Chapter 4 - Interactions of Life

Ecology Vocabulary 2013
Chapters 4 and 5
Chapter 4, Section 1: Living Earth (pages 94-97)
adaptation: any variation that makes an organism better suited to
its environment
biosphere: part of the Earth that supports life; includes land,
water, and atmosphere
ecosystem: all the living organisms that live in an area and the
non-living features of their environment
ecology: study of the interactions that take place among organisms
and their environments
population: all of the organisms that belong to the same species
living in a community
community: all of the populations of different species that live in
an ecosystem
habitat: place where an organism lives and that provides the types
of food, shelter, moisture, and temperature needed for survival
Chapter 4, Section 2: Populations (pages 98-105)
natural selection: hypothesis that states organisms with traits best
suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce
limiting factor: anything that can restrict the size of a population
carrying capacity: largest number of individuals of a particular
species that an ecosystem can support over time
Chapter 4, Section 3: Interactions within Communities
(pages 106-110)
social behavior: interactions among members of the same species
producer: organism that can makes its own food
consumer: organism that obtains its food by eating other
symbiosis: any close relationship between species
mutualism: a relationship where both species benefit
commensalism: a relationship where one species benefits and the
other us unharmed or unaffected…
parasitism: a relationship where one species benefits and the other
is harmed but not killed
niche: refers to the unique ways an organism survives, obtains food
and shelter, and avoids danger
Chapter 5, Section 1 (pages 122-128)
environment: everything, such as climate, soil, and living things
that surrounds and affects an organism
biotic: features of the environment that are alive or were once alive
abiotic: nonliving, physical features of the environment, including
air, water, sunlight, soil, temperature, and climate
atmosphere: air surrounding Earth; is made up of gases, including
78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and .03% carbon dioxide
soil: mixture of mineral and rock particles, the remains of dead
organisms, air, and water that forms the top-most layer of Earth’s
crust and supports plant growth
climate: average weather conditions of an area over time, including
wind, temperature, and rainfall or other types of precipitation such as
snow or sleet
Chapter 5, Section 3 (pages 136 – 139)
energy: the capacity for doing work
chemosynthesis: process in which producers make energy-rich
nutrient molecules from chemicals
food web: model that shows the complex feeding relationships
among organisms in a community
energy pyramid: model that shows the amount of energy available
at each feeding level in an ecosystem