Important ecosystem terminology

Ecosystem Services: This the technical term for the benefits that humans and other living things get from ecosystems. These services are in four groups: Supporting Services, Provisioning Services, Regulating Services, and Cultural Services.

Adaptation: An adaptation is how an animal’s body helps it survive, or live, in its environment. A good example is a polar bear. Its white fur helps it to camouflage, so its prey cannot see it. Its Thick fur also provides the warmth to help it survive in its frozen environment.

Abiotic: Physical, or nonliving, factors that shape an ecosystem. Examples include rocks, climate, pressure, soils, precipitation, sunlight, winds, and humidity. These abiotic have a direct influence on living things.

Biotic: Living factors such as plants, animals, fungi, protists, and bacteria are all biotic or living factors. Biotic factors depend on abiotic factors to survive. The kind of biotic factors (living organisms) in a given area is often as a result of abiotic conditions of that area.

Symbiosis: Relationship in which two species live closely together, usually benefiting from each other. There are three types of symbiotic relationship:

1. Parasitism: parasite benefits, but the host is hurt.

2. Commensalism: one species benefits, the other is neither hurt nor helped.

3. Mutualism: both species benefit

Food Web: The complex feeding network occurring within and between food chains in an ecosystem, whereby members of one food chain may belong to one or more other food chains.

Habitat: The place where a particular population (e.g., human, animal, plant, microorganism) lives and its surroundings. For example, the anaconda snake lives in water and thrives very well there.

Plankton: Microscopic plants and animals that live in water.

Our research for this topic included these sources:
7. California Academy of Sciences., The World Biomes.