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Week 5 Ch 3 Vocab.

Basic Ecology

abiotic factor physical, or non-living, factor that shapes an ecosystem
autotroph organism that can produce its own food by turning the sun’s energy into organic compounds; also called a producer
biogeochemical cycle process in which elements, chemical compounds and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to another
biotic factor living factor that shapes organisms within an ecosystem
carnivore organism that obtains energy by eating animals (meat)
commensalism a symbiotic relationship in which one member of the association benefits while the other is neither helped nor harmed
consumer an organism that relies on other organisms for its energy and food supply
decomposer organism that breaks down and obtains energy from dead organic matter
detritivore organism that feeds on plant and animal remains and other dead matter
succession gradual change in living communities that follows a disturbance
food chain series of steps in an ecosystem in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten.
food web network of complex interactions formed by the feeding relationships among the various organisms in an ecosystem
Created by: ARhymer