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Stability and Change
Ecological succession (succession)
 Process in which communities of plant and animal
species in a particular area are replaced over time by
a series of different and often more complex
 Organic matter produced by plants and other
photosynthetic producers; total dry weight of all
living organisms that can be supported at each
trophic level in a food chain or web; dry weight of all
organic matter in plants and animals in an
ecosystem; plant materials and animal wastes used
as fuel.
 Group of individual organisms of the same species
living in a particular area.
Biotic Potential (reproductive potential)
 Maximum rate at which the population of a given
species can increase when there are no limits on its
rate of growth.
Exponential growth
 Growth in which some quantity, such as population
size or economic output, increases at a constant rate
per unit of time. When the increase in quantity over
time is plotted, this type of growth yields a “J”
shaped curve.
Carrying capacity
 Maximum population of a particular species that a
given habitat can support over a given period.
 The relationship between two different species of
organisms that are interdependent; there are various
types of symbiotic relationships
 Interaction between species in which one organism,
called the parasite, preys on another organism, called
the host, by living on or in the host.
 Type of species interaction in which both
participating species generally benefit.
 An interaction between organisms of different
species in which one type of organism benefits and
the other type is neither helped nor harmed to any
great degree.
 Two types:
 intraspecific competition-two or more individual
organisms of a single species attempting to use the same scarce
resources in the same ecosystem
 interspecific competition- two or more individuals of
different species attempting to use the same scarce resources
in the same ecosystem
 Situation in which an organism of one species (the
predator) captures and feeds on parts or all of an
organism of another species (the prey).
Ecological niche (niche)
 Total way of life or role of a species in an ecosystem.
It includes all physical, chemical, and biological
conditions that a species needs to live and reproduce
in an ecosystem.
Ecological diversity
 The variety of forests, deserts, grasslands, oceans,
streams, lakes, and other biological communities
interacting with one another and with their nonliving
Population density
 Number of organisms in a particular population
found in a specified area or volume.
Population dispersion
 General pattern in which the members of a
population are arranged throughout its habitat.
Growth rate
 The rate, or speed, at which the number of organisms
in a population increases.