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Ecosystems Vocab

ECOLOGY - Ecosystem organization

QuestionAnswer
Abiotic features The non-living/never living NATURAL parts of an ecosystem.
Population All of a given species in a given area.
Biotic The living or once living parts of the environment.
Ecology The study of living things in their natural environment.
Ecosystem All of the living and non-living parts of an environment that depend on each other.
Ecological Succession The process of change in an ecological community over time. (pond dries up & becomes a field which eventually becomes a forest, lichen breaks down rock to soil for plants)
Species Like members of a group that can mate and produce fertile offspring (the babies can have babies, too).
Community All of the populations (individual species) in an area. The living/once living (biotic) parts of the ecosystem.
Population A group of the same species in a community (a group of mountain lions in a forest)
Organism A form of life, a living creature. Examples: human, squirrel, apple tree, mushroom, shark, jellyfish, bacteria, earthworm, algae, etc.
Environment The surroundings (both living and non-living)
Interdependence A relationship where both things depend on one another, or affect one another.
Symbiosis Any relationship between 2 species (can be helpful or harmful). Can be classified as mutualism (helps both species), commensalism (helps one & does not harm other) or parasitism (helps one while harming the other species – like a tick on a dog)
Competition When various organisms struggle for a limited supply of resources in an ecosystem.
Limiting Factors Anything that restricts the number of organisms that can live in an ecosystem (amount of food, predators, living space, natural disasters, etc.)
Scavenger An organism that feeds on dead plants or dead animals.
Resources Things in the environment that are necessary for survival (food, air, shelter, water, a mate, etc.)
Biodiversity All the different types of living organisms in an ecosystem. The greater the variety (amount of different species) the more stable the ecosystem will be.
climax community The way that all the living things in an ecosystem has changed over many years to become very stable. An old growth forest is a climax community.
overpopulation Too many of a species living in an area with not enough resources.
carrying capacity the maximum population of a certain species that can be supported by the resources in an environment. population usually goes up until it reaches this level. limiting factors will reduce this.
Created by: rhk9