The average year-to-year conditions of temperature and precipitation in an area over a long period of time
Climate
Environmental conditions within a small area that differ significantly from the climate of the surrounding area
Microclimate
The process in which certain gases (carbo dioxide, methane, and water vapor) trap sunlight energy in Earth's atmosphere as heat
Greenhouse effect
An area where an organism lives, including the biotic and abiotic factors that affect it
habitat
The full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions
Niche
Any necessity of life, such as water, nutrients, light, food, or space
Resource
An interaction in which one animal captures and feeds on another animal
Predation
An interaction in which one animal feeds on producers
Herbivory
A relationship in which two species live closely together
Symbiosis
The symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit from the relationship
Mutualism
The symbiotic relationship in which one organism lives on or inside another organism and harms it
Parasitism
The symbiotic relationship in which one organisms benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed
Commensalism
A series of gradual changes that occur in a community following a disturbance
Ecological Succession
The succession that occurs in an area in which no trace of a previous community is present
Primary Succession
The first species to populate an area during succession
Pioneer Species
A type of succession that occurs in an area that was only partially destroyed by disturbances
Secondary Succession
A dense covering formed by the leafy tops of tall rain forest trees
Canopy
The layer in a rain forest found underneath the canopy formed by shorter trees and vines
Understory
A material formed from decaying leaves and other organic matter
Humus
A biome with long cold winters and a few months of warm weather; dominated by coniferous evergreens; also called boreal forest
Taiga
A layer of permanently frozen subsoil found in the tundra
Permafrost
Organisms that live attached to or near the bottom of lakes, streams, or oceans
Benthos
Typically small organisms that drift in, and may swim through, aquatic environments; includes both phytoplankton and zooplankton
Plankton
An ecosystem in which water either covers the soil or is present at or near the surface for at least part of the year
Wetland
A kind of wetland formed where a river meets the ocean
Estuary

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