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  1. 1. Mixed up ecological termsPopulation A group of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. The living or biotic part of an ecosystem, i.e. all the populations of all theTrophic level different species living in one habitat.Abiotic Each stage in a food chain.Species An animal that eats other organisms.Herbivore All the members of the same species living in one habitat. An organism that obtains its energy and mass from other organismsConsumer (=consumers + decomposers). An organism that produces organic molecules from carbon dioxide andProducer water using photosynthesis. Can be plant, algae, plankton or bacteria.Heterotroph “Plant plankton” i.e. microscopic marine producers.Zooplankton “Animal plankton” i.e. microscopic marine consumers.Predator A consumer that eats plants (= primary consumer).Phytoplankton An animal that is hunted and killed for food.Detritus Dead and waste organic matter that is not eaten by consumers.Decomposer An animal that hunts and kills animals for food.
  2. 2. Detrivore An animal that eats detritus.Prey An organism that consumes detritus (= detrivores + saprophytes).Mutualism Two organisms living together for mutual benefit.Saprophyte An organism that feeds on a larger living host organism, harming it.Pathogen A microbe that causes a disease.Parasite Competition for resources between members of the same species.Pyramids of show how much energy flows into each trophic level in a given time.Numbers.Intraspecific Show the total mass of living organisms (i.e. the biomass) at each trophiccompetition level.Pyramids of A microbe (bacterium or fungus) that lives on detritus.energyPyramids of The process converting nitrate to N2 it is carried out by anaerobic bacteria.BiomassNitrogen Fixation Show the numbers of organisms at each trophic level in a food chain. An organisms role in an ecosystem. The range of conditions it can surviveNitrification in and how it fits into the food web. The conversion of N containing organic molecules (mainly proteins) toDenitrification ammonia. It is carried out by saprophytes. The process reducing nitrogen gas to forms which can be used by livingNiche organisms.
  3. 3. Competetive The final stage of succession.exclusionAmmonification The change to an ecosystem over time.Climax community The conversion of ammonia to nitrate. The concept that two species cannot coexist in the same habitat if theyColonisers occupy the same ecological niche. The distribution in bands of species across an environmental gradient.Succession E.g. a rocky shore from cliff face to low water mark. Organisms that are the first to colonise a new area (e.g. bare rock). TheyDeforestation are usually very specialised and can tolerate harsh abiotic conditions.Zonation The removal of forests usually to create additional land for grazing.Ecosystem A reasonably self-contained area together with all its living organisms. A measure of the biological richness of an ecosystem in terms of theCommunity numbers of organisms present and the number of different species present.Biotic Any living or biological factor.Habitat Any non-living or physical factor. A defined area with specific characteristics where the organisms live, e.g.Diversity oak forest, deep sea, sand dune, rocky shore, moorland, hedgerow, garden pond, etc.