Ecology definitions

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  • Ecology Definitions
    • The biosphere - part of the earth in which living organisms are found
      • The aquatic environment - fresh water, marine and estuarine (where rivers meet the sea)
      • The terrestrial environment - on land
    • Biomes - major areas of the earths surface which experience similar physical conditions resulting in similar communities
    • Geographical zones - Continents
    • Zones - smaller sub divisions of biomes. Each zone has its own particular set of physical conditions
    • Habitats - specific localities appropriately adapted community of organisms
    • Micro habitat - further sub division of a habitat e.g. the conditions on the under side of a leaf
    • A population - is an assemblage of individuals of the same species occupying a given area. Populations of individuals form a community.
    • A community is an assemblage of populations of different species occupying the same habitat
    • Ecological niche - no two species can occupy the same niche. They can be similar but not the same. It is more than just where an organism lives but also what it does there, its behaviour etc.
    • Ecosystem - a non living environment with a living community
    • Environment - embraces all of the conditions in which organisms live. All the parts of the ecosystem which interact with the organism.
      • Abiotic environment (chemical or physical) light, rainfall, wind, humidity etc
      • Biotic environment - includes competition for light, space, food, shelter etc
      • Edaphic environment - (factors involved with soil) conditions of the land; flat, hilly, north, west
    • Biodiversity - the variety of habitats, communities and species in an area and the genetic diversity within populations
    • Species - a group of organisms with similar morphology and physiology and individuals can interbreed to produce fertile offspring


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