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Ecology Part 1

Ecology Vocabulary: Ecosystems

TermDefinition
Species like members of a group of organisms that naturally mate with one another and produce fertile offspring (the babies can have babies too)
Biodiversity All the different types of organisms in an ecosystem. The greater the variety (amount of different species), the more stable the ecosystem is.
Ecology the study of living things in their natural environment
Ecosystem all the living and nonliving parts of an environment that depend on each other
Population a group of the same species in a given area (a group of mountain lions in a forest)
Community all the populations (living species) in an area
Biotic factor features of the environment that are alive or were once alive (ex. dead tree)
Abiotic factor the nonliving/never living natural parts of an ecosystem example: air, water, sunlight, rocks
Limiting Factors anything that restricts the number of organisms that can live in an ecosystem example: amount of food, water, shelter, predators
Carrying Capacity the largest number of individuals of a particular species that an ecosystem can support over time
Ecological Succession the process of change in an ecosystem over time (for example: pond dries up & becomes a field, which eventually becomes a forest)
Symbiosis any relationship between 2 species (can be helpful or harmful). Can be classified as mutualism (helps both species), commensalism (helps one and does not affect the other) or parasitism (helps one species while harming the other)
organism a form of life /a living thing
environment an organism's surroundings
interdependence a relationship where both things depend on or affect each other
competition when organisms struggle for a limited supply of resources in an ecosystem
resource things in the environment that are necessary for survival (food, air, space, water, a mate, etc.
climax community refers to all the living things in a very stable ecosystem that has changed over many years (an old growth forest)
overpopulation too many of a species living in an area with not enough resources
Created by: tmiron