Exploring Ecosystems

How are plants and animals in an ecosystem connected?


Environment: all living and non-living things in an area

Abiotic: non-living factors, rocks, soil, temperature, water

Biotic: living things; organisms

Organism: Any living thing; plant or animal

Population: The number of a specific organism in an area.(20 rabbits in a field)

Community: All the populations of organisms that live in an certain area.

Ecosystem: all the communities and non-living things in an area.

Habitat: The place where an organism lives (hollow log, a pond)

Niche: how the organism interacts in its habitat (gets food, shelter)

Diversity: a great variety of living things


Producers: green plants

Photosynthesis; the process by which green plants make food.

Glucose: Sugar produced by green plants

Consumers : animals: Herbivores (plant eaters), Carnivores (meat eaters) Omnivores (eat plants and animals)

Predators: hunt other animals

Prey: Animals that get eaten

Decomposers; fungi, bacteria, worms --they return nutrients of dead organisms to the soil

Food Chain: Sun-> Producer-> consumer->Decomposers

Food Web: a collection of interconnected food chains.

Energy Pyramid: diagram that shows how much energy passes from living things in a food chain.


Biomes: Huge areas that have the same climate and environments

Tropical Rain Forests (over 90 inches of rain a year)

Deciduous Forests (4 seasons)

Grasslands/Savannas (wet season and dry season)

Deserts (less than 10 inches of rain per year)

Taiga: (northern climate, vegetation is mostly evergreen trees)

Tundra: (located near the arctic, frozen permafrost soil, no trees)