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Term Definition
biosphere The top portion of the Earth's crust, all the waters that cover Earth's surface, and the atmosphere that surrounds Earth.
ecosystem All of the organisms living in an area, as well as the nonliving parts of the environment.
Ecology The study of interactions that occur among organisms and their environments.
Population Made up of all the organisms of the same species that live in an area at the same time.
Community All the populations of all species living in an ecosystem.
Habitat The place where an organism lives.
Limiting Factor Anything that restricts the number of individuals in a population.
Carrying Capacity The largest number of individuals of one species that an ecosystem can support over time.
Biotic Potential The highest rate of reproduction under ideal conditions.
Exponential Growth When a species moves into a new area with plenty of food, living space, and other resources, the population grows quickly, in a pattern.
Producers Organisms that use an outside energy source like the Sun to make energy-rich molecules.
Consumers Organisms that cannot make their own energy-rich molecules.
Food Chain A simple model of the feeding relationship in an ecosystem.
Symbiosis Any close relationship between species.
Mutualism A symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit.
Commensalism A symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits and the other is not affected.
Parasitism A symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits but the other is harmed.
Niche An organism's role in the environment.
biotic living
abiotic not living
herbivore plant eaters
carnivores animals that eat other animals
omnivores eat plants and other animals
prey a consumer captured and eaten by another consumer
predator consumers that capture and eat other consumers
A round worm living in a puppy is an example of what kind of symbiotic relationship? parasitism
decomposers consumes waste and other dead organisms
A clown fish protected by an anemone's tentacles is an example of which kind of symbiotic relationship? commensalism
A fish living in a pond… is this an example of habitat or niche? habitat
A cat uses its senses to find a mouse to eat… is this an example of habitat or niche? niche
Is soil a living organism or a nonliving factor? nonliving factor
Is a tree a living organism or nonliving factor? living organism
Is water living or nonliving? nonliving
Is the sun a living organism or a nonliving factor? nonliving factor
Is grass living or nonliving living
What is the part of the Earth that supports life called? Biosphere
Competition for food, living space, or other resources can limit what? population growth
If the number of birds in an area increases until there are no more nesting places, this means the ecosystem has reached its _______________ for birds. carrying capacity
What does all life require a constant supply of? energy
mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism are three kinds of what? symbiosis
What kind of organism can directly convert energy from the sun into food? producer
Trap – Mark – Release is a method for measuring what? population

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