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Bio-Unit 2-Ecology

ecology the study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their environment
ecosystem the community of organisms and their abiotic environment
community a group of various species that live in the same habitat and interact with each other
population a group of organisms of the same species that live in a specific geographical area and interbreed
biotic describes living factors in the environment
abiotic describes nonliving factors in the environment
ecological niche all of the physical, chemical, and biological factors that a species needs to survive, stay healthy, and reproduce in an ecosystem
biomass total dry mass of all organisms in a given area
herbivore an organism that eats only plants
carnivore an organism that eats animals
omnivore an organism that eats a variety of other organisms, including animals and plants
detritivore organism that eats dead organic mater
decomposer an organism that feeds by breaking down organic matter from organic matter; examples include bacteria and fungi
trophic level one of the steps in a food chain or food pyramid; examples include produces and primary, secondary, and teriary consumers
food chain the pathway of energy transfer through various stages as a result of the feeding patterns of a series of organisms
food web a diagram that shows the feeding relationships among organisms in an ecosystem
biodiversity the variety of organisms in a given area, the genetic variation within a population, the variety of species in a community, or the variety of communities in an ecosystem
keystone species a species that is critical to the functioning of the ecosystem in which it lives because it affects the survival and abundance of many other species in its community
autotroph an organism that produces its own nutriens from inorganic susbstances or from the environment instead of consuming other organisms
heterotroph an organism that obtains organic food molecules by eating other organisms or their byproducts and that cannot synthesize organic compounds from inorganic materials
energy pyramid triangular diagarm that shows an ecosystem's loss of energy, which results as energy passed through the ecosystem's food chain; each row represents a trophic leel in an ecosystem, and the area of a row represents the energy stored in that trophic level
ecological equivalent organisms that share a similar niche but live in different geographical regions
competition ecological relationship in which two organisms attempt to obtain the same resource
symbiosis a relationship in which two different organisms live in close association with each other
mutualism a relationship between two species in which both species benefit
commensalism a relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits and ther is unaffected
population density measure of individuals living in a defined area
exponential growth logarithmic growth, or growth by which numbers increase by a certain factor in each successive time period; described by a J-shaped curve
logistic growth population growth that starts with a minimum number of individuals and reaches a maximum depending on carrying capacity of the region; described by an S-shaped curve
carrying capacity the largest population that an environment can support at any given time
limiting factor environmental factor that limits the growth and size of a population
density-dependent limiting factor environmental resistance that affects a population that has become overly crowded
density-independent limiting factor environmental resistance that affects a population regardless of population density
habitat fragmentation process by which part of an organism's preferred habitat range becomes inaccessible
introduced species species that is not native and was brought to an area as a result of human activities
competitive exclusion the exclusion of one species by another due to competition
Created by: lpgullett