1.1 Populations and Ecosystems

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Definitions

Ecology- The study of inter-relationships between organisms and their environment, including abiotic and biotic factors.

Biosphere- The life-supporting layer of land, air and water that surrounds the Earth.

Ecosystem- More or less self-contained functional units in ecology, made up of all the interacting abiotic and biotic factors in an area.

Population- A group of interbreeding organisms of one species in a habitat.

Community- All the populations of different organisms living and interacting in the same habitat at the same time.

Habitat- The place where a community of organisms lives.

Microhabitats- Smaller units within the habitat, which have distinct abiotic and biotic environmental factors.

Niche- The way an organism fits into it's environment, i.e

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