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ADAPTATION - Any change in the structure or function of an organism that helps the organism survive and multiply in its changing environment., INTERDEPENDENCE - How organisms depend on one another in order to survive., CARRYING CAPACITY - The level at which an ecosystem can support the population of an organism without limiting the population of others within that ecosystem, COMPETITION - Survival of the fittest. Organisms compete for what they need in order to survive (food, water, shelter), NICHE - An organism's job or role within its ecosystem., ENERGY CYCLE - Is the transfer of energy from producers, to consumers, to decomposers and finally back to the producers. Remember, all energy first came from the sun., PRODUCERS - These are plants! Plants are called producers because they absorb water and sunlight to produce or make their own food., CONSUMERS - These are organisms that must eat other living (or previously living) things. All plant and/or animal eaters are considered consumers., HERBIVORES - These are consumers that only eat plants., OMNIVORES - These are consumers that eat both plants and animals., CARNIVORES - These are the consumers that only eat animals (meat)., DECOMPOSERS - Organisms that break down dead or dying organisms. They tend to be microscopic organisms (bacteria) and fungi (mushrooms, etc) (don't confuse with scavengers!)., PREDATORS - These are animals that hunt, kill, and eat their food in order to survive., PREY - These are the animals that are hunted, killed, and eaten by other animals., SCAVENGERS - These are the animals that EAT the already dead animals (leftovers) and at times will even eat trash (Don't confuse with decomposers!)., FOOD CHAIN - The order of consumption among groups of organisms within one ecosystem., FOOD WEB - A group of overlapping food chains within one ecosystem., Ecology - The study of living and non living things within their environment, ENVIRONMENT/BIOME - The large surrounding area with a specific climate that contains various living and non-living things that can affect one another's existence., ECOSYSTEM - An area within an environment that can be as big as a forest or as tiny as a puddle where organisms interact., COMMUNITY - All of the living things (plants AND animals) within a particular area, HABITAT - The source of food water and shelter within an ecosystem that the living things need in order to survive., BIOTIC FACTOR - A living thing, ABIOTIC FACTOR - A non-living thing, SPECIES - The smallest category of living things. If they reproduce, their offspring will be able to reproduce as well, ORGANISM - Another name for a living thing or biotic factor., POPULATION - The total number of a group of organisms from the same species in a particular area, LIMITING FACTORS - a factor or condition that prevents the overgrowth of a population in an ecosystem, BIODIVERSITY - The number of, and variety of living things that exist in an ecosystem, BIOSPHERE - All of the living things that exist on Earth,

Environmental Vocab Part 1 & 2

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