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Chapter 18 terms

Chapter 18 terms.

ecology the study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their environment
biotic describes living factors in the environment
abiotic describes the nonliving part of the environment, including water, rocks, light, and temperture.
population a group of organisms of the same species that live in a specific geographical area.
community all of the populations of species that live in the same habitat and interact with each other.
ecosystem a community of organisms and their abiotic, or nonliving, environment.
biosphere the part of the Earth where life exists.
herbivore an organism that only eats plants.
carnivore an organism that eats animals
omnivore an organism that eats both plants and animals.
food chain the pathway of energy transfer through various stages as a result of the feeding patterns of a series of organisms.
food web a diagram that shows the feeding relationships between organims in an ecosystem.
energy pyramid a triangular diagram that shows an ecosystem's loss of energy, which results as energy passes through the ecosystem's food chain.
carrying capacity the largest population that an environment can support at any given time.
prey an organism that is killed and and eaten by another organism.
predator an organism that eats all or part of another organism.
symbiosis a relationship in which two different organisms live in close association with each other.
mutualism a relationship between two species in which both species benefit.
commensalism a relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits and the other is unaffected.
parasitism a relationship between two species in which one species, the parasite, benefits from the other species, the host, which is harmed.
coevolution the evolution of two species that is due to mutual influence, often in a way that makes the relationship more beneficial to both species.
photosynthesis the process by which plants, algae, and some bacteria use sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to make food.
decomposers an organism that gets energy by breaking down the remains of dead organisms or animal wastes and consuming or absorbing the nutrients.
scavengers omnivores that eat dead plants and animals.
consumers an organism that eats other organisms or organic matter.
producers an organism that can make its own food by using energy from its surroundings.
limiting factor a resource so scarce it limits the size of a population.
competition when two or more populations try to use the same resource.
camoflauge blending in with the surroundings.
pollinator an organism that carries pollen from one flower to another.



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