Topic 5 - Life Processes in the Biosphere Glossary

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Habitat
The place where an organism, species or population lives.
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Population
All individuals of a species living in a particular area.
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Exoskeleton
A skeleton on the outside of an organism, such as insects.
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Turbulence
The roughness of the environment caused by chaotic air to water flow.
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Heterotroph
An organism that gains its organic compounds for energy and growth from other organisms.
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Cellulase
An enzyme that digests cellulose that is produced by some bacteria, fungi and protozoans.
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Symbiosis
A relationship between organisms of different species that live together. One benefits while the other species may benefit, be unaffected or suffer. E.g. +/- relationship.
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Mycorrhizal Fungi
Symbiotic fungi associated with plant roots that gain carbohydrates from the plants and aid the uptake of nutrients, such as phosphates from the soil by plants.
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Pollination
The transfer of the male plant gametes onto the female part of a flower, resulting in fertilisation or seed production.
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Community
A community of species refers to the populations of all species living in a particular area.
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Taxonomy
The study of organisms to assess how they might be grouped or classified.
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Taxon
A group of organisms based on their biological similarities.
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Genus
A group of closely related species.
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Ecosystem
The community of organisms living in an area, their inter-relationships and interactions with their abiotic environment.
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Biome
A large geographical region with particular climatic features, in which a characteristic, unique community of species live. E.g. coral reef.
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Ecological Succession
The sequences of changes in community composition that changes as an area is colonised and develops until a climax community is eventually produced.
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Lithosere
The sequence of changes in community composition as bare rock is colonised and becomes a terrestrial climax community.
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Autotrophs
An organism that can capture light or chemical energy from the environment to make high-energy substances, such as carbohydrates. They include photoautotrophs and chemoautotrophs.
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Edaphic
A factor related to soil, particularly as it affects living organisms.
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Density Independent Factors
A factor that is not influenced by the population density of the species that may be affected. E.g. drought, volcanic eruption.
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Density Dependent Factors
A factor whose effect is affected by the density of the population. E.g. food supply.
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Carrying Capacity
The greatest population that can be supported sustainably in an area.
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Sigmoidal Population Growth
The growth pattern of a population where abundant resources allow rapid growth followed by population stabilisation as the carrying capacity is reached.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

All individuals of a species living in a particular area.

Back

Population

Card 3

Front

A skeleton on the outside of an organism, such as insects.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The roughness of the environment caused by chaotic air to water flow.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

An organism that gains its organic compounds for energy and growth from other organisms.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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