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Science 8 Ecosystems

NC Science 8 standards for 8.L.3

Population Density number of individuals of a particular species per unit area or volume
Population A group of organisms of the same species that are in close enough proximity to allow them to interbreed
Competition the struggle between individuals of the same or different species for food, space, light, etc, when these are inadequate to supply the needs of all
Niche the role and position a species has in its environment- how it meets its needs for food and shelter, how it survives, and how it reproduces-includes all its interactions with the biotic and abiotic factors of its habitat.
Habitat where an organism lives out its life- this environment can change or even disappear
Biotic factor all the living things in an ecosystem
Abiotic factor a nonliving part of an ecosystem
Microscopic too small the be seen
Producer organism that creates energy-rich compounds from sunlight (through photosynthesis)
Organism a living thing, such as animal, plant or micro-organism, that is capable of reproduction, growth and maintenance.
Ecosystem The combined physical and biological components of an environment; A system that includes all living (biotic factors) in a an area as well as its physical environment (abiotic factors) functioning together as a unit.
Classification the assignment of organisms to groups within asystem of categories distinguished by structure, origin, etc. The usual series of categories is phylum (or, especially in botany, division), class, order, family, genus, species, and variety
Biodiversity The variety and variability among living organisms and the ecosystems in which they occur. Biodiversity includes the number of different items and their relative frequencies;
Decomposer an organism that feeds on and breaks down dead plant or animal matter, thus making organic nutrients available to the ecosystem
Consumer an organism that eats other organisms to obtain energy rather than producing its food through photosynthesis
Species all organisms that can mate with one another and to produce fertile offspring
Terrestrial pertaining to land
Aquatic pertaining to water
Freshwater ecosystems habitats that are based in lakes, ponds, and streams
Saltwater ecosystems marine ecosystems that make up approximately 75% of Earth's Surface
Food web pictorial representation of the relationship amongst producers and consumers in an ecosystem
Food chain an example of the transfer of energy from the sun's energy, through producers to consumers
Predator animal that kills and eats other animals
Prey animals that are hunted and killed by predators
Symbiosis means "living together"; relationships in which interactions benefit long-term survival of one or both species
Commensalism a symbiotic relationship in which one species benefits and the other species is neither harmed nor benefited
Mutualism a symbiotic relationship in which two organisms live in close association with one another and both species benefit from the association
Parasitism a symbiotic relationship in which one organism receives benefits at the expense of the host organism
Photosynthesis process used plants and other autotrophs to capture light energy and use it to power chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy-rich carbohydrates such as sugars and starches
Heterotroph an organism (as an insect, bird, fish, or human being) that cannot make its own food and must obtain it by eating other animals or plants
Autotroph an organism (as a plant) that can make its own food from substances that do not come from other living things
Ecology scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment
Ecologist a biologist who studies the relation between organisms and their environment
Carbon cycle Cyclic movement of carbon in different chemical forms from the environment to organisms and then back to the environment.
Carnivore Organism that obtains energy by eating animals.`
Herbivore Consumer that eats only producers
Omnivore Consumer that eats both producers and consumers
Carrying capacity largest number of individuals of a population that a environment can support
Limiting factor any biotic or abiotic factor that restricts the existence, numbers, reproduction, or distribution of organisms.
Carbon sink Places of carbon accumulation, such as in large forests (organic compounds) or ocean sediments (calcium carbonate); carbon is thus removed from the carbon cycle for moderately long to very long periods of time.
Nitrogen cycle the process in which nitrogen circulates among the air, soil, water, plants, and animals in an ecosystem
Carcass Dead bodies
Carrion The flesh of the carcass
Competition when two organisms have the same role in an ecosystem and need to compete for some necessity of life
Detritivore eats decaying animal and plant material, as well as detritus (worms, millipedes, etc.), moves from food source to food source, help in the process of decomposition
Decomposers consume dead and decaying organisms, live on their food
Why do arrows point to the consumer in a food chain? to show the energy movement in the food chain
Created by: Alia Cherrywood