Ecology is the study of the interaction between organisms and their environment.
|Biodiversity||The variety of different species present in the community of an ecosystem|
|Biome||Regions of the planet which are characterised by their climate and contains distinctive communities of plants and animals|
|Community||All the organisms present in an ecosystem|
|Ecosystem||All the organisms living in a particular area and the non-living components that the organisms interact with|
|Habitat||The place where an organism lives|
|Population||All the organisms of one species found in a particular area|
|Species||A group of organisms capable of breeding with each other to produce fertile offspring|
All organisms require an energy supply for cell activities such as growth and cell division.
Organisms release energy from their food by the process of respiration. In most ecosystems on the planet the ultimate source of energy is the sun.
Producers make their own food using light energy from the sun. Green plants produce their own food by carrying out photosynthesis using light energy from the sun. Consumers cannot make their own food and obtain their energy by eating other organisms.
The feeding relationships that exist in an ecosystem can be shown by a food chain.
The arrows represent the flow of energy and mean 'gets eaten by'.
The feeding relationships in most ecosystems are more complicated than simple food chains. Producers are consumed by a range of different animals and these primary consumers may be eaten by a range of different secondary consumers.
The various interconnecting food chains in an ecosystem make up the food web.
The diagram below is an example of part of a food web in a Scottish loch.