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STAAR Reporting Category #5

Ecological Succession how an area changes over time from an area that is uninhabitable to one that is able to support a healthy ecosystem
Organism a living thing; exhibits all 5 characteristics of life (ORGAN)
Population a group of organisms of the same species that live in the same area and interbreed
Community a group of different populations (different species) that live in the same area
Biotic Factor a living thing in an ecosystem; ex. plant, animal, bacteria
Abiotic Factor a nonliving thing in an ecosystem; ex: water, rocks, earth
Habitat Requirement something necessary to make a good place to live: shelter and space, and access to food and water
Limiting Factors any factor that limits the size of a population by restricting its numbers, reproduction, or distribution
Carrying Capacity the maximum population a habitat can sustain
Predation a relationship between two species where one species hunts (predator) and eats the other species (prey)
Competition a relationship between two species where they both require the same resource (food, water, shelter, space) and must compete for it
Parasitism a relationship between two species where one species is helped and the other species is harmed
Commensalism a relationship between two species where one species is helped and the other species is not affected
Mutualism a relationship between two species where both species are helped
Autotroph an organism that can use photosynthesis to make its own food: "self-feeding"
Heterotroph an organism that cannot use photosynthesis to make its own food and must eat other organisms to survive: "other-feeding"
Trophic Level the position a species occupies in a food chain; ex. producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer
Food Chain a sequence of organisms that shows how energy is transferred from plants, to plant eaters, to meat eaters and so on
Food Web a combination of several food chains within an ecosystem
Ecological Pyramid a graphic representation of the amount of biomass present in each trophic level of a food chain; producers are always on the bottom, then primary consumers, then secondary consumers and so on
Microorganisms living things that can only be seen with a microscope; ex. bacteria, protists
Biomes areas with similar climate and conditions: ex. rainforests, grasslands, desert, wetland
Resource Base amount of total available food, water , shelter and space; toal amount of biotic and abiotic factors available for organims
Carbon Cycle the cyclic movement of carbon atoms between living things (organic carbon) and their environment (inorganic carbon)
Nitrogen Cycle the cyclic movement of nitrogen atoms between living things (organic nitrogen) and their environment (inorganic nitrogen)
Autotroph/producer organism that makes their own food
Heterotroph/consumer organism that eats other organisms to obtain energy
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