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Ecology: Glossary

A

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

B

biome
A large community of plants and animals that occupies a distinct region.
biotic
pertaining to life or living things.

C

carnivore
organism that eats meat for energy.
community
the region occupied by a group of interacting organisms.
consumer
organism that consumes another organism as food for energy.

D

decomposer
organism that breaks down organic material.

E

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.

F

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

H

habitat
the natural environment of a plant or animal.
herbivore
organism that eats plants for energy.

N

niche
the ecological role of an organism in a community.

O

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.

P

population
all the organisms that constitute a specific group or occur in a specific habitat.
producer
organism that uses the sun to create food.

S

species
organisms that can reproduce with each other.
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