Populations and Ecosystems Vocabulary
1. Organism: Any living thing.
2. Individual: One single organism.
3. Population: All of the individuals of one kind in a specified area at one time.
4. Community: All the interacting populations in a specified area.
5. Ecosystem: A system of interacting organisms and nonliving factors in a specified area.
6. Biotic: Living organisms and products of organisms.
7. Abiotic: Nonliving.
8. Scientific Method: A series of steps that is used to answer a question or solve a problem.
9. Ask a Question: Ask a question based on observations.
10. Form a Hypothesis: A possible explanation for what you have observed.
11. Test the Hypothesis: Design and conduct experiements. Collect data from experiments.
12. Analyze the Results: Use the data collected during experiments to draw conclusions.
13. Draw Conclusions: Use the results of the experiment to confirm hypothesis.
14. Communicate Results: Share results of experiments with other scientists.15. Carrying Capacity: The largest population that a given environment can support over a long period of time.16. Coevolution: The long-term changes that take place in two species because of their close interactions.17. Commensalism: A symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits and the other is unaffected.18. Parasitism: A symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits while the other is harmed.19. Predator: An organism that eats other organisms.20. Prey: An organism that is eaten by another organism.21. Mutualism: A symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit.22. Symbiosis: A close, long-term association between two or more species.
23. Innate Behavior: A behavior that is influenced by genes and does not depend on learning.
24. Learned Behavior: A behavior that has been learned from experience or observation.
25. Hibernation: A period of inactivity that some animals experience in winter that helps them to survive on stored body fat.
26. Estivation: A period of reduced activity that some animals experience in summer.
27. Communication: A transfer of a signal from one animal to another that results in a response.
28. Social Behavior: Interaction between animals of the same species.
29. Producer: An organism that is able to produce its own food through photosynthesis.
30. Consumer: An organism that eats other organisms.
31. Decomposer: An organism that consumes parts of dead organisms and transfers all the biomass into simple chemicals.
32. Heterotrophs: An organism that cannot make its own food and must eat other organisms.
33. Photosynthesis: The process by which producers make energy-rich molecules from water and carbon dioxide and light.
34. Autotrophs: An organism that can produce its own food.
35. Evolution: The process by which populations accumulate inherited changes over time.
36. Selective Breeding: The breeding of organisms that have a certain desired trait.
37. Natural Selection: The process by which organisms with favorable traits survive and reproduce at a higher rate than organisms without the favorable trait.
38. Charles Darwin: Developed the theory of natural selection to explain evolution.
39. Trait: A distinguishing quality that can be passed from one generation to another.
40. Variations: Differences in a specific trait among a species of organism.
41. Species: A group of organisms that can mate with one another to produce offspring.
42. Fossil Record: A historical sequence of life indicated by fossils found in layers of the Earth's crust.
43. Structural Adaptations: A physical characteristic that helps an organism survive and reproduce in its environment.
44. Behavioral Adaptations: A behavioral characteristic that helps an organism survive and reproduce in its environment.
45. Heredity: The passing of traits from parent to offspring.
46. Dominant Trait: The trait observed when at least one dominant allele for a characteristic is inherited.
47. Recessive Trait: A trait that is apparent only when two recessive alleles for the same characteristic are inherited.
48. Genes: Segments of DNA that carry hereditary instructions and are passed from parent to offspring. Located on chromosomes.
49. Alleles: Different forms of a single gene.
50. Genotype: The inherited combination of alleles.
51. Phenotype: An organism's inherited appearance.
52. Probability: The mathematical chance that an event will occur.
53. Mendel: Used plants to study the way traits are passed from parents to offspring.
54. Punnett Square: A tool used to visualize all the possible combinations of alleles from parents.