Ecosystems Vocabulary

std 2 vocab
Alligator eating a tadpole near St. Augustine, Florida. Photo courtesy of
minds-eye/Flickr. Licensed CC BY.


Abiotic: non-living.


Aphelion: the point in Earth's orbit where it is farthest from the Sun (in July)


Biome: geographic area that is similar.


Biotic: living.


Commensalism: Relationship in which one organism benefits and the other one is unaffected.


Classification: arranging similar things together.


Ecosystem: part of a biome in which living and non-living things interact with one another.


Genus: group of species that share similar traits.


Goldilocks Principle: "Venus is too hot, Mercury is too cold, and Earth is just right" for life to exist.


Greenhouse Gases: Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere that trap infrared radiation.


Greenhouse Effect: Heating of Earth's surface by certain atmospheric gases, which helps keep Earth's surface warm enough to sustain life.


Half-life: The time it takes for half of a given quantity of a radioactive isotope to decay into another isotope.


Hypothesis: a guess based on facts.


Mutualism: Relationship in which both organisms benefit.


Observations: Information about the environment or a particular phenomenon.


Parasitism: Relationship in which one organism suffers and another one benefits from it.


Perihelion: the point in Earth's orbit where it is closest to the Sun (in January).


Prediction: Guess of what might happen in a situation based on a hypothesis.


Taxonomy: the scientific field that identifies, names and classifies organisms.


Sink population: a population in which mortality exceeds reproductive success.


Source Population: a population in which reproductive success exceeds mortality.


Species: Specific kind of organism that can with one another.



Last modified: Wednesday, 18 April 2012, 8:28 AM