kelp forest

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Kelp Forest Ecology Vocabulary : 

Kelp Forest Ecology Vocabulary

Keystone Species : 

Keystone Species A species, such as the sea otter, that affects the survival and abundance of many other species in the community in which it lives. Its removal or addition results in a relatively significant shift in the composition of the community and sometimes even in the physical structure of the environment.

Community : 

Community All the organisms- plants, animals, and microorganisms- that live in a particular habitat and affect one another as part of the food web or through their various influences on the physical environment.

Habitat : 

Habitat An environment of a particular kind, such as the kelp forest.

Ecosystem : 

Ecosystem The organisms living in a particular environment, such as a kelp forest, and the physical part of the environment that impinges on them. The organisms alone are called the community.

Plankton : 

Plankton Drifting or weakly swimming organisms. Their horizontal position is dependent largely on the mass flow of water rather than on their own swimming efforts.

Zooplankton : 

Zooplankton Animal members of the plankton family.

Phytoplankton : 

Phytoplankton Plant-like, usually single-celled members of the plankton community.

Abiotic Factors : 

Abiotic Factors The nonliving factors that are connected to an environment. Some examples for the kelp forest include: Water temperature Water salinity Rocky bottom Sunlight Tides Winds Storms

Biotic Factors : 

Biotic Factors The living factors that are connected to the environment. Some examples for the kelp forest include: Phytoplankton Zooplankton Marine invertebrates Marine mammals

Symbiosis : 

Symbiosis The biologist’s term for the co-occurrence of two species in which the life of one is closely interwoven with the life of the other. There are 3 main types of symbiosis Mutualism Commensalism Parasitism

Mutualism : 

Mutualism Both the symbiont and the host benefit from the relationship.

Commensalism : 

Commensalism The symbiont benefits from the association while the host neither benefits nor is harmed.

Parasitism : 

Parasitism The most common and highly evolved form of symbiosis. Here the symbiont benefits at the host’s expense.

Competition : 

Competition The availability of resources such as food, light, and space within a community determines the number and composition of species within a community.

Population : 

Population A group of individuals of the same species occupying the same area.

Food Web : 

Food Web A group of organisms associated by a complex set of feeding relationships in which the flow of food energy can be followed from primary producers to consumers. This is an interconnected series of food chains.

Food Chain : 

Food Chain The flow of nutrients and energy from one organism to another by means of a series of eating processes.

Energy Pyramid : 

Energy Pyramid The graphic expression of the second law of thermodynamics as applied to the energy transfer in food chains. A certain amount of energy is lost in the form of heat as it moves through the links of the food chain, the greatest amount of energy is present in the basal link (producer) and the least amount being present in the terminal link (carnivore).

Matter Cycles : 

Matter Cycles Elements like oxygen and nitrogen and compounds like water and carbon dioxide pass through a non-living compartment (air, water and soil) and reach living organisms, eventually coming back to an abiotic compartment after the organism’s death.

Adaptation : 

Adaptation A modification or change in an organism’s structure or habit, frequently hereditary, by which a species or individual improves its situation in relationship to its environment.

Natural Selection : 

Natural Selection The progression in nature in which, according to Darwin’s theory of evolution, only the organisms greatest adapted to their settings will survive and pass on their genetic characteristics, in rising numbers, to following generations. Species less adapted are apt to be elimated.