Ecosystems and Energy

 

Biotic



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Something living, including all organisms

Abiotic
Nonliving or physical environment, includes physical factors such as soil, sunlight, etc.
Populations
A group of organisms of the same species that live together in the same area at the same time.
Ecosystem
A community together with it’s physical environment.
Atmosphere
The gaseous envelope surrounding the Earth.
Hydrosphere
The Earth’s supply of water whether it’s liquid, frozen, fresh, or salty.
Lithosphere
The soil and rock of Earth’s crust.
Energy
The capacity or ability to do work.
Potential Energy
Stored energy.
Kinetic Energy
The energy of motion.
Thermodynamics
The study of energy and it’s transformations.
Closed System
A system that doesn’t exchange energy with it’s surroundings.
Open System
A system that can exchange energy with it’s surroundings.
First Law of Thermodynamics.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, although it can be transformed from one form to another.
Second Law of Thermodynamics
Whenever energy is converted from one form to another, some usable energy is lost as heat and disperses into the environment.
Entropy
The measurable of the disorder or certainty of an outcome.
Photosynthesis
The biological process in which light energy from the sun is captured and transformed into sugar molecules for plants.
Cellular respiration
The chemical energy that plants store in carbs. and other molecules is released within plant animal and ither organisms cells.
Chemosynthesis
Obtaining energy and making carbohydrates molecules from inorganic raw materials.
Producers/Autotrophs
Manufacture complex molecules from inorganic substances, generally CO2 and water; usually uses sunlight to do it.
Consumers/ Heterotrophs
Use the bodies of other organisms as a source of food energy and bodybuilding materials.
Primary Consumer
Consumers that eat producers; exclusively herbivores
Herbivores
Organisms that only eat plants
Secondary Consumer
Eat primary consumers
Tertiary Consumer
Eat secondary consumers
Carnivores
Animals that eat other animals.
Omnivore
Consumers that eat both plants and animals.
Detritus Feeders
Consume detritus, which includes animal carcasses, leaf litter, and feces.
Decomposer/Saprotroph
Microbial heterotrophs that break down dead organic material and use the products to supply themselves with energy.
Biomass
A quantitative estimate of the total mass, or amount of living material.
Pyramid of Energy
Illustrates the energy content, often expressed as kilocalories per square meter per year of the biomass.
Gross Primary Productivity (GPP)
The rate as which energy is captured during photosynthesis.
Net Primary Productivity (NPP)
Energy that remains in plant tissues after cellular respiration has occurred.
Food Chains
Energy from food passes from one organism to the next in the sequence.
Food Web
A complex of interconnected food chains in an ecosystem; a more realistic model of the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems.
Trophic Level
Each level in a food chain.
Pyramid of Numbers.
Shows the number of organisms at each trophic level in a given ecosystem, with greater numbers representing larger areas on the pyramid.
Pyramid of Biomass
Illustrates the total biomass at each successive trophic level.