ecology chapter 2

Question Answer
producer An organism that makes it's own food.
consumer An organism that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms.
herbivore A consumer that only eats plants.
omnivore a consumer that obtains energy by eating both plants and animals.
scavenger a carnivore that feeds on the bodies of dead or decaying organisms.
decomposer an organism that gets energy by breaking down biotic wastes and dead organisms, and returns raw materials to the soil and water.
food chain a series of events in an ecosystem in which organisms tranfer energy by eating and by being eaten.
food web the pattern of overlapping feeding relationships or food chains among the various organisms in an ecosystem.
energy pyramid a diagram that shows the amount of energy that moves from one feeding level to another in a food web.
evaporation the process by which molecules at the surface of a liquid absorb enough energy to change to a gas.
condensation the change in state from a gas to a liquid.
precipitation any form of water that falls from clouds and reaches Earth's surface as rain, snow, sleet, or hail.
nitrogen fixation the process of changing free nitrogen gas into nitrogen compounds that plants can absorb and use.
biome a group of ecosystems with similar climates and organisms.
climate the average annual conditions of temperature, precipitation,winds,and clouds in an area.
desert a dry region that on average receives less than 25 cm of precipitation per year.
rain forest a forest that receives at least 2 meters of rain per year, mostly occurring in the tropical wet climate zone.
emergent layer the tallest layer of the rain forest that receives the most sunlight.
canopy a leafy roof formed by tall trees in a rain forest.
understory a layer of shorter trees and vines that grows in the shade of a forest canopy.
grassland an area populated mostly grasses and other nonwoody plants that gets 25 to 75 cm of water per year(365 days=1 year).
savanna a grassland located close to the equator that may include shrubs and small trees and receives as much as 120 cm of rain every year.
deciduous tree a tree that sheds its leaves during a particular season and grows
boreal forest dense forest of evergreens located in the upper regions of the northern hemisphere.
coniferous tree a tree that produces its seeds in cones and that has needle-shaped leaves coated in a waxy substance to reduce water loss.
tundra an extremely cold, dry biome climate region characterized by short ,cool summers and bitterly cold winters.
permafrost permanently frozen soil found in the tundra biome climate region.
estuary a kind of wetland formed where fresh water from rivers mixes with salty ocean water.
intertidal zone an area between the highest high-tide line on land to the point on the continental shelf exposed by the lowest low-tide.
neritic zone the area of the ocean that extends from the low tide line out to the edge of the continental shelf.
clear-cutting the process of cutting down all the trees in an area at once.
selective cutting the process of cutting down only some tree species in an area.
sustainable yeild An amount of a renewable resource that can be harvested regularly without reducing the future supply.
fishery An area with a large population of valuable ocean organisms.
aquaculture the practice of raising fish and other water-dwelling organism for food.