Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!
Print

Science

Ecology and grouping organisms

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  1. Next

Organisms are classified into large groups such as animals and plants. Animals can be further classified as invertebrates or vertebrates. The vertebrates can be classified further as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds or mammals. Each of these classes has particular characteristics. The binomial system is used to name individual species. Some organisms can be difficult to classify.

Ecosystems

Common terms to do with ecosystems

termdescription
environment all the conditions that surround any living organism - both the other living things and the non-living things or physical surroundings
habitat a place where plants and animals live eg a pond
population all the members of a single speciesspecies: Used in the classification of living organisms, referring to related organisms capable of interbreeding. that live in a habitat eg minnows
community of living things all the populations of different organisms living together in a habitat
ecosystem a community of animals, plants and micro-organisms, together with the habitat where they live

A pond ecosystem may consist of a pond habitat, inhabited by of aquatic plants, waterside plants, micro-organisms - in the mud at the bottom of the pond - minnows and herons. The organisms together make up a community of living things.

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  1. Next

Back to Understanding our environment index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.