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13 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
primary producer
An autotroph, usually a photosynthetic organism.
primary consumer
An herbivore; an organism in the trophic level of an ecosystem that eats plants or algae.
secondary consumer
A member of the trophic level of an ecosystem consisting of carnivores that eat herbivores.
tertiary consumer
carnivores that eat mainly other carnivores.
A consumer that derives its energy from nonliving organic material; a decomposer.
primary production
amount of light energy converted to chemical energy by autotrophs in an ecosystem
A process by which nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen, become highly concentrated in a body of water, leading to increased growth of organisms such as algae.
secondary production
amount of chemical energy in consumers′ food that is converted to their own new biomass
production efficiency
fraction of energy stored in food that is not used for respiration.
green world hypothesis
terrestrial herbivores consume relatively little plant biomass because they are held in check by a variety of factors
biogeochemical cycle
Any nutrient circuit which involve both biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems.
critical load
The amount of added nutrient, usually nitrogen or phosphorus, that can be absorbed by plants without damaging ecosystem integrity.
biological magnification
A trophic process in which retained substances become more concentrated with each link in the food chain.