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    Ecosystem Vocabulary

    by kcollantes


    Ecosystem: The living and nonliving things in an environment and all their interactions (A40).

    Community: The living part of an ecosystem (A40). The living part of an ecosystem forms a community.

    Habitat: The home of an organism (A40). habitat a place where plants and animals can meet their needs. The plants and animals in a habitat need each other in many ways. Each organism’s home is called its habitat. An earthworm lives in a soil habitat. A whale’s habitat is the ocean. A deer’s habitat is in fields and forests.

    Population: One type of organism living in an area (A58). Communities can be divided into different populations. A population is made of one type of organism. Western Aleutian Steller Sea Lion.

    Organism: A living thing that carries out five basic life functions on its own (A6). Pneumococci.

    Living: living thing something that grows, changes, and makes other living things like itself. A plant is a living thing. The living part of an ecosystem includes plants and animals. Coral is a living thing.

    Nonliving: nonliving things things that do not grow, eat, drink, or make more things like themselves. Cars are nonliving things. The nonliving part of an ecosystem includes water, rocks, air, light, and soil. Water is a nonliving thing.

    Overpopulation: OVERPOPULATION is “a” condition where an organism’s numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth.

    Balance: A stable balance in the numbers of each species in an ecosystem.

    Roles: The three energy roles in any ecosystem are producers, consumers and decomposers. Fishers are important predators in their ecosystems.

    Niche: The Ecological Niche of an organism describes how that particular individual “fits” into its ecosystem. Within its habitat, it must make use of available resources, withstand abiotoic and biotic factors, with the help of adaptations. In other words, a niche is the role that the individual organism plays in its nonliving and living environment.
    Ecological niches are crucial in determining the effects of extinction, migration, and environmental degradation on an ecosystem.
    Species with narrow niches tend to be specialists, relying on comparatively few food sources. In contrast, species with broad niches are generalists that can adapt to wider ranges of environmental conditions within their own lifetimes.

    Producer: Producers make food. You can tell producers by their green color. To make food, producers use water, air, simple chemicals, and the Sun’s energy.

    Consumer: Consumers use the food that producers make. Consumers include animals and some one-celled organisms. There are consumers that eat plants. Other consumers eat only animals. A third type of consumer eats both plants and animals.

    Decomposer: Decomposers break down the wastes and the remains of other organisms. Decomposers include bacteria and some fungi. They also include larger organisms, such as worms and snails. Decomposers can spoil the food we eat. We can freeze, dry, and can foods to prevent spoilage.

    Herbivore: consumers that eat plants.

    Carnivore: consumers that eat only animals.

    Omnivore: consumers that eat both plants and animals.

    Food Chain: food chain shows what animals eat. The mouse is part of a food chain.

    Food Web: food web is a group of several food chains that are connected. Plankton is an important part of the ocean food web.


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