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Chapter 13

Principles of Ecology

TermDefinition
ecology study of the interactions among living things and their surroundings
community collection of all of the different populations that live in one area
ecosystem collection of organisms and nonliving things, such as climate, oil, water, and rocks, in an area
biome regional or global community of organisms characterized by the climate conditions and plant communities that thrive there
biotic living things, such as plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria
abiotic nonliving factor in an ecosystem, such as moisture, temperature, wind, sunlight, soil, and minerals
biodiversity variety of life within an area
keystone species organism that has an unusually large effect on its ecosystem
producer organism that obtains its energy from abiotic sources, such as sunlight or inorganic chemicals
autotroph organism that obtains its energy form abiotic sources, such as sunlight or inorganic chemicals
consumer organism that obtains its energy and nutrient by eating other organisms
heterotroph organism that obtains its energy and nutrients by consuming other organisms
chemosynthesis process by which ATP is synthesized by using chemicals as an energy source instead of light
food chain model that links organisms by their feeding relationships
herbivore organism that eats only plants
carnivore organism that obtains energy by eating only animals
omnivore organism that eats both plants and animals
detritivore organism that eats dead organic matter
decomposer detritivore that breaks down organic matter into simpler compounds, returning nutrients back into an ecosystem
specialist consumer that eats only one type of an organism
generalist species that does not rely on a single source of prey
trophic level level of nourishment in a food chain
food web model that shows the complex network of feeding relationships within an ecosystem
hydrologic cycle pathway of water from the atmosphere to Earth's surface, below ground, and back
biogeochemical cycle movement of a chemical through the biological and geological, or living and nonliving, parts of an ecosystem
nitrogen fixation process by which certain types of bacteria convert gaseous nitrogen into nitrogen compounds
biomass total dry mass of all organisms in a given area
energy pyramid diagram that compares energy used by producers, primary consumers, and other trophic levels
Created by: harolds21