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Ecology Vocabulary Ecosystem – all the living organisms in an area; as well as the nonliving parts of their environment. Ecology – study of the interactions that take place among organisms and their environment. Biosphere – the part of Earth that supports life, including the top portion of the Earth’s crust, the atmosphere, and all the water on Earth. Abiotic Factor – the nonliving parts of an ecosystem. * including soil, temperature, water, and sunlight. Biotic Factor – the living parts of an ecosystem. Population – a group of the same type of organisms living in the same place at the same time. Community – all the populations that live in an ecosystem. Limiting Factors – anything that can restrict the size of a population. * including living and nonliving features of an ecosystem such as predators or a drought. Niche – the role of an organism in its ecosystem *refers to the unique ways an organism survives, obtains food and shelter, and avoids danger. Habitat – place where an organism lives; provides the food, shelter, moisture, temperature, and other factors required for the organism’s survival.