September 17, 2002

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Ecology Glossary

abiotic - nonliving factors in the environment. The abiotic factors of the environment include light, temperature, soil, climate and atmospheric gases.

biotic - pertaining to life or living things.

carnivore - organism that eats meat for energy.

consumer - organism that consumes another organism as food for energy.

community - the region occupied by a group of interacting organisms

decomposer - organisms that breakdown organic material.

ecology- the study of how living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) parts of the environment interact with each other

ecosystem - a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment.

food chain -An interconnected chain of organisms that indicate which are predators and which are prey in relation to one another.

habitat - the natural environment of a plant or animal.

herbivore - organisms that eat plants for energy.

niche - the ecological role of an organism in a community.

omnivore - organism that eats plants and meat for energy.

organism - any living thing that has living characteristics and is composed of one or more cells.

population - all the organisms that constitute a specific group or occur in a specified habitat.

producer - organisms that use the sun for producing food.

species - organisms that can reproduce with each other.

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