Friedland APES Ch 3


a location of interacting biotic and abiotic components.


an organism that uses the energy of the Sun to produce usable forms of energy


able to produces it's own food


process by which producers convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen

Cellular Respiration

process by which cells convert glucose and oxygen into energy, carbon dioxide, and water


organism that must obtain its energy by eating other organisms


can not make own food, eats other organisms

Primary Consumer

organism that must obtain energy by consuming other organisms

Secondary Consumer

carnivore that eats primary consumers

Tertiary Consumer

carnivore that eats secondary consumers.

Trophic Levels

levels in the feeding structure of organisms, higher trophic levels consume organisms from lower levels

Food Chain

sequence of consumption from producers through consumers

Food Web

complex model of how energy and matter move between trophic levels


carnivore that consumes dead animals


organism that specializes in breaking down dead plant or animal tissues


fungi or bacteria that recycle nutrients from dead tissues and wastes back into an ecosystem

Gross Primary Productivity

the total amount of biomass produced via photosynthesis over a given amount of time

Net Primary Productivity

the energy captured by producers in an ecosystem minus the energy producers use to live


total mass of all living matter in a specific area

Standing Crop

the amount of biomass present in an ecosystem at a particular time

Ecological Efficiency

the proportion of consumed energy that can be passed from one trophic level to another

Trophic Pyramid

a representation of the distribution of biomass or energy among trophic levels


The region of out planet where life resides, the combination of all ecosystems on Earth.

Biogeochemical Cycles

the movements of matter within and between ecosystems

Hydrologic Cycle

the movement of water through the biosphere


the release of water from leaves during photosynthesis


the combined amount of evaporation and transpiration.


water that moves across the land surface and into streams and rivers

Carbon Cycle

the flow of carbon through the environment

Nitrogen Cycle

the flow of nitrogen through the environment.


the six key elements that organisms need in relatively large amounts

Limiting Nutrient

a nutrient required for the growth of an organism but available in a lower quantity than other nutrients

Nitrogen Fixation

a process by which some organism can convert nitrogen gas molecules directly into ammonia


the transportation of dissolved molecules through the soil via groundwater

Phosphorus Cycle

the flow of phosphorus through the environment


an event, caused by physical, chemical, or biological agents, resulting in changes in an ecosystem


all land in a given landscape that drains into a particular stream, river, lake, or wetland


a measure of how much a disturbance can affect flows of energy and matter in an ecosystem


the rate at which an ecosystem returns to its original state after a disturbance

Restoration Ecology

the study and implementation of restoring damaged ecosystems

Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis

the hypothesis that ecosystems experiencing intermediate levels of disturbance are more diverse than those with high or low disturbance levels

Instrumental Value

something that has worth as an instrument or useful tool

Intrinsic Value

worth independent of any benefit it may provide to humans


a good that humans can use directly