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Ecology

Provides review of the following topics: interactions in an ecosystem, adaptations in an ecosystem, and energy flow within an ecosystem. Scientific method is also reviewed here.

AB
Hypothesisan educated guess based upon observations
scientific theorya unifying explanation supported by a lot of evidence
ecosystema combination of abiotic and biotic factors in a specific place
abiotic factorsthe non-living components of an ecosystem
biotic factorsthe living components within an ecosystem
populationa group of organisms of the same species living in the same place at the same time
communityall of the species living in the same place at the same time
predationa relationship between predator and prey
commensalisma relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits but the other is unharmed
parasitisma relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits while the other is harmed
mutualisma relationship in which both organisms benefit
symbiosisa close relationship between two organisms of different species
camouflageblending in with the environment
mimicrya harmless organism looks nearly identical to a harmful organism
adaptationa characteristic or trait that increases the likelihood of survival. Examples: fur, venom
natural selectionthe idea that organisms who have beneficial traits are more likely to survive and reproduce
evolutionchange over time
produceran organism that at the base of the food chain; capable of undergoing photosynthesis
consumeran organism that eats a producer (or another organism)
autotrophan organism capable of making its own food
heterotrophan organism that must consume other organisms for food (energy)
herbivorea plant eater
carnivorea meat eater
omnivoreeats plants and animals
decomposeran organism that breaks down dead or decaying organic matter
photosynthesisa process in which light energy, water, and carbon dioxide are converted into oxygen and sugar
food chaina linear diagram (straight line) showing what eats what
food weba diagram that shows feeding relationships within an ecosystem

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