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Ecosystems

Environmental Science

TermDefinition
ecosystem the community of organisms that live in a particular area along with their nonliving surroundings (abiotic factors)
ecology the study of how living things interact with each other and with their environment
producer an organism that is able to make its own food and is the source of all the energy in an ecosystem
consumer an organism that obtains energy by eating other organisms
carnivore the type of consumer that eats only animals
herbivore the type of consumer that eats only plants
omnivore the type of consumer that eats both plants and animals
scavenger the type of consumer that eats dead organisms
decomposer an organism that breaks down wastes & dead organisms, then returns the raw materials to the ecosystem ("nature’s recyclers")
energy pyramid a diagram that shows the AMOUNT of energy that flows from one feeding level to another in a food web/chain
mutualism a symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit
commensalism a symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits and one organism is unaffected
parasitism a symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits and one organism is harmed
population all members of one species living in a particular area
community all the different populations that live together in an area
habitat a place that provides all the things an organism needs to live, grow, and reproduce
biotic factors the LIVING parts of a habitat
abiotic factors the NON-LIVING parts of a habitat
species organisms that are physically similar, can mate with each other, and produce offspring that can also mate & reproduce
food chain represents the sequence of energy flow as one organism eats another
food web represents the many overlapping food chains in an ecosystem
Created by: cwall