Ecology is the study of organisms, their relationship with other organisms, and their relationship with their habitat. It examines how changes to the environment such as global warming can affect ecosystems.
It is useful to have awareness of keywords connected with ecology and to use them in your answers. Familiarise yourself with the following list:
Biodiversity – the variety of living organisms.
Carrion – decaying flesh and tissue of dead animals.
Community – made up of the populations of different species living in a habitat.
Competition – the negative interaction between two or more organisms which require the same limited resource.
Consumers – feed on other organisms for their energy. Can be primary, secondary or tertiary.
Decomposers – organisms which feed on dead and decaying organisms. They break down the biomass and release nutrients into the soil.
Deforestation – the removal and destruction of trees in forest and woodland.
Ecosystem – the interaction between the living organisms and the different factors of the environment.
Global warming – the increase of the average global temperature.
Habitat – where a living organism lives.
Interdependence – the interaction between two or more organisms, where it is mutually beneficial.
Population – the number of individual organisms of a single species living in a habitat.
Predators – organisms which kill for food.
Prey – the animals which are eaten by the predators.
Producers – convert the sun’s energy into useful compounds through photosynthesis. They are green plants or algae.
Scavengers – organisms which feed on dead animals (carrion).
Species – organisms of similar morphology which can interbreed to produce fertile offspring.
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