Ecosystem Card Sort
Warm up
 What are the characteristics of life?
 Exchange gases
 Need water
 Reproduce
 Needs energy
 Made of cells
 Respond to environment
 Grow
 Adapt to environment
 Movement is NOT a characteristic of life
Ecology Vocabulary
 Ecologists study ecosystems. They have specific terms
they use and we are going to learn the first five now.
 Discuss with neighbors what you think these words
Record these in your journals:
Organism: Any living thing.
Individual: One single organism.
Population: All of the individuals of one kind (one
species) in a specified area.
Community: All the interacting organisms in a specified
Ecosystem: A system of interacting organisms and
nonliving factors in a specified area.
Biotic: Living organisms and products of organisms.
Abiotic: Nonliving.
Card Sort
 Work with one other person in your lab group.
 If you are a lab group of three, work with both people.
 Sort your cards into piles. They should represent:
 Individuals
 Populations
 Communities
 Ecosystems
 Abiotic factors
As you work with your partner, you should be discussing your
reasons for card placement.
 Complete lab sheet 11, Ecosystem Card-Sort Results.
 Work with your partner to check where you placed
each card and list a brief reason for each one why you
placed the card there.
 I am now going to give each group a few cards, but
 Decide in your group where each card should go.
When I call on you, be ready to place them on the
 Do we need to make any changes?
Biotic v. Abiotic
 The cards you identified as individual, population and
community represent the biotic factors in an
ecosystem. Biotic means living.
 Things in an ecosystem that are NOT alive like
conditions (hot, cold, wind, elevation) and resources
(light, carbon dioxide, oxygen, water, minerals) are
called abiotic factors. The prefix “a” means not, so
abiotic is not alive.
 An ecosystem is a system of interactions and
relationships between the biotic and abiotic factors
that exist in a specified area.
Review Cards Again
 What did we learn last year about the characteristics of
What does it mean to be “alive?”
Should we make any changes to abiotic and biotic?
Populations: When you look at your cards, are all the
organisms on each card you placed in this category the
same kind? If there are, it is really a population?
Communities: Does pond and ocean belong in
community or ecosystem?
 Look again at the pond, forest, hillside and ocean
 Is there anything biotic on these cards?
 Trees, fish, whales, etc.
 Is the anything abiotic on these cards?
 Water, light, salt, etc.
 An ecosystem is composed of all biotic and abiotic
elements and their interactions in a certain area.
 Review your lab sheet and make any changes you need
to based on our discussion.
 Read Life in a Community, pages 6-7
 Answer the questions from the last paragraph of the
story on the back of lab sheet 11.
 In complete sentences!!!!