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Quarter 1 Week 4

Vocabulary from Quarter 1 Week 4

Ecosystem Organisms and their environment - a localized group of interdependent organisms together with the environment that they inhabit and depend on
Carbon Cycle The exchange of carbon between living organisms and the environment. CO2 is taken out of the atmosphere by plants through photosynthesis and then returned by the respiration of animals, and the combustion of fossil fuels.
Water Cycle natural circulation of water on Earth: the constant circulation of water between atmosphere, land, and sea by evaporation, precipitation, and percolation through soils and rocks
Nitrogen Cycle Circulation of Nitrogen between air and plants. Nitrogen is converted from a gas in the atmosphere to nitrogen-containing substances in soil and living things, then reconverted to a gas.
Energy Pyramid The graphical representation of the trophic levels (nutritional) by which the incoming solar energy is transferred into an ecosystem, and then energy is lost as you follow up each level.
Food web  the interlocking food chains within an ecological community
Primary consumer Thinking about its placement on the energy pyramid, an animal that eats only producers (plants). An example is a rabbit, who eats grass, vegetables, etc.
Secondary consumer Thinking about its place on the energy pyramid, these are animals that eat primary consumers (animals). They are usually carnivores. For example, a grasshopper is a primary consumer of grass. A bird, who eats the grasshopper is secondary consumer.
Keystone species A species that plays a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community and whose impact on the community is greater than would be expected based on its relative abundance or total biomass
Predator A carnivorous animal that hunts, kills, and eats other animals in order to survive, or any other organism that behaves in a similar manner.
Prey an animal or animals caught, killed, and eaten by another animal as food
Trophic Levels A stage in a food chain that reflects the number of times energy has been transferred through feeding. Plants and plant-eating animals occupy the first two levels, followed by carnivores, usually to a maximum of six levels.
Heterotroph Getting nourishment by digesting plant or animal matter, as animals do, as opposed to photosynthesizing food, as plants do.
Autotroph Describes organisms, especially green plants that are capable of making their own food. They get their nutrients from inorganic materials.
Chloroplast Part of plant cell containing chlorophyll. It is the place where photosynthesis occurs within the cells of plants and algae. While plant cells contain numerous chloroplasts, algal cells often have just one.
Thylakoids any of a group of chlorophyll-containing membranous structures resembling sacs in which photosynthesis takes place.
ATP An organic chemical compound nucleotide in living organisms that releases energy for cellular reactions when it converts to ADP.
Cellular Respiration The process of living cells producing energy through the oxidation of organic substances. This requires Oxygen.
Fermentation The breakdown of carbohydrates by microorganisms.  It is a way for cells/organisms to get energy without the use of Oxygen.
Glycolysis he breakdown of glucose to pyruvate, with the release of usable energy. This metabolic process takes place in nearly all living cells.
Mitochondrion A small round or rod-shaped body that is found in the cytoplasm of most cells and produces enzymes for the metabolic conversion of food to energy. The "powerhouse" of the cell.
Aerobic needing oxygen: living or taking place only in the presence of oxygen
Anaerobic not needing oxygen: living or taking place in the absence of oxygen, especially not requiring oxygen for metabolism
Cytoplasm All cell material excluding nucleus. It contains the cytosol, organelles, vesicles, and cytoskeleton.
Eukaryote Aany organism with one or more cells that have visible nuclei and organelles. The group contains all living cellular organisms except bacteria and cyanobacteria.
Taxonomy A method of grouping organisms. Plants, animals, and microorganisms are classified into increasingly broader categories based on shared features (physical resemblances, genetic matching, etc.).
Evolution Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species
Convergent evolution different organisms evolve to display similar traits which serve similar functions. For example, the wings of a bat, bird, and bee are fundamentally different in structure and are unrelated except for the fact that all three serve the purpose of flight.
Divergent evolution when similar organisms become genetically different and become diverse, until they can eventually give rise to new species.
Homologus Structures structures that indicate a related evolutionary ancestry, not just similarity. For example, the flipper of a whale, the wing of a bird, and the arm of a a human are similar in their bone structure.
Analogus Structures structures that are similar in appearance and function but are not the result of shared ancestry. For example, the wings of a birds and insects have the same function, but they do not reflect a shared ancestry.
Vestigal Organs An organ of the body that doesn't seem to serve any useful purpose, but similar organs in other animals do. It’s possible early ancestors had use for the organ but as we have evolved, the organ is unnecessary. Ex: the appendix in humans
Adaptation An alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, often hereditary, by which a species or individual improves its condition in relationship to its environment.
Adaptive Radiation Occurs when a species reaches a new location; species splits into several different species. Ex: a single species of finch arrived on Galapagos Island, splits into different types of finches, each ate new foods and developed different beak shapes/sizes.
Dichotomous Key A tool used in plant or animal identification - a series of questions, and each question is a choice between two characteristics. The identity of an organism is determined through the process of eliminating characteristics that do not apply to it.
Biotic having to do with life or living organisms - Anything living in an ecosystem
Abiotic Associated with non-living factors in an environment. Includes such items as sunlight, temperature, wind patterns, and precipitation.
Niche Describes how that particular individual "fits" into its ecosystem. In other words, the role that the individual organism plays in its nonliving and living environment.
Decomposers An organism, often a bacterium or fungus, that feeds on and breaks down dead plant or animal matter, thus making organic nutrients available to the ecosystem
Competition The simultaneous demand by two or more organisms for limited environmental resources, such as nutrients, living space, or light.
Competitive Exclusion The result of a competition in which one species is forced out of part of the available habitat by a more efficient species
Commensalism Relationship between members of 2 different species - one is benefited, and the other is not affected at all. Ex: flatworms that live attached to the gills of the horseshoe crab, getting bits of food from the crab's meals and crab is unaffected.
Mutualism An interaction between two species that benefits both. Example: many ants are found near aphids. The ants feed on the sugary fluid released by the aphids, and the aphids are protected by the ants.
Parasitism An interaction in which one organism uses the resources of another organism (the host). The host is hurt by the relationship while the parasite benefits. Ex: parasitic worms found in the internal organs of animals (heartworms in dogs).
Immigration The one-way inward movement of individuals into a population or population area.
Carrying capacity The maximum number of individuals that a given environment can support without detrimental effects.
Created by: mathewsecot