by a membrane and contain DNA and cytoplasm
metabolism the sum of all chemical processes that occur in an organism
DNA deoxyribonucleic acid, the material that contains the information that determines inherited characteristics
system changing, organized group of related parts that interact to form a whole
ecosystem a community of organisms and their abiotic enviornment
homeostasis the maintenance of constant internal state in a changing environment; a constant internal state that is maintained in a changing environment
evolution generally, in biology, the process of change by which new species develop from preexisting species over time
adaptation the process of becoming adapted to an environment; an anatomical, physiological or behavioral change that improves a population's ability to survie
acclimation process in which an individual organism adjusts to a change in its environment such as altitude, temperature so that it can maintain performance across a wide range of environmental conditions
hypothesis a testable idea or explanation that leads to scientific investigation
independent variable condition or factor that is manipulated (changed) by a scientist during an experiment
dependent variable experimental data collected through observation and measurement
theory proposed explanation for a wide variety of observations and experimental results
ecology the study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their environment
community a group of various species that live in the same habitat and interact with each other
biotic describes living factors in an environment
abiotic describes nonliving factors in an environment
keystone species a species that is critical to the functioning of the ecosystem in which it lives because it affects the survival and abundance of many other species in the community
producer an organism that can make organic molecules from inorganic molecules; a photosynthetic or chemosynthetic autotroph that serves as the basic food source in an ecosystem
autotroph an organism that produces its own nutrients from inorganic substances or from the environment instead of consuming other organisms
consumer an organism that eats other organisms or organic matter instead of producing its own nutrients or obtaining nutrients from inorganic sources
heterotroph an organism that obtains organic food molecules by eating other organisms or their byproducts and cannot synthesize organic compounds from inorganic materials
chemosyhtesis process by which ATP (energy) is synthesized by using chemicals as an energy source instead of light
Created by: lpgullett