Biology – Chapter 2 – Principles of Ecology – Section 1, 2 & 3

Scientific study of all the interrelationships between organisms and their enviroment.

Relatively thin layer of Earth and it’s atmosphere that supports life.

Biotic factor
Any living factor in an organ’s enviroment.

Abiotic factor
Any non living factor in an organisms enviroment, such as soil,water temperature, and light availability.

Group of organisms of the same species that occupy the same geographic place at the same time.

Biological community
All the interacting populations of different species that live in the same geographic location at the same time.

Biological community and all the non living factors that affect it.

Large group of ecosystem that share the same climate and have similar types of communities.

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Physical area in which an organism lives.

Role, or position, of an organism in its enviroment.

Act on one organism feeding on another organism.

Close mutualistic, parasitic, or commensal association between two or more species that live together.

Symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit.

Symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits and the other organism is neither helped nor harmed.

Symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits at the expense of another organism.

Organism that captures energy from sunlight or inorganic substances to produce its own food; provides the foundation of the food supply for other organisms; also called a producer.

Organism that cannot make its own food and gets its own food and gets its nutrients and energy requirements by feeding on other organisms; also called a consumer.

Heterotroph that eats only plants.

Heterotroph that preys on other heterotrophs.

Heterotroph that consumes both animals and plants.

Heterotroph that decomposes organic material and returns the nutrients to soil, air, and water, making the nutrients available to other organisms.

Trophic level
Each step in a food chain or in a food web.

Food chain
Simplified model that shows a single path for energy flow through an ecosystem.

Food web
Model that shows many interconnected food chains and pathways in which energy and matter flow through an ecosystem.

Total mass of living matter at each trophic level.

Anything that takes up space and has mass.

Chemical substance that living organisms obtain from the environment to carry out life processes and sustain life.

Biogeochemical cycle
Exchange of matter through the biosphere involving living organisms, chemical process,and geological processes.

Nitrogen fixation
Process in which nitrogen gas is captured and converted into a form plants can use.

Process in which fixed nitrogen compounds are converted back into nitrogen gas and returned to the atmosphere.

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