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Chapter 18

Ecosystems

TermDefinition
phototroph an organism that gets its energy by capturing sunlight
chemotroph an organism that gets its energy from chemicals in food
solar of or from the sun
food chain the feeding order of organisms in a community
producer an organism that makes its own food
consumer an organism that feeds on other organisms
decomposer an organism at the end of a food chain that feeds by breaking down dead organisms
aquatic growing or living in water
plankton small organisms found in the ocean; usually at the beginning of a food chain
food web all the food chains in a community that are linked to one another
organic matter a compound that contains carbon
primary productivity the speed at which photosynthetic organisms produce organic matter in an ecosystem
energy pyramid a diagram that compares the amounts of energy available to the populations at different levels of a food chain
phosphorous an element that cycles through an ecosystem and is used by organisms to make ATP
atmosphere the air that surrounds the earth
geological having to do with the solid parts of the earth
ammonium a nitrogen-containing compound used to cycle nitrogen into an ecosystem
nitrate a nitrogen-containing compound used directly by plants
nitrogen-fixer bacteria that convert nitrogen gas into ammonium
nitrifying bacteria bacteria that convert ammonium into usable nitrates
evaporation the process of liquid water changing into gas due to heating
precipitation the moisture that falls to the earth from the atmosphere
climate the average weather of a region over a long period of time
terrestrial having to so with land
tropical forest a terrestrial biome with many trees and organisms
savanna a terrestrial biome with grasses and grazing animals
desert a very dry terrestrial biome
chaparral a terrestrial biome with many shrubs
temperate grassland a terrestrial biome with fertile soil and tall grasses
temperate deciduous forest a terrestrial biome with wet forests that change activity during winter
coniferous forest a dry, cold terrestrial biome with cone-bearing trees
tundra a cold, dry terrestrial biome with shrubs and small trees
permafrost permanently frozen soil
freshwater an area o f water with no salt
marine an area of water that has salt
intertidal zone an area where an ocean meets land
estuary a marine biome where freshwater meets salt water
photic zone an area in aquatic biomes that receives solar energy
aphotic zone an area in an aquatic biome that does not receive solar energy
benthic zone the floor of the aquatic biome
Created by: mrspuffisphat21