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29 Cards in this Set

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Define Ecology
study of the interactions of organisms with one another and with their environment
Define Biosphere
part of the Earth in and on which life exists
Define Ecosystem
division of the biosphere consisting of all the biotic and abiotic factors that surround organisms and affect their way of life
Define Community
all the populations of organisms living in a given area
Define Ecological Succession
process through which an existing community is gradually replaced by another community
Define Climax Community
relatively stable collection of plants and animals that results from ecological succession
Define Biome
environment that has a characteristic climax community
Define Tundra
northernmost land biome covered by mosses, lichens, and grasses and characterized by permafrost
Define Taiga
biome dominated by great coniferous forests
Define Temperate Deciduous Forest
biome characterized by changing seasons and leaf fall
Define Grassland
biome consisting of a vast area covered with grasses and small leafy plants
Define Tropical Rain Forest
biome in which the temperature stays warm and the rain falls year round
Define Desert
biome that receives less than 25 centimeters of rainfall a year
Define Freshwater Biome
rivers, streams, and lakes that provide drinking water and food
Define Marine Biome
ocean habitat
Define Estuary
area between fresh water and salt water
Define Producer
organism that is able to make its own food from inorganic substances
Define Consumer
organism that gets its energy either directly or indirectly from producers
Define Decomposer
organism that breaks down and obtains energy form dead organic material
Define Ecological Pyramid
diagram used to represent the energy relationships among tropic levels of an ecosystem
Define Biochemical Cycle
series of physical and biological processes by which nutrients move through the biosphere
Define Water Cycle
movement of water through the atmosphere to the Earth and back to the atmosphere
Define Nitrogen Cycle
movement of nitrogen through the biosphere between organisms and the atmosphere
Define Denitrification
process by which bacteria in the soil break down nitrogen compounds into free nitrogen
Define Carbon Cycle
movement of carbon between organic compounds that make up living tissues and CO2 in the air`
Define Oxygen Cycle
movement of oxygen through the environment
Define Limiting Factor
condition that limits the rate at which energy is produced in an ecosystem by preventing a species from growing to its potential
Define Food Chain
series of organisms through which food energy is passed in an ecosystem
Define Food Web
complex relationship formed by interconnecting and overlapping food chains