VOCABULARY

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Asexual reproduction - reproduction involving just one parent to produce offspring. Several types of insects and other invertebrates reproduce this way. Offspring have the same genetic makeup as the parents.

Abiotic factors - those factors in an ecosystem that are not living but affect the organisms living there. Examples would be wind, rain fall, temperature, soil, etc..

Autotrophs - organisms who have the ability to manufacture their own food.

Biotic factors - those factors in an ecosystem that are living.

Carnivores - animals who only eat other animals.

Carrying capacity - the maximum population size that can be supported by available resources.

Chemical energy - the energy that is stored in the bonds that hold molecules together.

Detritivores - a special class of consumers that derives its energy from organic wastes and dead organisms from all trophic levels.

Ecology - the study of how organisms interact with their environment.

Ecosphere - an ecological study that considers the entire living earth as an ecosystem.

Ecosystem - an ecological study that includes all the organisms in a given area along with the abiotic factors with which they interact.

Extinction - the complete removal of a life form from the earth.

First order consumers - organisms of the second level in an energy pyramid that feed off of plants that can produce their own food. They are sometimes called herbivores.

Food chain - the transfer of food from trophic level to trophic level, beginning with producers.

Food web - the interconnected feeding relationships that exist in an ecosystem.

Herbicides - a chemical poisoned used to kill plants.

Herbivore - an animal that only eats plants.

Heterotrophs - organisms who have to acquire their food by consuming other organisms.

Omnivores - animals that have the ability to feed at all levels of an energy pyramid except the lowest level. They can eat both plants and animals, but they cannot produce their own food.

Photosynthetic organism - an organism that has the ability to take carbon dioxide and water in the presence of sunlight to produce stored chemical energy.

Producers - those organisms at the base level of an energy pyramid that have the ability to manufacture their own food.

Second order consumers - organisms of the third level in an energy pyramid that feed off of herbivores from the second level. They are sometimes called carnivores.

Third order consumers - organisms of the fourth level in an energy pyramid that feed off of other carnivores.

Trophic structure - the different feeding levels of an ecosystem, which determined the route of energy flow and the pattern of chemical recycling.

Work - used in the biological sense it refers to the ability of an organism to carry out its life's functions.

 



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