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Ecology the study of interactions among organisms and their environment Biosphere the portion of earth that supports life Abiotic factors non-living parts of the environment Biotic factors living parts of the environment Levels of Organization in Ecology 1 organism one thing 2 population many things of the same species 3 communities a mix of different species 4 ecosystem living things and the environment 5 biosphere contains all ecosystems habitat place where an organism lives niche the role and position a species has in its environment symbiosis living together a relationship between two organisms 1 commensalism one organism benefits the other is neither benefitted or harmed 2 mutualism both organisms benefit 3 parasitism one organism benefits the other is harmed energy flow 10 is passed on 90 is wasted autotrophs producers make food plants heterotrophs consumers cannot make their own food Three types of heterotrophs 1 herbivores only eat autotrophs plants 2 carnivores eat other heterotrophs meat 3 omnivores eat both autotrophs and heterotrophs scavengers eat dead stuff vultures buzzards decomposer break down the complex compounds of dead and decaying plants and animals into things that can be absorbed and used by organisms food chain sun-grass-grasshopper-snake-eagle arrow shows direction of ENERGY FLOW algae-fish-heron-alligator trophic level each step in a food chain
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