Ecosystems Vocabulary

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