biotic • Organisms living or that had once lived in the environment (i.e., mouse, clover, dead tree)
abiotic • Non-living factors in the environment (i.e., light, temperature, water, atmospheric gases, wind, soil, and nature of land surface)
habitat • The place in which an animal lives
ecosystem • A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.
sustainability • The capacity to endure. • In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time.
biodiversity • The variety of organisms in an ecosystem
biome • Large geographic areas with similar climates and ecosystems (i.e., desert, tundra, etc.)
population • Made up from all of the organisms in an ecosystem that belong to the same species
ecosystem • A smaller part of the biosphere consisting of the organisms and non-living features that interact in an area
primary succession • the development of biotic (living) communities in a previously uninhabited and barren habitat with little or no soil
secondary succession • The development of communities in an area that has been disturbed but still retains its topsoil, as in a burned-over area
climax community • An ecological community in which populations of plants or animals remain stable and exist in balance with each other and their environment. • A climax community is the final stage of succession
species • All organisms of the same kind that adapted to a particular set of resources (called a niche) in the environment
pioneer species • The first species/organisms to grow in an area after a disturbance.
microhabitat • A small habitat that differs in character from some surrounding more extensive habitat.