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NMS Science 6 Unit 1

Ecology Unit vocabulary

ecology the study of how organisms interact with one another and with the environment
biotic factor an interaction between organisms in an area
abiotic factor a nonliving part of an environment, such as water, nutrients, soil, sunlight, rainfall or temperature
population a group of individuals of the same species that live in the same place at the same time
species organisms that are closely related and can mate to produce fertile offspring
community all the populations of different species that live and interact in an area
ecosystem a community of organisms and their nonliving environment
biome large regions characterized by climate and communities of species
niche the role the population plays in the ecosystem
habitat the place where an organism usually lives and is part of an organism's niche
producer uses energy to make food
decomposer an organism that get energy and nutrients by breaking down the remains of other organisms
consumer an organism that eats other organisms
herbivore a consumer that eats only plants
carnivore eats other animals
omnivore eats both plants and animals
food chain the path of energy transfer from producers to consumers
food web the feeding relationships among organisms in an ecosystem
carrying capacity the maximum number of individuals of one species that the environment can support
limiting factor a part of the environment that keeps a population's size below its full potential
competition when two or more individuals or populations try to use the same limited resource ( like water, food or shelter)
cooperation when individuals work together
predator eats another animal (usually hunts and kills another animal for food)
prey the animal that is eaten by a predator
symbiosis a close long-term relationship between different species in a community
mutualism a symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit
commensalism a symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits while the other is unaffected
parasitism a symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits and another is harmed
immigration happens when individuals join or move into a population
emigration happens when individuals leave or move out of a population
Created by: NMSma