Ostrander Chapter 2 Ecosystems/Biomes

Term Definition
Producer An organism that can make its own food
Consumer An organism that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms
Herbivore Consumers that eat only plants
Carnivore Consumers that eat only animals
Omnivore Consumers that eat both plant and animals
Scavenger A carnivore that feeds on the body of dead organisms
Decomposer Break down biotic wastes and dead organisms
Food Chain Is a series of events in which one organism eats another to obtain energy
Food Web Is many overlapping food chains in an ecosystem
Energy Pyramid Shows the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web
Evaporation The process where water molecules of liquid water absorb energy and change into gas
Condensation The process in which a gas changes to a liquid
Precipitation rain, snow, sleet, or hail falls to Earth
Nitrogen fixation The process of changing free nitrogen into usable nitrogen
Biome A group of ecosystems with similar climates and organisms
Climate The average annual temperature and the amount of precipitation
Desert An area that receives less than 25 cm of rain a year
Rain Forest A forest where large amounts of rain fall year round
Emergent Layer Tallest layer of the rain forest and receives the most sunlight
Canopy Underneath trees up to 50 meters tall form a leafy roof
Understory Under the canopy a layer of shorter trees and vines 15 meters high
Grassland 25-75 cm of rain each year. An area that is populated with mostly grasses and non woody plants
Savanna Receives 120 cm of rain each year. Made of scattered shrubs and small trees, and grass
Boreal Forest Dense forest found in the upper regions of the northern Hemisphere. Lots of coniferous trees
Coniferous trees Trees that produce their own seeds in cones and have leaves shaped like needles.
Tundra Extremely cold and dry. Very little precipitation
Permafrost Soil that is frozen all year
Deciduous trees Trees that shed their leaves and grow new ones each year.
Estuary Where fresh water of a river meets the salt water of the ocean
Intertidal Zone Located on the shore between the highest tide and lowest tide line
Nertic Zone Region of shallow water found below the low tide line and extending continental shelf.
Biogeography The study of how organisms live and how the got there
Continental Drift The process of the tectonic plates moving and continents moving with them.
Dispersal The movement of organisms from one place to another
Exotic Species Is an organism carried into a new location by people

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