Biomes

Ecosystems

Glossary

Abiotic - non-living factors in an environment. Ex. soil type, rainfall, sunlight, heat, topography, etc.
Adaptation - the behavior and/or physical characteristic that allows an organism to live successfully in their environment
Biotic - living organisms
Biosphere - the thin layer encircling the Earth where air, land, soil, and water exist. This is where life exists.
Biome - the community of living organisms in a given area characterized by similar climate and geography
Decomposer - organisms that break down wastes and dead organisms and return the raw materials to the ecosystem
Ecosystem - a community of organisms interacting with one another and the non-living environment.
Carnivore - a consumer that only eats animals
Carrying Capacity - the largest population an area can support
Commensalism - a symbiotic relationship in which one species benefits and the other species is neither helped nor harmed
Community - a group of living (biotic) organisms (animals,plants and microbes) that share the same living area and resources
Competition - the struggle between organisms to survive as they attempt to use the same limited resources
Consumer - an organism that obtains energy by feeding onother organisms
Energy Pyramid - shows the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web
Food Chain - a series of events in which one organism eats another and obtains energy
Food Web - consists of many overlapping food chains in an ecosystem
Habitat - the place where an organism (plant, animal, or microorganism) naturally lives or grows.
Herbivore - a consumer that only eats plants
Host - the organism that a parasite lives in or on in a parasitic relationship
Limiting Factor - an environmental factor that causes a population to decrease. Some factors include: food & water, space, weather conditions
Mutualism - a symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit
Natural Selection - the process in which a characteristic that makes an individual better suited to its environment may eventually become common in that species
Niche - the role of an organism, or how it makes its living. This includes the type of food an organism eats, how it obtains its food, and which other organisms use the organism as food. It also includes when & how the organism reproduces and the physical conditions it requires to survive.
Omnivore - a consumer that eats both plants and animals
Organism - any form of life
Parasite - the organism that benefits in a parasitic relationship
Parasitism - a symbiotic relationship in which one organism lives on or inside another organism and harms it.
Population - a group of individual organisms for the same species living in a particular area
Predation - an interaction in which one organism kills another for food
Predator - the organism that does the killing
Prey - the organism that is killed
Producer - an organism that can make its own food
Scavenger - a carnivore that feeds on the bodies of dead organisms
Species - a group of similar and related organisms (for example, blue jays & robins are separate species)
Symbiosis - a close relationship between two species that benefits at least one of the species