Ecosystems Stack #2638921

Ecosystems Stack #2638921

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Abiotic Factors Nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
Adaptation An inherited trait that increases an organisma??s chance of survival and reproduction in a certain environment.
Autotrophs Also known as producers. Use processes like photosynthesis or chemosynthesis to produce their own food.
Biogeochemical Cycle Cycles where nutrient atoms, ions, and molecules continuously cycle between air, water, rock, soil, and living organisms.
Biome A group of ecosystems that has distinctive climates and organisms
Biosphere The thin layer surrounding the Earth where life exists. Extends approximately 8 km above its surface and 8 km below to the deepest part of the ocean.
Biotic Factors Living parts of an ecosystem.
Ammonification Process in the nitrogen cycle where nitrogen fixing bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) and ammonium ion.
Carnivore Consumers that feed only other consumers. Also referred to as a tertiary consumer
Chemosynthesis Process used by producers to create energy from the oxidation of inorganic molecules.
Climax Community The community that eventually forms if land is left undisturbed.
Coevolution Occurs when two or more species evolve in response to each other.
Commensalism Relationship in which one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped.
Community Group of interacting populations of different species. All of the living things in an ecosystem.
Competition Species interaction that occurs when two or more organisms of the same or different species attempt to see the same limited resource.
Competitive Exclusion principle If all other factors are constant no two species that compete for the same resources can occupy the same niche.
Decomposer Consumers that get their food by breaking down dead organisms and causing them to rot.
Denitrification Process in the nitrogen cycle where denitrifying bacteria covert excess nitrates to nitrites and then to nitrogen gas.
Detritivore Consumers that feed on dead organic detritus and break them down into smaller molecules.
Ecological Succession Gradual change of the species composition in a given area over time.
Ecology The study of the interactions of organisms and their environment.
Ecosystem All of the different organisms living in a specific area, along with their physical environment.
Entropy Measure of the quantity of energy in a system that is not available to perform work.
Evolution Gradual change in the genetic makeup of a population over time.
Fitness Ability of an organism to survive and reproduce.
Food chain Chain Sequence in which energy is transferred from one organism to the next as each organism eats another.
Food web Diagram that shows the complex feeding relationships with in a ecosystem.
Gene pool Consists of all the genes in a populations offspring.
Groundwater Water that has reached rock or clay and cannot go any farther.
Habitat Physical location where a species lives.
Herbivore Consumer that feeds only on plants.
Heterotrophs Also known as consumers. Needs to consume other organisms or organic material to get energy.
Host The organism a parasite lives in or on and takes its nourishment from.
Limiting Factor Principle States that too much or too little of any abiotic factor can limit or prevent Growth in a population.
Limiting factors A resource or condition that limits the growth or distribution of a population in an ecosystem.
Microevolution Small genetic changes that occur in population over time.
Mutation Random changes in the structure/ number of DNA molecules in a cell.
Mutualism Partnership Where two species benefit from each other.
Natural selection The idea that organisms better suited for their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring.
Niche The function of an organism in an ecosystem that includes everything that affects its survival and reproduction.
Nitrification Process in the nitrogen cycle where nitrifying bacteria covert ammonia and ammonium ion.
Omnivore Feed on both plants and other consumers.
Organism An individual living thing
Parasite Organism that lives in or on another organism without killing it.
Parasitism Relationship where one benefits and the other one suffers.
Pioneer Species The first organisms to colonize and newly available area and start the process of succession.
Population Group of individuals of the same species living in the same area.
Precipitation Vapor water condensed and forms rain, hail or sleet. Falls from atmosphere
Predation Where one organism kills and eats another organism.
Predator Organism that preys upon other organisms.
Prey Organism that is killed for food.
Primary Succession Gradual establishment of biotic communities on a ground surface that does not contain life.
Secondary Succession Gradual change of the species composition of an ecosystem.
Species Group of organisms that share common genes and are able to produce fertile offspring.
Surface water Water that is above ground in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.
Theory of evolution Theory that states all species descend from earlier, ancestor species.
Transpiration Theory that states all species descend from earlier, ancestral species.
Trophic levels Feeding levels for organisms within an ecosystem.

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