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Bio Chapter 13

TermDefinition
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
Ecosystem A community of organisms and their abiotic environment
Biome A large region characterized by a specific type of climate and certain types of plant and animal communities
Abiotic Describes living factors in the environment
Biodiversity Describes the nonliving part of environment, including water, rocks, light, and temperature
Keystone species 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
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 source
Heterotroph An organism that obtains organic food molecules by eating other organisms or their byproducts and that cannot synthesize organic compounds from inorganic materials
Chemosynthesis Process by which ATP is synthesized by using chemicals as an energy source instead of light
Food chain The pathway of energy transfer through various stages as a result of the feeding patterns of a series of organisms
Herbivore An organism that eats only plants
Carnivore An organism that eats animals
Omnivore An organism that eats both plants and animals
Detritivore Organism that eats dead organic matter
Decomposer An organism that feeds by breaking down organic matter from dead organisms; examples include bacteria and fungi
Specialist Consumer that eats only one type of organism
Generalist Species that does not rely on a single source of prey
Trophic level One of the steps in a food chain or food pyramid; examples include producers and primary, secondary, and tertiary consumers
Food web A diagram that shows the feeding relationships between organisms in an ecosystem
Hydrologic cycle Pathway of water from the atmosphere to Earth's surface, below ground, and back
Biogeochemical cycle The circulation of substances through living organisms from or to the environment
Nitrogen fixation The process by which gaseous nitrogen is converted into ammonia, a compound that organisms can use to make amino acids and other nitrogen-containing organic molecules
Biomass Total dry mass of all organisms in a given area
Energy pyramid A triangular diagram that shows an ecosystem's loss of energy, which results as energy passes through the ecosystem's food chain; each row in the pyramid represents a trophic level in an ecosystem
Energy pyramid pt 2 , and the area of a row represents the energy stored in that trophic level
Created by: mariazierolf